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Jan. 4, 2023

Episode 61: Pursuing Peace with Reiki with Michaela Daystar

Michaela talks to the Pursuing Uncomfortable Podcast audience about the benefits of Reiki, and how it changes her life.

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Michaela Daystar founded HeartScapes at the intersection of self-reflection, spiritual practice, and social action after a 15-year career in social justice leadership development in universities and organizations. Wishing to support her clients and students to make their precious contribution to the world from the inside out, she teaches the system of Reiki as a pathway to self-development, emotional resilience, and remembering our true self. In working with other Reiki practitioners, she also teaches trauma-informed principles to increase safety, trust, choice and consent in our healing communities. Michaela continues her studies of Reiki with the International House of Reiki, and holds a Master’s Degree in Social Justice Leadership.

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Transcript

McKayla day star found the practice of Reiki when she needed to heal physically and emotionally. Now she's a Reiki practitioner. And on today's episode, she talks to us about how Reiki transformed her life and how it can help you with your physical and emotional healing needs as well.

Melissa:

Hi Makayla. Welcome to the Pursuing Uncomfortable Podcast. So tell us what you do, Makayla.

Michaela:

Yeah. I am a teacher and practitioner of a system called Reiki, which is a Japanese meditative practice that supports us to let go of our fear and our anger to live in gratitude and compassion, and to be true to our. To really bring, you know, our truest whole self out into the world, uh, to contribute, um, what we are meant to bring into this world. And I have been working with this modality for, um, quite some time and evolving with it, allowing it to evolve with me and really coming to a place of wanting to support people in making their, their strongest contribution to the world using this practice.

Melissa:

That sounds really amazing. Thank you. But that's not where you started from, is it?

Michaela:

Never is. Right? There's always a, a journey of some sort, sometimes a winding one. Well, we

Melissa:

here at the Pursuing Uncomfortable Podcast, we are all about the backstory So as you're ready, we would love to hear what events transpired in your life to lead you where you are today.

Michaela:

Yeah. Yeah, I, I love a good backstory as well, um, especially when there's a winding road attached to it. Um, yeah, I came to this system, uh, during a period of my life that was, I mean, probably the most appropriate words in this context is severely uncomfortable. Um, really. Deep depressive state, um, a marriage ending, um, serious challenges in my parenting life and my professional life. It was like all of the pieces of my life were just exceptionally hard all at the same time. And for extended period and for a long time, you know, my response to that pressure, that discomfort was, um, You know, as, as many of us, you know, leaning into our survival strategies of, of freezing, of, of hiding. Um, for me, you know, my default response when I'm, when I'm in a. Kind of dysregulated place is to, uh, is to disconnect, is to freeze, um, to kind of dissociate from the experience. And so I was really in a state of numbness for just a really, really, really long time. And in that state, we can't make good decisions about our life. We can't. Engage with, with the fullness of who we are, when there's challenges, we can't show up for the other people in our life that are experiencing those challenges with us. And, and all of that was true, um, particularly, you know, in my relationship with my kids and my closest family. And you know, at a certain point when we're in situations like that, you know, there can be this point where, um, you kind of hit rock bottom. and there becomes this like, Spaciousness that opens up where we can make a different choice because there doesn't seem to be any other choices available. And, you know, in that, in that time, um, you know, I just really became curious about how else I could be inside of this situation. And when we make a choice like that, We tend to notice, uh, opportunities that maybe have always been there, but now we're ready to see them. And many different things came into my life at that time, including 12 step groups, including, you know, even just talking to friends and family about things. I'd been hiding from them. And a variety of modalities. That became part of my own process of trying to change myself from the inside out to to step into a stronger version of myself. And Reiki was one of those practices. And, um,

Melissa:

I can really identify with you when you say you retreat into numbness. When I was a child, one of my earliest memories, and I'm pretty sure this was really early in my life, I saw my parents in a great deal of stress and I remember feeling and hearing a voice within me saying, I will never cause this for them. What they were experiencing was a normal part of life, but in my childhood perspective, it seemed intense. So I shut down, shut it all down, would not assert myself, would not express myself. And for the first 30, Three years of my life, my emotions were shoved down inside of me. They weren't expressed, or if they were, it was very little and my relationships were not great relationships. They were as good as they could have been given that. But boy, you just hit home with me when you were talking about numbing to the circumstances. Yeah, so I am eager to continue this conversation. I know what path I took to get where I am today. I wish I would've known about Reiki practices at the time.

Michaela:

Well, you know, you're hitting on something that's so important. Um, And difficult to acknowledge, which is the impact on the people around us. Yes. You're speaking of the impact of your parents' time of stress on you as a child and how that stayed with you for a very long time. And you know, one of the things that really was that rock bottom for me was truly. Coming to grips with observing the impact on my kids, particularly my older daughter who was, you know, this was during her, you know, 10 through 17 was kind of maybe the whole period, but really the intensity of it, those last three years. And, um, You know, her response to stress is different than mine. She tends to go into the fight reflects, she tends to, you know, really want to, um, you know, become aggressive around what's, uh, impacting her, um, in its healthy form that turns into a really beautiful quest for justice and for standing up for people and doing what's right. Um, but you know, in that time it was. Coming out in some really problematic ways and, and really, you know, the humbling experience of realizing that for the longest time we'd been blaming her for those responses. Right. This, you know, why are you acting out like this? And it was this moment of turning Edward and saying, she's responding to us like she's responding to this mm-hmm. container that she's living. And I'm contributing to that. You know, even if I don't see myself as an aggravator inside of this space, like I am creating this space. I'm holding it. I am affirming what's happening in this space and I'm allowing this to be a really toxic place, um, for my kids to be in. And of course she's acting this way. And so yeah, just seeing that impact over time on the people around us, especially the children, um, you know, can be very motivating. It can also be really, And it certainly was both of those things for me. Yeah,

Melissa:

that's a powerful awareness. And I do find myself from time to time though much more rarely as time goes on, but I do have an instinct in me to disconnect and I have to watch that I know flags of when that's happening and I have to take a moment and say, no, no, no. This does not lead to a healthy place and. So I get it, and I think a lot of us do get it at a fundamental level. We each have a unique way when life gets hard and life is hard. Parenting is hard. Being productive at work at any time, and especially after the last few years. It's hard. Kids are hard. So we do have these times. We really wanna hear more about what you have to offer about how to climb out of those spaces and to heal. Yeah. Yeah. The situations that got us into those spaces and how to cope healthy in a healthy way in this

Michaela:

life. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, the next leg of this journey with respect to Reiki, cuz again, there were a number of things that were at play at that time, but, um, what I know now, looking back on that time, so I'm now almost 10 years out from that initial experience with reiki as, as a, you know, learning this modality. Um, what I know now is that I really turn to it in large. Still from that mindset of numbing out or of disconnecting. And what I mean by that is that I was very focused on reiki as a system of healing for other people. Um, this is understandable because that's tends to be the framework that the system of reiki is presented in a Western context. I now. The system from its original Japanese perspective, which is a very different system. But when I originally learned it, it was really about, um, helping other people, which is a beautiful and generous impulse. Many of us come to this work from that place, but what I didn't realize is that I wasn't healed enough inside of myself. I wasn't stable enough. I wasn't emotionally resilient enough. To hold that kind of space for other people. And I jumped right into, well, if I can make them feel better, then I will feel better. Which is classic Codependence, which was the 12 step program that I was in. So I should have known better Um, but I really came to it with this, you know, it will make me feel better and were worthwhile and less guilty, right? For those impacts on my family, if I can help other people. Um, not my kids, cuz they were not, well the little one was, was big, but my older daughter was not having all that weird stuff that mom was doing. Um, but maybe if I can help other people, then I'll feel less guilty. Um, and that is, you know, while there was good work that I got to provide in that context, that was not the right mindset to approach this work from. And I, it ultimately began to feel very dissatisfying and it ultimately wasn. Enough of a shift in how I was feeling. Um, there were other actions I was taking in my. Such as the marriage ending. And so there was this pressure that was off. There was, you know, a long winding road that was happening around making changes in my day to day life. But in terms of having a practice that can really change those places inside that have been so contracted and so constricted for so long, I wasn't quite working there yet, and it started to feel very dissatisfying and I started looking for. You know, more complex versions of the system. You know, maybe if I study this version that has more symbols in it, then I'll, I'll find what I'm looking for. It won't be so dissatisfying. And that was the opposite. It got less and less. It was like there was this groundwater deep below the surface that my roots just couldn't quite tap into yet, that I could feel that it was there. And ultimately, I had an experience that helped me touch that water, and it was an experience with the Japanese origins of the system and from those origins myself.

Melissa:

Jump in real quick before we go any further. Explain to us what Reiki is. A lot of us aren't familiar with it, and we don't know what it is that you're talking about, and it'd be helpful to have a great understanding of what it.

Michaela:

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Sometimes I forget that the, the words I'm using aren't common knowledge. Um, yeah. So, so reiki is a system of practice and the word reiki means, um, in Japanese spiritual energy, um, often translated in the west as universal energy or life energy. Um, and essentially it's the phenomenon of, of what we are, right? It's, it's, it is life energy and we know through many traditions, um, from all across the world that, uh, there's. There's energy, there's unseen, uh, points of connection between all of life and there are many traditions that, um, help us to focus our mind on that connection and to interact with our energy beyond the day to day normal ways in which we interact with it. Um, From its origins, the system is, uh, something that grew out of longstanding Japanese spirit traditions, specifically, uh, esoteric Buddhism and Shinto, which is the indigenous nature based practices of Japan. And then other, um, Japanese Shamonic practices, martial arts practices and so on, that were all common to the experiences of the founder of this system. And what this founder Mcsu did was to distill that lifetime of experience into a very accessible, elegant, simple. Um, system of practice that anybody could pick up and integrate into their life. They didn't have to, you know, study in a monastery or meditate on a mountain for years and years and years to tap into, you know, what he had learned and experienced. Um, as that system moved into the west, um, through some really interesting historical movements that I won't geek out on at the moment. It changed and, uh, one of the five elements of the system became the central focus of the Western system, and that's hands on healing. And so the process of, you know, laying your hands on yourself or another person focusing a particular intention using various practices to basically stimulate that energy system, um, In the West that's understood in a particular context from its origins, it's understood in a different context. And so, um, again, what I initially encountered was a system that described channeling energy from the universe, from outside of ourselves, um, in through our bodies and into another person to generate healing for that person. From its original perspectives, what we're doing is bringing our attention back into our own center, tapping into the energy that we inherently are at all times, and making use of that, bringing that to full bear in our own body, in our own mind, our own heart. And then extending that outwards, um, so that the people that we're with can also remember that they have that same resource inside. Hi, I wanna take a quick moment and tell you about my mom. She's an amazing mom and an amazing podcast host, isn't she? She's also amazing at helping people to understand advantage, anxiety, and to build a strong experiential practice. She has online courses, books, and a lot of free resources and downloads to help you live an amazing life. So please check out lightlife and love ministries.com and her YouTube channel. Louis are the show notes.

Melissa:

Thank you for that. That's really helpful. Absolutely, and as you were speaking about, its different manifestations. And different Japanese practices. I was thinking in my own tradition, a Christian tradition, that there is and was a practice of, of healing, of spiritual healing. Uh, when Jesus in the disciples heal to others, I, they make mention of a laying on of hands, but you know, there wasn't a scalpel and anesthesia and manipulation of muscle and fiber. It was an energetic. Faith based. This is changing you from the inside out type of action. So there are echoes of this in many traditions. In many histories.

Michaela:

Yeah. And you know, this practice of laying on of hands, it's very human. It's, it's part of our birthright. You know, it's a natural inclination that we have to soothe ourselves and other people through touch. Touch is healing. Just through the, the virtue of the sensation of it, what it does to our nervous system. And then we have these traditions that have these, um, you know, moments where the laying on of hands becomes something even, you know, Like that inherent birthright becomes much more of a focus and, you know, different traditions and different times and places will ascribe that to different things, will ascribe the ability for, you know, touch based healing to different people. I think even in the Christian tradition, there's branches that believe that that was. Jesus and his disciples could do that, and nobody else can do it. There are other branches that say, no, this was a gift that was passed onto humanity. We all can tap into it. And you know, I find that fascinating, firstly, to see these. Actions, you know, these essential experiences that we have as humans show up in these stories and these traditions and these mindsets and worldviews all over the world, across time and space. Um, you know, it, it always feels like we're tapping into something closer to capital T truth when we see it show up all over the place, across time.

Melissa:

Yeah. If it's just inherent in the human experience Yeah. That says something, doesn't it? Absolutely.

Devon:

Hi, I wanna take a quick moment and tell you about my mom. She's an amazing mom and an amazing podcast host, isn't she? She's also amazing at helping people to understand advantage, anxiety, and to build a strong experiential practice. She has online courses, books, and a lot of free resources and downloads to help you live an amazing life. So please check out lightlife and love ministries.com and her YouTube channel. Louis are the show notes.

Melissa:

How did your practice evolve once you reconnected with these origins? Yeah,

Michaela:

so it was, it was a, a complete restructuring, um, And really reinvigoration because at that point I had just about decided to, to give up the practice because of this dissatisfaction, because I was feeling like I wasn't, um, really able to connect with what felt like was present. And also because I didn't, um, Feel in good integrity being a white American person practicing this Japanese art with absolutely no understanding of what that meant. Um, the, you know, history of reiki in Japan, the cultural context in which it, it was generated, uh, the long standing traditions that it came from were nowhere in my early education, um, of reiki. And, you know, I have a 12 year career history before I opened my business. Um, Specifically in social justice and anti-racist work, and it just like, it was like these two parts of my life were like fighting with each other. It just did not feel good. It did not feel like it was good integrity. And so, uh, it was, you know, just this, this happenstance that I was in of all things an animal reiki class, uh, where the teacher was presenting practices from its origins. I now know that's because the person who kind of created the branch of Reiki known as animal Reiki, studied with the teacher who spent 25 years uncovering these origins and finding, um, you know, rediscovering this history rediscovering. in America. Obviously it didn't go anywhere in Japan. Um, and bringing, uh, that forward, that person is now my teacher as well. And so that one class finding, you know, the books and, and information about these folks who had been doing this research really re enlivened my own practice. And, and at that point it really shift. For quite some time to a self-practice, um, again, which is what it initially is, and with the full compliment of practices from all five elements of the system rather than the one that I had been practicing inside of, um, all of a sudden I, well, not all of a sudden, but over time and diligence. I started really experiencing the kinds of shifts inside of myself that ultimately is what I was looking for in the first place. Not by feeling better, by making other people feel better, but feeling better. Because I was making more room inside of myself. I was deconstructing, you know, all of the spaces around my heart and around my gut and around my mind, uh, that had helped. You know, feeling like I needed to, to be numbed out, um, like I needed to disconnect, like I couldn't make good decisions. Um, those things were slowly opening up, becoming more spacious, and that really began to shift what I had been experiencing. You talk a

Melissa:

lot about spaciousness inside of yourself and for other folks. Can you tell us a little more about what you mean by that?

Michaela:

Yeah, absolutely. it's one of the, you know, really immediately obvious, um, outcomes of practicing the system. And what I mean by it is a few things. You know, there's kind of metaphoric meanings, there's physiological meanings or spiritual meetings physiologically, when we are in the kind of distressed state that we've been talking about over time. Our body literally constricts up. We start holding our body, you know, more like this with the shoulders hunched. We we're protecting our, our soft front because we don't feel safe. We're keeping the muscles of our belly really tight to, to try to protect those internal spaces. We're keeping the breath really high in our chest. Um, Partly cuz of our body's all constricted. There's not room for the lungs to move, to expand, to become spacious enough to really bring our breath into the body. And all of these have, um, long-term physiological impacts on our nervous system, on, on our gut, on our mind, on the way in which our immune system functions, the way in which we. You know, just feel on a day to day basis. And so all of that had been, you know, true for me for a long time. And so the practices of the system really begin with a practice called Jo and Coho, which is, um, translated as a method to focus the mind. And it gently begins to train us, firstly, to release the body, to get ourselves in a physical posture where we can be more soft. So we spend a little bit of time working on that. If we tend to breathe up in the chest all of the time, then we spend time learning to bring the breath lower in the body, again, making more room inside for the lungs to expand more room, you know, opening up the shoulders. So there's room for the lungs and the chest and the, and the. Then we begin to bring our attention inside. Ultimately, the whole system is about how do we focus our mind? Where are we paying attention? What are we paying attention to? What is the quality of our attention? And so we begin by training our mind to focus on our low belly. There's a, a map of three energy centers that are important to the system of reiki, similar to the chakras. It's the same energy system, but understood in a particular way in the Japanese context. Um, and the first of those is in the low belly. It's called the hara. And this is really the center of our physical, center of our body. It's the energetic center, and it's, uh, it's, it's our grounded place. We find that if we just focus, if we do nothing else, but focus our attention in our low belly for a little while, for a few breaths, that we have a greater sense of groundedness, of relaxation, of stability. And from there, even just with that can start making better decision. And so that practice then, um, you know, has several parts to it. And one of those parts in that is imagining the, the, the center of our huda as a spark of light, which then expands, grows bigger, fills us, surrounds us, continues expanding into the spaces around us as far as we can imagine. And that practice when practiced over time, literally causes us to feel as if we have grown. As if there is more space inside of us to hold everything we're experiencing. And so all of those feelings that I was having, for example, of you know, guilt and pain and confusion and I don't know what to do and I've been making bad choices and I'm angry, but I can't look at that anger, so I'm gonna be sad. All of those feelings that were just way too many to hold inside of my tiny little self, all of a sudden there was room. We make enough room for them, then we can examine them, we can work with them, and they have space to move, to digest, to compost, to process, to ultimately transform back into something that's beneficial to us. So that's what I was experiencing, working with these practices over time. That's just one practice. That's just one simple foundational practice inside of the system that completely changed. My lived experience on a day to day basis, um, and is the, the starting place that I now begin with ever, every client, with every student, no matter what we're doing. That's where we begin with making more space inside.

Melissa:

That's beautiful also, um, I did a quick search. If we're not familiar with something, we never notice it. We never see it. But then once we know it's there, we see it everywhere. Like if you don't know a yellow car exists and then you go looking for them, you're gonna see 'em all over the place. That kind of phenomenon. Yeah. I did a search for, Reiki practitioners in my area, and I live in a rural area of central Illinois, one would not expect necessarily to find a whole lot of different things in this area, especially if they're diverse in nature. But there are a handful of Reiki practitioners within 30 minutes of me, and that was really promising. So how does one go about connecting with a Reiki

Michaela:

practitioner? Yeah, well, as you say, there's, um, depending on where you're at, but even in some surprising place, there's quite a few folks out there. Um, it is a, a modality that has, um, gained quite a bit of traction in the last. 20 years or so. Um, so, you know, there, there are quite a few folks out there practicing. Um, as I mentioned, there are, you know, wide variety of, of branches and, and versions and people will understand it in a variety of ways. So finding a person whose perspective aligns well with us is I. How do you find them? I mean, you did a nice Google search and came up with quite a few. Um, but I would say that really taking some time to discern, um, again, if there's a good connection between yourself and that person, if there is, um, good values alignment with the way that they're, um, presenting their work, um, and you and, um, and then, you know, thinking about how you want to work with them. Um, Are ways to work with folks in person and online, um, or over the phone. Um, many Reiki practitioners will offer remote services if you can't physically connect with them. So if there aren't Reiki practitioners in your immediate area, um, that is not necessarily a a stop sign, right? A roadblock. Um, there are absolutely ways to, to work with them and, and one of the things that I love about accessing the full. System all five elements is that it expands the way that I can work with folks. And so when I work with folks over the phone, um, there's a wide range of things that we can do. Um, everything from, they're just simply in restful place and I'm sharing an energy with them without a single word to, you know, leading them through a wide variety of practices that would align with whatever it is that they're working through. Um, when you work with somebody in person, um, You also wanna pay attention to the, the options that they provide. Um, Reiki can be provided even in person with or without physical touch. Um, I find it very important for practitioners to understand that and to give people an option. Um, I work with practitioners to teach them trauma informed principles in their work, which begins with always getting consent, um, before touching our clients. Um, making sure that they understand that they can receive reiki just as well with or without touch. So just things like that to look for if that matters to a person. Um, again, to find that that values alignment with somebody. Um, but again, it's a very flexible system of practice and so there's a lot of ways of accessing it.

Melissa:

And from what I understand, Reiki is energy. So I can work with someone in Australia and have great results. It doesn't have to be someone I can go and see

Michaela:

in person. Absolutely. And it's funny you said Australia, one of my teachers lives in Australia, the other lives in Holland. Um, and so we do an awful lot of work remotely across time zone across the world. Um, and you know, if one. Wishes to also experience the, the touch aspect. As we mentioned before, touch has its own value. Um, then, you know, finding somebody in person is, is lovely, um, but not essential and necessary. Okay.

Melissa:

And I also sense that reiki is not something that is a one and done. Okay. I had a Reiki session, so now I should be healed and fixed. But it's a practice experienced over time. Is

Michaela:

that Absolutely. I think that's a really important, um, emphasis and in fact, I was having a conversation. Yesterday with, um, uh, a woman who runs a, a podcast on Buddhism and on, um, the experience of death, specifically from a Buddhist perspective. And we talked a lot about, um, the concept of impermanence and that everything is always changing and that nothing is in our, you know, human experience is truly permanent. And so rather than perceiving that we could go to a healer and they can. Enact something, some change inside of ourselves that is going to be permanent, that's going to be, you know, one and done as you said, and just be forever. That what we should instead do is understand that every moment we are a different person and we have different needs, and that we can make shifts in our mindsets that are transformative and lasting, but they take. Tending. Right. And that each moment by moment there's going to be a different need. And so we can show up each moment as our, our fullest self with gratitude and compassion for ourself and for other people, and meet that moment with what, what that moment needs, rather than dwelling on what we needed in the past and maybe feeling frustrated that we aren't fixed forever. Right. And I say that from experience. Mm-hmm. because. During those years when I was, you know, really trying to pull myself out of that rock bottom, mucky place, excuse me. I did quite a bit of work. I, I worked with a number of spiritual healers. In a number of capacities and did a lot of really powerful work that, you know, felt very transformative. And then, uh, something would happen and I would respond in some old way and I would run smack into myself again. And it would feel like this, like, what the hell was all of that for? You know, what all of that work? If I'm gonna just be uncomfortable again, if I'm. You know, freeze up again if I'm gonna do this again, of wow, whatever, again, you know, and one of my teachers who I was complaining about this from and just exhausted, you know, just like, ah, this again, do I have to do this again? And she said to me, look, first of all, It's not one and done right. Healing growth life is a, is a spiral. It's a circular process. We continue to grow and meet ourselves at different points again and again on that spiral. But because you've been doing this work, you're not meeting yourself at the same point. You're meeting yourself a different point on the spiral. You are different. The fact that you even noticed that you had that reaction, whereas before it was subconscious means that you are different. It's not the same thing that you're running into. Everything has changed. However, this is your core work that you are going to keep working and growing and transforming as you live your life. And if it was ever to stop, well that's stagnation. That's not growth, right? That's not transformation. And so every time you run in back into what feels like the same, take a moment to notice what is actually different about yourself, about the situation, about the way that you respond about the responses other people have towards you. And you'll see that this is actually a really, really good thing, that you truly are in the process of healing, and this is how it's meant. And that totally changed how I related to those moments that feel like setbacks. Not that they're not sometimes frustrating, but it's not that like angsty like, oh, it's all been for nothing. Feeling that I had that first time. Mm-hmm.

Melissa:

do you have a bigger capacity for love in being

Michaela:

loved? Oh, what a great question. I mean, yeah, absolutely. I mean, in a, especially if I think about back to, you know, that worst time, um, I was completely frozen, right? My heart was frozen, my mind was frozen. My body was frozen. Um, I don't know that I could really, truly love myself or anybody else in that position. Um, The foundation of the system of reiki is a series of five precepts, and the foundation of those precepts is just for today, I'm compassionate for myself and for all others, and that truly is what all of it is about, is making enough space inside, remembering that we're all connected as living beings, softening our attachment to the, the duality of the past and the future. Softening our attachment to fear and anger so that we can live as. We're meant to, which, uh, from this tradition would say as love as compassion. And so that, you know, extends not only to the folks, well, firstly to our ourselves. And this one is something that we often. You know, when I'm teaching people, um, cuz teaching is the, the cornerstone of my work now. I, I love working with, with clients one on one doing sessions, but teaching people this system is really where my heart is. And we often spend a lot of time on the self-compassion piece because a lot of times, you know, our response to the difficulty of the world is to. Turn our our love onto other people, as I did originally when I was first practicing Reiki, but skip the step of figuring out how to love ourselves first, and that can feel like a kind of soft, fully concept of, you know, self-love. But if anybody has ever truly paid attention to the challenge of loving ourself, this is a process that is not for the faint of heart, right? This is something that for many of us, amen. Sister. Can be a really long and challenging journey. Um, and so, you know, beginning there and then noticing the way in which making space inside for. Just loving ourselves and all of our flaws and all of our mistakes and all of our brilliance and magic, um, truly does allow us to love other people. Starting with the people that we naturally would love our family or the people close to us, but extending out from there, not stopping there. You know, extending to strangers, extending to people who piss us off. You know, people who have harmed us, people who act awful. Can we love them too? Can we hold them in compassion also, even as we set boundaries as they're needed, even as we address problematic behavior in ways that are appropriate. But can we do that in a place of compassion instead of a place of condemnation and anger and fear and hatred, right? There's a powerful difference with holding somebody accountable for their actions. From a place of compassion and shared humanity versus a position of disconnection and hatred. I think one of the most powerful examples that I've seen in my lifetime of that in action on a major scale is in South Africa during the Post-Apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission. There was profound and powerful truth telling and accountability holding across an entire nation. And it was led from the deepest place of compassion by our Archbishop, Desmond Tutu, uh, who's one of my heroes. Um, so there's, there's so many examples in our life of when we tap into our own love of self, the ways in which that touches. The world ultimately.

Melissa:

I could talk to you all day about this, but we are at the close of our time here. But as we wind up, I want to invite people to connect with you. You offer a monthly class and tell us a bit how people can get in touch with

Michaela:

you. Yeah. Um, I love doing our monthly free class. It's called The Sweet Taste of Heart Scapes, and it's a, it's an hour class that I do online that, um, looks at, um, basically the intersections of the system of Reiki with our daily life focusing on a different topic each month that's related to something I'm seeing in my life or in the world that, that seems to, um, want some attention. This past, uh, month, we looked at, uh, the experience of gratitude. In this upcoming December class, we're gonna look at intuition, the way in which our intuition is active in the system of reiki. In January, we're gonna look at the role of ritual inside of the system of reiki and in our life. The importance of ritual in our life. Um, and so that is something that anybody can register for. Um, the registration for that is on my website, heart skates insight.com and our events section. Um, and that's just a great way to, to work with us, to connect, to learn a little bit about this system in the ways that I've been describing and to, you know, hopefully. Allow you to relate it to your daily life because, you know, if we're working with these systems that have these esoteric roots and these concepts, that can be sometimes a little confusing. If we can't relate that back to our day to day life and the decisions we have to make every moment of the day, then they're not really a lot of value to us. So we, we really like to explore that connection with daily life in as many ways as we.

Melissa:

Yeah. Mikayla, thank you so much and I'm gonna make it very easy for you as you're listening to this. Just go to the show notes, go to the description, click on the links, and it'll take you right there. Mikayla, thank you so much for being with us today.

Michaela:

Thank you so much, Melissa. I had a great time.

Michaela DaystarProfile Photo

Michaela Daystar

Reiki Practitioner

Michaela Daystar founded HeartScapes at the intersection of self-reflection, spiritual practice, and social action after a 15-year career in social justice leadership development in universities and organizations. Wishing to support her clients and students to make their precious contribution to the world from the inside out, she teaches the system of Reiki as a pathway to self-development, emotional resilience, and remembering our true self. In working with other Reiki practitioners, she also teaches trauma-informed principles to increase safety, trust, choice and consent in our healing communities. Michaela continues her studies of Reiki with the International House of Reiki, and holds a Master’s Degree in Social Justice Leadership.