One of the most common questions we get asked is how to be open and grounded while practicing animal reiki. The two may seem like opposite ends of the spectrum and that you can’t have both at the same time, but nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, you must be both – open and grounded – to have the animals accept your offer of Animal Reiki. This can be a difficult concept to embrace, and today we will share three tips that will help you find your balance.
What Being Grounded and Open Means
Being grounded means to have inner stability; your emotions do not overwhelm you and throw you off course. For some people, being grounded represents being stuck and a lack of forward motion. They may interpret grounding as being restrictive and a loss of freedom. Unfortunately, when we don’t allow ourselves to be grounded, challenges and hard times can be difficult to handle, and we may react in a manner that makes the situation worse.
For other people, it’s just the opposite. They love being grounded because it makes them feel safe and secure. They love planning and knowing what to expect. However, some people love grounding so much that they become stuck. They may overanalyze and often miss new ideas and possibilities.
Being open means to have an open mind, devoid of attachment to outcomes or judgment. Saying that is much easier than doing it. A lot of our attachment or judgment comes from a very loving place – we want an animal to heal and not suffer, we want an animal to live longer, we worry a solution to their issues won’t be found, etc. But once we attach to what a certain outcome should be or how it should look, we’ve become narrow minded. Problems consume our mental space and cause worry and anger to overwhelm us.
When we let go of our attachments and judgment through meditation, our mind becomes open. We can see an issue like illness and no longer get attached to what the outcome should look like. We are open to all possibilities. In that openness, problems seem very small and are no longer eating up all your mental space. The energy and feeling of openness is peace, joy and love. You no longer are focused on the negative so now the positive person you are deep at your core can come through.
When we bring grounding and openness together in perfect balance, you will feel stable, strong and confident as well as peaceful, intuitive and compassionate.
What Happens When You Are Out of Balance in an Animal Reiki Session
When offering Reiki to animals, it’s essential to be aware of your energy. First, you have to check in with yourself and your energy. Are you feeling off? Are you feeling sad or angry? Do you feel balanced?
Whatever you are feeling inside (anger, worry, etc.) is magnified to the animals. They are hypersensitive to energy as that’s how they communicate and survive. In order to have a successful session, you have to be aware your energy feels enormous to the animals. If your energy is overwhelming or disturbing to the animal, they will probably walk away and not participate in the Reiki. The more respectful you can be, and the more you focus on your state of mind and not the animal, the more you allow them to choose how they want to participate.
Balance Lessons from Trees and Weebles
Trees give us lessons in the importance of being in balance with opening and grounding energy. A tree’s root system goes deep into the earth. The roots provide a means for nourishment and security. The root system keeps the tree standing upright when storms hit. The branches are open to allow wind to flow through. Many great wisdom teachers remind us of the trees’ ability to be flexible in a storm; trees are open and grounded, which helps them survive the storms.
Do you remember Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down? Weebles were a line of egg-shaped toys that had a weight located at their bottom-center. They could easily stand straight and if you tried to push it over it would roll to the side but then pop back up to standing. When our energy is balanced, we are like weebles. Something, like an illness or accident, may topple us over, but because we are grounded and open, we can see solutions and possibilities and not be overwhelmed by worry or anger. We fall over but we bounce right back!
When we start opening up our minds and becoming more open, we can clearly start to see the beauty life offers. We can deeply understand what animals bring into our lives. We become grateful, and we can allow so much more like peace and joy to come in because we’re no longer narrow. Now we’re open.
To help you bring the balanced energy of openness and grounding into your life, we have three simple tips that are guaranteed to help.
One of the easiest and quickest ways to find balance is to focus on your breath. Take a deep slow breath in. Pull your breath down as far as you can into your body and expand your belly. Hold for a second and then release your breath very slowly out your nose. Make sure to release all of your breath and collapse your stomach. Do this breath at least three to five times and you will instantly start to feel relaxed. Your mind will start to open.
When we connect to our belly, we are connecting to our core and our stability. We are building and focusing on our inner strength. We become like the weeble with a solid foundation that can withstand storms.
When we slow our breath, everything slows down – our mind, emotions, and physical responses such as heart rate and blood pressure. We can feel the stress leaving our body as we become more peaceful. Whereas before you started the breath practice it seemed like your word was spinning very quickly, after your breath practice, everything around you can feel like it has slowed down.
Use your breath and begin feeling more balanced immediately!
Nature is a wonderful teacher of balance. Our ecosystem operates in a delicate balance, and reminds us all life is connected – the plants, the animals, the mountains, the streams, humans – we’re all connected. And to function properly so that all life can flourish, it must remain in balance.
Sit outside and listen to the birds. Stand barefoot in the grass or walk along a sandy beach. Even if you are an urban dweller, you could spend the morning on a balcony surrounded by plants, a courtyard, a local park, or even make a trip to a local gardening center. No matter where you live, nature and the wild animals can help you find our balance, but we must be open to seeing the possibilities.
Another fun way to bring your body and mind into balance is through meditation. We have a wonderful meditation that makes it easy to bring in the grounding of the earth and openness of the sky. Naturally it’s called the Earth/Sky Meditation! If you can practice in the presence of animals, even better. Remember to keep your focus on you and not the animal.
Find a comfortable position – either sitting on the ground, on your bed or in a chair with your feet firmly planted on the floor. You can also do this meditation standing. Whatever position you choose, make sure your spine is straight.
Close your eyes to help remove distractions.
Begin breathing gently in through your nose, pulling the breath as far down in your abdomen as possible. When your breath hits your belly, expand your belly and slowly, very gently release your breath out your nose. As you breathe in and out, imagine you are breathing in the feeling of peace and on the outbreath you are releasing all tension and stress you are hanging onto. Continue this for five breaths.
Now, let your breath find a natural rhythm and focus on whatever is touching the earth, whether it is your feet or your spine. Visualize roots going down deep, deep, deep into the earth from the bottoms of your feet or the bottom of your spine. Once you’re connected, feel the cool, calm, safe earth energy travel up the roots, through your feet, legs, body, into the heart center as you breathe in. With every breath in and out, see the earth’s energy as a beautiful light filling up your lower body to your heart. With each breath in, you feel the strength of the earth stabilizing you. Its beautiful cool energy and light feels cool and comforting. Continue this breath until you to feel strong and grounded from your heart center down. The beautiful light of the earth filling your entire lower body.
Turn your focus to the sky and imagine a beautiful warm light coming down from the sky and entering the crown of your head. This wonderful healing light travels down to your forehead, chin, neck and into your heart. With each breath in and out this light fills your head, neck, shoulders, arms and hands and heart. You feel open and expansive like a huge oak tree. Feel yourself growing taller towards the sky.
Focus on your heart center. Feel the earth and sky energies combine – the cool, safe, calm earth energy and this beautiful light or joyful, playful energy of the sky. As they combine, they expand outward from your heart center, and with every breath, this light shining out from your heart center grows brighter and larger and extends farther and farther out.
This light that is being created within you can be any color. It can be white, gold, purple; whatever color you see is perfect. This is your own unique beautiful light.
Notice the smoothness of the energy as you breathe in and out that beautiful combination of light and earth energy.
Now bring to mind an animal; maybe it’s with you. Perhaps it’s one that’s passed. Maybe it’s a wild animal that you resonate with. Bring them to mind, and invite them to share in this beautiful space that you’ve created. Let go of all expectations on how this should look or what they should do, knowing that whatever happens in this moment is perfect.
Keep your breath slow and gentle. As your animal comes to mind, see them bathed in light just as you are. Imagine your lights coming together and becoming one. Their love for you and yours for them come together and create a beautiful sense of peace within you. As you breathe in and out, feel yourself release any residual tension. You start to become joyful.
Stay in this space for as long as you can keep your mind focused on your light. If your mind starts to wander, you can slowly repeat the mantra, “all is well”.
When you are ready to end the meditation, bring your hands into gassho, or the prayer position, and thank your animal or animals who joined you. Remember that however they participated was perfect in this moment.
You can slowly begin to come back to your body. When you’re ready, take a deep, cleansing breath down to your belly, and open your eyes. Give thanks to yourself for making time for this meditation.
As you come out of this meditation, remember you can easily come back to this beautiful meditation throughout your day by focusing on your breath and bringing to mind the grounding energy of the earth and the expansive energy of the sky.
Throughout your day, there will always be moments of chaos and tension, but you can easily bring yourself into balance with our three simple tips.
If you’d like to learn more about how to be open and grounded while practicing Animal Reiki, consider signing up for one of our classes.
Not sure you want to commit to a class? Every Wednesday we offer Zoom sessions at 10:30am PT and 4:00pm PT where we share a meditation for the day and answer questions about Animal Reiki and Animal Meditation. Register here to join us!