Farewell, my reiki cat

I don’t know if Thor knew, in the last weeks of his too-short life, that he would die soon, because he really was especially affectionate and friendly with my reiki clients. Freyja, his sister, who thankfully is distracting us from our grief, will only sometimes say hello to clients (particularly if it’s close to dinner time) but she’s very coquettish and cat-like: to pet her you really have to offer her your hand in a gentle way, and then wait for her to decide you can touch her.

But Thor! He would often sit, right in the centre of the reiki table, or else on the couch, where a client is supposed to sit, especially on sunny days, but lots of other times as well. It sometimes seemed like it was his favourite place in the apartment. He would often leap from the reiki table to sit next to a client, and then nuzzle up to them and say hello.

While he seemed to be especially attentive to cat-lovers and lovers of animals in general, he would also say hello to those who were not quite as convinced. He was really a wonderful bonus part of a reiki treatment: for clients who were new to Reiki Surry Hills and to reiki, he provided a lovely, disarming burst of cuteness, and then sprawling down in relaxation showed us a model of how to be in the world: relaxed, chilled out and in the moment. I let him stay in the room most times, and I think he only jumped on clients during treatments three times in all! Very few clients were allergic to cats though the first one who was badly allergic (he became so congested that he couldn’t really relax and enjoy his treatment) led me to try to warn clients on my website that we have cats. But this had the unexpected benefit of attracting some cat lovers who would hope to meet Thor during their treatment.

I was also surprised to see cat-phobia in action, as it was hard for me to believe that someone could be scared of that cute face, but I’ve had at least two clients who really were scared of the cats and couldn’t bear the sight of them. It was fun to hear from clients who had had a Russian Blue or knew them through their friends or family. They really are a special breed. One story that I remember vividly was a client who seemed very attached to a story of her being sick with a mysterious ailment. As she was leaving her treatment, her body was hunched over as if she was too exhausted and in pain to get to the door. But then she saw Thor and seemed to forget she was sick, her whole energy changed as she leaned down to pat him. But then she remembered she was sick so adjusted her body back to the way it was. But Thor showed me the truth.

Many of my reiki clients got to meet Thor, and many fell for his charms, so I’m sorry to let my clients know that a few weeks ago, he laid down and died in our apartment, not even six years old, and we don’t know why. But even in those moments of grief, I was hearing lessons clearly from my reiki practice. Just for today. Be grateful. Do not anger. Do not worry. Be compassionate. We’re sad, of course, but so grateful to have enjoyed his wonderful presence and personality and energy. I’m surprised and also so grateful the way he became a part of Reiki Surry Hills, and also surprised to discover how much I fell in love with him. Farewell, my reiki cat. Thank you for everything.

A reiki treatment is sharing

I find it interesting explaining reiki to clients. Some clients have done their own research already (or have had treatments in the past). Some clients don’t really care to know exactly what reiki is: they are just open to trying it and finding out through experience what it means to them. Some clients hear about it from others.

I think the majority of my clients get their ideas of what reiki is by comparing it to other practices or what they’ve heard. So, because some practitioners combine reiki with massage, some call up for reiki massages. Some practitioners use crystals so I’m asked whether reiki is about crystals. And lots of clients (as I’ve written in other blogs) hope for some sort of clairvoyant ability to diagnose a problem and tell them something interesting or what they hope will be useful about them.

I try to gauge the interest of a client and I usually describe a reiki treatment as tapping into and looking for the same healing energy and space that we find in meditation, yoga and other practices, and when the brain is operating at that frequency, it feels good. It heals. In the quiet, present moment, it is different from worrying about the future or past. And the way the mind is connected with the body, clients often (but not always) feel energy and effects throughout their body, as well as usually feeling a deep sense of relaxation.

Bronwen Logan from the International House of Reiki recently wrote a blog post about how she describes reiki to clients: as ‘sharing’. I’d encourage you to read the whole post, since it’s really great and a nice perspective on what a reiki treatment is.

What I’d highlight are her words here:

In non-Reiki terms, you can also see that when we give a gift, for example, we also receive happy endorphins that support our wellbeing. At the same time the other person receives the gift, and they also give their thanks with their endorphins flying high too. So, giving and receiving exist in this same space, they share the space together with neither one dominating or standing out, just being. If you see it this way, then there is neither giving nor receiving, just sharing. And in the sharing space we can let go and just be together without fear or judgement or worry; a true healing space.

It’s such a beautiful, simple description, and I’m not sure all my clients will accept that reiki is or can be as simple as this. Some will hope there is a greater level of expertise or technicality. That I am doing something instead of just trying to be. But if you can accept the simplicity of the concept, that a reiki treatment is a shared experience between client and practitioner, and that simply being in a quiet, present place is healing, I think it is profound.

It also reminds me of another description I read, from a practitioner who was asked what she is doing to a client during a treatment. She said (I’m paraphrasing here, as I don’t remember the exact words) that she was not doing anything but simply loving her client, being there to love.

Discover the gifts and benefits of a session of Japanese reiki therapy, healing energy from an experienced practitioner. Visit my website or Facebook page for more information and SMS, email, call me or book online if you’d like to make an appointment. Since 2011, I’ve given nearly 1,900 reiki treatments.
Clients come to relieve stress, anxiety and for many other issues, or to just give reiki a try to see what it brings them. Folks visit from all over Sydney and elsewhere to see me. While it’s easiest to get to me from the CBD, Darlinghurst, Paddington, Kings Cross, Redfern and Potts Point, I’m pretty easy to get to from anywhere in Sydney.