Usui Retreat 2nd week announcement

Greetings Friends, Family and Students of Mari Hall and Wisechoices,

I am starting the 2nd week of our virtual Usui Retreat with a few articles you may find interesting followed by the link to the second meditation written by Adonea in Sedona, Arizona. I certainly welcome all of you to join with us to be part of this retreat honoring Usui as well as sending energy to our Mother Earth. You can do as much or as little as you would like, there is no one to check on you. Even a minute a day of conscious intention brings great benefit to our Earth and to all of us.

May Peace be part of our reality each and every day of the coming New Year.

Brightest Blessings,
Love, Mari

Intertwined Fates
We Are All Connected

There are times when we may feel disconnected from the world. Our actions can seem like they are of no major consequence, and we may feel like we exist in our own vacuum. Yet, the truth is that our simplest thought or action - the decisions we make each day, and how we see and relate to the world - can be incredibly significant and have a profound impact on the lives of those around us, as well as the world at large. The earth and everything on it is bound by an invisible connection between people, animals, plants, the air, the water, and the soil. Insignificant actions on your part, whether positive or negative, can have an impact on people and the environment that seem entirely separate from your personal realm of existence. Staying conscious of the interconnection between all things can help you think of your choices and your life in terms of the broader effect you may be creating. Think of buying a wooden stool. The wood was once part of a tree which is part of a forest. A person was paid to fell the tree, another to cut the wood, and yet another to build the stool. Their income may have had a positive effect on their families, just as the loss of the tree may have had a negative impact on the forest or the animals that made that tree their home. An encouraging word to a young child about their special talent can influence this person to develop their gift so that one day their inventions can change the lives of millions. A poem written "merely" to express oneself can make a stranger reading it online from thousands of miles away feel less alone because there is someone else out there who feels exactly the way they do. Staying conscious of your connection to all things can help you think of your choices in terms of their impact. We are powerful enough that what we do and say can reverberate through the lives of people we may never meet. Understanding that you are intimately connected with all things and understanding your power to affect our world can be the first step on the road to living more consciously.

Peeling Away The Layers
Trees Shedding Their Bark

Trees grow up through their branches and down through their roots into the earth. They also grow wider with each passing year. As they do, they shed the bark that served to protect them but now is no longer big enough to contain them. In the same way, we create boundaries and develop defenses to protect ourselves and then, at a certain point, we outgrow them. If we don't allow ourselves to shed our protective layer, we can't expand to our full potential. Trees need their protective bark to enable the delicate process of growth and renewal to unfold without threat. Likewise, we need our boundaries and defenses so that the more vulnerable parts of ourselves can safely heal and unfold. But our growth also depends upon our ability to soften, loosen, and shed boundaries and defenses we no longer need. It is often the case in life that structures we put in place to help us grow eventually become constricting. Unlike a tree, we must consciously decide when it's time to shed our bark and expand our boundaries, so we can move into our next ring of growth. Many spiritual teachers have suggested that our egos don't disappear so much as they become large enough to hold more than just our small sense of self-the boundary of self widens to contain people and beings other than just "me." Each time we shed a layer of defensiveness or ease up on a boundary that we no longer need, we metaphorically become bigger people. With this in mind, it is important that we take time to question our boundaries and defenses. While it is essential to set and honor the protective barriers we have put in place, it is equally important that we soften and release them when the time comes. In doing so, we create the space for our next phase of growth.

Here’s the link to the meditation. http://www.wisechoices.com/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=7


The December 2005 Usui Retreat Starts Now

Greetings Friends, Family and Students
of Mari Hall and Wisechoices,
I thought I would start our virtual Usui Retreat with a few articles you may find interesting followed by the link to the first meditation written by Adonea in Sedona, Arizona. I certainly welcome all of you to join with us to be part of this retreat honoring Usui as well as sending energy to our Mother Earth. You can do as much or as little as you would like, there is no one to check on you. Even a minute a day of conscious intention brings great benefit to our Earth and to all of us.

Brightest Blessings, May Peace be part of our reality each and every day.

Love, Mari

What Matters
Getting Back To Holiday Basics

The true meaning of the holidays can easily get lost in the details. While many of the diverse festivals and feasts we celebrate are designed to be times for celebrating life, new beginnings, traditions, and landmark occasions, those sentiments can be swept away by the stress of overloaded to-do lists and seemingly never-ending holiday obligations. Yet there are many unique and satisfying ways to celebrate the holidays without spending too much money or becoming exhausted in the process. Whereas the media, and possibly even loved ones, may encourage you to do and buy more, concentrating on the spirit of faith, giving, love, and hope during the holidays can help you do more with less. You can create new holiday traditions that help you focus on what you find important. Holidays can be a wonderful time for taking stock of what matters most to you. This can include family, community, helping those less fortunate, and loving the earth. If you feel driven to give the people in your life gifts, consider presents that encourage positive living or whose impact will continue to be felt long after the holidays. Think about donating your effort to making someone else's life better by hosting a party for seniors or volunteering at a homeless shelter. You can also make a charitable donation or plant a seedling tree in a loved one's name. Instead of giving your friends and family material goods, give them the gift of your time. Organize get-togethers that include relatives or acquaintances that you seldom see and emphasize togetherness, fun, and celebration. Time spent making homemade gifts can give you a chance to ruminate on what you treasure about your loved ones. When exploring the true meaning of the holidays and getting back to the true spirit of the season, allow yourself to alter existing traditions. Even a blessing before a meal or a walk under the stars can help you reconnect with the holidays. Do what fulfills you and then stop before your celebration becomes more of a hassle than a happy occasion. Get back to the basics of generosity and goodwill, and your holiday will certainly be a rewarding one.

Beings of Light
Human Angels

During each of our journeys, there are those inevitable moments when someone comes into our life at precisely the right time and says or does precisely the right thing. Their words or actions may help us perceive ourselves more clearly, remind us that everything will turn out for the best, help us cope, or see us through difficult situations. These people are human angels - individuals designated by the universe to be of service to those in need at specific points in time. Some human angels make a commitment before their births to make a positive contribution to the world at a particular moment. Others were chosen by the universe. All human angels, however, come into our lives when we least expect them and when we can most benefit from their presence. A few of the human angels we may encounter are in professions where helping others is an everyday occurrence. But most of them are regular people, going about their daily lives until called upon to be in the right place at the right time to bring peace, joy, help, or heal someone when they most need it. You may have met a human angel in the form of a teacher who gave you a piece of advice that touched your soul and influenced your path. The person that momentarily stopped you to say hello on the street, delaying you long enough to avoid an oncoming car or a collision, is also a human angel. They may offer nothing more than a kind word or a smile, but they will offer it when you can draw the most strength and support from their simple action. You may be a human angel yet not know it. Your fate or intuition may guide you toward other people's challenging or distressing situations, leading you to infer that you simply have bad luck. But recognizing yourself as a human angel can help you deal with the pain you see and understand that you are there to help and comfort others during their times of need. Human angels give of their inner light to all who need it, coming into our lives and often changing us forever. Their task has its challenges, but it is they that have the power to teach, bring us joy, and comfort us in times of despair.

The first Meditation for the Usui Retreat can be found by following this link http://www.wisechoices.com/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=7


Seasons Greetings

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
Mari and her grandchildren, Tanner, Jinny and Jeremy

Hello and Happy Holidays to you all. I have found that it is so easy to get lost in all the rush and preparations of the season especially being task oriented as I am. I have just stopped “doing” for a few minutes to breathe and bring myself back to a sense of stillness. In this space I also am feeling so much gratitude. I started to think of all the people who have remained in my life, but also the people who have come into and yes, even out of my life this year. With this are the gifts each has brought to me of themselves. When I have allowed myself to experience their unique qualities and accept them as they are then the door has also been open for them to experience me. We have met in the center … in the heart where love, acceptance and respect are. All these powerful relationships have certainly been instrumental for my personal growth. Thank you all for continuing to grace my life.

The special prayer on the card above was given to me by my friend Janet Cohen, it was her grandmother’s favorite prayer. I have been using it as a mantra. It is very deep and meaningful. I love the rhythm of the prayer as I work with my beads.

I pray these things never end
The sand and the sea
The rush of the waters
The crash of the heavens
The prayer of man.

Speaking of mantra beads those of you who have asked, YES I do special orders for the mantra beads. I also make them as a bracelet or necklace. Just write to me about what you would like. To view the pieces go to http://www.mantrabeads.com/ and enter the store.

I thought I would also take this moment to send you two articles that have been published in OM. I hope it will be thought provoking especially at this time of the year.

I will be sending out the meditations for the Usui retreat starting the 21st of December. I invite you to join with us. For more information about the retreat go to http://www.wisechoices.com/usui.asp

Love and Blessings,


Peeling Away the Layers

Trees Shedding Their Bark

Trees grow up through their branches and down through their roots into the earth. They also grow wider with each passing year. As they do, they shed the bark that served to protect them but now is no longer big enough to contain them. In the same way, we create boundaries and develop defenses to protect ourselves and then, at a certain point, we outgrow them. If we don't allow ourselves to shed our protective layer, we can't expand to our full potential. Trees need their protective bark to enable the delicate process of growth and renewal to unfold without threat. Likewise, we need our boundaries and defenses so that the more vulnerable parts of ourselves can safely heal and unfold. But our growth also depends upon our ability to soften, loosen, and shed boundaries and defenses we no longer need. It is often the case in life that structures we put in place to help us grow eventually become constricting. Unlike a tree, we must consciously decide when it's time to shed our bark and expand our boundaries, so we can move into our next ring of growth. Many spiritual teachers have suggested that our egos don't disappear so much as they become large enough to hold more than just our small sense of self-the boundary of self widens to contain people and beings other than just "me." Each time we shed a layer of defensiveness or ease up on a boundary that we no longer need, we metaphorically become bigger people. With this in mind, it is important that we take time to question our boundaries and defenses. While it is essential to set and honor the protective barriers we have put in place, it is equally important that we soften and release them when the time comes. In doing so, we create the space for our next phase of growth.

Power of Union

Entering Into Partnership

The purpose of partnership is to create something greater than we can create alone. Not because of any deficiency or incompleteness in us, but because each of us is unique, with our own talents and abilities, and in partnership we increase the efforts and talents available for creating something meaningful together. All partnerships, whether romantic, creative, or professionally-based, can be powerful relationships for personal growth. In partnership we harness the power of union. It is important to choose our partnerships consciously. Sometimes forged quickly during times of need, we may find ourselves rushing into unions with perhaps not the clearest intentions. Partnerships created from those starting point might serve our immediate needs, but the repercussions of a union so quickly fostered without much thought can be difficult to recover from. Granted, there is something to learn from every relationship, but looking to another to fix or complete us can turn a partnership into a dependent bond. If we can stay clear about what we want and what we need in a partnership, while staying grounded and remembering that we are our own source of happiness and fulfillment, we can create partnerships that support and enhance the best of who we are. Everyone in our lives is a mirror reflecting back the parts we love and dislike about ourselves. If we have the courage to recognize our reflections in each other, we can grow through our partnerships. A partnership that offers both acceptance of who we are and an opportunity for personal transformation can be fertile ground for growing a healthy, lasting union. When we find this kind of partnership, we are more likely to want to keep it, invest in it, and nurture it. Life is a collaborative effort. Much of what we do can be enhanced through partnership. Together we are stronger because our personal power is multiplied by two. Through partnership we experience the joys of working, living, and loving together.


The December Newsletter

Dear Students,Friends and Family of Wisechoices and Mari Hall,

Gracious it is December already…this year has just flown by. Our Virtual 21 day Usui Retreat will start on the 21st of December. Adonea a wonderful Reiki Master/ Teacher from Sedona, Arizona will be doing the meditations for us. When I was in Sedona I spent several lovely days talking with her about Reiki and our individual paths in Reiki. I know you will enjoy her contribution. Make sure mark your calendar and also let your friends and Reiki groups know. For more information you can go to the Usui pages at our website by following this link: http://www.wisechoices.com/usui.asp

To those of you who have visited my new web site www.mantrabeads.com Thank you. I am receiving very positive feed back on the mantra (prayer) beads. The people who now own them have remarked that they feel the energy in them. I am also taking special orders; they are an excellent Christmas present. If you have not taken the time please do. These are a real labor of love and faith.

Here is a question I was asked today. “Yes, your professional life may take up much of your time and energy, but there is much more to you than what you do for a living. What do you do for a life?”

This is the type of question that can be life altering especially when I choose to answer it from very real and honest space. My first response was; what I do for a life is BEing my authentic self and living from my heart. Perhaps you would like to consider what your answer would be. Let me know what you come up with.

And on this note I am sharing an excellent article from the Daily OM with you.

Being Who You Are
Living Your Truth

When we are young children, we live authentically, seldom afraid or embarrassed to seek out what we want or to speak our minds. As we grow older, we tend to tuck that authenticity away, putting it aside while we chase our dreams, afraid that it might hinder us in our success. But we never let that freedom go completely. We may conform to society while embracing secret passions when alone. We may withhold certain opinions, though it doesn't change the fact that we possess them. It is important, however, to never stray too far from that youthful brashness and self-interest for they are qualities that help make you who you are. The authentic you is your true self and, in living authentically, you live your truth, making time for the things you love and projecting who you really are. The simplest way to live your truth is to leave the expectations of other behind and live the way you feel most worthwhile.

It takes being selfish in a healthy way by doing what you know is best for you, regardless of the opinions of others - even the opinions of close friends and family. Living authentically means that you make choices without fear, trusting in your soul's wisdom... If you value personal pursuits, don't feel forced into a certain job just to make enough money to keep up with your neighbors. Conversely, if you prize success in business, don't let others' perception of what's right for you hold you back. Denying your unique truth can lead to feelings of failure and dissatisfaction because you aren't acknowledging your true self. In living your truth, there are no pretenses. Everything you do will reflect who you truly are.

If you are unsure of who the authentic you really is, look inward and ask yourself what your purpose, values, and needs are. Honor your strengths and don't let yourself be guided by what other expect of you. Finally, discover your passions by trying new things, and sticking with those things that stir your soul. Finding who you really are and then making the choice to embrace you true dreams and desires will take your life in a direction that is both satisfying and deeply meaningful.

Recently I did a review of a book by Joyce Shafer titled “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, But I Have Something to Say.” It has such a good message that I am sharing it with you. Here is the description: “Are you on a journey, or just takin a trip?” That is the question Old Bill posed to A.J. in the small, isolated café nestled in the vivid hues of the Southwest desert. The conversation about the holographic nature of reality, religions, cultures, and what self-empowerment really is stretched across the afternoon. Years later, A.J. returns to give a gift to the wise man who’s challenging questions and unique perspective altered the course of so many lives. But it doesn’t take long for A.J. to realize an even greater cosmic mystery is about to unfold. Follow this link to either purchase or download it. I am going to give the download as gifts this Christmas. I believe you will enjoy it. www.lulu.com/content/127175

I have a pen friend named Mari Hall; yes there are at least two Mari Halls; when I met her she was living in Seattle, Washington where I was born… a coincidence do you suppose? It has been delightful to write to her over the years and follow her amazing career as an artist. It is a Flash movie about peace. It is entitled "Heart Story" it is a small file size (96K). What Mari has said is “With world events continuing to gravitate towards more global aggression, I think it is a great time to review in our hearts, how much better life could be, filling our hearts and lives with more love.” Follow this link to view the movie. http://www.marizart.com/test/heart.html

Incredible Coincidences

Everyone has experienced the pleasantly surprised feelings left behind by a meaningful coincidence. The situation itself may be insignificant - the book whose title you couldn't remember falls off the bookstore shelf or an acquaintance that seems to enter your life again and again - but the message inherent in the coincidence may not be. Synchronicity, or the unlikely conjunction of events, can be an eye-opening experience. Psychologist Carl Jung theorized that synchronicities occurred when universal forces were aligned with the experiences of an individual, leading to coincidences that appear to be more than just chance. These incidents happen because everything is innately connected. He believed that such events can be called forth by an individual's unconscious needs. Nothing occurs randomly. Rather, we draw certain people, situations, and blessings to ourselves.

A synchronistic event such as a chance encounter can be positive, negative, or neutral, and feel deeply mysterious or commonplace. Some coincidences are obvious while others are not apparent until after careful analysis. Perhaps during an ongoing financial crisis, you always found just enough money to get by. Or a recurring dream prepares you for an eventual physical event. Many times, synchronicities represent opportunities to learn about ourselves and the external world. If you feel touched by multiple coincidences or intrigued by a single one, ask yourself why you may be attracting the people involved or the situations. Is it highlighting some aspect of your life or suggesting a course of action? The soul, believed Jung, whispers to us through synchronicity calling us to attention.

Seeking the meaning behind a synchronistic event can help you know yourself better, kick start your creativity, or show you future pitfalls to avoid. The most profound coincidences often occur at life's crossroads, stopping us in our tracks.

I will be sending the first meditation on the 21st of December.

Love and Blessings,


The November Newsletter

Hello Dear Friends and Family,

It has been an incredibly busy time for me. When I was in Sedona and in Australia both being with friends and teaching some new directions opened for my creative expression. I also experienced living in loving spiritual communities; just what I need in my life as well as more creative and expressive time; the peace and support of two different Reiki communities both in Sedona, Arizona and in Canberra, Australia was outstanding. The time spent in both places reinforced and nourished me. I came back a new woman.

Since I have been home I have put new plans into action. In a few weeks you will receive a very special e-mail from me letting you know all about this new phase in my life. I am so excited about this.

I am pleased to let you know that Reiki for the Soul will be published as a 2nd edition very soon. It has an additional chapter on Radical Change and is the 11th doorway to inner harmony and peace. I will also be offering online Reiki for the Soul mentoring courses in the New Year. Times are rich and exciting!

The Usui 21 day online Reiki retreat will start on December 21st. Please let your friends know about this excellent opportunity to refocus and set goals for 2006.

I have enclosed two articles for you. I know you will enjoy them. Enjoy the fall weather and for those of you in the USA have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Love and Blessings,



Look at what you are afraid of only the anticipation will frighten you
• A Course in Miracles

Through my work as a healer and spiritual guide, I have found that there are several common themes that unite us all as human beings. One of these is Fear; it is the single most powerful paralyzing force in our lives. It is something that can, and for most of us does, dictates absolutely how we relate with ourselves and everyone, everything else and, most importantly - how we live our lives.
When we are in fear – that is, most of us, most of the time and some of us, all of the time, almost none of us none of the time – we can no longer make clear and conscious choices on what we would wish to experience – our behaviors become knee-jerk reactions based on what we are afraid what might happen if we don't do, or be, something in a certain way.

The fear of Fear is something that is created in the Mind – existential fear, that is, fear that motivates survival, comes from the kidneys – it does not exist outside of what we perceive it to be. This means that we create fear based on some illusion or need, and then act out and live our lives as if what we think is, or might be , real . Then, we behave in ways that will magnetize that about which we are afraid.
Many of us live our entire lives in fear of one thing or another, both consciously and unconsciously. We fear not only for ourselves, we fear for other people in our lives, whether family or friends and we fear that what we desire for certain, desired required outcomes will not happen.

Many of us fear failure, and even more of us fear success. This fear leads us to live lives of relative mediocrity, compared to fulfilled lives of wonder and joy that, ironically, are within reach of us all.

Nearly everyone fears death, always our own, often too that of family members – children, spouses, parents. Yet, as one of my spiritual guides told me recently, we are all very good at dying. We have all died hundreds, thousands of times. In fact, some of us are dead people walking around pretending to be alive (my teachers nearly all have pretty fun senses of humor, especially when what they are suggesting is so true). In fact, many of us go through the motions of existence every day, yet with our minds far away, or in some deep pain at some thing, anything, that keeps us from being fully present. Our greatest fear is to be truly Alive, to embrace the best that this world has to offer and, in return, to give the best of ourselves – to ourselves, to those nearest and dearest to us, to those within our communities, and to the world.

There are other, more easily recognized and admitted fears than the fear of death. These include fear of assorted insects, reptiles and animals, fears of flying, heights, and fears of intimacy, aging, and poverty and so on.

Here in Cyprus we don't have many of the typical fears that many parents, in the United Kingdom, for instance, have for the physical safety of our children, since this is a relatively safe environment to grow up in. Yet in addition to our fears about ourselves and how we ‘should' live our lives, we also have many fears about and for our children - how they live their lives and more particularly, how they should live their lives, mostly in order to ‘fit in' with and ‘do well in' society. In this way, by our own behaviors, do we teach our children to fear, also? This is how fear perpetuates itself, like some malignant growth within humanity or, more benignly, like a habit.

Many people cope with their fears - whatever these may be – by using various substances. Alcohol is one that is easily and legally available – and in Cyprus relatively cheap - and is widely abused in many cultures and environments. Prescription drugs are another.

A problem with these is, okay, we might not feel fearful, or depressed, or whatever it is that we think you are being ‘treated' for, but when under the influence of mind-altering substances, we usually can't feel anything at all, nothing, including peace, joy and wellbeing. So, what happens is that whatever fear or emotion we think we need treatment for is recycled around the mind and the body, rather than faced, resolved and let go, with conscious intent. It is not as difficult to do as people fear; it does, though, require courage to be totally honest about our fears, with ourselves to ourselves. Being honest about this with no-one else matters because, at the end of the day, the most important honesty we can ever have is that we have with ourselves.

When fear is prevalent in our lives, we create concepts, labels, images, words, judgments and definitions that block all our relationships, particularly the one we have with ourselves. They block our ability to feel anything at all or to experience anything else, because when we are busy in our minds playing ‘what-if' scenarios and scripts, we are out-of-body and in some dreamland.

Let's take a little bit more in-depth look at judgments, because they can often impact relationships. Can you remember how you felt the last time you realized that someone was judging you? I do. What about the last time you judged someone else? How were you feeling when you did that? Having experienced both - being judged and judging, and being relatively conscious now, I have noticed this and wonder to myself why I, and we, choose to do this. When my daughter comes home and wonders with me why some children in her school are behaving in this way toward her and toward each other, I say to her that often the most judgmental people are the most fearful or insecure as well. And I remind her that it is best for us both to look beyond the what of people's behaviors into the whys. As this applies to children, so it applies equally to adults.

This was shown to me by a guide some years ago and I continue to find it helpful to remember that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say, consciously or unconsciously, and that everything is not always about me.
The next most common fear, after the fear of death is, I believe, the fear of boredom.

Many of us fear having ‘nothing to do'. We fear the silence within. So, we create ‘issues' in our lives that we ‘need' to deal with, in order to keep busy. Yet there is a great difference between busy-ness with purpose, and busy-ness just to keep busy. I am sure we have all experienced boredom at some time, or we have had to deal with people within our environment who are bored. In fact, many of us have very low boredom thresholds mostly because we don't have much of a relationship with ourselves. Can you remember the last time you were bored or had to manage yourself with someone who was in the same state? How did you feel? And what did you do about it?

For some reason, we fear Silence. In truth, Silence is the space within which we can find peace and a connection with our true selves. Yet we fear it because on some unconscious level we think (there's that busy Mind again!) that in the silence within, we will experience our own deaths. Yet in my recent experience when I have been able to stay peaceful and silent within for extended periods of time, I have found the opposite is true. When I am silent, I can be truly present, to watch and listen to thoughts that might arise, without judgment. To just be. It is in this way that we are able to touch the stillness within, to touch that part of us that is Who-We-Really-Are. And when we are truly there, without fear, without judgment, without anything at all, we need no longer fear death – or anything at all - because we are at peace; at peace with ourselves, with everyone and everything around us. This is our birthright and our gift to the world.

When we are peaceful, the only thing that will matter to us is the joy of being able to experience and express the best of ourselves, individually and together, because in the grand scheme of things, we only have a short time on this planet – several decades at the most – to so do. So, why spend our time being afraid of anything - at all?

by Anna of Cyprus

Getting On Track

Trains Are Like People. The rails that crisscross the countryside and cut through cities have long captured people's imaginations. Just the idea of taking a ride on a luxury train, an express commuter line, or a cargo train can evoke a sense of freedom, adventure, or romance. Trains are like people in that they must inevitably arrive at their destinations. They make scheduled and unscheduled stops along the way and move at their different speeds. Some trains can travel for hours and are mindful of only a single destination; other trains meander from busy stop to busy stop. The route and purpose of any train may change as the years go by.

Our lives stretch out in front and behind us like train tracks, and we are the train, its passengers, and the engineer. The way you choose to live your life and the goals you are working toward are the route and destinations you have chosen. Like a passenger riding a train, you have the choice to get on and off, find new routes, pick new places to visit, or just stop and enjoy the view for awhile. Perhaps you like to move quickly through life as if you were an express train. Or maybe, like a commuter passenger, you like taking the same routes over and over again. You may even want to stop just riding along and choose a different direction you'd like your life to take.

If you have examined the tracks of your life and are feeling unsatisfied, you may want to explore the changes you can make to find a more fulfilling path to follow. Perhaps you'd like to slow down a little bit more and take a windier path rather than just traveling down the straight and narrow. Or maybe, you'd like to experience your life more as an adventure rather than just a ride that gets you where you need to go. Changing your route can sometimes give you a chance to "get on the right track." You may even discover that the something new you've been waiting for is just around the bend.

From the Daily OM


There is MUCH we can do to alleviate suffering

I recevied this letter from a dear friend and Reiki Master friend of mine janeAnne Narrin. Many of you will remember that we worked together in the Usui 21 day virtual retreat for many years. She has given her permission to share it with you.

Hello Dearhearts,

I have been asked to write to my students and friends during these difficult days where equilibrium is being challenged....and when change with compassion is so needed....and when we can feel powerless.

During these times, there is MUCH we can do to alleviate suffering...if only from a distance. Those who wrote asked about the effectiveness of your distant healing practice ..One group of practitioners wrote...."How well are we doing at opening a space for healing for those who are in pain in so many places around the world?"...

I know that "effectiveness" is not a problem with REIKI(energy)....especially if you are distancing REIKI without ego...

I remember reading this...."...[There is] a profoundly different reality from that which we encounter in our everyday western world. To enter into this domain is to question what we mean by space and time, by the distinctions between living and the non living, by the individual and society, by dreams

and visions, by perception and reality, by causality and synchronicity, by time and eternity"

~F. David Peat

What F. David Peat writes resonates with me...especially in terms of Reiki (practice) ...and even more so in terms of distant healing within the advanced practice. But distancing REIKI (energy ) asks you first to deepen your personal awareness of and connection with the "space" where both the flowers of happiness and the thorns of suffering fall.

To accelerate awareness, the advanced practitioner has to make a commitment ...

dedicate herself or himself to daily Self-Reiki Practice....

In that very Self-Reiki practice, that practitioner might... in particular ...ask and intend

to enjoy a heightened sense of AWARENESS OF EQUILIBRIUM.



Possibly choose to begin your Self-Reiki practice with a few deep breaths—(in breath, through nose--out breath, through mouth)—Count to 10 while inhaling and exhaling— Place your hands, left hand on your heart, right hand atop it, thumbs alongside fingers—then simply BE here ....for at least 10 minutes. ...practice ....no expectations...only observing and without judgment...

Begin Self-Reiki....SET INTENTION: Possibly choose to feel your own vulnerability and release the resulting negative emotions before they harden into pain....and then set the intention to come into balance...equanimity....

Specifically, you might ask and intend to hold a place for balance while (simultaneously) letting go of what leads to suffering...and also release attachment to any particular outcome.

REQUEST: As you go deeper into your Self-Reiki practice, possibly ask to find joy in balanced energy....


Pretend you are a child on a teeter-totter--...

Remember the EXACT feeling of the point at which you came to balance (This IS a state of awareness or consciousness..it also is a feeling!)

Find that multidimensional space...and that feeling...

Connect with that awareness and the feeling. ...

Request that this amazing, attractive energy you are feeling be drawn as needed for the highest good of all concerned...(general) ...

If your request is more specific ...you need to go into the special process of visualization using the specific anchor points you learned...(do you remember how lovely that process is ?)..

You can bring yourself to equilibrium on all levels--

by celebrating the mystery of renewal

through the discipline of daily Self-Reiki practice. . .

I just got a note last night saying,...."How come we have to practice so much? "

Well!....practicing getting to equanimity lets you better put yourself in someone else’s experience of the world without either harsh judgment or attachment to the outcome ...(that is if or if not what You hope happens does or doesn't happen....an internal landscape where your ego is not in the way.)

I told that person that if he were concerned that his practice for sharing REIKI (energy) across space and time was effective....simply DO NOT WORRY....(You know who advised that! :-)). It IS effective. REIKI (energy) is perfect. ..your Reiki (practice) may not be perfect, but REIKI (energy) IS...Ask only that REIKI healing energy arrive when it is needed, and that it be for the highest good of all concerned, and then find the gift of equanimity that comes to YOU in that request that expects no-thing... when you are seizing the moment, cultivating it, and letting the fresh breeze inherent in That Moment grow, and radiate out like the cooling evening mists over the mountains, to be drawn by all living creatures in need...

This happens naturally through your own Self-Reiki Practice ...as REIKI (energy) works to alleviate suffering and bring happiness.

Just the BEing present in your Reiki practice brings you to a sense of balance even when you confront conflicting and tumultuous emotions.... when you feel aversion or any of the "negative" emotions that can come up – because REIKI (energy) helps you to be mindful of the flowing nature of reality as you STAY WITH the process.. .working to alleviate what is toxic or harmful....

When I am in my daily Reiki practice many times negative thoughts and emotions come up. That’s when I like to think of the small lake across the street from my house in Michigan. By December, it was safe for all the kids in the neighborhood to skate on —by February, we thought it might NEVER thaw, then one warm, May day ....always as if by magic ....there the lake would be...liquid and twinkling in the afternoon sun.

When patterns of negativity show up in my daily Self-Reiki practice, I immediately go to the lake metaphor... remind myself of the real quality of BEing—the flowing lake quality—and how even when I find myself hardening into icy judgment, (even wondering if my practice is of value to myself or anyone who may be suffering) Ican melt that hardness instantly with REIKI (energy) as the catalyst. And you know...as Takata said...“With REIKI, there is always hope”! (I'm smiling)

Our nature does not change. . .(frozen lake, melted lake—same water, right?)

So if we are like the lake (and we are) our “water spirit” is still there even when we are feeling negative emotions..Our wellness/goodness/ is inherent in WHO WE ARE.. .

and in understanding this,

we possess the secret


which is the essence of the distant healing practice .... ...... ......~

Te task at Hand: Simply to dissolve the ice (which can arrive when we divide by conceptualizing) that keeps us frozen...in order to flow like the summer lake ..... so just remember to be BOTH firm, and to melt . . .(I’m smiling).... Inner wisdom and inner strength arise from knowing and trusting in your True Nature ...from which all healing arrives.

Many Blessings During Difficult Times,

janeAnne, Reiki Master, the Usui System of Natural Healing..

in Practice for Terra



Greetings from Sedona

Greetings from Sedona…

How blessed I am to have the unique opportunity to stay with a lovely Reiki family here in Sedona. I met Cindy Terrell in New York a few years ago. She is from Oklahoma but has followed her heart and moved to Sedona, She asked me to come stay with she and her family and the bonus has been that I am also spending time with an extended Reiki community. We are truly people from all walks of life, different personalities, jobs, and dreams and yet the common element is Reiki. The love is incredible. I have had time to be sourced by Sedona and the people here and am pleased to let you know I have started working on a mentoring program for all levels of Reiki people… I will tell you more about it later however it will include meditation CDs, online support and more, so stay tuned.
I have also been making beautiful prayer beads. I am using them as a meditation tool, each bead is charged with the energy of Reiki and ONE. I pray into the beads as I make them. I will be offering them for sale later. Sedona has been very good for me.

Last Sunday we went to see the Grand Canyon after stopping to see the sacred White Buffalo in route. Cindy is a wealth of knowledge and is pure 100% fun. The Canyon is breath taking in its beauty. She leads meditation groups there and I can see why. To have the time to sit and be still in a space such as that is awe inspiring and humbling just the same. And I have seen so many wonderful creatures. A Hummingbird is bound and determined that I see him everyday. He stops right in front of my eyes daily and often brings another hummingbird with him. Praying Mantas, quail, hawk and eagle all are near me…they are all Creators messengers. Whew I am being asked to be still and see Creator in all things, and there is many!

I will be in Australia In September and early October teaching several classes and then on to Asheville North Carolina in late October for a ONE class. Asheville is known as the Eastern Sedona. It is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains and beautiful. You might consider making a trip for the class and to check Asheville out. Please contact Martin Doyle at phone 828 253 1113 or on revmartindoyle@aol.com

The Texas Reiki Retreat at Canyon of the Eagles Lodge in November is filling up fast. If you are interested please contact Annamarie at avireiki@yahoo.com to register. The Retreat is on Veterans Day Weekend November 11, 12, and 13 at Canyon of the Eagles up in Burnet, Texas overlooking beautiful Lake Buchanan. You need to register as soon as possible. They are accepting payments made through pay pal. You will still need to contact Annamarie and get a registration form. We will be taking a trip by boat to see the eagles nesting. I will be teaching a ONE class on the Sunday. You can register for the ONE class by following this link: http://www.wisechoices.com/paypal.asp. The Retreat and One course are not limited to Reiki people from Texas…we are a welcoming bunch so you all come, you hear!

Here are some articles I think you will enjoy. You are most welcome to send in articles you have written to me that I may use sometime.

I will write again next month from “Down Under”

Love and Blessings,

Putting Yourself First
Meeting Your Own Needs
In life, we are encouraged to think of others first. It is seen as a virtue to selflessly address the needs of parents, children, friends, and loved ones, before or sometimes at the cost of our own needs. But this virtue, like any, is best and most meaningful in moderation. Overly caring for others can easily be an unconscious cry for love or a crutch. Devoting all of your time to others can stand in the way of you caring for yourself. Taking care of yourself can feel selfish while taking care of others can seem easier than dealing with your own issues. But addressing your own needs first in some cases is beneficial and vital not only to your own health and well-being, but to your ability to care for others when needed.

We often find ourselves faced with too many responsibilities and those most readily given up are often those most important to us. Ask yourself why. Do you feel the need to prove yourself by being selfless or hope your sacrifice will be acknowledged? Do you feel selfish for wanting things for yourself? Or is it simply more stressful to contemplate your own needs, because they are the ones requiring the most personal effort on your part? Selfless dedication can be frustrating when we don't find the appreciation or love we desire, which ironically leads to putting more effort into others. But when you care for yourself, you affirm your own worth and boundaries. Don't be afraid to put yourself first now and then. Listen to your inner voice and be fair to yourself as well as to others. Have the courage to face your needs and issues head on without putting them off by helping someone else with theirs.

Avoiding caring for oneself is often indicative of great internal struggle. It can be helpful to recognize that you are as deserving of care as any other human and that you, too, function best when your needs are met. Try, when possible, to do something special, take a break, ask for help, and to give your own needs the attention they deserve.
Reprinted from OM with permission

Reservoir Of Strength
The Third Chakra
When individuals experience difficult times, they often find that they possess a previously undiscovered reservoir of strength. In ancient Vedic texts, the third, or Manipura chakra (when healthy) is the seat of that strength, bolstering courage and determination in times of stress and uncertainty. This chakra radiates from the base of the sternum, governing our emotions, will, and ego. When balanced, it blesses one with a profound drive to succeed, authority, integrity, and self-respect. It is active, rather than passive, and helps in the achievement of tasks both great and small. The Manipura chakra may be visualized as a bright, cheerful yellow and is associated with the sunflower and amber.

Because of its connection to the ego, when the third chakra is in a depleted state, it is common to experience feelings of inadequacy, doubt, and rejection; depression and lethargy; and intense worry. Too much energy focused in the area leads to the desire to exert inappropriate control over one's environment. A well-developed Manipura chakra empowers you to grow in positive ways and inspires you to act on your desires. It is possible to exert a balancing influence over the chakra by bringing fire into your life in the form of candles or hearth fires, wearing yellow clothing, and doing exercises that strengthen the muscles of the abdomen and teach you to breath deeply using the diaphragm. You can stimulate an under-active third chakra by burning cinnamon or carnation incense, using peppermint or lemon essential oils and Ginkgo biloba or milk thistle, and exposing the chakra to tiger-eye. The simplest and most potent method of opening and energizing the chakra is relaxing your emotional center. Laugh and cry more often, let yourself be more sensitive, and embrace your raw emotions.

Living with a repressed Manipura chakra is like existing automatically, without vitality. Its qualities can be the cause of overwork and excessive perfectionism, but this chakra is more often the seat of free will, goals, personal power, and decisiveness. When nurtured, it can lead you to new heights of spirituality and balance in all aspects of your life.
Trying to Control the Soul

We often think we can control love. And then we catch ourselves asking the completely useless question: "is it really worth it?"
Love does not bother itself with that question. Love refuses to be priced like some piece of merchandise. One of the characters in Bertold Brecht’s play "The Good Person of Szechuan" tells us about true love:
"I want to be next to the one I love.
I don’t care what this will cost me.
I don’t care whether this will do my life good or bad.
I don’t care whether this person loves me or not.
All I want, all I need is to be close to the one I love."
Copyright @ 2005 by Paulo Coelho


Foundations and the journey

Catching up…

I enjoyed my time at the Greater Washington Area Reiki conference and the ONE class I taught at the end of July. It was a homecoming of sorts. I graduated from Wheaton High School in 1962 and left the Washington DC area in early 1965. This was my first time back to Maryland. I had wonderful the opportunity to see the house I last lived in with my parents and brother. It is still there, smaller than I had remembered, the trees we planted are all great big and the neighbors that I grew up with are no longer living there…we have all moved on. While we can go back and take a look and reminisce, times have brought change and the visit became the way I could honor all the steps I have made in my journey since then and acknowledge that part of my past as the foundation I built my life on.

This summer has been a time of reconnection. I have been visiting old and dear friends that I have not seen in sometimes 25-40 years. I even managed to visit an old boy friend from 32 years ago. It was fun catching up, sharing pictures of the grandchildren, remembering times we had spent together and plans for the future. I was surprised that so many were eager for stories of my experiences in Czech. I have been asked to write them down…We laughed so much over some of the stories that tears streamed down our faces. I have decided to do that as a way to honor more of the steps in my journey.

I feel that my time I have been in Cypress, Texas with my daughter and her family has been a time of reconnection, coming full circle; a time to honor, laugh and yes even cry. Most of all it has been a time of forgiveness and reconnection to an inner part of my being I had lost touch with. I call her the foundation builder. It is she who weaves the foundation carefully out of past experience knowing when to lift and remove pieces of the foundation that are no longer needed and what to put in their place that are more substantial for future support. She is magical and fun. It is she who told me when I was in Buffalo, New York to tie myself to the happy times and not to focus on the sadness. By working with these happy layers I will move in to gladness. I have been doing some processing with this lately and I must say…She is right! And the foundation is changing.

Starting this Sunday I am taking a break in Sedona Arizona for a few weeks, connecting again and hopefully making new friends. I will be working on a new course when am there.

What is ahead? I will be in Australia from the 10th of September to the 5th of October teaching several courses. On October 22-23 I will be in Asheville, NC to teach ONE. In November the Texas Reiki Retreat and ONE class is scheduled for the 12-14th. For more information and to register follow this link:

I am pleased this month to share with you several articles and a link to an excellent article that was in the Washington Post about using Reiki in the operating room.

Light Touch in the Operating Room
What Is Reiki, an Alternative Energy Therapy, Doing in a Mainstream Medical Institution? That's Just What Researchers Hope to Learn
By Matt McMillen

For the article follow this link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/25/AR2005072501224.html

Have a magical fall.

Love and Blessings,

Reiki… what is it?
By Adonea

I'd like to talk a little about Reiki... the word, the kanji and what it is said to be.

In the system of Reiki which most of us have studied we were taught in First degree that the word Reiki meant Universal Life Energy or Universal Life Force Energy or spiritually guided life force energy. In my first degree training it was said that Rei: is Japanese for universal or spiritual consciousness wisdom (God consciousness) or a higher dimension of light and the soul; knows the cause of all problems and what to do to heal them. Ki: is Japanese for vital life force energy, which animates everything; also called Prana, Mana, Holy Ghost, Chi, etc..

Based on the definition Universal Life Force Energy... do you really truly know what it is you are accessing when you do Reiki? Have you ever wondered about it? I certainly have many times. And it always seemed to be something, which was way out there... Universal... WOW! What is Universal??? All the energies in the Universes??? I did know that Ki/Chi/Qi, Prana, etc. is also energy which animates all living things... but even this concept didn't bring me the 'ah ha' (understanding) that I wanted.

So I taught what I learned and took for granted that it simply 'WAS' and most importantly it worked... and that was what truly mattered... right?

Often the newer form of the kanji Rei and Ki are utilized by most Reiki Teachers. This is changing though and when Mrs. Takata drew the Kanji for Barbara Ray she used the old form when she talked about Reiki to her. So Barbara Ray used the old form Kanji on her Reiki materials. Now why would this have any bearing on anything... everyone knows what Reiki is right? Maybe not everyone!

Well as I mentioned before I kept digging and searching because it felt like bits or understandings were missing somehow. Even in the simple description of the word Reiki. So....

I looked up the word 'reiki' in the Japanese to English Dictionary online. There are 6 possible definitions and 6 different Kanji/Kana combinations. The dictionary describes the 'new' Kanji combination Reiki used by the Alliance and many independent Reiki teachers as: 'aura'. The old kanji combination taught by Mrs. Takata is described as: 'Reiki (healing method)' and the Kana/Katakana version which TJR was using... is normally used for brand names. The other 3 mean: established rule; cold, chill, cold weather; and excitation. Hum... isn't this interesting... no where does it say anything about Universal Life Force Energy. Boy now I'm really confused.

Then, I believe it was back in 1998, a member of the Gakkai contacted me and 2 other Reiki Teachers, calling us the triad. He said that the old more beautiful form of the kanji of Reiki more fully described the Reiki system (see illustration left of old kanji penned by Adonea). This was the definition he gave us: "On the earth stands a shaman with his arms raised against the sky. From the heaven the rain comes down with lifesaving energy consisting of 3 parts, Light, Love and Power. The shaman acts as a channel (channeling this energy down to all the people of the Earth). The Reiki teacher is the channel when s/he initiates students and the practitioner is the shaman, when s/he channels this spiritual energy to the people treated." I love this... it is beautiful... but where did it come from I wondered?

If one looks to the genealogy of the Kanji 'Rei Ki' from the Chinese 'Ling Qi'... you can see the concepts the Sensei spoke of. How fascinating this was to me!!! It got me digging even deeper... I think Usui Sensei was prodding me along.

I looked up each of the old style kanji for Rei and Ki in the Japanese dictionary then to get a more spiritual concept of the words I looked in the Buddhist Japanese to English dictionary. This is what I found:

Rei – Strokes, 24. Consists of 3 parts. Top is rain, middle is things and bottom is Shaman. Rei means "spirit or spiritual”. The Japanese dictionary defines Rei as: (1) Spirit; the spiritual aspect of the human being as contrasted to the physical. (2) Divine, numinous, charismatic, supernatural, mysterious. (3) The luminosity of the spirit; the luminosity of a God or Sage. (4) Inconceivable spiritual ability; charismatic power; charisma; wonderful; a wonder. (5) A rainmaker, a diviner; a person or being with spiritual or supernatural powers. (6) A shaman. (7) Goodness; good, excellent, efficacious. (8) Clever, nimble, sharp. (9) Life. (10) A living being; a human being. (11) A supernatural (mythical) beast or being; a fairy, an elf. (12) Pure, undefined, unpolluted. (13) Bright, clear.

Ki – Strokes, 10. Consists of Breath with rice (Rice in Japan is sometimes used as a synonym for people). Ki means “energy". The Japanese dictionary defines Ki as: (1)Vital energy connected with the breath. Invisible life-force, somewhat equivalent to the Indian prana. (2) In the view of Zhuxi and other Neo-Confucians, the material force of the Universe. The generative forces of heaven and earth, by means of which all things are constantly reproduced. (3) Air. (4) Breath, steam.

Ok so here is something closer to Universal Life Force Energy... but it seemed clearer to me... 'Spiritual Energy'.

Mr. Doi told us that Usui Sensei said, "Reiho is a spiritual healing technique and an energy healing technique". In the Usui Reiki Hikkei, in the questions and answers section Usui Sensei's answers a question: A ....For achieving my teachings training and improving physically and spiritually and walking in a right path as a human being, first we have to heal our spirit. Secondly we have to keep our body healthy. If our spirit is healthy and conformed to the truth, body will get healthy naturally.... So here Reiki is described as 'Spiritual Energy' or a system that first heals the spirit then the body. Ok this is great... more food for thought.

But if one looks even deeper... to all the words contained in the definitions of Rei Ki above one can come up the following possible definition (which really resonates with me): "Inconceivable spiritual ability utilizing the generative forces of heaven and earth."

So lets define each of these words and break it down to see what we come up with...

Inconceivable in the dictionary means 'unable to be imagined or impossible to believe'. To me in this context, inconceivable means something that is just beyond the tangible physical world... or metaphysical (beyond the physical)... something which seems just outside of reach... but is not.

Spiritual in the dictionary is described as: 'of the human spirit or soul, not physical or worldly'.

Ability is described as: 'the quality that makes an action or process possible; the capacity or power to do something'.

Utilizing is described as: 'finding a use for'.

Generative is described as: generate is 'to bring into existence or to produce'. Generative is an adjective which describes the quality of bringing into existence.

Forces is described as: 'strength, power or effectiveness'. Seem to fit the best in this description. Forces are the energies of... or power behind if you will.

Heaven is described as: 'the state of the soul's union with God or a state of supreme bliss, something delightful'. Or Divine Consciousness

Earth is described as: 'the world on which we live'. I see this as all things of a material nature... all things physical or the Divine Material.

So Reiki could be described as:

Humanity using the energy of heaven and earth to bring our soul/spirit/mind/body back to the knowledge of its’ oneness with God.

Or perhaps:

It's unimaginable (to our human mind) that the human spirit/soul can create ways to use the power and effectiveness of the union of itself with God in the physical world.

Or maybe:

The ability of the human spirit to produce and use the power of its’ oneness with God on Earth.

Yeah those are what I've been searching for. All these hidden jewels contained within the simple word Reiki...

So we've looked at a slightly different perspective on the meaning of Reiki and what it actually does.

Thank you Usui Sensei for your guidance and direction.

Making History Every DayYour Personal Legacy

When we focus on people who make a huge historical impact-presidents, visionary artists, great spiritual leaders-we sometimes forget that we, too, are making history and influencing the future with the way we live our lives. This is obvious if we just look at our own parents and how the way they lived affected us. In the best case, we received lessons from them or other mentors that have empowered us. On the other hand, we may have decided to depart dramatically from the way they conducted their lives. If so, then their mistakes and shortcomings were catalysts for us to change old familial patterns. Either way, their way of being determined the course of our future. By the same token, our actions determine the course of the future for others, and those who follow us will remember us as part of their history. In light of this, it is good to ask ourselves what our legacy will be. We have all heard stories about family members we may or may not have known; sometimes it is their humor that shines through in others' memories, or their contagious positive energy, or their skill in managing the family assets. People outside our immediate family may have changed the course of our lives as well-a teacher who encouraged and inspired us; a neighbor who helped us in a time of need; or even a stranger who came to our aid in a difficult situation. When we remember these people, we realize that however small our daily lives seem, they are actually very important. How we treat people in each moment, with each interaction, can have a major impact. It helps to begin our days with an acknowledgement of this fact, taking a moment to consider how we want to be in the world and how powerful we really are. We must remember that our lives are not meaningless--quite the opposite. Every day we have an opportunity to "make history" and influence the future for the better.
The Daily OM

And finally from Paulo Coelho

The Caliph and his wife

The Arab Caliph sent for his secretary: “Lock up my wife in the tower while I’m away,” he ordered. “But she loves Your Majesty!” “And I love her,” answered the Caliph. “But I respect an old traditional prover­b of ours that says "keep your dog thin and he will follow you; make him fat and he will bite you." The Caliph went off to war and returned six months later. On arriving, he called for his secretary and asked to see his wife. “She has abandoned you,” was the secretary’s answer. “Your Majesty quoted a beautiful proverb before leaving but forgot another Arab saying that goes: "If your dog is tied up it will follow anybody that opens its cage".


The Newsletter from Wisechoices

Dear Friends and Family of Mari Hall and Wisechoices,

Thanks to all who participated in the last Usui Retreat. The next one will start on the 21st of December. The guest Reiki writer is to be announced.

Thirty-Nine years ago today I gave birth to my daughter Stacey. It has given me time to reflect on the events of her birth and life. It is awe inspiring when I look back and she how she has grown up and taken her place as an adult and a mother. This morning we sang Happy Birthday to her while she was still in bed. Her children all around her filled with joy and love. Instead of the customary spanking of 39 light touches with one to grow on…we decided to kiss her 39 times. She squealed with delight.

I have enclosed three articles or short stories for your reading pleasure, I hope you enjoy them.

I wish you days of happiness and fond memories are we head into August.

Love and Blessings,

There is Something New at Wisechoices!

Now registering and paying for your upcoming event with Mari Hall is much easier. You can simply choose the date of interest, click on the 'Pay' buttons, and use your Credit or Check Card to complete the transaction and ensure your place in the next event with Mari Hall. You DO NOT need a Paypal account to complete a transaction.

All the classes are listed yet but we are working on it. There will also be links directly to the organizer of each course or event

There is still a chance to attend the "Healing Ourselves, Healing the World," Greater Washington Reiki Conference Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31, 2005. Mari is one of the guest speakers and will be teaching a ONE class on Sunday. Just follow this link for more information and to register.


Giving the Freedom to Live Accepting the Journeys of Others

Each of us, in life, walks on the special path that the soul is destined to undertake. Our journeys are very different and we progress at different rates. The pitfalls and blessings we encounter are unique, yet we are all learning and no one form of knowledge is more important than any other. Even so, when we observe others, it can be easy to pass judgment on their decisions and to assume their actions will correspond with what we feel is right. But for every problem, there are a multitude of solutions. Everyone makes mistakes and, while watching others do so can be frustrating, it is important that you accept each person's unique way of doing things. Giving others the freedom to act in the way they feel are best without the fear of harsh judgments honors the capacity for growth that all people possess. It is helpful to practice accepting others as they are. Never judge the decisions of others based on the path you would have taken because every person lives by different values and experiences. Challenge is a universal concept, but we all deal with difficulties in our own way. Give others the space to fail, but don't harden your heart against their experience. It isn't wise to try and fix people or control situations. You may feel compelled to intervene when difficulties arise, but it is important only to offer guidance when asked unless the person is involved in a truly dangerous situation or cannot act for their own self. Failure to choose the right path or to make enlightened decisions is simply another step on the journey. It is a means to experience and wisdom. Letting go of the need to influence others does not discount offering loving support and it does not mean that you need to stop caring. It does mean stepping back, dissolving judgment, and gracefully allowing others to live their own destinies. Giving others the freedom to blossom in their own journeys gives you the freedom to take more notice of your own. You may not condone the actions you see taking place, but your reactions will be more loving by letting them be. And you will be able to focus on just being yourself, confident that the path you take is as right, valid, and special as any other.

From the Daily OM

The Importance of Aligning the Chakras
By Samasathi Byron Bay, Australia

Who are we, but a line of energy, pulsating more or less in harmony according to the balance of our four planes (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual)Enveloping our physical body, the Etheric aura is the direct result of this pulsation and will be strong, smooth, firm provided that our life energy is harmonious, our Chakras, true vortexes of energy , turning on themselves without any blockages.
In Sanskrit, a Chakra is a “wheel of energy”, and, although the Tradition numbers 72,000 the seven (the wisdom number) main ones are located alongside a channel “Sushumna” following the backbone from the Root up to the Crown.
Symbolically represented as lotus flowers ranging from 4 petals for the Root and 1,024 for the Crown, the Chakras whirl faster and faster when aligned, similar to blooming flowers radiating energy.
In direct relation with the too often overlooked endocrinal glands, the Chakras impact on our four planes and aligning them is the very essence of a Reiki treatment:

I AM: the Root Chakra is the Centre of Survival; the newborn has first to survive. A baby lives in the present and the fragmentation of life has us loose this grace. We have to find again our Inner Child.

I FEEL: the Sacral Chakra is the Centre of Desire; here enters duality and the emotional law of attraction and repulsion. We wish to be approved and accepted, we are scared to be abandoned.

I WANT: the Solar plexus is our Inner Sun and the Centre of our Will; we want to conquer the world and, what is good, master our fears. There is no love here but all the pressures of our modern society: money, power ad our image.

I LOVE: the Heart Chakra is the Centre of Unconditional Love and truly the Bridge between our earthen energies and the higher spiritual ones. Here Love becomes stronger than primal fears, and we discover the virtue of giving.

I TRUST: the Throat Chakra is the Centre of Trust and governs our capacity of expression. We open ourselves to life, and every sentient being including Mother Earth and the Cosmos is the face of Oneness.

I SEE: the Third Eye is the Centre of Intuition. We accept to let come and let go, and we are not scared to look at the Sun. We are now aware of the limits and dangers of the ego and we privilege intuition over mind.

I KNOW: the Crown Chakra is the Centre of Wisdom (the number 7). We are One with the Universe. We started in Innocence and we end in Innocence. Beginning and end, life and death, positive and negative are one. This is the Circle of Truth.

We are all divine beings and Buddhas to become! From the very beginning, everything is present as well as each Chakra contains all seven chakras. Once all aligned, there is only One Energy radiating Light and Love. Only the direction of your attention has changed, for all the aspects of the Universe have always been in you.

Our relative existence is just a grain of sand in the Ocean with which we are ONE.

The contemplative quest

Linda Sabbath took her three sons and decided to go and live on a small farm in the interior of Canada, where she wanted to dedicate herself completely to spiritual contemplation. In less than a year she fell in love, got married again, studied the saints’ techniques of meditation, fought for a school for her children, made friends, make enemies, neglected her teeth, got herself an abscess, hitchhiked in snowstorms, learned to fix the car, thaw out frozen pipes, make her alimony stretch out at month’s end, survive on unemployment money, sleep without indoor heating, laugh for no reason, cry with despair, build a chapel, make repairs to the house, paint walls, and give courses on spiritual contemplation. “And I eventually realized that a life of prayer does not mean isolation,” she says. Love is so big it has to be shared.

Paulo Coelho


Becoming the Peace Ray

Meditation for week Three of the Virtual Usui Retreat, July 5, 2005

Becoming the Peace Ray

Peace is all around us and within us. Peace is not something that we need to create because Peace already IS. By simply aligning our energy with the vibration of the Peace Ray we ARE peace.

We will begin as we did in last week’s meditation:

Please take a moment to relax and quiet your mind.

Breathe deeply, and slowly.

Imagine a sphere of shimmering, white, iridescent light floating above you.

Recognize that this sphere contains the full power of the Reiki energy.

Gently invite this energy into your crown chakra and allow it to descend down into the center of your head, behind your third eye. There is a connection of Divine healing energy here that creates your soul vision center.

Allow yourself to feel the brilliance of the Reiki energy growing in your soul vision center.

Feel a warm glow here as if the sun were shining from within you.

Now simply hold the intention for Reiki to flow out from your soul vision center in a beautiful ribbon of light, until it connects directly with the Peace Ray. (If you are a level II practitioner, please add the distant symbol here)

When you feel the energy connection, allow the essence of peace to flow back across that ribbon of light carrying the full vibration of peace into your soul vision center.

Allow the energy to flow into your entire physical body, and out into your etheric field. Allow perfect peace to permeate your entire being.

As this energy coalesces within your being, use your breath to increase the intensity of the light that is peace. Rest in this light.

When the process feels complete to you, gently disconnect from the ribbon of light and focus on integrating and grounding the experience of peace into your being.

Now focus on the Reiki energy and give thanks as it balances and aligns your chakras. Allow Reiki to adjust your chakras perfectly so that the flow of energy in your body is clear, smooth and peaceful. Be aware as your chakras are adjusted by placing your focus on your chakras one at a time beginning at the crown, and moving your awareness and intention down to your base chakra.

Laurelle Gaia


Usui Virtual Retreat June 2005 - Week Two

Using Reiki to Connect with the Heart and Mind of God

Meditating with Reiki energy is very simple. If you have found it difficult to meditate in the past, Reiki can help you experience new levels of relaxation and peace.

Remember that Reiki is Divinely Guided Life Force Energy. It is guided by the Wisdom and Love of God. The meditations offered here are very simple, there is very little for you to DO, because Reiki will do it for you. Just intend to follow the steps in the meditation, and let the energy carry you wherever you need to be.

Please take a moment to relax and quiet your mind.

Breathe deeply, and slowly.

Imagine a sphere of shimmering, white, iridescent light floating above you.

Recognize that this sphere contains the full power of the Reiki energy, the essence of Divine Love.

Gently invite this energy into your crown chakra and allow it to descend down into your heart center.

Become aware that as you are opening to the flow of the Reiki energy completely there is a column of light flowing through the central channel of your body from the Heart of God, through you directly into the Heart of Mother Earth. You are a pillar of light, and you are anchoring the highest and most sacred healing energies onto the planet now.

Sit in silence for several minutes with Reiki energy flowing through you and BE the pillar of Divine Love and Light. When this feels complete to you, bring your awareness to the crown of you head and bring the light down through your crown into your heart. Then bring the light from the heart of the Earth up into your heart. Allow these beautiful energies of creation and manifestation to blend within you.

Now focus on the Reiki energy and give thanks as it balances and aligns your chakras. Allow Reiki to adjust your chakras perfectly so that the flow of energy in your body is clear, smooth and peaceful. Be aware as your chakras are adjusted by placing your focus on your chakras one at a time beginning at the crown, and moving your awareness and intention down to your base chakra.

Laurelle Gaia


Usui Virtual Retreat June 2005 - Week One

Be the peace we wish to see in the world

Please join me on a marvelous adventure, an exploration into the knowingness that you personally are, and we collectively are the peace we wish to see in the world.

I invite you to begin to see our world through the eyes of Gaia, our Mother Earth, and also through the infinite potential within the Heart and Mind of God. There is an evolutionary leap that is happening right now. It is happening by each of simply BEing who we truly are.

It is with soul felt gratitude that I offer the messages and journeys that the Reiki energy brings to us. I am forever thankful to Usui Sensei for sharing the beautiful gift of Reiki with us, and for the magnificent light that is enveloping our planet

Let’s begin this week with a message and meditation offered to us by Gaia, the Soul Essence of our Mother Earth.

“Welcome children of peace, I embrace you. Thank you for hearing this message and opening your hearts, minds and souls to the energy upon and within these words. You are remembering your choice and I embrace you. You carry the peace ray within you. You hold the vision beyond the vision for you are the very essence of peace ...and you are remembering this.

Please pause for a moment and prepare to connect with the very essence of this message. You may begin by placing your focus upon your breath. Let it be deep, soothing, and calming. Allow yourself to begin to experience an expanded reality.

You may experience this by closing your eyes.... focus on your breath ... expand your awareness above you and around you ... intend to expand and become aware of your connection with the light of your soul. .. Breathe into this awareness ... now expand more and become aware of the light of your soul group ... breathe into this connection.... expand and become aware of your connection to the full intensity of the Divine heart and mind...breathe into this expanded awareness. Allow the full intensity of this light to flow . . . from the heart and mind of the Divine ... into the light of your soul group ... expanding its light ... breathe ... next allow the expanded light of your soul group to flow into the light of your soul ... breathe ... increase the light of your soul ... and now allow the full intensity of this expanded light to flow into your energy field and your physical body ... flowing from above ... around and within ... breathe ... breathe ... breathe ... feel the intensity of the light you now hold.

You are here in this moment to make the most important choice that you can make in this lifetime. That choice is whether you will accept the power of Divine love that you are. This choice is whether you will continue to accept that which you perceive to be darkness, or whether you will come to know that darkness is simply the conscious limitation of love. You have the choice to release the distraction of focusing on that which is not real, and to shift your focus to the Divine in all things.

You may choose to see peace as light. When you choose to BE that light of peace . . . peace will BE. It is that simple, for the Divine is not complicated and the Divine is unlimited. The frequency that is peace is stronger than all the darkness that some perceive to be exploding on the earth. I am the voice of mother earth, and I am the soul of reality.
Please know that which is not real is simply less than the full power of the light of Divine love. It is not truly dark, it is not evil, yet it is awakening light.
See my children ... See. See the wars; see the terror, see the pain as awakening light. See the transformational potential in this awakening and hold the great vision . . . hold the vision beyond all limits.

The great vision calls you ... it calls all light workers ... it calls all peace weavers to this purpose. The purpose is to be who you truly are, to be the light of peace and to place your focus always upon the light of Divine love which resides in all people, all actions, and all things. Light is awakening within even that which appears to be the darkest of the dark . . . and you each transmit the light that awakens ... you do this by being peace.
The intensity of Divine light is expanding ... the volume of light is increasing. This is the focus ... This is what you see.... the rest is invisible. Perhaps you will you will see the irony ... what humanity has perceived to be invisible is visible through the eyes of the soul. In the text of your Bible you find the Christed one of that time, the one known as Jesus to say in John 20:29… Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

You may ask ... have I felt peace within myself? Can I see peace in the same way as I can see war? If you have felt peace within yourself ... yet have not “seen” peace ... you still know that peace is very real. You see the invisible with the eyes of your soul. Together you have the power to awaken humanity to the age of peace. You have the power to transform the collective creative God consciousness by raising the frequency of the peace ray with your thoughts, words, visions and actions. As one prophet of peace implored you ... so do I implore you.... “Be the peace you want to see in the world.”

Laurelle Gaia


Sharing in the Spirit of Spring

Dear friends of Wisechoices and Mari Hall

I don’t know about you but it is certainly hard for me to believe that Memorial Day weekend is in a few days and the summer solstice and the start of the Usui Retreat will start on 21st of June, time is flying by.

We have a special guest for this next On Line Virtual Usui Retreat; my friend Laurelle Shanti Gaia RM will be doing the three meditations for us. She is a lady of great warmth, compassion and vision. For those of you who may not know her you can read about her work at http://reikiclasses.com/

Two wonderful ladies, Caroline Winters and Connie Barrett have written articles for us this months newsletter. I know you will enjoy reading them as much as I have. Their articles follow this letter.

I am off this Friday to speak at the South Central Reiki Retreat in Bardstown, KY, over Memorial weekend and then will traveling to teach a ONE course and a Reiki Wisdom day in Niagara, New York in June. I will be back in Houston, Texas in time to start the Usui Retreat with you.

Have a beautiful love filled inspiring month.

Love and Blessings,

The Importance of Love and Forgiveness in Healing
Caroline Winters RM

As Reiki Masters, teachers and practitioners we often talk and write about the importance of love and forgiveness in healing ourselves and all humanity. I’d like to tell a story of two occasions I witnessed and was part of that illustrate the miracles which can happen when we overcome anger, fear and hatred with Love.

For close to twenty five years I was privileged to work with and for the First Nations people of Alaska. It was there, several years before I’d even heard the word “Reiki” that I witnessed the enormous power of love to heal. Becoming a Reiki Master seems to have been a natural outgrowth from those experiences. They live in me, an inspiration to always seek to come from a place of love and forgiveness ~ for my own health ~ that of my family, my community and our world.

In a village about 150 miles north and west of Fairbanks in early 1985 a young man had been stabbed to death by his girlfriend, the first of three young men, out of a community of less then 200 people, to die needlessly that year.

Three years later, in another community with dazzling summer weather lighting the beauty and majesty of the snow capped Wrangell Mountains around us, a healing conference took place. A group of women from the village, including the young man’s mother, were there. So was the young woman, recently released from jail and with a new boyfriend. Seeing the women from the village she was terrified and did everything possible to avoid them. On the second morning, after opening circle, under a bright blue sky, the women from the village sought out the young woman and her companion. He quietly steadied and encouraged her, kept her from fleeing, as the women approached. When they came to her, instead of anger or recrimination, they reached out with love as they hugged her, crooned over her, speaking words of encouragement and endearment. The mother, whose son she’d stabbed to death, gathered her in her arms and held her as they cried together. A miracle of love and healing took place on the grass. And in my tears I was certain I heard sky and trees sing with joy.

Another year at still another statewide “gathering”, a young man was present who had been contemplating suicide and though he had made the decision not to, was still struggling with despair. Because of the loving, accepting spirit he felt in the group he finally gained courage and spoke of his struggle. The agenda stopped! People came, to touch him, to hug him, to whisper words of support and encouragement. There were several hundred people so many had to wait a long time but everyone was patient. Those who had hugged him began a circle dance around him, drum’s resonance and voices filling the air. When, at last, everyone who wished had touched him, he was drawn into the circle to dance, becoming a part of the whole, becoming part of the community again. His face shone with joy!

Such power in love! Such healing power in ceremonies of love! In my dialogue with a friend I wonder why as a society we’re so focused on punishment instead of redemption. I cling to the memory of the miraculous power of those moments of love, praying that as I share that vision, it will help bring about those changes that heal.

I think about the power of love! I think about the power of Spirit present everywhere, but felt most strongly in those moments when sacred space has been opened in ceremonies of love. I put my hands on myself and others with the loving touch of Reiki. I teach others how to do the same. I’m blessed to be so privileged!

Latter-Day Ants
Connie Barrett RM

Many of us were raised in societies in which Ant behavior is rewarded and Grasshopper behavior punished. If you came home with homework you had to finish it before you could go outside and play. If you worked hard in college, you'd get a good job, unlike the bad grasshoppers, which were too busy having fun to decide on an academic major, let alone a career.

Some of us may believe that if anything good happens without a great deal of effort preceding it, the results isn’t to be trusted. If, for example, you've ever dreamed of winning a contest, have you ever imagined winning and somehow mysteriously losing the money? Or, now you're rich, but get struck down by some dread disease.

When I started painting a few years ago, I thought that the longer I worked (and the more I suffered) the better my painting would be. If a painting happened to go easily I was sure that I must be doing it wrong--or that my brush would slip to ruin the accidental masterpiece.

Who Am I?

I once read an interview with Deepak Chopra in which he said we are human doings, not human beings. Rather than having our actions stem from our deepest sense of self, we allow what we do to determine who we are. Our sense of self becomes a matter of performance based on certain inflexible ideas.

We weren't born with these ideas. We come into this world as spirit clothed in a physical costume. As the need for survival becomes impressed upon us we search for those beliefs which seem most likely to help us live. Then we forget that we chose these beliefs, and view them as rules.

Lots of us decide that life is serious, and if we choose to have more conscious spirituality in our lives we may find ourselves being very serious and industrious about acquiring it. We may trudge along our path with the same single mindedness we use to complete a job, feeling that the more we read, study, meditate, do every exercise we can find, the closer we are to where we need to be. As we inch, ant-like, towards our spiritual goals, we forget that where we need to be is where we began, as unique expressions of universal

Perhaps the greatest disservice of the fable of the grasshopper and ant is its either-or nature. I, however, have often watched an animal which plays at being both Grasshopper and Ant.

The squirrel, whose keyword in many Native traditions is Gathering, sometimes appears to be even busier than Ant. If you've ever spent time observing one, though, you get a different impression. Squirrel says, "This hour I am an industrious being who gathers nuts and seeds for the winter. Then I'm going to dash along branches and leap from tree to tree. Later I'll turn some somersaults, chase some other squirrels, then rest on a comfortable tree limb and contemplate leaves. Finally I may climb the side of this wooden nest and peek in at the being that sits in one place for hours at a time and moves her claws continuously."

Thinking about Squirrel reminds me of its smaller rodent cousin and a story I heard about a young Dutch mouse named Fritz.

Food for the Soul

Fritz, like the grasshopper, was a pleasure-loving creature who spent the summer dashing from one interesting place to the next without a care in the world. From time to time he ran into the other mice, which paid no attention to glorious beams of sunlight or the fragrant breath of a breeze, so busy were they gathering and storing crumbs of food.

"Fellow mice," Fritz said one day. "Why are you always so busy? Take a moment to look at the sky; waggle your whiskers and smell the flowers."

The other mice ignored Fritz, all except a spokes mouse, who said, "Don't you know that winter is coming"

Fritz was baffled. "What's that?"

"Cold and snow, and no food to be found anywhere. You won't be dancing and prancing around them. You'll be hungry, but we won't."

Fritz nibbled on a seed, and then darted away, laughing at the morbid fantasies of creatures too busy preparing for a future which might never come to enjoy the pleasures of the moment.

Winter did come, and Fritz did get hungry. Drawn by the smell of food, he crawled into the burrow of the other mice.

"And what do you think you're doing here?" asked the spokes mouse. "Why should we share the food we worked hard to gather while you were being lazy?"

Fritz had an idea. "I'll tell you stories to while away the long winter night. I'll tell you what the bees and butterflies say to the flowers and the tales the birds tell of lands beyond the sea."

The mice began to draw closer, their eyes bright with curiosity. Even the spokes mouse looked interested. "Do you have a lot of stories?"

"Countless," Fritz said, knowing that if he ran out of real ones he could make them up.

He told them of birds' journeys to the jungles of Africa and tropical islands, about the messages of love bees carried from flower to flower, and the ancient history of the forest which was inscribed onto the bark of trees. With each story the mice drew closer, and soon they were all quite warm and cozy.

They had the most wonderful winter any mouse could remember, and when spring came each one gone up to shake Fritz's paw. That spring and summer every mouse took out some time to play and sunbathe and listen to the gossip of plants and trees. The next winter they each had a story to tell, and they all passed the season in comfort and joy.


A note from Mari in Holland

April 30th- Queen’s Day- Heesch, the Netherlands

Dear Friends,

Hello from the Southern part of the Netherlands where Spring has arrived at last!

We took a beautiful drive yesterday leaving Heesch which is close to Oss and heading south west around S’Hertogenbosch and onward in a north westerly direction towards the city of Utrecht. However once we crossed over the Harp Bridge which is the first of three bridges that separates the south from the northern part of the Netherlands we turned off the main road and headed west along the top of the dyke at the northern side of the Waal river from Tuil to Gorinchem.

For those of you who have never been to the Netherlands and may remember the story about the little boy who stuck his finger in the dyke to hold back the water so it may be hard to imagine that a car can be driven on the top of the dyke and that the dyke is wide enough to support cars. Actually the story about the boy is true however he put his clothes and wooden shoes in the hole to stop the water. He then ran home to tell his parents so that the whole village was saved.

On both sides of a river you will find the primary dyke which is usually not too far from the river, then a kilometre from the primary one there is a secondary dyke that is called a “sleeping dyke”. In older times the cows and sheep grazed in between the two dykes and the houses were built on the other side of the sleeping dyke. As the country filled with people the need for houses increased and people began to build houses on both sides of the dykes. Nowadays when the floods come and they do, these houses often end up under the water.

Driving on the dyke gives us a glimpse of how it must have been in times gone by. Houses and farms stretch out before us. They were built long ago yet everything is in order, clean and fresh. You are left with the impression that everything must be cleaned before the people go to bed or perhaps some “Dutch elves” are at work in the dark to make everything ready for the new day. At various points along the way small ferries take cars and people to the other side of the river as it has been done for hundreds of years only then it was carts and horses instead of cars. In this part of the country you will also see orchards full of fruit trees that are presently in blossom and many glass houses for growing vegetables.

They have even made platforms for the goats to climb and have a rest and have a better view of what is happening in the fields. I was amazed at the marvellous way they store hay. The roof of the building raises up as more and more hay is added. When it is wet a fire is lit in the room under the hay to provide heat and keep the hay dry. A forerunner of central heat! It is not a modern invention rather it has been used for centuries. Reed that is cut every two years from age old tress are used to weave a fence and to make roofs for the house. Nothing is wasted.

At one place in between two villages there were 4 nests for storks and each nest had a pair of storks sitting on the nests. It seems there will have to be plenty of babies born that will need to be carried to waiting parents with that many storks in one place.

Our trip was made on the April 30th the day before the celebration of the Queen’s birthday and this year they also are celebrating her 25th year on the throne. On May 4th Memorial day will be observed and on the next day, May 5th they will celebrate the end of the 2nd world war. Many festivals and celebrations will be happening over the next week so all the more reason to decorate.

As a frequent visitor it is still hard for me to imagine much less explain how the country comes together to decorate their houses, villages and towns with Orange streamers, (the orange color represents freedom to the Dutch people) It looks like a sea of orange. Their National Flag flies from the houses and public buildings, and what was surprising to me was the many American flags I also saw raised in honour of the American soldiers who helped to free the country. I was so touched by how they continue to pay respect to those who helped them previously.

Each village decides what theme will be used during these days. We drove through Herwijnen renamed for these festival days “Happy Valley.” It took on a remarkable American Western theme. There was a “Last Chance Saloon”, brightly painted Totem poles that looked like the ones the Eskimos make in Alaska; not quite Texas but it sure works, cactus and even an arch to drive through that is made with six shooters and topped with an American Eagle. These are not the normal sights of a Dutch village. Streamers were everywhere and all the people in the village were at work to make things ready. As we passed through Vuren they had turned the village into a fairy tale. On both sides of the road were cut outs of familiar animals and as we drove through Dalem we saw that the village had been turned into a “Butterfly” heaven.

Some of the houseboats that are moored permanently in the town of Gorinchem were also decorated, certainly the town was in a festival mood offering Orange lunches that comprise of Orange soup, Salmon , carrot salad and a dessert that was red, white and blue cake with an orange sauce over the top…and the drink, of course it is Orange Bitters! The center of the city there was live music and a carnival. We sat at a table in the sun and enjoyed coffee and the atmosphere.

Europe is a café society, the Netherlands is no exception. As soon as it is warm enough people sit outdoors in the many small cafes that line the squares. You are not rushed to finish and move on, rather it seems as if you have all the time in the world to enjoy each moment, time quietly passes by. People wave to each other, greetings are exchanged and they join each other to pass the time. The center of the square becomes the meeting point all through the day and evening. Those of us who have never experienced this are indeed missing something. Flowers are every where, hanging from baskets, in large pots, in window boxes and on the tables. The scent is incredible and the colors are so bright.

We came home last night so full of everything we saw and experienced. We were a “good” tired yet we are now planning another day out soon. I wish you could be here to experience it for yourselves.

I have found that slowing down to be present in each moment rewards me with delights to fill all my senses and heart. I am experiencing the Dutch people and their country by being with them as they live their daily life. I highly recommend it.

Blessings and Love,