by Susan Kapatoes, MHA, CPC

Personal Experiences

The intelligence of the omnipresent energy that is moving through our infinite universe and permeating our everyday lives never ceases to amaze my consciousness. I was first introduced to Reiki in 1995 when I became certified as a Reiki II practitioner. I practiced this healing modality on friends and family which afforded me the opportunity to hone my skills and gain valuable experience.

As I continued to practice, it became apparent that there are many advantages to this form of energy balancing. Of all the benefits that are attributed to this ancient healing technique, I find the deep relaxation that is felt during and after a session is one of the most profound aspects of the Reiki experience.

In addition to the calmness, physical healing may also occur. In 1996 my neighbor Bill (name changed for privacy reasons) expressed an interest in trying Reiki. He was not familiar with Reiki but was simply curious, so we scheduled a session. During the treatment, I felt more energy around his ears in the form of greater heat and tingling sensations but did not think anything of it. I was following my intuition and listening to its guidance.

A year after this Reiki session with Bill, I was having a conversation with my mother when the topic of Reiki arose. As we were chit-chatting about the sensations one may feel during a session, she paused suddenly and said, “Oh, you know Bill no longer needed that ear operation after you did the Reiki on him.” I was surprised to hear this feedback as I was not aware that Bill had any medical issues at the time of the appointment.

During our talk, my mother informed me that Bill had an operation scheduled within the week following the Reiki session in order to remove a tumor from one of his ears that was impeding his hearing. Even though Bill and I had discussed the reasons why he wanted a Reiki treatment, he did not reveal his therapeutic background at the time of our appointment.

Within a few days of doing Reiki, the tumor had essentially ‘disappeared’, and Bill no longer needed an operation. The doctor was perplexed at the drastic change for there was no logical explanation for the progression of the events. To date, I have no scientific evidence which proves that the Reiki given to Bill caused the shrinkage of the tumor. However, the coincidental timing of these events suggests that the Reiki might have a played a role in the final outcome.

At this point it is imperative to state that Reiki is not a diagnostic tool. The practitioner does not in any way attempt to define the medical or psychological needs of a client. Anyone seeking Reiki treatments who has a medical condition should seek an appropriate medical professional.

The most important lesson that I learned from my experience with Bill was the validation that there is a higher intelligence to the universal life energy that flows through a practitioner. The energy knows where it needs to travel, and the practitioners are simply conduits for this higher force to move through us.

Reiki Master Certification

Because multiple years have passed since I was first introduced to Reiki in the 1990’s, I have re-earned my certification and am now a Reiki Master in the Usui System of Natural Healing which was founded by Dr. Usui from Japan. My current practice has again re-validated the natural ability of this universal life energy to navigate to where it is needed in the human body.

During February of 2018, in two separate instances, I performed Reiki on clients who were lying on their backs, facing upwards. At the end of the sessions, both of these clients reported that they had felt heat on their lower backs even though I did not place my hands on their backside. It was as if there were heating pads on the lower region of their backs, they said, which felt comforting and reassuring.

These experiences have consistently demonstrated that this omnipresent energy has an intelligence that is far more sophisticated than what we can comprehend from our physical level of perception. This is why I always ask for the highest and best outcome for the client, releasing all expectations and allowing the energy to flow unimpeded.

There are many factors that go into a Reiki experience which can impact the aftereffects of each session. The state of mind of the practitioner, the openness of the client, and the dynamics of destiny all play key roles in determining the potential outcome. Ultimately, I believe that the divine will of the individual receiving the Reiki has the greatest impact on the results.

What is Reiki?

Reiki (ray-key) is an ancient Japanese healing art that describes a system of tapping into universal life energy through a laying-on-of-hands. Reiki offers a precise technique for tapping into this energy, or ki, and transmitting it through light touch. The Reiki practitioner acts as a conduit to facilitate the flow of positive energy to the recipient, opening and shifting the energy for optimal health.

Reiki treatments are gently balancing and support the well-being of the recipient in a holistic and individualistic way. Relaxation, pain relief, physical healing, and reduced emotional distress are among the benefits attributed to Reiki.

Relaxation in itself offers a host of benefits for the mind and body including a heightened sense of well-being, release of painful muscle tension, and relief from anxiety and depression. In addition, relaxation has been shown to help restore immune function and promote restful sleep.

This safe and gentle hands-on healing practice was established by Dr. Mikao Usui of Japan and was introduced to the western world in 1980. Since then Reiki has blossomed all over the world. It has become adaptable in a variety of settings, including the hospital environment where it is utilized to help patients recover from pre and post-operative stress anxiety.

A Yale University Study

In 2010, a Yale University Medical School Study [1] sought to determine whether Reiki treatment would improve a patient’s recovery from acute coronary syndrome (ACS). The study demonstrated that Reiki, a non-drug, low-cost, and no-risk treatment can benefit heart attack patients.[2]

October 13, 2010 ( – In this study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Reiki treatment significantly reduced the emotional stress associated with a heart attack, thereby reducing the risk of a second attack. It is well documented that emotional stress negatively affects the autonomic nervous system (ANS) function, and therefore heart disease (ANS controls heart rate).

Additionally, the Reiki treatments improved heart rate variability (HRV), a physiologic measure that indicates if the patient’s body is recovering from the stress response. Usually this increase is achieved through drug intervention (beta blockers) which work slowly and are not well tolerated by some patients. The benefit of the Reiki treatments was comparable to using beta blockers.

This important study shows that Reiki treatment can be offered in an acute-care setting (patients received Reiki treatment within three days after suffering a heart attack). The 20-minute treatments offered to patients by Reiki-trained nurses improved the patients’ subjective mood on all indicators. Patients who feel better have better medical outcomes and are better partners to their healthcare providers.

This academic research is a vital milestone for the holistic healthcare industry. It demonstrates that the scientific community is becoming more receptive to the effectiveness of alternative healing methods by allowing complementary modalities to be utilized in conventional healthcare settings. Educating the public and healthcare professionals about the benefits of Reiki is a key component to supporting the wellness journey for patients, families, and staff.

History of Reiki

Reiki was discovered by a Dr. Mikayo Usui and is thus referred to as the “Usui System of Natural Healing”. He was born in Japan in 1864 and was raised by Christian missionaries. Dr. Usui studied the bible instead of the traditional Shinto and Buddhism religions. While studying the bible he became obsessed with Jesus’s ability to heal people by only laying his hands on a person.

Dr. Usui went to America to study the Christian scriptures more closely. He explored his questions with many scholars and members of the church. During this time, he was not completely satisfied with the answers he received during his quest for greater understanding. He did, however, cultivate his deepening relationship with God and strengthen his developing intuitive wisdom.

After seven years in America, Dr. Usui returned to Japan to study the Buddhist sutras, the records of Buddha’s life and teachings, in more depth. Dr. Usui studied and meditated on the Buddhist scriptures in Japanese, Chinese, and Sanskrit (one of the oldest and most sublime spiritual languages which Buddha himself spoke and taught over 2,000 years ago). Within the ancient Sanskrit texts, he discovered the symbols that would lead him to the healing techniques that he was searching for during his personal journey for enlightenment.

Dr. Usui spent a number of years practicing and teaching Reiki throughout Japan. He reached people who were trying to create a better life for themselves and were interested in the opportunity to grow and learn. He died in 1930, having made 16-18 Reiki Masters.

In the mid-1920s, Dr. Usui met Dr. Hayashi, a forty-seven-year old naval reserve officer who spent most of his working life in the armed forces but had a long held interest in the spiritual path and healing arts. Dr. Hyashi opened a Reiki clinic in Tokyo and is credited with formalizing the system of hand positions for use in a more clinical practice setting. Reiki was introduced to the West by Mrs. Takata from Hawaii, who received Reiki attunements from Dr. Hayashi. She brought it to the USA in 1980.

Reiki in Healthcare

Today, in addition to Reiki being practiced at holistic healing centers and inside peoples’ homes, nurses in Massachusetts are allowed to do Reiki and various integrative therapies per the Board of Registration in the Nursing’s Advisory Ruling on Complementary Therapies.

Reiki is now being offered in the following healthcare facilities in Boston, Massachusetts:

Reiki is not only being utilized in Boston hospitals, it is also being used by a rapidly growing number of hospitals all over the world. Reiki complements medical treatment due to its ability to promote relaxation, alleviate pain, and reduce anxiety for both the patients and their family members.

Reiki is appropriate for patients in any state of health and is easily implemented in all hospital environments, from outpatient clinic to intensive care. Reiki is gentle enough to be offered to pregnant women, children, and patients with a wide range of ailments, including those with cancer or recovering from surgery.

Closing Thoughts

Reiki can benefit people of any age, background, or state of health. It has become adaptable in a variety of settings, including the clinical environment where it is utilized to help patients recover from stress anxiety. Reiki’s current use in hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the world complements allopathic health treatment and practices.

The ability to heal physical, emotional, and mental imbalances with energy channeled through the hands has been viewed as a rare and mystical gift requiring great spiritual achievement. However, this simply is not true. Healing energy can be channeled by anyone who has the right intention and wishes to be conduit for universal life energy.

It is interesting to note that Dr. Usui intended his system to assist people to become enlightened. Physical healing was a side effect rather than the end goal. Whether you are seeking enhanced physical wellness or more balance in your life, Reiki offers comfort, nurture and support for the good health of your mind, body, and emotions.

If you would like to schedule a Reiki Session with Susan, please call 508-282-7877 or email


[1] Friedman, R. S., Burg, M. M., Miles, P., Lee, F., & Lampert, R. (2010). Effects of Reiki on Autonomic Activity Early After Acute Coronary Syndrome. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 56(12), 995-996. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2010.03.082

[2] Yale Research Shows Breakthrough Treatment for Heart Patients. (October 2010). Retrieved February 21, 2018, from

by Susan Kapatoes, MHA,CPC

The Present

I am standing in the supermarket line, and I am doing something extraordinary. I am patiently observing the cashier as she scans each grocery item of the customer in front of me. I am, non-judgmentally, browsing the headlines of the tabloid newspapers that are displayed within reading distance.

I am inextricably part of this life experience, yet not absorbed in it. I am not creating emotional opinions about the people nor the environment which surrounds me. I am not wishing that the cashier would work faster. I am not thinking about my next errand.

I am here now, paying attention to this sacred moment; acutely aware of the freedom that I am feeling by not holding judgments or expectations of the experience itself. The realization is eye-opening, and I feel grateful for being cognizant of it.

The event that I just described is the very essence of mindfulness. It is being mindful of your present situation without forming a strong attachment to it, especially on an emotional level. The concept of mindfulness is simple but can be challenging to execute on a consistent basis due to the busyness of our daily lives.

Even though the gist of mindfulness is straightforward, most people have different definitions regarding its meaning. When I first heard of mindfulness, I thought that it meant to have a mind full of something – whether that be anxieties, worries, and to-do lists or happiness, joy, and peace. Each time that I repeated the word to myself, it seemed to imply that a ‘full mind’ was a beneficial quality to develop, and, depending upon the scenario, this mental state can be useful.

For example, if you are preparing to write a thesis paper, you will need to perform major research in order to accumulate large amounts of evidence to support your proposition. This type of task does require one to fill their mind with knowledge, statistics, and scientific facts in order to establish their hypothesis.

But in the area of self-help and personal development, the word mindfulness denotes quite another meaning. Because of my own ambiguity surrounding this topic, I will help to clarify this practice by sharing another a-ha moment that I experienced while taking a yoga class.

What follows are the notes that I jotted down immediately afterwards, when I was feeling gratitude and appreciation for what had just transpired.

A-Ha Moments

About half-way through today’s yoga class, there was a shift in my perception. My awareness became heightened as I completely focused my attention within the present classroom environment. The moments elongated as I reveled in the simple joy of the experience. Yes, time appeared to be stretching itself to maximum capacity. There was only the uplifting atmosphere and motivating presence of the yoga teacher.

All else was blurred from my perception. I was hyper-concentrated on the here-and-now which was blissful and sweet. Like a light bulb brightening a room, the realization illuminated my awareness. I felt thankful for the gifts that were right before my eyes.

At the very end of this class, we did the final Shavasana pose which consists of lying down on our backs in complete relaxation to rest our bodies after the workout. I have done this pose hundreds of times, but the instructor said something interesting as we were preparing to enter the posture. She eloquently stated, “stillness awaits you, now is the time to lie down in Shavasana.”

The words “stillness awaits you” struck a chord of remembrance within my being. Suddenly, the posture felt brand new. I felt so welcomed by these words that I could not wait to be embraced by the peace that awaited our participation. I thought, yes, stillness awaits us because it is already within us. This is what the instructor meant by “stillness awaits you.” If we take the time to tune into our center, our soul, and our divine spirit, then we will connect to the true essence of our core being which is stillness.

After class, as this awareness was moving through my consciousness, my mind kept flashing back to the days when I first started doing yoga. As a beginner, I was impatient and found it difficult to cultivate a sense of inner peace. It took some time to get to this beautiful feeling that I was experiencing today, but the good news is that it is attainable.

Before fully surrendering to this act of mindfulness, I was in a continual mode of anticipation instead of appreciation, wondering what time the class would be over instead of savoring my time within it. My consciousness was not perceiving this session as a gift to be enjoyed, but rather a chore to be performed.

All it took was a change in perception for the gifts to be revealed, for the gratitude to be released, for the experience to be relished. In truth, harmony and stillness are an inherent part of our being. These innate qualities are simply waiting to be acknowledged for their wonderful presence, and the tool of mindfulness allows us to be aware of their existence.

The Past

In 2014 and 2017, the cover of Time Magazine highlighted the topic of mindfulness, showing just how prevalent this topic of discussion has become throughout mainstream America. But mindfulness has been around for much longer than our current timeframe. Did you know this topic is one element of the Noble Eightfold Path of the Buddhist tradition? Buddhism was founded in approximately 6th century B.C., and here we are, still talking about mindfulness. So what exactly is all this discussion about?

Here is a brief overview of the eight Buddhist practices of the Noble Eightfold Path:

  • Right View – being aware that our actions have consequences; this awareness allows us to possess the insight to karma, rebirth, and the nature of our reality.
  • Right Resolve – having the right intention; giving up worldly desires such as power and greed to adopt peace, kindness, and compassion.
  • Right Speech – our words have consequences. Thoughtful communication helps to unite others, heal dissention, and move us closer to everyday compassionate living.
  • Right Conduct – living in a moral and ethical way. This step on the path also includes a whole approach to the environment, with right action being taken to safeguard the world for future generations.
  • Right Livelihood – job/purpose/service-to-others. Certain types of work were discouraged by the Buddha such as those dealing in weapons, and those harmful to animal or human life.
  • Right Effort – right attitude. Akin to the strings of a musical instrument, the amount of effort should not be too tense or too impatient, nor too slack or too laid back. In order to produce Right Effort, clear and honest thoughts should be welcomed; feelings of jealousy and anger left behind.
  • Right Mindfulness – All forms of Buddhist meditation help to develop mindfulness; Buddhists train themselves to stay alert to the present experience. They observe their thoughts then release them without judgement.
  • Right Samadhi – a “single pointedness of mind”; concentrating the mind on a single sensation or object to the point of absorption. All sense of “self” disappears with the subject and object becoming completely assimilated into each other.

The Buddha mentions four frames of reference in mindfulness: (1) mindfulness of body, (2) mindfulness of feelings, (3) mindfulness of mind, and (4) mindfulness of dharma.

Mindfulness of Body is being fully aware of your bodily functions, your muscles, and your breathing. The breath is an important factor to mindfulness of the body. During meditation, it is common practice to focus on your breathing. This is usually the first “exercise” for training the mind.

We discipline our mind to follow the natural process of breathing by allowing ourselves merge into the sensation of breath, following it through exhale. If you practice meditation regularly, you will find yourself returning to the breath throughout the day. When you feel stress or anger arising, acknowledge it and come back to your breathing. It’s very calming.

Mindfulness of Feelings is the practice of recognizing and acknowledging your feelings without being attached to them. By not attaching to your feelings, you are acknowledging that the feeling or sensation is not a “thing” that you possess. There is just a feeling passing through you.

It is healthy to be aware of your own emotions and not suppress them. As human beings we are very good at ignoring emotions that we don’t want to feel, but doing this could cause problems and can even make us physically ill. If you are feeling a less-than-happy emotion such as anger, it is best to acknowledge the sensation, observe it, and then allow it pass through you without judgment.

Mindfulness of Mind is the process of observing mental states as they come and go, realizing how transitory and temporary these states are. Awareness of the mind involves paying attention to yourself in a detached way. Is there calmness, or agitation? Is there focus, or distraction?  Do not analyze your thoughts or form opinions. Simply observe.

Mindfulness of Dharma is being aware of your state of self-realization. Dharma encompasses a wide definition. It has been described as the force which upholds the nature of the universe as well as the ability to enter Nirvana and attain personal enlightenment. To the extent that it can be explained, dharma can be interpreted as both the essential nature of reality as well as the teachings and practices that enable the realization of that essential nature.

The Future

To envision the evolvement of mindfulness, I would like you to imagine a world where humanity is completely in tune with one another. Each person is telepathic which means that we can read each other’s minds and use this ability to create a positive outcome. Being telepathic is a wonderful way to communicate because we would, by default, be mindful all the time. We would not only be aware of ourselves, we would be aware of others as well:  their temperament, feelings, and most of all, their intentions.

The transparency would help to facilitate a world where darkness would not be able to hide because peoples’ true nature would be exposed. How can there be deceit if an individual’s motives are known before he or she has the chance to implement them. Imagine a humanity living in joy, harmony, and unity with one another because the ability to realize such a community will be supported by like-minded people interested in working together for the benefit of the whole.

If you think that telepathy is located in the distant future, then I will refer you to a study done by Yale Scientific in 2015. In this research, scientists were able to transmit words from the brain of one research participant in India to three other participants in France. This study marked the first time conscious thoughts were transmitted directly between individuals, offering foresight into the higher intelligence of the human race.

Closing Thoughts

In the Buddhist tradition, mindfulness is seen as the practice of being aware of the present moment in a non-judgmental manner. It is bringing one’s complete attention to the here and now by observing the experience without forming opinions about it. From my perspective, this is mindfulness in its purest form: simply being in the present, alert and aware, yet releasing all preconceptions and expectations.

In our current world, mindfulness is alive and well. The great quality about mindfulness is that it can be practiced by anyone, regardless of religious background or beliefs. We can all benefit by feeling appreciation and gratitude for the everyday gifts that life has to offer: relishing the warmth of the sun on a cold winter’s day, hearing the unexpected laughter of a child, or savoring the stillness during a yoga class.

There are endless opportunities to be mindful of the moment, mindful of yourself, and mindful of others. If everyone practiced the concepts of this technique, our planet would reflect more harmony and prosperity for all of humanity. In the future, there will be additional ways to practice the art of mindfulness, ones that are in concert with our higher-self and elevated states of reality.

by Susan Kapatoes, MHA,CPC

Awakening to Our Spiritual Nature

There are two grocery stores within a short driving distance of where I live. The closest supermarket is less than one mile from my house, and the other is a few miles away. I consistently shop at the closest store as it is more convenient, venturing only to the other for specialty items when necessary. But on this particular day, I was sensing an inner pull to shop at the farther market. I didn’t understand the reasoning behind it, but I followed my gut and drove across town.

As I was perusing the food aisles, I suddenly remembered that this store had an activity billboard where local businesses are allowed to advertise their services. I decided to take a quick look at the board to see if there was anything of interest. My eyes scanned the brochures and business cards that were tacked upon the cork but nothing caught my attention.

It was then, as I was about to walk away, that I saw an advertisement for a meditation center that was located in an adjacent town. I was elated. I had been searching for a local venue that offered meditation classes but did not have success in finding one online. I made a mental note that I would visit this center within the next week.

As I was thinking about this coincidence, I knew why I was drawn to visiting this specific grocery store. My instinct was guiding me towards what I had been asking for all along: a community meditation center. I was lead to this information by my own inner compass which was innately intuitive and intelligent.

Each and every person has access to this type of internal wisdom, but what is the source of this unseen navigational system that has our best interests in mind and knows the most appropriate course of action?

What is Spirituality?

The topic of spirituality has steadily gained momentum over the years, but what does authentic spirituality represent and how does it impact our everyday lives? From my personal experiences and listening to other peoples’ perspectives on this matter, I believe that the core essence of spirituality involves the process of awakening to our spiritual nature and acknowledging that a higher power exists that is greater than ourselves.

This higher power has different names and labels according to one’s cultural background and beliefs. For myself, I call this force God, Creator, All That Is, or Divine Source. These are my go-to titles for an all-encompassing energy that is moving through our infinite universe and permeating our everyday lives.

Awakening to our inherent essence can be considered a universal human experience. Some people may have spiritual experiences that are transcendent in nature, but I believe that we are all encompass a spirit that communicates to us through intuitive insights, synchronicities, and feelings. Our spirit is the energetic principle which gives life to our physical bodies, but also provides a direct connection to God or Infinite Source.

Within this dimension of physicality, any event that we experience by feeling it becomes a reality for us. This is in contrast to simply observing an event as an outsider looking inward. When we get in touch with the essence on a physical, emotional, and mental level, we enter that experience and understand it’s meaning on a deeper level. We are no longer on the perimeter, we are fully immersed into its presence.

A Transcendent Event

I became seriously interested in the topic of spirituality when I experienced an ‘awakening of consciousness’ during my senior year in college at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. I explain this event in my book, A Spiritual Journey, but I will provide a recap here.

During my adolescent years, I had always been a seeker of knowledge, yearning to understand the mysteries of the universe. I was constantly asking questions, wondering about the nature of God, and wanting to comprehend how I fit into this vast world that we call planet Earth. At the time, I believed in a higher power, but did not tie myself to any one particular religion or faith.

In order to understand the context of the story, I will need to provide some additional background information. In 1987, when I was packing to leave for my freshman year of college, I was handed a book as an unexpected gift from a visiting friend of the family. As I gazed at this book that I was holding in my hands, my heart sank with disappointment, for it was a Bible. At the time, I thought that I would never open it. Truthfully, I had planned to leave it at home or give it away to someone who would appreciate its contents. But as I stood there looking at the cover, I suddenly felt compelled to keep it. I packed and repacked this Bible every year of college but did not read a single word. I did not know why I was doing this. It just felt right to have the Bible near me, even though I would not open it until four years later.

During my senior year at the university, I was living off campus in an apartment complex with three other roommates. On one particular night, I was writing an English paper but was having a hard time focusing, as I had a problem on my mind. I was trying to decipher the best way to handle a relationship issue I was having with my boyfriend at the time. As I pondered the situation, an image of the Bible suddenly appeared in my mind, and I had a strong inclination to retrieve the book. I intended to open to a random page and take a chance that the answer to my predicament would be located on that chosen page. I had heard of other people doing this experiment with some degree of success, but I did not have faith that it would work for me.

With some reluctance, I retrieved the Bible from my desk drawer. I looked at it for a moment and then propped it up on a wooden crate, before which I kneeled. I held the question in my mind and hesitantly opened to an arbitrary page. Astonishingly, my eyes fell upon words that described the solution to my dilemma exactly. I was amazed by this moment of fate, which seemed like a miracle.

But little did I know that there was more to experience, for while I was contemplating this occurrence, a brilliant flash of white light suddenly illuminated the room. I looked over my left shoulder since the light appeared to be originating from the upper-left-hand corner of the room, but I did not see anything unusual there. However, as soon as I turned back and faced the Bible, I was engulfed with waves upon waves of what I can only call unconditional love. I had no idea what was happening to me, but I felt completely embraced by a heavenly presence that was coming from all directions and infusing every fiber of my being.

At the same moment, in my mind’s eye, I saw numerous beams of light being directed toward my physical body. These beams looked like sun rays as their color was golden yellow. I instinctively knew that this cosmic light was the source of the divine love that I was experiencing. As the rays showered their magic, my very essence was imbued with sheer joy. I was stunned by this sudden display of affection, which left me speechless. Outwardly, my physical body remained unmoved, but inwardly I felt an expansion that was limitless and free.

While I was experiencing this otherworldly bliss, I felt the abrupt sensation of being pulled up and out of my physical body. The sensation was subtle but something I definitely felt. In an instant, I seemed to be dissolving into the universe and becoming one with it. I swiftly found myself in the middle of an endless sea of deep space, but I felt very calm as I gazed upon the outstretched vista. Enveloped by a profound stillness, this nighttime panorama was quiet and peaceful. I saw distant stars decorate the great expanse, and most astonishingly, I could feel the infinite force of Life itself: perpetual energy, extending, continuing, and all-absorbing.

Eventually, I could not contain the power that was moving through my body, and I began to sob. I was crying tears of elation, for I was awed by this entire experience which lasted no more than a few minutes, but changed my life forever. Surprisingly, throughout this event, I maintained consciousness of my material body and its surroundings. I was simultaneously aware of my college room with its minute characteristics, but I was also cognizant of this other dimensional realm with its celestial nature. It felt like I was in two places at once with my perception intact in both places.

Lessons Learned

There are many lessons that I took away from that blessed night in college, but the one element that has stayed with me throughout these years is the knowingness that we all originated from a Divine Source. Our spirit would like us to become comfortable with this idea, and accept that, at our core, we are energetic beings having a physical experience in this third dimensional reality.

The Takeaways:

  • We are divine. Each one of us has a direct connection to God, or Source, regardless of our religious beliefs and backgrounds. If we wish to experience a more harmonious and happy existence, it is our job to remember this connection so that we may choose our actions based on love, kindness, and cooperation with one another.
  • We have a spirit whose wisdom is accessible when we listen to its guidance. Our spirit speaks to us through feelings, inner cues, and synchronicities. Being aware of this divine language can help us to activate the higher dimensionality of ourselves.
  • Our spirit is self-luminous, compassionate, and blissful. We ALL have an expanded aspect of ourselves that is supporting the wholeness of our being, whether we realize it or not. Attuning ourselves to this divine knowledge is what I call Spiritual Intelligence. Implementing its wisdom into our life is what I call everyday spirituality.
  • Each and every person has been born onto this planet for a reason. Your life matters, and you are meant to be here during this time and place within Earth’s history. The key to finding your purpose is to finding your passion, i.e. those activities that make you feel alive, imbuing your life with inspiration and enthusiasm.

Why is Spirituality Important?

Most people can agree that there are high levels of stress and anxiety in today’s world. Our lives seem to be moving at a warp speed and there are multiple factors that have contributed to the unfolding of this energetic phenomena. With the advent of TV, social media, and the constant broadcasting of news via the internet and radio, how do we stay in touch with our inner harmony when there is so much noise and chaos around us? This is where spirituality shines its light, offering tools of wisdom for those who wish to experience inner peace, love, and happiness on a more consistent basis.

In my memoir, A Spiritual Journey, I describe methods that you can use to stay aligned to your higher self and innermost core being. I relay these helpful techniques by sharing personal stories about my own spiritual experiences. The ultimate goal is to inspire the reader with hope so that you may navigate your life with greater ease and efficiency.

There are many tools which can soothe the stress and anxiety of everyday living, but the one tool I would like to mention today involves the concept of mindfulness. In my next blog, I will go into more detail about this subject, but here is a high level overview for now.

The Mindfulness Revolution

In 2014 and 2017, the cover of Time Magazine highlighted the topic of mindfulness, showing just how prevalent this topic of discussion has become throughout mainstream America. But mindfulness has been around for much longer than our current timeframe. In fact, it is one element of the Noble Eightfold Path, a set of Buddhist practices leading to personal enlightenment and liberation from samsara, the cycle of rebirth. Buddhism was founded in approximately 6th century B.C., and here we are, still talking about mindfulness. So what exactly is all this discussion about?

In the Buddhist tradition, right mindfulness is seen as the practice of becoming aware of the present moment in a non-judgmental manner. It is bringing one’s complete attention on the here and now by observing the experience without forming any opinions about it. From my perspective, this is mindfulness in its purest form: simply being in the present, alert and aware, yet releasing all preconceptions and expectations.

From a spiritual perspective, we are practicing right mindfulness when we are focusing on the qualities of our higher-self versus that of our lower-self. Our higher-self encompasses the values of love, compassion, and kindness while our lower-self embodies the more base emotions of hate, jealousy, and discouragement.

Being mindful is being aware that we are responsible for our actions. We can choose to act with good-heartedness to uplift others, or we can act with indifference in order to benefit our own gain. This responsibility begins with our state of mind.

Just as spirituality is a universal human experience, mindfulness can be practiced by anyone regardless of their faith, religious beliefs, or background.

Closing Thoughts

Spirituality and mindfulness are global experiences that allow us to reconnect to our true essence which is essentially our divinity. By linking to our spirit’s intelligence, we will naturally experience more harmony in our lives because we are opening doorways to our higher selves. The key to unlocking these higher doors of wisdom is to listen to the guidance of our spirit who speaks to us through feelings, hunches, and intuitive insights.

Once we acknowledge the inner cues, the next step is to act upon them. As we saw in the grocery store experience, I paid attention to my gut feeling and this awareness produced a positive outcome. I could have easily ignored the nudge, but instead, I respected the information and followed its advice.

When we are centered, we can hear the wisdom of our spirit through the noise and commotion of our daily lives. This is what it means to be fully aware in the present moment, and mindfulness is a tool that can help us remember our spiritual heritage and stay attuned to our divine nature.