2019 Reiki Retreat at Sea Wrap-Up

Hello Beings of Light,

I just need to take a moment to reflect on the Circle of Light’s first Healing Cruise. We’ve been back for a little over a week, and I’m still integrating what I learned and experienced.

First of all, we had an amazing group of healers! It may have been small, but it was the perfect test run. Each person there was able to learn, contribute, and support in their own unique way.

One of the messages we got early on was in the form of a group tarot card reading. The card that jumped out of the deck held the image of Peter Pan sailing the Pirate Ship and Wendy, John, and Michael flying along with their happy thoughts. We got the message loud and clear that even though we were there to heal and grow, we were also there to have fun. And even while that had been my concept from the very beginning, it was a great reminder to all of us about being present with whatever we are doing in that given moment. We could be serious and learn a deep lesson at one time and within a nearby time and space be free to embrace the playfulness of being on a cruise ship.

 

Some of my personal favorite moments were as we gathered for evening Circle on the top deck, right around sunset. The first night two of us arrived just before the red glow of the sun dipped below the horizon. It was a magickal blessing to begin our journey together.

On the last night, we lingered far longer than any of us intended to after the Reiki Share. We basked in the glow of one another and shared more and more.

When we finally parted ways, I returned to the top deck, walking alone under the moon. I gave thanks for this long-awaited journey and for the many journeys yet to come.

 

Stay tuned for information about the 2020 Healing Cruise!

Points of Light: Attunements

An Attunement is basically the initiation of a new Reiki Practitioner, and a leveling up of access to the energy already available. It is a short ritual or ceremony that takes place during reiki classes to facilitate the energy healing that the new practitioner will do.

Click here to find out more about Reiki Classes at Circle of Light.

The Voice of Choice

All the abortion ban legislation and related posts the last few weeks have been a lot for me to handle. My relationship with abortion is complicated and still evolving.

I was raised Catholic. At one time I thought I was being called to be a nun. My parents are so pro-life that they used to organize the parish trip to the march in Washington every year.

Even when I left the church when I was around 20, I continued holding most of the anti-abortion beliefs I had been raised with. Individually I would support anyone in her individual choice, but I still primarily identified as pro-life…or at least I walked the middle of the road in such a way that nobody wanted me on their side.

Last year my views started to shift. I began my studies as a bereavement doula. One of the areas that some bereavement doulas work in is supporting women through abortions. The course material brought up old trauma, and I was determined to work through it. I felt called to provide this kind of support, and I knew the only way to do that was to deal with my stuff so that I could be fully present with them and not pull away into my own triggers.

I did research online, read books, talked to people who had abortions or had supported others through them. I did inner child work and released more fear, anger, and grief. I talked to my daughter who had been aborted. My views began to shift as more about the circumstances surrounding the many individuals I was learning about came to light.

Then last month as all these dangerous, cruel, scary pieces of legislation were surfacing, I began to get angry. I was angry about the hardship, danger, and oppression the government is imposing upon the citizens of this country.

There was one particular post that stood out to me. It was the story of a woman whose father, a doctor, had repeatedly raped her as a teenager. When she became pregnant at the age of 13, a buddy of his performed the abortion. She was given no choice. Her mother told her that everything that happened was God’s will. There were parts of it that resonated with me and my own story, even though other parts were very different.

That post made me want to share my own story and to speak out for the right for all women, girls, trans, intersex, and binary people to choose what happens in their very individual circumstances.

Here is my story…As a young teenager, around 14, I was repeatedly raped by men I knew who were not related to me. After months of terrible abuse, I became pregnant. I remember feeling so scared and alone. I also felt so much love for the life growing inside me. I wanted that baby.

I confided in one of the men. He had shown me small kindnesses during my ordeal. I naively thought he would help me. First the rapists tried beating me to end the pregnancy. When that didn’t work, the man posed as my father and took me to have an abortion. I didn’t know what was happening until it happened. I started to scream, and somebody put a hand over my mouth.

I didn’t remember the rapes, the abortion, or my baby for over 20 years.

My choice was taken away from me, and with it my memories and my voice.

Over the past 5 years, I have worked through healing those related traumas using all sorts of tools. I have released layer upon layer upon layer. I am dedicated now to helping others to release and heal sexual trauma.

This is my story. I add it to the millions of voices with their own stories of trauma or shame or illness or poverty or pain or hardship that so many others have faced.

I, Rev. Niki Kissell, am adding my voice because it is more important to me now than ever before that those faced with this most difficult of decisions have access to choice in a way I didn’t have. I am telling you this because societal changes aren’t made because of statistics or political affiliations or dogma. Changes are made when people encounter individuals – when they meet somebody with a face, and a name, and a story.

This is a call to be heard! Not everyone is in a position where they can or want to share their story. Not everyone has this kind of story to share. Other ways you can help to add your voice for the right of choice is by making financial donations to organizations working on the front lines like the ACLU, SisterSong, The National Abortion Federation, and the Yellow Hammer Fund; voting for legislators that support women’s right to choose and encouraging others to vote as well; calling and writing to your legislators; learning about this issue more deeply and learning the stories of those involved on all sides and in all kinds of situations.

Points of Light: Tonglen…with a Twist

Tonglen is a beautiful and insightful Buddhist meditation practice. I have my own take on it that has been helping me a lot lately, so I thought I would share it. It was also a really great impromptu addition that became the centerpiece of our Healing Circle last night. Find out more about Tonglen at these links: https://binged.it/2SOduCr https://www.gaia.com/video/breathe-now https://www.upaya.org/dox/Tonglen.pdf

2019: Be Heard

“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person they are almost indistinguishable.”
-David Augsburger

2019 is my year to BE HEARD! Choosing a word of the year is a powerful tradition in my life. For the 5th year in a row, I am choosing a word to guide my path for the year. Except, this year it’s a phrase…my contrary nature finds that kind of delightful!

Image of two boys using a phone made of tin cans to be heard through

I find when I choose that word (or phrase) it lights the way for opportunities for growth. That first year my word was trust, and I noticed ways the Universe helped me learn to trust more deeply. When my word was power, I learned to recognize new ways in which I could express my power. When my word was choice, I began to notice how many choices we have the opportunity to make everyday. Last year my word was ask, and I reminded myself to ask, even when it was not comfortable.

What Does Being Heard Mean?

When the phrase “Be Heard” presented itself to me near the end of last year, I was in a stage of my life when I was playing it small and choosing not to speak up in ways that were important to me. I was doing a lot of healing and growing, and I wanted someone to hold space and be witness to both the pain and the power flowing through me. That sense of validation is an aspect of connection, and it is something we all need in way or another. So “Be Heard” can mean validation.

At the same time, I recommitted to my business and stepping into my role as entrepreneur. In that sense, “Be Heard” meant stepping out and not waiting for others to notice me.

A third aspect for me to learn about and work with soon became clear. It was obvious, but important, to recognize that it is just as important to give others the space and validation to “Be Heard” as it is to be heard myself. I’m good at doing that in big, emotional situations. This perspective helped me to start looking for ways to be more intentional in listening to the little, everyday communications in which we share ourselves.

In Practice

My opportunities to learn about being heard came fast and furious as the 2019 broke. I celebrated the New Year with a small group of friends on the beach. A series of events, poor communication, old wounds, and just unfortunate circumstances left me feeling minimized, judged, rejected, hurt, triggered, and thoroughly unheard that night.

I was able to address some of the things the following day. I explained to one of the people involved why some of the things had been so very hurtful to me. She listened and held me and made it clear that she understood what I was telling her. The energetic knife wound through my heart was immediately healed. I felt lighter and more loving and better able to hold space for others to feel heard.

The other primary player in the New Year’s Eve fiasco was too emotionally overloaded and wounded himself to listen to me in any way, and I was in far too much pain to listen to him. So we went in circles the entire week, digging a deeper and deeper hole neither of us could climb out of. It was a hellish week, and our relationship did not survive. I did learn some important lessons though.

The first is that Being Heard – feeling loved, validated, and accepted is important, and it’s something that I, and everyone else, deserves and is worthy of. Being Heard HEALS!

Also, waiting around over and over again to be heard, trying over and over again to be heard, being told that your feelings matter less than someone else’s –  is bullshit! You deserve to be heard, and anyone that treats you differently does not deserve to be in your life.

Third, my feelings do not need to hinge on someone else’s treatment of me. And even though I’m not there yet, I feel that this is a layer that is now ready to be healed, and this week of not being heard helped to get me to this point.

I got the chance to step out and Be Heard that very same week. I got a call one evening from my friend and mentor Michael Inanna asking me to be the guest on a weekly round table he hosts with his wife Freyja called Sex & Chocolate. They wanted me to come on and talk about sex magick in less than two hours. I actually almost said no, to this opportunity that the Universe handed me in response to my setting the intention of being heard. But then, my guides whispered in my ear and reminded me that it was exactly what I was asking for. So I said YES! and Thank You! And More Please!

And I was blessed with the opportunity to let those I loved feel safe and heard. I wasn’t the only one who had a hard week. From listening to my teenage son about his views of the world to a friend in a crisis of faith, to my lover as we shifted the dynamics of our relationship, I was given the gift of learning to listen better.

Just the Beginning

We haven’t even made it out of January yet, and I’ve already learned so much! I’m excited to see where my word of the year will take me for the rest of this trip around the sun!

And I’d love to hear from you. Do you choose a word of the year? Do you have other ways you focus an intention or goal for the year? How have these practices helped you to heal and grow? Share your comments below or in my Facebook group Grow with Me!

Points of Light: Do healers have to be perfect?

Do healers have to be perfect? I think it’s pretty obvious that the answer is no! I made this video because people in my life have been stating or implying that because I do this work, I shoulder be tougher, smarter, more perfect in my healing process. I’m here to tell you that it just ain’t so!

I was starting to slip into a depressive episode as the negative self-talk around feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness compounded an already painful and triggered state. Luckily I asked for help. Then I realized that I need to pass on the assistance I received in that moment.

You do NOT have to have all the answers. You do not have to have a “thicker skin.” You do not have to be completely healed from everything ever. It is okay to ask for help.

P.S. Click here for the Facebook group I mention in the video.

Points of Light: Shadow Work

I had an interesting conversation last week  about Shadow Work. Here are some thoughts about what it is and why we might want to engage in it.

If looking your shadows are in the face is something you’re ready to embrace, but you’re not  ready to do it on your own. Call 941-264-3415 to schedule an appointment or consultation.

Just Ask

Image of a sideways question mark with a stick figure on the dot scratching its head

My word of the year for 2018 has been “ask.” It’s not as sexy as some of my previous words. Trust, Power, and Choice have all served me as excellent guides over the last few years. ASK has been just as enlightening and empowering.

I can’t count the number of times that I chose to ask a question because I reminded myself about my word of the year.  The first time I remember this happening was asking for a refund for an outing I had booked with my kids. The website clearly stated no refunds within 24 hours of the reserved time, but armed with my word of the year, I called and asked anyway. And guess what? I got the refund. But even if they had said no, asking was so empowering. That’s what helped me to keep asking.

And it wasn’t just those questions that led to rewards. Asking personal questions that I had previously felt too intrusive led to all sorts of insightful and connective conversations. The closeness and sharing they brought to light would have gone by the wayside if I had kept to my old habit of waiting for someone to share whatever they felt comfortable sharing. I never once regretted asking those questions. I can’t think of one negative outcome from pushing myself beyond my comfort zone. If there were answers that were less than I had hoped, they must have been so insignificant that I’ve forgotten.

I shared sexual desires more freely and asked my lovers for direction in giving them pleasure. I spoke up and asked for help with emotional struggles and technical difficulties. When I was feeling alone, I called out to the Universe for assistance, and helped poured in from expected and unexpected places. My guides showed me the way every time I asked.

Most importantly, I learned to ask for clarification. If somebody makes a statement that I feel a strong reaction to, at least some of the times now, I can repeat back how I heard it and ask if that was what they meant…I can’t tell you how many valuable exchanges came out of that line of inquiry.

I even learned to ask questions to clarify when communicating with myself. Recently I was feeling jealous. Sitting with that feeling was uncomfortable, so I decided to learn more about it. I asked myself why I was jealous and was rewarded with important insights and more questions to ask. The jealousy vanished.

2018 has rewarded me for asking in so many ways. The empowerment this word has shown me has gone far beyond any expectations I had when I started on this year-long journey.

So now I ask you, what can you ask to lead you further down the path of empowerment.

Points of Light: Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction is something I’m learning to come into more alignment with. Historically manifestation was a struggle. Now I’m learning to embrace prosperity and abundance. Just thought I’d share a few thoughts…

If you want to dive deeper on this subject with me and live in or around the Bradenton, FL area, I invite you to join me Monday evenings starting September 17th to study Pam Grout’s fabulous book on the Law of Attraction: E-Squared. http://circleoflightministries.net/…/ai-squared-study-group/