Self Discovery through Reiki and Art

I’ve had quite a journey with distance healing since I completed reiki 2 last year. I didn’t understand how it could work, surely the sensations I and the people I carried out reiki on could only be felt when you were at least in the same room.

My searching of reiki practioner websites revealed that most of them offered distance healing and it seemed that the recipients could feel the healing energy, according to the testimonials. I have come to believe in the theory of there being no time and space and completely understand how distance healing can work but I wanted proof!

I asked a couple of friends to give me feedback in return for distance reiki healing. The result – they felt nothing.

I tried with my daughter. First, in the same room but without me being near her, just me imaging giving her a reiki treatment. She could feel it and loved it. But, being very cynical, I wondered how much she was influencing what she felt as she adores reiki treatments. We tried with her in her bedroom and me in another room, she could feel it. She now seems to prefer distance healing to “normal” reiki. Esme is 13 and experiences many strange, random pains and emotions. Often, as she is going to bed, she asks for me to send her reiki as she falls asleep.

My son, after thoroughly enjoying his first reiki experience, decided he didn’t like it and refused any offers of reiki. Occasionally I would start to send him reiki from another room and he would shout “Mum, stop doing that.” Strangely, I didn’t take this as “proof” that distance reiki works! It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago when his breathing became very painful (he ended up in hospital) and he asked me to sit at the end of his bed and send reiki to him, that I realised.

I have a couple of friends who have given permission for me to carry out distance reiki on them whenever I want. I have often done so, to practice tuning into both reiki energy and my friends’ energies, as I’m intrigued at the what I can feel.

I have also joined in with group distance healing, where a group of people agree a time to send reiki to a list of people. I had no idea what to expect the first time but it was amazing. I could feel the presence of the other reiki practioners, as if we were sitting in the same room, around a large table, holding hands. The energy was incredibly strong, much more so than when I’m on my own. Even more amazingly, it seemed as if all the people on the list were in the middle of the circle we had formed, which is where they received the healing. I don’t know what the recipients felt or how they were affected but each time has been a wonderful experience for me.

This past week I’ve had a couple of great distance reiki experiences. I agreed with a friend, who has had hands on (or off!) reiki from me and experienced more sensations and visions during the treatment than any other person I have practiced on, to do a distance reiki treatment on him. Usually I just let the energy flow but this time I decided to take more notice. I later told him all the things I had felt, mostly to do with the base and throat chakras. He was amazed, saying that everything I said made a lot of sense to him and that he had had a sore throat for a couple of days.

The same friend then told me about a room in Birmingham he has been working in every couple of weeks. He felt something wasn’t quite right but he couldn’t work out what. As I had cleared his office for him about 2 years ago (before I had even contemplated reiki) he asked if there was anything I could do remotely. I had no idea if I could, but I thought I’d give it a go. I easily tuned into the energy of the room, it was very thick and swirly, it definitely needed clearing. I only managed to clear a small area, it really did need physically clearing. I told him how to do this, which he did. Not only could he feel a difference but the people he  works with there could feel a difference when they entered the room.

I think I now have all the “proof” I need but I’m definitely going to carry on learning and experimenting, I’m enjoying it!

My first commission arrived about a month ago. Completely out of the blue and for something I had never even thought about, let alone tried before! To paint a Remo Buffalo drum.

I wasn’t sure whether to accept, especially when he said he wanted me to paint whatever I liked, intuitively!

Stephen is a friend of mine, and I had already painted a small painting for him, but I was still shocked at the trust and confidence he had in my abilities. Mostly the thought screaming in my head was “What if I mess up?” I asked for time to think about it.

So off I went, to Google drum painting. I became quite obsessed. I loved some of the painted drums I came across. I collected images I particularly liked on Pinterest.  I’ve always related Shamanic drumming to Native America but I was surprised to find out about Celtic art on drums. I like the simplicity of the Celtic art but I knew this drum should be in a more Native American style.

As I seemed to have now accepted the commission, it was time to be courageous and go and collect the drum.

I must admit I did have a little wobble and hid the drum away for a few days!

Eventually, I sat with the drum, looking at it in detail, feeling the texture of the surface to be painted, gently tapping on it with my fingers and hands, listening to the sounds it made, letting ideas float through my mind.

Snake, dream catcher and feathers.

Lots of rough sketches later, I had one I was prepared to show trusted friends; a snake head on the skin of the dream catcher and a feather lying across the bottom. The general consensus was that I could do better!

To be honest, I had cheated. I wanted to paint a snake curled around the dream catcher but I was afraid that my abilities weren’t up to that. So I just sketched a snake head.

Back to the sketch book, I did manage to get the end of the snake wrapping around the dream catcher frame with a space on the top left for a feather. Something wasn’t quite right, it looked unbalanced.

Abandoning feathers, I balanced out the snake. It was right at last.

I was shaking when I pencilled the design onto the drum, even more so when I put on the first layer of acrylic paint. The surface was smooth and non-absorbent, so the paint slid around a little but dried exceptionally quickly. It was very different to painting on paper. I had no way of practicing, I just had to learn as I painted. 

The dream catcher was completed and a fairly detailed second layer of paint was on the snake when I realised I had no idea how to suggest the scales! Time to experiment on paper. I found that by drawing a grid of scales over the paint in white gel pen, then painting over the top gave a good idea of the scales. On the drum I got so carried away with the shading detail on the snake, in places the paint was too thick to allow the gel pen to show through. But enough was showing to give a good representation.

I had been completely absorbed in the painting. When I was finished I was really surprised. I was very pleased and very proud of what I had accomplished. And, once of got over the nerves, I had enjoyed every minute.

What happened to the feathers? First I was going to paint a few around the sides, but the surface was very textured and I knew I wouldn’t be able to capture a feather’s delicacy. The inside of the rim was painted a matt black, perfect for a simple representation of a feather in the faithful white gel pen!!

Steve was speechless when he collected his drum, in a good way.

It’s a couple of weeks since I completed the drum. And I miss it! It had absorbed me totally for several days, the research, the sketching and the actual painting. I already have a few more ideas for drums. I’m seriously wondering whether to purchase a drum instead of a canvas for my next project.

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing Creativity

I had no words to help a friend who had nursed her mother through Alzheimers, then almost immediately had to nurse her father until his death 8 months later. I had no idea whether she would appreciate a painting, but it couldn’t hurt. I sat with the turquoise circle representing the throat chakra, for over a week. I knew I wanted to add some thing pink, a gentle loving heart chakra colour. The beautiful cherry blossom was still around but would be gone within a few days. This time I would try a more “frilly” flower. I am really pleased with the result, because I had to paint it more abstract than I usually end up doing, simply due to the complex petal structure of the blossom. My friend? She loved it!

It was now time to do a painting for me. I had been working through Leonie Dawson’s Creative E-course on and off for a while. Week three is about healing and this painting was the result. The background is a water colour wash of the chakra colours. I wanted to do a white feather over the top. I soon discovered I couldn’t produce the strands on the feather with my finest brush and white acrylic paint. I bought a white gel pen, which worked on normal paper but only scratched (leaving no white behind) on the textured water colour paper I had used. I asked friends for advice. I ended up creating the base shape of the feather with cheap, watery correction fluid, painting as much detail as I could with white acrylic paint then creating more detail using the gel pen in the wet paint. It worked, the feather has a really delicate feel about it.

 

Week four of Leonie’s course was about the Goddess Athena. The project was to create a shield in whatever format came to mind. I wanted to do something that wasn’t just a painting, so off I went to Hobbycraft to get some inspiration and materials. I found some crafting board cut into circles and thought they would be perfect. I glued a smaller circle in the centre of the largest one and 6 smaller circles around it. Then I sponged on a purple metallic acrylic paint I’d been given. I have no idea why I decided to draw a water dragon in the centre but he appeared easily! I drew some water symbols on the smallest circles but I wasn’t really happy with this so I glued some gemstone chips over the top. Much better. This is one of my favourite pieces and now hangs on the wall behind my bed.

Finally, creativity begins to flow. Slowly but surely.

Every year the cherry blossom inspires me to want to draw or paint it. This time I was determined to do something. A contact on Facebook and Twitter asked everybody she knew to send beautiful pictures, poetry etc to her ill mother. It was enough to give me a focus. The blossom is so beautiful and gentle. I carefully chose a very simple flower to paint in acrylics, my favourite medium. I liked the result but it was a bit plain. A few days later I knew what I wanted to add, a few more blossoms, just outlined in pen. I am pleased with the result. I hope the receiver was too!

 

 

A friend then asked me to do a painting for him. He had received reiki from me, during which he saw some very vivid images. He wondered if I ever saw anything whilst I carried out reiki. When I thought about it, I did see and feel vague things but nothing vivid or concrete although reiki is about just letting the energy flow. He asked if I would paint something based on what I felt and/or saw whilst doing reiki for him. Why not? This is the result. The bottom three chakras opening up, painted in acrylics, and a tree to represent grounding done in brown fine point pen. I was really pleased with this and, thankfully, so was my friend.

 

 

I wanted to explore this more. So I asked another friend if I could do some distance reiki on him and see if I could create a painting for him afterwards. I very strongly felt that the background had to be a deep red with a green opening, unfurling heart chakra. I was a bit puzzled at what exactly to paint and thought it might be quite difficult to paint anything over a deep red background. So after some experimenting with acrylic paint and an ink roller I produced a background I was happy with. I then spotted an beautiful leaf unfurling on one of my plants and decided this could represent the heart chakra. The finished leaves are very detailed, I had intended for them to be more abstact, but I became completely absorbed and it was the detail that became recorded!

 

The usual procrastination was setting in. I thought the Multi Media art classes had improved my artistic self-confidence and broken my inability to put something, anything, onto a blank canvas, board or piece of paper.

I now had a variety of materials. I now knew I was perfectly capable of creating. I now knew I just need to start, to just do it, to just let it happen. So why wasn’t I?

Something needed to happen!

All my art materials were kept in various cupboards. To create anything I would have to clear a space on my desk and find the materials. I needed to change this. If art and creativity were an important part of my life, the materials shouldn’t be hidden away.

I took all my work related paraphernalia off my desk and from the shelves above it. I took all the art materials out of the cupboards. Now I had a right mess! I gave the desk and shelves a really good clean, a fresh start. I gradually found the right places for all the art materials. I went looking around the house for my art books and put them on the shelves. I found a picture in a magazine with the quote “I’m allowed to be creative” and put it at eye level when seated at my desk. It felt really good, I couldn’t stop looking at my new art workstation.

But I still hadn’t put pen/paint/charcoal to paper/canvas/board!

I just didn’t know where to start. Then I realised it would be Mother’s Day in a few days time. I would paint my mum a card instead of buying one. As soon as I had this idea I knew what I wanted to paint. I had passed some beautiful tulips in the entrance of the supermarket, they caught my eye every time. I immediately went and bought two bunches, one of which I put in my daughter’s room.

I had something to paint.

My intention was to create something fairly abstract, a recognisable representation of the tulips. Once I started, I became completely absorbed. So when I finished I was most surprised to see a very detailed painting of two tulips. Although it wasn’t what I intended I really liked it. Most of all I was elated to have created something.

A very lovely pleasure as a result of this was that my daughter had seen what I was doing, she had gone to her room and created an amazing picture of the tulips I had put there, entirely in felt tip pen. She is 13 and used to be very creative, drawing all the time, but it had gradually dwindled to nothing. I had often suggested she did some drawing when she complained of being bored, but she always turned up her nose. I’m pleased to say that she has been filling notebooks with decorated words, doodles and drawings since her tulip picture.

The tulips were a turning point for us both.

Just Start Creating!

Creatively, I’ve come a long way since I proudly posted about my success at producing a painting from home during December.

So, what have I been up to?

The Multi Media evening class ended in March. It was the kick-start I needed. It taught me so much technically as well as giving me confidence in my artistic abilities. The most important lesson I learned was;

Just start creating, let go and let it happen!

So many times I turned up at the evening class, having debated for the last hour or two whether to actually go or not, without all the materials or any preparation and with absolutely no ideas of what I wanted to create. I would sit watching the others start, breathing deeply, trying not to panic. Then I would just do something, paint a wash background, cut out something I liked from a magazine…

Gradually, the chatter of the other students would fade away and I would become completely absorbed in the process of whatever I was creating. Time disappeared and inevitably I would be prodded by somebody as the teacher was wrapping up the lesson. Back on earth, I would look down and be surprised at what I’d produced.

I would leave the class feeling happy and peaceful. It was this feeling that inspired me to continue with my creative self-discovery once the course was completed.

You can see some of the art work I created here.

I will talk about the art I have done since the course in future posts.

Distracted by Chakras

I’ve been distracted by chakras! A couple of weeks ago I stated I thought I was now ready to do the intuition exercises in my manual from Reiki 2 in November. It seems that I am not.

I had been recommended and come across a Kundalini meditation several times. At one point I logged into Audible.co.uk to buy it but changed my mind at the last minute. I’m not sure what my resistance was. It was my fascination with chakras that had lead me reiki in the first place.

Then I saw it again, being recommended to someone else. This time I immediately bought it. Over two hours long, when would I find time to listen to that? In fact, the first hour (and a bit) are the author, Harijiwan Khalsa,  explaining chakras. It’s incredibly interesting and well worth a listen. The last hour is the meditation, about 8 mins per chakra.

I’ve never experienced a meditation like it! A gong is played in the background whilst the author talks, the hour passes by very fast. The gong and the narration fill the body and the mind.

I’ve listened to it a few times now. The first few, it completely knocked me out, leaving me feeling quite disorientated. Then I started to feel the energies within me, stronger each time I listened. Today I’m left me buzzing with a joyous energy.

About the same time, a book about chakras was also recommended as a good read, The Red Book of Chakras: Your Spiritual Superpowers of Central Intelligence by Sera Beak. This book is aimed at women and explains the chakras in a fun, realistic way. It made me laugh out loud several times (causing strange stares as I was in a coffee shop reading it). I love it and keep going back to read different parts.

So with the meditation and the exercises in Sera’s book, I’ve not been doing my intuition explorations. Somehow, though, it all seems to be coming together.

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