Spiritual Practice

On December 10th, 2011, I completed my training as a Reiki Master.

Before leaving class, our teacher, the queen of Reiki, Libby Barnett encouraged us to choose a practice and put it into action for the following 21 days.

“Let’s see,” Libby said.  “21 days would bring us to…”

“December 31st,” I called out.

“What a way to complete this year and begin the next!” Libby said.

I was inspired.  I looked around the room at my classmates.  They were busy writing down ideas.  I wanted to come up with something spectacular.  But what?

For the next 21 days I will…. Nothing.

My mind was blank.

The harder I tried to think of something, the blanker my mind became.

There was really only one image that kept coming to mind.


Meg.  My big English Mastiff.

Hi Meg.  Now go away.  I’m trying to think of some amazing daily practice I can do for the next 21 days.


Meg again.

Come on.  Just show me something.



Is that it?

Walk Meg?

Every day for 21 days?  I already do.

What’s that?  Begin every day walking Meg?

That’s it? Really?

When we broke into smaller groups to practice Reiki and share our 21 day intention, I was almost too embarrassed to say mine out loud.

“For the next 21 days I will….” my group mates all said, filling in the blank with some wonderful, better-the-world idea.

My turn.

“For the next 21 days I will begin each day… walking my dog,” I mumbled.  One woman smiled.  I think she was trying not to laugh.

The next morning I woke late.  I rolled over in bed and flipped on NPR’s weekend edition.  Scott Simon’s soothing voice filled the room.  A hot cup of coffee, a few books and magazines and my Sunday morning routine would be complete.

Meg stood up and shook.  She walked over and put her enormous head on top of the white bed sheet.

One scratch of her ear and I remembered.

“Oh, no.  Not Sunday morning.  I’ll start tomorrow.”

Meg tilted her head.

Grrrrr.  (That was me, not Meg.)

I pulled off the down comforter.  Downstairs, I grabbed my long, thick coat from the closet and buttoned it up, right over my PJs.  Not bothering with socks, I slipped my feet straight into my boots.

Meg was dancing with excitement.

I was shivering with cold.

We went out the back door.  I followed Meg up the back hill.

The cold morning air actually felt good.  I breathed in a hearty gulp.


The trees in the morning light were quite beautiful.

I’d never noticed the delicate vines growing along the base of some of the pines.

And the moss covering the top of the hill was a bright green masterpiece.

I lifted my head, looking to the sky.  Sun poured through the clouds, the blue sky brighter than I’d ever seen.


“Glory be to God,” I shouted and then laughed out loud.  I’d never said anything like that in my life.  But I meant it.  Glory be to God.  I’m alive, standing on top of this hill with Meg and so much beauty surrounding me, I couldn’t help but shout out with joy.

I sat down on a large rock and Meg came to sit by my side.

“Thanks, girl,” I said to her.  “This is something.”

We sat for a few minutes more and then went back down the hill.

And so it has been.

Every day.

Long past the recommended 21.

How could I not?

And I wonder, is it me, or has the sky grown more beautiful?

Or maybe, I just needed to start looking up.