Can you believe that tomorrow begins a new year and a new decade? This year I am so grateful for all the amazing animals and people that I met through my classes and travel. I'd love to share with you my reflections on 2019.
Professionally, this past year I taught again at my favorite sanctuaries and animal centers: The CARE Foundation in Florida, Catskill Animal Sanctuary in New York, Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary in Essex, England, Foothill Farms Equestrian Center and Small Animal Hospital in the Sacramento area, Lily's Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary in Petaluma and Square Peg Foundation in Sonoma. My life is blessed by each and every animal I connect with in each of these places.
I also had the pleasure of visiting a new sanctuary with my students, The Medicine Horse Project in Somerset, CA, I traveled to Chicago to speak at the Raw and Natural Dog Summit and I was a featured guest speaker at the online Visionary Vegan Woman Summit. These experiences have brought new depth and light to my commitment to the Let Animals Lead® method that I teach and live by. I'm also proud to say that SARA, The Shelter Animal Reiki Association (my nonprofit and passion project), has expanded, with many new practitioner and teacher members, as well as new member organizations. I can honestly say that the members of SARA are the best people I've ever met and I'm honored to lead such an ethical, professional and committed organization of animal advocates.
In my personal Reiki journey, I was able to travel to Japan with my family and visit Mikao Usui's memorial stone outside Tokyo, as well as walk to the top of Mt. Kurama where Reiki began, accompanied by renowned Japanese Reiki Teacher, Hyakuten Inamoto. I was also able to study Shinpiden (with a bunch of SARA members) with Hyakuten Sensei on Bainbridge Island, outside of Seattle. After 21 years of my personal Reiki practice, this felt like such a "coming home" of sorts, to be able to make a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Reiki and study with a teacher who grew up at the foot of Mt. Kurama. Hyakuten Sensei places kindness to others above all practices in the system of Reiki, and this resonates very strongly with my own personal experience of Reiki.
In my healing journey, 2019 was a year of physical strengthening and rejuvenation, having finally completed several years of treatment for breast cancer. I am so grateful to be cancer-free and treatment-free after all these years! I haven't often shared the difficulties and struggles I experienced through my cancer journey, but I am so grateful for my Animal Reiki practice, which helped to lessen my suffering and helped me keep a positive frame of mind.
As we now stand together at the door of a fresh, new year, let's bring animals to the forefront of our minds as we set our intentions going forward. As we do so, let's help each other stay positive. We are bombarded with negative stories and images in the media, showing how animals are suffering each and every day on this planet. Through the Let Animals Lead® method, we seek to see animals with our hearts, through the lens of loving-kindness and compassion. We remember that in this moment, All Is Well and animals' beautiful inner light still shines strongly into the universe. No trauma or illness can diminish this beautiful light! When we remember this we can be mirrors of strength, positivity and healing potential to animals when they need us most.
Together, we can transform the tide of anxiety, disconnection and fear in this world by promoting positivity, grounding and gratitude as we practice Animal Reiki in big and small ways. Practicing the Let Animals Lead® method doesn't just mean sharing formal Animal Reiki treatments or doing our own meditation practice, it also means promoting kindness towards others each and every day, which is something we can do not only in our relationships with others, but also in our choices as enlightened consumers, volunteers in our community and citizens of our world.
Thank you for being a healing force for light, love and kindness in the world. I am so grateful for each one of you, for although we may do small things, each of us on our own, together the light from our Animal Reiki practice builds and supports each other, strongly rippling out healing into the universe! We can truly change the world for the better, for animals, one mindful moment at a time :)
Wishing you a beautiful and healthy New Year that is filled with inner peace and courage, boundless gratitude, plentiful acts of kindness, and of course, animals all around!