12 years ago I received the blessing of my first initiation into the Usui Ryoho Reiki lineage by Valina Jackson, a beautiful powerful Black woman and healer who showed me what Reiki energy healing could look like in tandem with traditional mental health treatment. She embodies how this modality can be a vehicle to be of service when working with our most vulnerable populations, primarily women of color mothering and struggling with addiction, homelessness, trauma, formerly incarcerated, and other mental health challenges. This was my first gateway.
The women that I worked with at the time held those stories and experiences in their hearts and bodies. I wanted to serve and support in a way that did not pathologize, but rather could lovingly hold and witness the suffering. To be an ally to transform and help unburden, not to fix them, because we are not our experiences they were capable of healing themselves. However, our experiences can contort us into a version of ourselves we don't recognize, and we have to kill a part of ourselves to survive. I worked with people whose pain brought them back out into the street, back to jail, back to the numbing of their addiction, and into the grave. I also saw people bring healing into their lives with courage, love, and compassion and accessed the part of themselves that felt worthy of living, being loved, and capable of contributing to the world. They were all my teachers. This is how it began.
Over the years it became clear that my work was to meet people at the gateway of life and death and at the crossroads of other life transitions be they Saturn Returns, break ups, weddings, parenthood, loss, trauma, birthdays, or any time you encounter not knowing... or knowing but needing support in facing it to bring healing.
I want to dedicate this Anniversary to my teachers:
Since my first yes to this path with Valina Jackson, I grew in my Reiki work and became a Reiki Master Teacher in gratitude to Dr. Richard Curtin; Julie A. Hannon who first initiated me into the medicine path of the Q'ero paqos of Peru through Four Winds; Alberto Villoldo founder of Four Winds; Marcela Lobo who birthed the 13th Munay Ki/Rite of the Womb; The Q'ero Paqos/Shamans from whom I recived Earth Keeper Rites (Pascual,Chino,Juan); Mallika Dutt who transmitted the 13th Munay Ki/Rite of the Womb to me; Maria Da Silva who transmitted the Rite to Heal Ancestral DNA; Cacike Jorge Esteves and Valerie Tureiary who have been teachers and guides on my journey as a Behike and discovering the wisdom and medicine of my Taino Indigenous ancestry; Courtney Gray and my Kilombo Novo Capoeira Angola family who embody the resilience and wisdom of the teachings of those who survived the transatlantic slave trade and liberated themselves from slavery. Showing up where their medicine is needed and committed to sharing this practice to support our collective liberation and emancipation from mental slavery; Angie Buchanon, a Pagan Priestess and teacher who initiated me into the lineage of Death Midwifery through Earth Traditions; Lula Christopher a community Elder in the Dagara tradition, one of many whose shoulders I stand on that paved the way for me to do this medicine work in community and is showing me the way of the medicine she carries, and all the other teachers who shared a song , prayer, or way of being that grew me. Thank you to the plant teachers that allowed me to access the wisdom inside myself and showing me more than I thought was possible.
Thank you to everyone who has come to me in their most vulnerable moment, at a crossroads, because of illness, to celebrate life, officiate your wedding, to bring balance, be in ceremony, because you are grieving, death of a loved one, the birth of a child, because you lost a pregnancy, to make medicine from your placenta, and bless your home. Thank you for having trust in my hands, prayers, and heart. Thank you to my Ancestors, guides, and all of the benevolent Universal forces for keeping me safe, showing me the way, and guiding me towards my destiny. I am open and a grateful student.
Ache, Hahom, Aho, Amen!
Blessings to every corner of your life!