I recently had the opportunity to give a SARA presentation to a local humane society animal shelter. We tried for several weeks to coordinate my schedule with the schedules of the Executive Director and her right hand person. I met both of them a couple of months prior to our meeting and I also attended their volunteer orientation. We were happy to finally set a date to discuss Reiki and the SARA program.
The presentation lasted about an hour and they both were very excited about Reiki and the benefits it could bring to the animals and the shelter. Since neither of them had experienced Reiki for themselves I offered to give them each a mini Reiki session. It lasted about 10 minutes each and both commented on how relaxed and peaceful they felt. I could feel the positive flow of our meeting.
Prior to the meeting we talked about offering Reiki to some of the dogs. They decided it would be best to bring one of the dogs into the very big conference/training room that we were in. The wanted to try it with the dog out of his element. The assistant went to get the “dog that had some issues” and the ED was called out by one of the staff momentarily.
This is when my mind started on a wild race with all of the “what ifs”- the control- the preconceived ideas of what it should look like-I thought we would be in the kennel with the dog- I feel pressure to perform-and on and on. WHOA–slow down cowgirl as I pull myself back in. It is amazing to me, given the opportunity how many scenarios my mind can create in a matter of seconds! As I sat in this big conference room alone, I gave myself Reiki, I sent Reiki into the room-which already felt wonderful from the Reiki I gave the humans just minutes ago.
The assistant brought in a male Pit Bull mix breed that destroys everything and anything he finds. He is anxious, a bit nervous and not quite ready for adoption. The ED is sitting at the table across from me and the assistant is on the floor at one end of the room. I have already explained to them the way we offer Reiki with SARA. The dog is free to roam in the room and I allow him to come in and out of the Reiki space I am creating and take the amount of Reiki he needs.
I make my self comfortable in the chair as I close my eyes and began to offer him Reiki. I can feel immediately the Reiki flowing from my hands and know he is accepting it. However, he is pacing around the room, sniffing every chair (about 20 of them), every corner and nook. He is breathing heavy. He comes over to me for about 30 seconds and places his head on my lap and paces off. Eventually, he makes his way over to the assistant and plops beside her.
Again, my mind wants to go on it’s tangent of how this should look and what he should be doing. What are the humans thinking? Do they think I am crazy sitting here with my eyes closed and my open hands resting on my lap, appearing to be doing nothing. I come back to focus on the Reiki, by silently saying the dog’s name or chanting a Reiki symbol. I trust the Reiki is happening (I can feel it, so I know that it is) and allow it. He continues to lay, roll and play beside the assistant. There is a sense of peacefulness in the room.
Just as the animals take the Reiki in the ebb and flow, so does my mind. In the 15 minutes I was with the dog I would “worry” and then come back and allow. In the end I received much validation from the humans on the incredible difference they saw in the dog. As they put it, “they never saw him so relaxed and at peace”. They thought it was amazing. I too found it to be amazing, because I was concerned of how he appeared to be anxious. I had never seen the dog before to know his typical behavior that was now apparently transformed.
We plan to introduce Reiki in the shelter in the near future, as they have made many changes and want to slowly introduce another change. My lesson from the dog is to just “TRUST”the Reiki. I am grateful for all the animals that continue to guide me and help me to just allow rather than do!