Author Archives: Krystal MCluskey

How do you find your balance?

-A basic introduction to Reiki.

What is your complimentary practice? You are probably familiar with the Yin and Yang symbol. It represents balance and energy. 

We get a lot of our Yang energy from our training; heart rate gets elevated and stress hormones increase. But how do you balance that out with some Yin energy? Both are requirements for us to lead a balanced spiritual lifestyle and have our bodies functioning in a healthy way as represented by the symbol. 

You might practice yoga, massage or meditation to get your Yin energy but have you ever considered Reiki? 

Reiki came into fruition in Japan in the 1900’s and was developed by a man named Mikao Usui. Reiki literally means ‘universal life force energy’ (Rei – universal Ki – life force energy) 

It was on the back of a societal breakdown, that changes in the structure of cultural norms in Japan meant there was a fear of uncertainty that accompanied this radical change. It was no longer certain that Japanese farmers’ offspring would follow in the destiny their parents had mapped out for them (continuing the family trade) and they began to travel for business and education rather than pleasure. It was during this time of uncertainty that many Japanese people looked to religion to show them a way forward and help them cope with the feeling of isolation. It was Usui’s decision to create a system of spiritual development that would be accessible to all people that was not aligned with religion. Thus, the birth of Reiki. 

Reiki is a hands-on or distance, spiritual healing practice/therapy that is non-invasive and used alone or in collaboration with other alternative healing modalities. Reiki sessions can last from 60 – 90 minutes depending on practitioner and does not require the removal of clothing. The practitioner uses energy channels and transfers this to the individual. The practitioner targets energy fields around the body, at times in alignment with your body chakras. Energy can decrease in certain areas of the body and the practitioner can aid in increasing the flow of energy and releasing any blocks. 

It is thought that if the body energy is low then an individual is more likely to be unwell or distressed. There is research, albeit limited in comparison with other complimentary practices, that support the many benefits of Reiki. Keep in mind here that this practice is very individually experienced so quite subjective and there are many factors to consider. Certainly, there is a placebo effect to the therapy like many complementary modalities. Regardless, many people experience increased levels of relaxation, increased energy, decreased stress levels, decreased pain, decreased anxiety, mental clarity, improved immune function and it provides an avenue for you to connect with your body and mind on a deeper level. 

Reiki does not claim cure illness or disease, moreover it promotes a balanced and optimal state of body so that healing can occur from within. The National Institutes of Health USA have trials in progress that are investigating the effects of Reiki on stress, fibromyalgia, AIDS, prostate cancer, painful neuropathy and cardiovascular risk factors. ( 

Reiki can be used with essential oils, crystals, and can be chakra focused, but that conversation is for another blog. 

It is important that you find a qualified Reiki practitioner who is open about the way they carry out their practice, as there are many diverse forms and branches of Reiki. Ensure you are comfortable 

with the practice principals and have an intention on what you seek to gain from using Reiki as a spiritual healing modality. 

The experience of Reiki is different for every individual so you are best to go in with an open mind and then discuss your experience following your sessions. 

My personal experience with Reiki has been a very positive one. Once a sceptic but now a believer in the practice, I became a level 1 Reiki practitioner a couple of years ago. I practice on myself and have practiced on others and have found experiences to be nothing but positive. I have begun to tie in this practice with Yoga more recently. 

Whatever mindful practice you choose to participate in, I hope that your intentions are being met.

Reiki References:

The Reiki Bible, Eleanor McKenzie – The definitive guide to the art of Reiki 2009

Screw Monday

Put your hand up if  you’ve ever heard someone say, ‘I’ll start on Monday’ or ‘In the new year I will commit to…’ or ‘My new year’s resolution is…’ or ‘I will start on the first of the month’ or ‘I’ll start when the weather gets warmer’ or ‘When I have more money I will…?’

There is this deceptive notion that changing behaviour or achieving a goal needs to start in alignment with the an event; the beginning of the week or the start of a new year or a new personal circumstance that you find yourself in, until before you know it the year ends and nothing has changed! Sound familiar?

Don’t get me wrong, these are great moments to make change and set goals, but the truth is – ANYTIME is a good time to start making changes and set new goals for yourself and your life, provided your desire to make change is stronger than your desire to stay the same and exactly where you are!

Well you know what… Screw Monday!

START NOW! Start where you are. Start with what you have.

If there is something you REALLY want, not just kind of want, but REALLY want – START making plans now to achieve it.

Goal setting can be made complicated – but let me tell you, it’s very simple. Just get out your pen and paper and write them down. See – EASY! The setting process is relatively simple.

What is not EASY about this process is the consistent action/behaviour that is required to achieve the set goal/s. Consistency over time is key, and this is what we find hard. We are becoming a society that values instant gratification more than trusting in the process because it might cost blood sweat, tears and require sacrifice.

You might have all of the tools, strategies and support but ultimately your grit separates your ability to see actions through. Consistent repeated behaviour practises in alignment with your goals wins overall.

If you’re sitting here reading this and thinking, ‘Yeah…I need to set some new goals,’ then here are some general guidelines for doing so.

Also, if you’re interested in more information about grit and what that means regarding your ability for achievement then you MUST read ‘Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance’ by Angela Duckworth. You won’t be disappointed.

Outcome vs. Process Goals

Outcome (is the WHAT) – an outcome goal is an end goal. If I do X and Y for a specific amount of time, in a particular way, then the outcome will be Z.

Process (is the HOW) – a process goal is the X and Y, the smaller actions, sometimes smaller goals that need to be achieved and practised to achieve Z. (I hope you’re still with me on this!)

The SMART principal

Your outcome goal should be set using the SMART principal, and then your process goals can be derived from this. Set the desired outcome and work backwards.

What is the SMART goal setting principal you ask?

SMART goal setting is NOT a new concept and it gives a good foundation and a place to start.

S – Specific

Specific refers to ensuring something is clearly defined or detailed. Here are two examples, one is not specific and one is specific and detailed.

N/S – I want to lose weight.

S – I want to lose 5kg in 8 weeks.

M – Measureable

Measurable refers to; yes you guessed it, something that can be measured, a number; something quantifiable.

The above example is also that of something that is not measurable and measurable, respectively.

A – Attainable

Attainable refers to something that is possible, and as we know given the example I have used, that according to history and our knowledge on how the body works, weight loss is attainable. How attainable it is will depend on your personal circumstances and the commitment that you are willing to make to ensure it is attainable in the specific timeline you have chosen.

R – Realistic

Realistic refers to an idea of what can be expected or achieved – for you! It can depend on your personal circumstances and what you are willing to sacrifice to achieve the goal. What’s realistic/expected can differ for everyone. The level of commitment you are willing to give will alter what is realistic.

T – Time bound

Time bound, similar to measurement is a specific time frame you are allowing for your goal to be achieved. The goal might be attainable and realistic but you can go array but not having a realistic time frame set in order to achieve it successfully, given there is a consistent process to be followed and your consistency in this might waver during the process.

It’s important to understand that goals need to be revisited regularly, and you might find yourself tweaking the outcome or process goals as you go. This is more than okay, reflection is important here. Circumstances change!

The process above is the foundation. What you have here is the outcome goal and from this your process goals can be set.

  • Process Goal 1 – I will commit to training with a personal trainer once a week for 8 weeks
  • Process Goal 2 – I will commit to walking for 60 minutes and achieving 10,000 steps every other day
  • Process Goal 3 – I will drink 2 – 3 litres of water daily
  • Process Goal 4 – I will document my daily intake of food for review every week for 8 weeks

These are just examples of some process goals that might be set in relation to the outcome goal example I used above, but of course they will differ to suit you individually.

And just to make it less simple, your process goals can have process goals too!

If you’d like some support with your goal setting, ask any of our experienced trainers to assist you. It can be good to have someone in your corner helping and motivating you and someone to keep you accountable is always beneficial.

Furthermore, you may be familiar with the Swedish stationary brand Kiki K.

Kiki K offer Dream Life Workshops.

These workshops run you through the essentials when it comes to setting goals for your dream life. They can give you advice on where to start, and you receive a complimentary Dream Life Journal.

Now this is a gift that will keep on giving at Christmas time!

If you are interested follow the link to learn more about what they offer and locations in Victoria that these workshops run.

You can find the Kikki K Workshops here.

I hope you enjoyed this, and some of it resonated with you.

Krystal McCluskey