Post #10 – “What do you do?”


“What do you do?”


Since opening the doors to Hawksbill Healing in July of 2018, I have found that the vast majority of my clients were already well versed in the practice of Reiki.  Lately though, that seems to be changing; a change that I find personally very exciting! It seems that more and more people are finding their way to my humble little practice asking me questions like, “What do you do?”  A simple enough question it would seem, but I often stumble a bit when put on the spot. So, I thought maybe I could try to answer it here.

Have you ever bumped your elbow, banged your knee, or whacked your head on something?  Besides muttering an expletive, what is your reflexive reaction? Most of us will find that we bring our hands to wherever we just hurt.  The same is true of a parent when their toddler inevitably comes crying with the day’s latest “owie.” But, why?

The answer can be found in the basic principle of Reiki:  we are all energetic beings. Put simply, a part from our flesh and bones, we also consist of energy.  So the foundational truth of Reiki is actually scientific fact, not some hippie, spiritual, voodoo magical fantasy.  We have energy within us and all around us. Reiki holds that there is healing power in that energy; that we can learn to channel it and use it to awaken the internal power to heal that resides in each and every one of us.

As a practitioner, I simply open myself up as a conduit for the universe to pass energy on to my client.  My client’s only job is to lay comfortably and be open, the Reiki energy does the rest. The result of the exchange?  Well, that can be described as magical.  I have had so many instances of “knowing” that someone was hurting and where my hands were needed to focus the energy and the experiences that my clients have reported have been amazing.

Before my training to become a practitioner, I went through a progression of acceptance with the idea of Reiki.  See, I am a healthy skeptic of anything that seems magical or fantasy based. I had great debates about all faiths in college as a religious studies minor and I have proudly carried my tendency to doubt into adulthood.  The term and concept of Reiki was first introduced to me in my mid-twenties. At that time, I was hungry to learn anything spiritual in nature that was a break from the Judeo Christian tradition I had been raised in and I was immersing myself in Buddhist principles.  I can see, now, how Reiki was a natural extension, but at that time it sounded too cooky. I am just supposed to lay there and something supernatural happens? I don’t think so!

Reiki and I didn’t cross paths again for another twenty years or so until my wife was in hospice and a volunteer offered to perform it for her.  Seeing no harm, Kristin agreed. Her mom, sister, and myself all stayed in the room and had a good laugh afterward: “Did you feel the energy Kristin?”  Yes, it still seemed too weird to me.

Unbeknownst to me, through my laughing and cracking jokes, I was also becoming more open to the idea.  Have you ever heard a word for the first time and then you hear it multiple times over the next few days?  That’s how it was for me and Reiki from that point on. It just kept showing up in my life until I finally acquiesced and made an appointment with a practitioner.

By the time I gave in, I was deep into grieving the loss of Kristin.  The pain I was feeling was palpable and I was struggling to release it.  Laying on that table as the practitioner gently moved her hands from my head to my chest, and on to my other chakras, I found a release.  I cried long and hard in a way that I knew I needed to but had been struggling to achieve.

Today, I continue to receive Reiki as well as provide to provide it, and while my emotional releases are not nearly as dramatic, it still helps me to achieve a state of healing and a feeling of balance that nothing else ever does.

As I conclude this blog I am eager to read Jen’s response.  I am so curious to know what her experiences have been like.  I am also very interested to hear from our readers. I would love to hear any testimonials that people feel comfortable leaving in the comments section, or to answer any questions that people may have.  Until the next blog…namaste.


My first reiki experience occured over twenty years ago in Madbury NH. I’m trying to remember how I first found out about reiki. My initial introduction to what used to be termed New Age spirituality was when I was in my early teens. My sister had given me the book, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior.  I grew up working in Pepperell Cove and as a young girl I worked with someone who began to experience a spiritual awakening and would share with us, often as we held back giggles or would raise an eyebrow with suspicion. Then as time passed and each of us witnessed certain happenings or received messages from loved ones passed, a certain sense of truth and acceptance began to take seed within.When  I decided to have reflexology done, I was nervous and even hesitant. Like Kevin, I remembered certain scenes from movies, conjured up visions of “voodoo” in my mind, and allowed myself to poke fun at the idea of it all. When I arrived at her home, the mother of a friend of mine, I was immediately put at ease and relaxed into a warm and charming home filled with beauty and kindness. As she worked on my feet  she educated me about the specific pressure points she was working with and why. She explained the correlation between the points on my feet and the organs of my body and how the energy would be affected and what she was working to relieve, activate, or calm down.

She later became my teacher when I took Reiki level 1. I experienced numerous reiki sessions with her as a client over the span of a few years. It was a turbulent time in my life and somehow the connection I had fostered with her and the energy work I received always seemed a bridge through the darkness to the next day of light in my world. There was something about her voice and demeanor that comforted me in a time of isolation and wanting to disconnect from the world after my father had taken his own life and I was going through a divorce in my early twenties. I was lost, gasping for breath, yet the rest of the world might barely notice as I kept working, taking care of my young child, and presenting a strong and capable facade.

I took a long hiatus from reiki once change came fast and furious as I was turned in a different direction. I never fully let go of it and would use my limited knowledge of healing with energy and lay quietly in meditation when I was alone or the kids had fallen asleep. It was always a way for me to regain mental and emotional composure and somehow allowing myself time and space to be in my body and to just be still was enough when during the daylight hours I was digging myself out of holes life seemed to make, or if I’m honest dug by the choices I had made. I came back to reiki four years ago when by chance I connected with a local practitioner and medium who has since become a dear friend. A an old friend of mine had also begun practicing reiki and I reconnected with her at just about the same time. They both reminded me of the incredible way it seemed to balance my emotions and bring my world back into focus.  One of them led me to Kevin.

I have had two sessions with Kevin. Energy work, like people have very unique personalities. It’s a strange thing to try to explain, although I think Kevin hit the nail on the head. It’s a quiet sense of ease one receives just like when a child is comforted by a parent. It’s often hands free, yet you can feel the sensation of the energy moving. The best that I can describe it is to remember in Karate Kid when Mr. Miyagi claps his hands and then rubs them together. Try doing that and then holding your hands slightly apart, palms facing one another. If you move your hands slowly back and forth you might feel the energy, the heat between them. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.

Science has proven we are all made up of energy. Quantum physics is moving forward in leaps and bounds explaining the unexplainable. It’s connecting the dots between ancient medicines and healings to today’s practices and science. Reiki is being practiced all over our country, all over the world. It has become mainstream and accepted by most. For many it has become another tool in the tool box for self preservation and realization, for others there is still a veil of mysticism that keeps it at an arm’s length. It’s really about you and your comfort zone and listening to your inner voice and doing a good ole fashioned gut check. If you’re ready, you’re ready. If not? Then the world is an incredible cacophony of choice and consideration. We are lucky to be part of it.

  • Post #9 – Chasing the Storm Clouds Away

    Last night was one of the those delicious moments in life when you end up having dinner with friends in a place you love and it was never on your radar to begin with. As we stood on the sidelines in Saco watching our girls play soccer, grey clouds rolled in, the winds stirred up, and raindrops fell from the sky. We braced ourselves for a downpour but it never came, just lite sprinkles. The weather has started to turn and sixty degrees can suddenly drop into the high forties. Our bones were chilled, our cheeks rosie, and our toes becoming numb. The change in weather opened us up for a little midweek adventure. We ended up taking our girls out to dinner in Kennebunkport, yes on a school night.

    One of the moms said that she had read something that she thought I would love. I can’t remember the wording exactly and I’m pretty sure it was a quote from Brenèe Brown, but “don’t quote me.” It was something about not being shy saying no to things you don’t want so that you’ll be able to say yes to the things you do. When she shared it with me I smiled and nodded my head yes. “I love that.” I agreed that it was a good thing for me to hear. Today after falling asleep somewhere after three in the morning and waking up out of a dead sleep after eight, I think I needed to hear what she said. I not only needed to hear it, I need to now believe it and act on it.

    How do we get to that place in life where work equals play, passion is our motivation, and our intuition leads us to where we most belong? Throughout my life I’ve never been shy of taking risks, jumping out of my comfort zone, and willing to start a new venture or change careers. I seem to embrace change, the new energy it brings where anything is possible and it’s only our own imagination that limits our choices of what to do next. Inevitably I’ve always arrived at the place where the dark storm clouds roll in, I’m challenged beyond my perceived abilities and more times than not I throw in the towel before I’ve realized my dream or seen a project or goal all the way through. This is something I like to refer to as self sabotaging. It’s something that I’m really good at. No doubt storm clouds will roll in, they always do. I just have a way of letting them blow me off course. When my friend shared the idea that saying no to others can lead you to the things you want most out of life, something clicked.

    We all have that one thing that seems to cheer us up when we make time for it. Some of us might haven’t even tried it yet but there is something inside that assures us that it would fit perfectly if we did. Yet a lot of us continue to hold ourselves back, talk ourselves into a life profession, habit or routine that makes us miserable and leave us feeling unfulfilled. We do so in the name of financial security or being an adult. We have become accustomed to rationalizing the needs of ourselves and family to the point of putting ourselves in debt or leveraging our free time to where it no longer exists. I’ve just come off of three years of working seven days a week at multiple jobs and having virtually no time for myself or worse my family.

    Then I woke up one morning feeling exhausted, cranky, disenfranchised, and feeling like I was doing what everybody else needed. So I began to say no. Quietly at first, almost a whisper. I was like a toddler trying on my independence for size and not really sure how others around me would respond. Then I grew louder and bolder and pretty soon free time started showing up in my life. I woke up one morning and said hello to my home, after school practice pickups, and events for Anna I had missed the previous years when I was working weekends. This past Sunday Kyle and I jumped into the car for the first time in ages and found ourselves exploring, one of our favorite things to do together. Is my life perfect? No, but it’s better. I have time to breathe and experience life. There is a gift in the moments when we find ourselves able to sit and just consider life around us and  wonder what we would keep the same or perhaps we’d like to change. The gift is a sense of ease and lightness that begins to settle as we realize the sky hasn’t dropped, and the world hasn’t stopped turning. I’m still very much here and now seem to be finding a little bit more joy and enthusiasm in my day as it unfolds. I’ve been able to reconnect with old friends, make new ones, and be present for the girls and Kyle. It feels good and I’m looking forward to being able to say yes to the things that make me excited about being alive and here on this planet we call Earth.


    Saying no to things you don’t want, so that you are free and available to say yes to the things you do?  Huh? I have two thoughts that I am not sure are connected or not.

    First, My life is such that I don’t have nearly the demands on my time that most people do.  My job is one where I can mostly work from home and I can generally make my own schedule. I have no kids, only four dogs, and a very, very small social circle.  I can literally go days, if I choose, without any meaningful human contact. But, I once had a very different lifestyle. One where there was a spouse and stepchildren and a 9-5 career.  My life’s journey has taken me far away from that now, both by choice and circumstance. I can’t say that I miss it. I love the freedom I have to choose what I want to say yes to. Which brings me to my second thought.  What do I want to say yes to?

    There is my struggle.  Since my wife passed, I am not sure what it is I want anymore.  I had a long conversation with a friend about this recently. I am not sure that we resolved anything, but it did cause me to pause and reflect.  I don’t ever recall another time in my life when I couldn’t answer that for myself. I always had my idea about the next job I wanted, the next home improvement project, the next toy to buy, the next vacation.  My list was long and comprehensive of my “wants.” But, none of those will bring Kristin back and ultimately, none of those things mattered to her and I while we faced her cancer.

    So, what do I want to say yes to?  Anything that makes me feel light and brings me joy.  All of the aforementioned “wants” at times may have brought me a fleeting feeling of happiness, but I can’t say that any of them ever brought me joy.  Loving Kristin and feeling her love for me, was the single greatest source of joy I have ever felt. It forever changed my calculus. I feel as though living, and dying a little, with Kristin has afforded me a healthier perspective on life than I have ever had before.  I now understand what truly fills my heart and what I was using as mere substitutes before. I think when I figure out my answer to the question, “What do I want to say yes to?” it will be one of experiences and connections. I think I too would have chosen a rainy soccer game and a dinner with friends, even on a school night.