Saturday, June 28, 2008

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

The posting for Snowdoll said that she was caught up on all of her shots and fixed. Beginning at 4am we learned that the listing was incorrect and she was not just getting adolescent pudgy.

I don't blame the previous owners because they did not put up the posting. I'm thinking the friend who put the posting up on facebook may have just assumed that she was fixed. I can't wait to share the new puppy pictures as I take them (which will be sometime after I've had a nap). So L & C . . . There are all sorts of surprises to be posted later.

(I feel like an idiot. At the last vet appointment I meant to confirm that she was indeed fixed but I didn't. I guess I don't need a vet to tell me one way or the other now.)

Rob came home after puppy four came (after driving to and from North Carolina) and was still awake for puppy number five but was asleep by the time six and seven came along. I haven't napped yet. I am waiting for Marc to wake up so he can go run some puppy related errands.
In the meantime, here are a couple of pics.

After five hours of labor, mommy is very tired. This puppy was being cleaned and both mommy and puppy started to fall asleep.

And here they all are. The one on the far right is brown and white. The rest are black and white although one might fade to grey and white like mommy. We'll know soon enough.

Snowdoll cleaning puppy number 1.

And a close-up of puppy number 1.

The sad thing about this is that Snowdoll is entirely too young to be having puppies. Rather, she's obviously not to young to have puppies but she still has some growing up to do and this is not the best time for her to be having her first litter. Which is why I am beating myself up over this and feeling like a perfectly horrible owner.


This is another pic of the whole family, sans daddy. I am going to try to get individual puppy pictures later today or tomorrow. I am exhausted. I tried to nap but it is virtually impossible with the puppy squeeks in the background and my mother hearing perking up to make sure all is well.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Quote, Romanov and His Snoopy Impersonation, and more

If your compassion does not include yourself,
it is incomplete.

I received an email a few months ago about learning to love one’s self. It was one of the e-newsletters and I liked it enough to forwarded it to some friends and acquaintances. One of the latter wrote me back saying that whenever someone encourages her to love herself she is immediately inclined to do the exact opposite. My initial reaction was to find it amusing because I know how contrary responses go and, being a rebel at heart, I could see how this would be a response to such encouragement. Then I started thinking about it some more and I eventually emailed her and asked, “Do you have the same reaction when someone puts you down or insults you or even tries to make you hate yourself?”

She never responded. In fact, over two months have gone by and I haven’t received another email from her. Not even a forwarded newsletter telling me to mind my own business or something.

Now onto something far more fun. Romanov will tell us when he doesn't have water or food. If he doesn't have water, he will click his claws in the bowl to let us know it is empty. If we hear his clicky claws we know we've been remiss. But even better is when his food bowl is empty. He will pick it up and bring it to us.

It is hard to catch these images because by the time you realize that he's once again carrying his bowl, he has dropped it so you can pick it up and fill it up.

I must confess, the way I managed to get these images was a little cruel. I would see that his bowl was empty and leave the room. That way he was forced to bring me the bowl. It still wasn't easy to get the pic.

I guess this means that I starved Romanov just to write a blog entry. Poor Puppy.

The other day, Snowdoll plopped down in her classic turtle pose before her water bowl. She literally put her head down on the edge of the bowl and began drinking. I don't think I've ever seen anything so lazy in my life! I have seen dogs lie down to drink water but never with their heads down as well, letting their tongue do all the work.

We are trying to get her to not wake us up during the night. So when Woo Woo tries to wake us up, and it is still dark outside, we tell her to lie down. It seems to be working. She still tries to wake us up but more often than not she waits until it is lighter outside. If she tries to wake us up a second time at night, we get up and take her outside. Even Romanov occasionally needs a trip outside in the middle of the night but Woo Woo needs to learn that getting us up three times a night.

Aries Horoscope for week of June 26, 2008

Welcome to Part Two of your outlook for the second half of 2008, Aries. We're checking up on how you're progressing with the challenges you were given near
the end of last year. I'm hoping that by now you're well on your way toward leaving your amateur or rookie status behind for good. I trust that you have had a vision of exactly what you need to do in order to boost your level of professionalism, and that you have taken aggressive steps to carry out that vision. If for some bizarre reason you have not yet begun this glorious work, jumpstart yourself immediately. Fate will conspire dramatically on your behalf if you do. Now here's a tip on how to make sure that your inner warrior is operating at peak efficiency: Assume there's always more you can do to raise your standards and aspire to a higher grade of excellence.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How I Came to be a Reiki II Practitioner

William Rand shares his Reiki story here and I thought I would share my own Reiki story.

When I was student teaching in 1999, I met a man at a gas station who randomly asked me if I knew anything about Reiki. Assuming he was trying to flirt with me, I said no and moved away but he soon was back at my side, this time holding a brochure and inviting me to come to a “Reiki Circle.” I thanked him and went to the school where I was doing my student teaching.

I kept the brochure and sometime later I was in a Barnes and Noble and saw an autographed copy of a book about a woman’s experience with Reiki: One Degree Beyond by Jeneanne Narrine. I bought the book but did not immediately read it.
Later, in 2001 or maybe 2002, Rob and I were at an art gallery opening. I was standing by the food when a woman approached me. She complimented me first on my outfit and then asked me, quite out of the blue, “Do you do Reiki?” I told her no, I did not, but explained that I had a book on Reiki at home. She asked me if I would mind her doing some Reiki on me and she placed her hands on me, one on my chest and the other between my shoulder blades on my back. Before I could experience anything, a man approached us, asking if he could touch my boots.

In 2005 my mother took me to the New Age Health Spa and I went to a pranayama session. Nobody else showed up so the teacher offered to do the session with me alone. Afterwards, I explained to her that I often feel a lot of heat/energy/tingling in my hands during yoga and meditation. I shared with her about a time when, after meditating in virasana , I went to take a shower and was surprised to see handprints on my thighs. It looked almost like a slap mark, a deep red that showed clearly my palms and fingers. She asked me, “Do you do Reiki?”

I may be slow but at this point I obviously saw the pattern. Three very random people under very different circumstances had asked me about Reiki. When I came home I pulled out the book I had tucked onto one of my many bookshelves and read it cover to cover. I wasn’t especially excited by the author’s experience but the advice on how to find a Reiki Master helped me to find someone who would be able to attune me to Reiki.

I eventually went to see Brad Dixon to have my attunements (a sort of initiation) to Levels I and II. Once again, although I expected others to be there, I was left alone. Brad talked me through the history of Reiki before attuning me to the First Level. We then had lunch before discussing the hand positions for Reiki. In treating one’s self the positions are not very different from giving Reiki to someone else. However, intuition also plays a role in how you move your hands across and around a person as they are receiving Reiki. Then he did Reiki on me and I did Reiki on him.
I could feel the energy flowing, like tiny rippling waves of warmth, across my palms, especially when my hands were over Brad’s face. Later, when I would give Reiki for the first time to Rob, I could feel the same rippling of warmth as my hands moved around Rob’s legs, especially one of his hips. Later Rob told me that he had bumped into something earlier that day and hit that hip very hard. He had not told me this beforehand.

This is how I came to be a Level II Practitioner of Reiki. I am able to

• Give Reiki to myself
• Give Reiki to others
• Perform Reiki from a distance

I wish I had committed to doing Reiki on myself more consistently. I cannot help but believe that, had I done so, I would have not had as bad an attack of vertigo as I experienced in 2006. Since my attunement I have offered to give Reiki to anyone and everyone who is willing to experience it for themselves.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Beginner's Guide to Reiki by David F. Vennells

Beginner’s Guide to Reiki: Mastering the Healing Touch by David F. Vennells is a decent introduction to Reiki. I had hoped it would be a good choice of text to share with people who are curious about Reiki, something I could recommend. I especially hoped that I could give it to my mother so she could read up on it. Unfortunately, the volume I have is poorly edited, there are pages literally missing, and the Vennells is a little too New Age for my taste.

I appreciate his choosing to share the history of Reiki as well as the now disproved story behind Reiki’s roots. Many texts written about Reiki after the false history was shown to be erroneous will allude to the history but not share it. I found it interesting to read and agree with his theory as to why this story was created. I also appreciate his choosing not to share the symbols, which some Reiki texts will do. Although these symbols are not considered sacred, there is something to having them not revealed until the right time.

Unfortunately, the erroneous information shared is frustrating. On page 121 Vennells says that the Reiki practitioner can do a distance healing after the First Level Attunement. However, this not traditionally taught until the Second Level and I am surprised that Vennells suggests that this is taught so early.

But more frustrating are the numerous grammatical errors. Here are just a few examples:
• Sometimes when we are setting intentions, . . . it may helpful to say or think the intention three times (172).
• You may find it helpful to practice while treating yourself sitting in a chair, as it easy to fall asleep when laying down (174).
• A mantra is a special word or group of words that, when spoken or thought, have a positive effect on the mind and body (175).
• Buddha Avalokiteshvara had such a great wish to help others that he blessed his own name so that when anyone one said it three times they should receive relief from fear (176-77).

So what am I going to do with this book now that I have finished it? I am going to throw it away. After all, it is missing pages (publisher’s fault), is filled with grammatical errors (editor’s fault), and does not explain Reiki correctly (author’s fault).

(The book cover I used is not the same volume because the one I have is apparently out of print. This is possibly a good thing and hopefully the new edition makes up for the mistakes in the previous one.)

Quotes from the book that I found interesting enough to want to remember:

Reiki Intentions (based on Reiki Principles)
Today I am peaceful.
Today I am relaxed.
Today I am grateful.
Today I work hard (meditative/spiritual practice).
Today I am kind to others. (139)

How do you relate to each principle, and what do they communicate to you? Which are particularly challenging and which particular situations or people come to mind with those principles? Regular meditation on a particular principle, and self-treatment with the appropriate Reiki intention, are the best ways to develop the qualities we need to transform our personal issues (141).