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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Brutus Redux: An animal Reiki story

By Beth Lowell

One of my favorite animal Reiki stories was one that I shared in the Animal Reiki Source newsletter two years ago.

I had gone through a rough patch with a dog-walking client, Brutus, who out of the blue bared his teeth at me when I tried to put on his head halter before going on our walk.

This surprise came at a hectic time. I was in the midst of the summer rush, feeling over-extended and under pressure. I became unnerved by this unusual display and I had sort of a meltdown, which resulted in a full-blown panic attack. Brutus had always been one of my favorite dogs, but now even just the sight of him terrified me. I imagined him lunging at me and tearing off my face. Though I understood that this was an irrational thought, and that his body language was not communicating anything other than confusion over my sudden fearful behavior, I couldn’t get a grip. I knew there was only one thing to do, and that was to offer Reiki.

But now, not only did I have the embarrassment of explaining to Brutus’ human parents, Jennifer and Eric, that I had a panic attack while trying to take their dog for a walk, but I also had to explain what Reiki was and tell them that I needed to use it to try to resolve the problem. This was not the way I’d envisioned beginning my animal Reiki career.

Jennifer was open-minded when I told her about Reiki, (as it turned out her mother had heard about it while she was receiving cancer treatments in the hospital) and I returned the following week to offer it to Brutus from the deck outside. I was still not confident, but with the help of Reiki, I found the inspiration from within to get into the house the next time without being overcome by terror, and offered Brutus hands-on Reiki. Jennifer watched in amazement as he lay down, more quiet and relaxed than she had ever seen him. I often return to this story’s happy ending because it had such an impact on me.

I continued to offer Brutus Reiki every Friday morning through the fall along with resuming our walks together. Brutus and I were better friends than ever – so much so that as time passed, I started to have a nagging feeling that maybe I had imagined the whole thing. On one hand, I knew I’d seen his teeth, but on the other, I wondered if in my stressed state I had somehow conjured the whole thing up in my mind.

Last Wednesday, I arrived at Brutus’ house to go for our walk. It was just mid summer. I was supposed to see him at noon and dinnertime for two days in a row. When he bared his teeth at me this time, I realized that this was the exact same time of year and schedule we had been following two years ago when it first happened. This time, though, when I saw those very large white teeth, I didn’t come unglued. I heeded the warning and dropped the head halter. I offered him my hands, which I admit I had not done lately with him. My distraction this year has come from not from too much work, but too little.

Brutus enjoyed his Reiki treatment and I could feel within me how far I had come since our misunderstanding two years ago. Then I put on his head halter, grateful for Brutus’ reminder about the importance of daily practice, and off we went for our walk. This is one of my new favorite animal Reiki stories.

If you’d like to read the story as it originally appeared, click here.

New Jersey-based Animal Reiki practitioner Beth Lowell is a frequent contributor to The Reiki Digest.

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