support, virtual services

Welcome to May 2020. We are still under social distancing guidelines in Southern Ontario, so I wish to update you on the services still available with Inside Out.

It has been a time of great polar opposites. Feelings of gratitude that we have more time to look after ourselves, family, nature and community as well as fear, uncertainty and mixed emotions on what is really happening. Of course, the big question is – what will it look like on the other side of quarantine? I am excited to be taking some time to be very conscious of what I want to co-create in our world. We have been talking about how we are living in an unsustainable way for our planet’s well-being and noticing how the stress and pace is being expressed in record high levels of anxiety and depression for all ages.

This extreme world situation definitely carries many casualties that are brutally difficult to see and on the polar opposite, it is showing us without a doubt, that our human activity is having a detrimental effect on the environment. There are countless entries sharing how nature is bouncing back.

“If there’s something good to come from this worldwide pandemic, it might be the way Earth is given a chance to breathe a bit. Scientists have already seen how quickly the climate, and nature far and wide, is already revitalizing and recovering from human climate change damage.  https://eponline.com/articles/2020/03/24/covid19-and-climate-change-the-unexpected-pairing.aspx

So, with this pause that many of us are experiencing, we have a brilliant opportunity to think about what we want our world to look like. Our thoughts are energy and where thoughts go, energy follows. Our actions will be influenced by our thoughts, which have a ripple effect on our circle of influence.

I am appreciating this pause to do just that. I have not come to a full picture of how I want to show up when things go back to allowing interaction of physical, but ideas are percolating.

In the meantime, I am definitely available to support my clients in the following ways:

Distant Reiki Healing

This involves connecting by phone, Zoom, FT or Skype to have a conversation about where you are at and what is coming up. Then we either stay connected or hang up and I will send a reiki healing treatment to you as though you were with me.

Enneagram Relationship Coaching

Using the enneagram personality system as the focal point, we will discuss whatever blocks or challenges may be coming up at this time relating to yourself or others. Great insights reveal themselves and new steps forward are determined with more clarity.

General Support

My experience over these past 20 years has provided a strong platform to listen, question and provide a fresh perspective on what may be going on in your life wherever you need support.

Women’s Wellness Circle

This wonderful monthly connection has moved to a virtual platform until we can gather together. It takes place the 4th Thursday of each month and I feature a different presenter and topic. This month will be focused on our relationship to food. Watch for details on my newsletter and on my FB Business page.

New to my Website

New to my website is an online shop to purchase the few items that my clients have come to love. I am covering ½ the shipping costs during shutdown or free delivery to East Gwillimbury, Newmarket and Aurora.

My new online scheduling system will be up and running this week making it easier to book at your own convenience.

I am forever grateful for the support of my long-time clients and students. Many of you are now friends. I have never looked back from my call to serve in this way. May these challenging times provide a place of deep reflection on the world we want to co-create for ourselves, our children, grandchildren and the planet we call home.

Until next time,

Karen

postponing

Sometimes life calls us to recalibrate, to breathe, to trust our inner guidance and move forward with patience, creativity and kindness.

This truly feels like one of those times. We will never forget the unfolding of 2020 and it will surely go down in history for generations to reflect on and hopefully learn from.

What I am learning is that updates are coming in very quickly that are not what we necessarily want to hear. There is anxiousness, fear and some panic. Those feelings do not always bring out the best attributes of our humanness and we are hearing some of those stories.

We are also hearing of truly generous and kind stories of people reaching out and helping each other. The forced shut down of business and road travel in China has produced this staggering unofficial result:

“The two months of pollution reduction, Burke calculates, has probably saved the lives of 4,000 children under 5 and 73,000 adults over 70 in China. That’s significantly more than the current global death toll from the virus itself.” (credit)

I am learning that to make great change sometimes takes great challenges. I am learning to increase my inward reflection and trust what comes forth. I am having wonderful dinners and conversations with my family. We are expressing our gratitude for what we have.

No matter what our personal views are, this is very real right now and we are all being asked to be part of the solution to keep the spread down.

Inside Out Events Postponed

In light of that, Inside Out will be postponing all reiki training classes and practice days as well as in person client sessions until restrictions are lifted.

We will be postponing the upcoming Enneagram Relationship Workshop scheduled for April 19th, to August 30th.

The monthly Women’s Wellness Circles will take place in an online format for this month and if all goes well, April may follow suit. I will be posting updates on my website, Facebook page and Instagram.

Reiki healing will still be available for those comfortable with distant treatments. Please reach out to me to book these personal sessions.

Let’s take this time to birth in a new reality and hold a vision for the world we want to live in. May kindness prevail.

Please stay in touch,

Karen

A good friend shared an article with me recently that really hit home.  It was all about the Reiki Triangle and how one Reiki master interprets its value.

I found it curious because in the 24 years that I have been practicing Reiki, I had not heard this term. What I found was a very practical idea that I can share, whether one is a Reiki practitioner or not, for it speaks of balance in our energy. Specifically balancing what we give and what we receive. This concept has been a real focus this year in my practice.

Are You Running An Energy Deficit?

I often share with new clients that in our busy society – where there is more focus on doing rather than being – we are usually running an energy deficit. Our output is much greater than our input.

This is where the true gift of receiving Reiki presents itself; to fill up our consistently empty energy tank. It is easy for us to understand output and many will ask how best to access more input outside of coming in for a session every day.

My response covers 3 aspects. We rebalance our own energy reserves through:

  1. Good sleep.
  2. Good food.
  3. Doing things that bring us joy or peace within our body, mind and spirit.

The last category is endless and definitely an individual preference.  It can encompass things like being with friends, being in nature, our hobbies, travel, enjoying animals… you get the idea. Interestingly enough, without realizing it, I utilized the triangle symbolism by having these three categories.

Striking a Balance on Your Triangle

Within the article, the author speaks of striking a balance between doing self-practice, offering Reiki to / receiving Reiki from others.  I love this idea because through personal experience, I am finding the balance of these to be critical in my ability to offer the best of myself to my clients.

I have a regular daily self-practice that helps keep me connected and as I have a professional practice, I definitely fill the category of offering Reiki to the full extent.  The third section of the triangle involves receiving Reiki from someone else.  This has historically not been an equal share of my personal practice. I did realize that it was an area I could improve upon last fall and have since added more regular sessions for myself into my month.  It is making a big difference!

We can incorporate this model into our complete self-care program. If you are honest, would you say that you have a balance between what you do for yourself, what you do for others and what you allow others to do you for you?  It could be a very easy thing to record for a specific period.

As we enter this period of Spring and new beginnings, why not incorporate a new level of balance in our own energy input/output? I would love to hear from you with thoughts of this idea.

You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

Until next time,

Karen

February Inspiration - Getting Through Winter - Reiki newmarket, energy Healing with Karen Armstrong

Here we are in our 7th week of 2019, still in the thick of winter here in Southern Ontario. And I am noticing that many around are having a tough time feeling happy.

Some are fortunate to head on a southern holiday in the sun and take time away with friends or loved ones. Some find a distraction in events like Valentine’s Day or the numerous shows taking place like the GTA Home Show, The Spring Camping & RV Show, The International Auto Show, The Woodworking Show, etc. Some just wonder how they are going to make it until Spring when our days are longer, the weather is warming up and the colours of nature come back to life.

The Search for Purpose & Meaning

My sense is that many are looking for purpose and meaning in their lives. When we can tap into that energy, it fuels us forward. How do we do that?  Of course, it is a different path for each of us.  A path that requires time, curiosity and patience.

Gregg Braden shares an idea in his book, The Divine Matrix, that when thought, feeling and emotion become one then miracles happen. When we can come from our heart, we are not in fear or anxiousness. This is huge because fear is everywhere around us. It takes consistent daily practice to disconnect from the cultural consciousness of fear and listen to the wise still voice within.

My consistent daily practice happens to be reiki.  It did not begin that way but has grown to become my spiritual practice.  It is the way I can tune into myself and the creative energy that unites all entities within our universe. It is the way I can have a touchpoint to my purpose. I remember that my life and all life are sacred.  I remember that I am here to share my love and light in all that I do.  There are many positive support tools available for us to infuse into our daily practice to instill a sense of peace and inner strength.  A couple are listed at the end of this article.

Making the Best of Winter

Winter provides us with time to hunker down in our own cozy place and read, listen and expand our own beingness past where we have been.  We can then bring this new awareness into the spring and into more of our doing activities.

Let’s take this time to seek our own inspiration so that we become the uplifter of our life. That will automatically ripple out to everything around us.

Here are a couple of resources to check out:

  1. Insight Timer App, a free app for your smart device. One of my favourites for meditation is Sarah Blondin.
  2. Mind Valley  another great site to explore for transformational global education programs.
  3. Finally, a link to a beautiful 11-minute uplifting video that was shared with me by Dean Noblett of Heartlight in Schomberg.


Please feel free to share your inspirational resources here for other readers to see. Remember to spoil yourself with some love this Valentine’s Day.  If we fill our tank, we always have lots to share.

You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

Until next time,

Karen

Looking through my photos of my trip to Japan allows me to continue to integrate my experience. Today I want to share what is possible when we open up to collaboration from others on a challenge to create something totally unique and special.

The Buddhist Temple of Otagi Nenbutsu-ji
One of the Temples that I visited really touched my heart from this perspective. Otagi Nenbutsu-ji is a Buddhist Temple in the Arashiyama neighbourhood of Kyoto. Originally founded by Empress Shotoku in the middle of the eighth century, it was destroyed once by flooding and once by a civil war. It was moved to its current location in 1922, later suffering typhoon damage in 1950.  It took thirty years to repair the damage but when it was finally restored worshipers celebrated by donating the 1200 rakan sculptures (stone statues representing the disciples of Buddha).

Happy 2018 to all…a fulfillment of my intention words for last year led me to book a spiritual reiki trip to Japan in November. It was there that my 2018 Intention words were inspired.

The Trip of a Lifetime

Yes – a trip of a lifetime opportunity arrived in my inbox early in 2017.  Coincidence or co-created by my intention words? I choose to believe that our thoughts are energetic and assist in attracting their matching experiences.  I read the invitation entitled, The Essence of our Practice, and felt my whole being respond with a YES!

Full Alignment

Then my head engaged and started the series of practical responses.  You know what I mean.  It is too much money, it is right after my chorus trip to Las Vegas, I should not take that much time away from my clients and on and on.  So I left it alone for almost 2 weeks, all the while thinking about it constantly.  Then I remembered my intention words for the year.  Fearless Living and Stillness. That was it – I decided that it was in full alignment with what I wanted to create and the universe would provide all I needed to support it.  My experience confirmed this to be absolutely true!

Intention Words for 2018

I will share a few blogs to start this year around my magical trip to Japan however this one will focus on my Intention words for 2018. It was organized and led by Phyllis Furumoto, the Grand Master of the Usui System of Reiki Healing. I joined 12 other reiki masters/practitioners from around the world to explore the Essence of our Practice; it’s deep roots and traditions. Part of our trip included a visit to Mount Kurama outside Kyoto, a sacred mountain for many and the location of Dr. Usui’s enlightenment Reiki experience.

Our first experience on the mountain was not an organized tour day.  Instead, Phyllis arranged for us to receive a beautiful boxed lunch, gather our notebooks and enter into a silent solo pilgrimage for the day.

It was a beautiful clear and cool fall day. I was filled with emotion as I pulled on my boots and bundled up for my day.  How many times have I shared the reiki story with my students over the years and now – I had the chance to walk the same path of our founding Master, a journey that has impacted so many lives over the last century including mine. I was definitely in a mindful space.  Once I paid my entrance fee, I received a map and a small printed ticket which included this prayer:

“Since Primordial times, the life-energizing vitality of Mao-san (symbol of Power), the great king of the conquerors of evil and the spirit of the Earth, has pervaded Mt. Kurama. Imbued with this life energy, a wide variety of life forms resides here in serenity, and the rich natural environment continues to flourish.

Since the guardians of heaven Bishamonten (symbol of light) at the end of the Nara Period and the thousand-armed Senju-kannon bodhisattva (symbol of love) at the beginning of Heian Period became enshrined in this land, people have continued to flock here to offer their heartfelt prayers.

At Kurama Temple today, these three venerated deities are worshipped as the trinity of Sonten (symbol of cosmic energy). All those who come into contact with Mt. Kurama not only receive the life energy emanating from the mountain but also become conscious of their own “shinge” (pure and innocent spirit), and look forward to the dawn of a world of peace and harmony where lives of all people will shine with the brightest of lights. To create a world, where all lives shine,

Beautiful as the Moon (Love)
Warm as the Sun (Light)
Powerful as the Earth (Power)
We trust in Sonten for all things.”

Reading this put me into the perfect inner space to become conscious of my own pure and innocent spirit and my day was magical and rich in embodying the roots of my practice.  As I descended the mountain late in the afternoon, these words came to me and I knew they would become my 2018 Intention words.

Honour – to honour my teachers, all living things, and the planet I call home.

Gratitude – closely related, however it felt more like focusing on having a grateful heart and attitude in my life.

Playfulness – with another mountain spirit present named Tengu, my seriousness was interrupted with something that took me by surprise and made me laugh. It reminded me to keep a playful spirit alive in my life.

2018 feels full of opportunity to challenge the status quo and to continue to play my part in creating a world where all lives shine. May we all adopt this symbol of trust in Sonten and let Light, Love and Power lead us forward.  It will challenge many deeply held patterns so make sure to allow for a playful spirit to accompany you.

More to come from my travels in Japan. Happy New Year.

You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

In harmony,

Karen

reiki retreat karen armstrong find your tribe

reiki retreat karen armstrong find your tribe

I just completed a 3 day Reiki Retreat last week and by the end many of my students expressed feeling such comfort because they had “found their tribe”.  This expression describes the feeling of being in a group of like-minded people where it is safe to share our true selves.  We get to dream, explore our inner world, express our needs and feel supported instead of judged.

Sometimes Our Spiritual Path Can Feel Lonely

Sometimes when we are on a spiritual or holistic path, it can feel lonely holding down the fort in our circle of family and work connections.  Some of them may want to support us however they may have different beliefs and so we are careful of where and when we share our own thoughts and feelings.

It is both reassuring and inspiring to come together and deepen our own inner knowing.  We part ways knowing that we are not alone and this group that once was strangers have become our tribe. The culture that has emerged in our affluent society has created a reality that many families live in different cities. Getting together requires planning and time both of which are stretched to limits with full schedules.  Finding a common interest helps to bring people together filling a need for being in community.

The Importance of Community in My Life

I realize how important community is for me as I have created a few very important ones in my life. My love of music and singing has found home for the past 30 years with the North Metro chorus. My thirst for knowledge and sharing has led me to host a monthly Women’s Wellness Circle for over 10 years. We joined some of our church friends to create a couples activity group that has enjoyed countless hours of fun and exploring for the last 17 years.  Finally, my work and life with reiki has now expanded into a circle of students, friends and colleagues who come together regularly.

North Metro Choir Karen Armstrong - Inside Out

These groups fill my life with a richness that is not possible on a solo journey.  Sometimes I need to balance and pull back for a while but I could not even dream of my life without all that a like-minded community brings.

Don’t get me wrong – it takes intention and action to find your group, as Amanda Kohr shares so beautifully on wanderlust.com;

Whether it’s a family, community, or group of fellow practitioners, our tribe is important because it reflects our values while simultaneously satisfying our need for companionship.

That being said, finding a tribe is hard. That’s why there are so many movies where high school students end up eating lunch alone. And as we bloom into adulthood and lose the setting of forced social interaction, it can be even more difficult to find authentic connections.

Doing so requires effort, authenticity, and confidence.

True – and I am here to say that it is worth every minute of searching.  So I invite you to reflect on what you might be missing in your life and then set the intention to find it. Let’s make life count and have fun along the way with our Tribe!

reiki retreat inside out karen armstrong

Do you have a favourite group of peeps that you want to share? I welcome input here.

You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

Until next time, may you enjoy your summer.

Karen

2015-October-165

Being out of balance is a result of not paying attention to our needs, physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.  What is your wake-up call that brings you back to awareness?

Encouraging balance in life…

My tag line for Inside Out is “encouraging balance in life…” I chose this because it has been part of my journey and continues to require tuning in and presence.  I have identified some keys that bring me back to balance and the process just might work for you too. Read more

Marise Foster - click image to enlarge

Marise Foster – click image to enlarge

This year I have been focusing on building my well-being and spiritual practices. I have always had many interests and love to learn. One of the challenges this brings is that I have not been committed to a specific personal practice on a daily basis. After 5 months of making a commitment to myself to do a daily practice; I am realizing just how much it contributes to building my overall personal resilience. Read more

reiki master NewmarketIn my reiki classes and practice days I always have a beautiful beeswax pillar candle set in the middle of a table alter surrounded by crystals. We light it at the opening of our time together and extinguish it after our final prayer circle. I always felt that it provided more than a beautiful centerpiece and after listening to a networking colleague share his wisdom on the health benefits of pure beeswax, I understood why.  And since it is earth month, I thought I would share what I have learned. Read more

click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge

One morning after handing my middle son over to our new sitter while he cried hysterically, I also cried all the way to the office. I sat in the parking lot for some time to gain my composure and walked in the door. A close colleague saw me and immediately took my arm leading me to a quiet room to ask what was going on. I told her I just didn’t think I could keep going like this; that I didn’t bring my sons into this world for someone else to raise. I missed being with them more and I was exhausted. She smiled and said; “What you need is Reiki”. I didn’t even know what that was. “Why Reiki?” I asked. Her reply was that it would help me find my truth. Read more