The Healing Moves in All Directions

The Healing Moves in All Directions


I shared distance Reiki sessions weekly for several months with Sid, a beautiful standard Schnauzer who was infected with cancer. During our first session, he had told me what his human had already sensed: that he did not want surgery.


His human and I agreed that the Reiki sessions were keeping him comfortable. His spirits were good, as was his appetite. He was at peace.


One evening after sharing a session with Sid, I sensed that I was being asked to lie down. And so I got out of my chair and lay on the floor.


Immediately, I felt Sid’s presence on my left side.


And then, on my right side, I felt the presence of my beloved Shambalah, my Earth-mother dog, who had passed several years earlier.


Both creatures placed their noses on my heart. I had been under a great deal of stress for several months, but all of that dissolved, flowed out of me. I was loved; I was floating; I was at peace.




Mondays this summer, I have been assisting with cookouts for homeless persons in my county, persons forced to sleep in their cars or in the woods or fields because the rotating shelters are closed for the summer. I have attended five or six times now, and while I am not required to attend each week, I look forward to it. I do not experience our time together as “helping the homeless” but as lunch with friends.


I have been moved by the strength and courage and dignity of the people I have met. They have lost just about everything, but they stand tall, greet us with open faces and hearts, and freely express their gratitude for the meals we share.


I have been particularly moved by one woman’s story. In 2008, she lost her job as an executive assistant at a chemical company that manufactured ingredients for paint. The company had suffered crippling losses due to the burst housing bubble and the decline in the auto industry. A large number of employees at her company were laid off.


She had unemployment for awhile; she had her savings. When it was all gone, she left her apartment. She told me that she hadn’t yet been asked to leave, but she was out of money, and there was no job in sight, so she just left.


I asked her what she did with her belongings. She said she donated them to the St. Vincent DePaul resale shop, a charity. She gave everything away.


Now, she is living in her car.


She applies for jobs almost daily. She is tired; her rail-thin body says she doesn’t get enough to eat. But her heart is filled with love for those around her and with gratitude for what she has. “Thank you,” she says, “for this meal. I don’t know what we would do without you.”


As we load up our cars to leave, the thank you’s come from all directions, the smiles, the hands raised in good-bye. See you next week. Take care. Be well.


No matter what is going on in my life, what stresses or hardships, I always leave this Monday cookout with an open heart.


I have learned, both from two-leggeds and four-leggeds, that gratefully receiving can be as important, as life-affirming, and as healing as giving.


I hope you will be moved to share your thoughts.

 If you have received this post via email, just click on the title to respond.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *