The Joys of Volunteering: S. Austin Senior Healing Day

I experience joy, pleasure, & contentment.

I experience joy, pleasure, & contentment.

This afternoon I had the honor of participating in “Senior Healing Day”, sharing what I do with members of South Austin’s AARP at their Senior Activity Center. It was my first “trade show”-like event, and I must admit I was a bit nervous.

When I arrived the members were in the middle of their standard meeting. While I unpacked the materials I brought for my table display, I half-listened to all the interesting activities that were available to them. I also half-started beating myself up over the things I didn’t have:

  1. A brightly colored table cloth to cover the gray folding table, like the other vendors.
  2. Signage highlighting my company name, my logo, or even the primary modality I was highlighting (Reiki). Duh!

Before I got too far into this thought-pattern, however, I made some notes about what to do differently next time and then released that negativity. I was here to share Reiki (and the other things I do to help people feel better). I let the rest go.

As luck would have it, the primary flyer I had out for display was for a new workshop I’ll be offering in March, about sleep and insomnia. This really seemed to draw people to my table. Many sat down and allowed me to place my hands on their shoulders.

When they sat, I first explained to them that Reiki is usually done in a much gentler, quieter environment! To help them focus, I asked each to close their eyes or gaze down, and guided them in a very simple breathing exercise. After their breathing became a little more regular I told them more about what I was doing, what Reiki was, etc. I will say, it was quite challenging to give Reiki with folks walking around, eating, and talking all around. I did the best I could.

Reiki’s a pretty individual experience and reactions varied, as is typical. But even in that situation, some members had a powerful experience. One woman was quite amazed at the heat coming from my hands, and another man felt heat all over his body. One man left the seat before I could guide him out, having had enough I suppose. (His wife, who was really interested, joked that he “just wanted me to touch him.”) Everyone who stopped by had open minds, good hearts, and were a pleasure to talk with. Many took my flyers–especially about the sleep workshop–and there were smiles and “thank you’s” all around. It was more clear to me than ever that listening to people and touching people is so important, and also that sleep is a real problem.

Additionally I had the pleasure of speaking with some of the other vendors, including Tanya Harter Pierce, “Outsmart Your Cancer: Alternative Non-Toxic Treatments That Work“. She was also kind enough to give me a few copies of her book for those I knew affected with the disease.

Although I’m quite spent, it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. And you know what? No one cared much about my lack of “trade show” finesse. 😉

Whether you are a healer or loving friend/spouse/child/parent, etc. volunteering really does a mind-body good. (Thank you Hollis!)


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