Reiki and the “Perfect” Moment


Grrrrr. Oh yes, we can get petty.

This is not the Cleaver family… Oh yes, we can get petty.

Last night my teenage son asked me to reiki him.
I can count on one hand the amount of times he has made this request. I have offered many times when he is in pain or struggling with something but usually I get a swift and clear “no.” When I get a “yes” it is usually a “yes, but maybe later” and the later never comes. Yesterday evening the timing was rough; I was exhausted, irritable, we had been arguing and were generally discontent. (Actually, I was probably more discontent with him. I tend to hold onto the feelings of Gggrrrrrrrrrr far longer than he does.) I had shit to do. It was inconvenient. It was late. I had clients to respond to. I wasn’t internally at peace. I wanted him to go to bed.
All that aside, I said yes. His asking is such a rare event that it necessitated me to pause, re-organize from the inside, release my irritation and pettiness and recognize the gift of his asking. My burning desire is to to deeply and compassionatly show up for him AND show up for myself. Navigating the two sometimes feels like walking on a tight-rope balanced over a pit of hungry lions. The hungry lions are my expectations of him and myself, my limitations as a single-mama and fallible human being. They feed on my shame, guilt, exhaustion, resentment, self-judgment and inner reproach… (And that’s the short list!) I would love to tell you that we easily navigate this territory and I show up as super-mom all the fucking time. The truth is, I fall short of my own expectations far more often than I rise to the occasion and being human is one of my biggest flaws I have yet to consistently accept.
Reiki is love. Sharing reiki is intimate, unconditional, soft and receptive. Reiki asks me to trust and allow life energy to flow thru me, free from resistance and with the tenderest of full-body presence. It is interesting to note how much harder and more vulnerable it is to share this part of myself with my closest friends and family. Stranger in need of support and some reiki? No problem! Where do I sign up? Someone I really love asking for hands-on-healing attention? Eeeeekkk!!! Aaaggghhh!!! (What if I’m not good enough? What if they don’t feel anything? What if it doesn’t ‘work’? What if they don’t like it? What if they judge me? What if… [insert any number of questions that invalidate my worth and question my lovability and gifts.]) When my loved ones want reiki, I tend to want to wait for the perfect moment when I am just the right balance of calm, grounded, rested, spacious, internally at peace and full from the inside out. In other words, I want to wait until I am perfect. I keep trying for it but the bar keeps getting higher and I haven’t arrived there yet. 
Sooooo…. With all that running in the background, I got him on my table, put my hands on him and flowed reiki wherever it wanted to go. I would love to tell you it was magical and we shared this really sweet, connective, transformative moment. In reality I was stilted and awkward. I fumbled around and accidentally flung my tuning forks across the room in a cacophony of clanging mayhem. My stool slid out from under me and I stumbled into the table. He responded by laughing and saying “Wow Mom. That’s relaxing! 😉 Good thing it’s me and I’m not one of your clients!”
I wanted for him to drop in, deeply relax and settle into his body. Instead, he talked the whole time, kept his eyes open, wiggled around and sometimes grabbed my hands and adjusted my touch. 
He talked the whole time.
He never got silent.
He shared about his history class and the things he is inspired to learn in his new school. He shared gratitude for some of the boundaries I have had with him that he previously resisted. (“I am sooooo glad you have limited my sugar intake and not let me eat junk food and soda growing up! I just watched Fed Up! and the amount of sugar in those things is horrifying!”) He asked me to watch a documentary with him that he found particularly compelling. As he talked about his day to day experience of middle school, I realized that lately I haven’t made the time and space to really listen. He talked the whole time. I got a chance to really listen.
He kept his eyes open.
Much of the time his eyes were on me. When I let my gaze soften he smiled and looked directly into my eyes. He initiated and maintained eye contact while I was reiki-ing him, belly up on my massage table. He was vulnerable and soft without my having to ask for it. This is a teenage being that has shared with me so many times how ‘intense and piercing’ my direct eye contact is. This is a kid that generally avoids sustained eye gaze – especially with me, especially because I crave it. He kept his eyes open, let them meet mine, and voluntarily chose to rest them there.
He wiggled around and adjusted my touch.
My itty-bitty-shitty-committee tried to hold court in my mind. I had a story running that maybe I was doing it wrong (judging myself) or that he was resistant and un-receptive (judging him.) At some point I realized he was letting me know exactly what he needed and in moving my hands he was asking for just that. He was valuing himself enough to get his needs met and trusting me enough to let me know how to help. This is a person that I deeply love and this person is showing me how to do just that in the way that would support them the most. He gave himself permission to adjust my touch and I got the opportunity to meet his requests. <3
This morning as he was cooking a fried egg inside the cookie-cutter star removed hole in his toast, he leaned over the fry pan and said, “You know Mom, I actually feel better. I tend to dismiss reiki as “woo-woo” but it actually worked. My headache is gone. My back doesn’t hurt anymore. I slept really well and I feel a lot more calm. Thank you. I guess reiki works; it really helped.”

I couldn’t help but smile from the inside out. “You’re welcome baby. I am happy to reiki you as often as you like.” And you know what? I meant it. Even though he talked the whole time, kept his eyes open, wiggled around and sometimes grabbed my hands and adjusted my touch, I really meant it. Maybe there is no perfect magical moment ripe for transcendent connection other than the ordinary opportunities that present themselves in the midst of our daily chaos. Maybe I don’t need to be super-mom or super-human. Maybe being fallible is the best I have to offer and it actually can be enough. Maybe showing up for all of that is exactly what sweet, connective, transformative moments look like for us. <3

~ artemisia shine

Artemisia Shine is an Intuitive Healer, Yoga Therapist, Reiki Master, Counselor & Day Maker. She works with individuals and groups as a transformational ally. She LOVES helping people honor the intelligence of their hearts, reconnect with their innate body-wisdom & live in enthusiastic alignment with their soul-level desires. At the time of this writing, she still contends with being human and has to put on her tights on one leg at a time. 

love is the field



earlier today i was thinking of a man i’ve loved deeply since the day we met. today is his birthday and even after all this time, i don’t love him any less than the instant i melted into loving him completely. for a moment it felt bittersweet, as if he was “the love of my life” or that love like that is something singular and no longer available to my open heart, soft gaze or tender palms…

then i realized love is not an experience nor was my past lover a place that love was found and lost. love is not a contraction – something to hold onto or release…

love is a field of awareness that expands out to touch all that is – interconnected with everything else…

collected moments of rapture, a particular lover, all serve to touch into a pre-cellular memory of timelessness. they are a keyhole to glimpse into the landscape of the infinite that we so often blind ourselves to by so many distractions, contractions, the naming of things, regurgitation and re-stimulation of past hurts…

i want to be a storybook floor-to ceiling window, a highway to the infinite. i want that any seeker can wander through the broadway of my heart and land in the arms of the beloved, sweetly embraced by the entire cosmos, held unconditionally. whole. complete. loved entirely. viscerally at home.

love is the field. thinking (even for the briefest of moments) that it is lost with my past lover is like saying a mountain is no more because of the displacement of a single grain of sand. i have love. it is what i’m made of, where i come from and where i seek to forever return. heart emoticon

happy birthday beating heart of the collective consciousness. with you i will always remain

ps. i love you

pss. YOU.

YES! You.


~ artemisia shine

Go Ahead, Provoke Me!


Go Ahead, Provoke Me!

“Over time invite and create ever more provocative situations to deliberately trigger the psyche to be disturbed, to be challenged, to feel perhaps overwhelmed in order to strengthen your capacity to remain in the witness.  It’s easy to be peaceful when there’s not provocation. It’s not so easy where there is. Welcome to marriage. Welcome to children. Welcome to your life. Those provocations that are happening externally, are only reflections of our inner lack of clarity, lack of resolution. So, the yogi works internally.” ~Yogarupa Rod Stryker
(Moon & Sun Vinyasa: Mastering the Mind, Awakening the Vital Force, Nov. 15, 2013)

40 Day Journey: 40 Steps For Growth & Inner Freedom
Day 1: August 5, 2014

Trikonasana in marsh sunrise

Sometimes the biggest battle is getting out the door and onto the mat. The early morning dewy marsh air amply rewarded my effort. – Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary 8:30am

Utthita Trikonasana : Extended Triangle Pose
(oo-TEE-tah trik cone-NAHS-anna)
utthita = extended; tri = three, kona = angle

“The three angles (tri konas in Sanskrit) of a triangle make it one of the stronger and most stable shapes in nature…The triangle pose represents many sacred trinities in our world, such as the trinity of earth, space and heavens or that of birth, life and death. Trikonasana also symbolizes the three gunas, or qualities, that compose our bodies and minds.” (p. 36) Alanna Kaivalya & Arjuna van der Kooij, Myths of the Asanas: The Stories at the Heart of the Yoga Tradition.)

As I was riding my bike to the studio to teach my morning Hatha Flow Class, I was listening to a workshop lecture I attended last year with Yogarupa Rod Stryker. The day before I had been momentarily deeply disturbed by some personal family drama with my son’s father. It was this disturbance that inspired me to proactively choose to take intentional steps in the direction of my own personal growth.

When life is comfortable and free from challenges, it is easy to get complacent in my personal practice and neglect my continued commitment to inner growth. This summer has been far from easy. Life has provided me so many delicious opportunities and reminders to not only return to the grounded space of calm that can view my life from a place of tranquility but also to notice, question and work with the mirror that my external circumstances are providing me. Tantric philosophy states that there is nothing outside my body that does not exist within my body. There is nothing within me that does not exist externally in the world. If I take the view that what is happening in my body is a mirror for what is happening in my life, than I can also see that what is happening in my life is a reflection of what is happening in my psyche. 

Back to my bike ride…

I had just finished a sweet early morning solo yoga practice at the Arcata Marsh and was arriving  at Om Shala Yoga 15 minutes early to meditate before teaching. As I crossed the front door I saw two of my students arriving on bikes and being verbally and physically threatened by a large gentleman who had left his truck in the middle of the street to get out and scream at them over some perceived right-of way indiscretion. This gentleman returned to his truck only to stop and get out 3 more times all the while threatening physical violence and property damage and warning them that he will “remember what their bikes look like.” At that moment I hear Rod Stryker in my ear saying “It’s easy to be peaceful when there’s no provocation.”

We all get provoked. How we handle it at any given moment is our yoga, is the practice of inner asana or posture. Life is challenging. Suffering is a noble truth. The yogi works from within. Regardless of whatever swirling mass of chaos or raucous celebration is present in our lives at any given moment – our ability to drop into the witness is directly proportional to our experience of grounded, calm, ever-present spaciousness and awareness.

I came into the world on fire. I seek not to drown my fire but instead to stabilize and create a pitim (or hearth) for that fire in the sacred temple of my body at the center of my belly. Practicing trikonasana is a way to physically plant our feet firmly in the earth and our awareness in the present moment while opening our hearts to the vastness within us alongside the support of the universe. The top hand reaching to the sky is a reminder to reach into the highest aspects within us as we connect our material self with the broader consciousness of the entire cosmos. The triangle is a messenger that no matter the pressures behind us or in front of us, we can plug into the inherent stability within and reconnect with the truth and beauty that we are.

Provocation is child’s play.
I say bring it on.
It’s just a training camp for the experience of inner divinity.

Just for today, how can you use whatever is provoking you to take one small step back home to yourself?

I’m on a 40 Day Journey for personal growth. I’m taking baby steps. One. At. A. Time. Read more about it and join me here.


September 11th, Violence and Love


September 11th, Violence and Love

lovemakeslifeI was pregnant with my love child just weeks after September 11th. I remember protesting US government violence in the middle east with a swollen belly and a broken heart. I’ve often wondered about the “American” children en utero at that time. How was it for them to grow cells, develop organs, to feel the collective fear, anger, morning and horror of that moment in history? My womb did not protect my son from the chemical warfare of my sympathetic nervous system.

And then I think of all the pregnant mamas and babies living in the world who wake up to the sounds of warfare every morning — for generations. Places where every child born develops alongside that fear, that violence, that despair – except that it is unrelenting. And it’s next-door, or worse it’s where your house and family used to stand.

I seek to uncover the violence, the anger, the repulsion, the fear within me that keeps me from acting in love. This morning I am grateful that my young son is still asleep in his bed. He is sick and it’s 10:00am. He has a warm bed in a quiet neighborhood where he can take the time to recover. We have privilege beyond our own awareness.

“Wanting to reform the world without discovering one’s true self, is like trying to cover the whole world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns…” — Ramana Maharshi

I love you this morning. I love you yesterday. I love you tomorrow, and it starts from within.


2001/2002 – Growin’ a Bodhi Shine in my belly.


~ artemisia shine

Shots Of Awe


Awe: by Jason Silva

Take a moment to remember that child-like quality of wonder that lives in you.  When’s the last time you let awe out to play?  Check out this short (0:2:45) inspiring video by Jason Silva on awe.

If you love this (as I did) you can subscribe to Jason’s weekly Shots of Awe: where science, philosophy, and inspiration collide.


Transcript of video:

Awe: “an experience of such perceptual vastness you literally have to reconfigure your mental models of the world to assimilate it.”

So I think a lot about the contrast between banality and wonder,
between disengagement and radiant ecstasy,
between being unaffected by the here and now,
and being absolutely ravished emotionally by it.
And I think one of the problems for human beings is mental habits.

Once we create a comfort zone, we rarely step outside of that comfort zone, but the consequence of that is a phenomenon known hedonic adaptation.

Over stimulation to the same kind of thing, the same stimuli again and again and again renders said stimuli invisible. Your brain has already mapped it in it’s own head and you no longer literally have to be engaged by that. We have eyes, yet see naught, ears that hear naught and hearts that neither feel nor understand.

There’s a great book called The Wondering Brain*.
It says that one of the ways that we elicit wonder is by scrambling the self temporarily so that the world can seep in.

You know Henry Miller says, “even a blade of grass when given proper attention becomes an infinitely magnificent world in itself.”** You know, Darwin said “attention, if sudden and close, graduates into surprise; and this into astonishment; and this into stupefied amazement.“

That’s what rapture is.
That’s what illumination is.
That’s what that sort of infinite comprehending awe that human beings love so much. And so how we do that? How do we mess with our perceptual apparatus in order to have the kind of emotional and esthetic experience from life that we render most meaningful? ‘Cause we all know those moments are there. Those are the moments that will make final cut.

Only in these moments, we experience afresh, the hardly bearable ecstasy of direct energy exploding on our nerve endings.This is the
bursting forth of awe that expands our perceptual parameters beyond all previous limits, and we literally  have to reconfigure our mental models of the world in order to assimilate the beauty of that download!

That is what it means to be inspired! The Greek root of the term means “to breath in.” (aaaaahhhhh!)To take-it-in!

We fit the universe through our brains and it comes out in the form of nothing less than poetry. We have a responsibility to awe.

* Bulkeley, Kelly. The Wondering Brain: Thinking about Religion with and beyond Cognitive Neuroscience. New York: Routledge, 2005. Print.

** Miller, Henry. Henry Miller on Writing. [New York]: New Directions, 1964. 37. Print.

*** Darwin, Charles. The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. New York: D. Appleton, 1886. 278. Print.

Ram Dass: Fierce Grace


Ram Dass: Fierce Grace

I love this man. This beautiful movie is about Ram Dass’s experiences aging and the radically life changing event of getting “stroked.”

“Healing does not mean going back to the way things were before, but rather of allowing what is now to move us closer to god.” –Ram Dass

Sufi poetry of love


Sufi poetry of love…


Jalaluddin Rumi ♥

“The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.”


“I want to see you.
Know your voice.
Recognize you when you first come ’round the corner.

Sense your scent when I come into a room you’ve just left.

Know the lift of your heel, the glide of your foot.

Become familiar with the way you purse your lips then let them part, 
just the slightest bit,
when I lean in to your space and kiss you.

I want to know the joy 
of how you whisper 

You’ve no idea how hard I’ve looked for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.

What’s the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the Ocean.
Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient.

It’s no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these.
So- I’ve brought you a mirror.

Hafiz ♥

Look at yourself and remember me.
Young lovers wisely say,
“Let’s try it from this angle,
Maybe something marvelous will happen,
Maybe three suns and two moons
Will roll out
From a hiding place in the body
Our passion has yet to ignite.”

Old lovers say,
“We can do it one more time,
How about from this longitude

Swinging from a rope tied to the ceiling,
Maybe a part of God
Is still hiding in a corner of your heart
Our devotion has yet to reveal.”

Bottom line: Do not stop playing
These beautiful Love Games.

i love you stephen

The subject tonight is love

And for tomorrow night as well.

As a matter of fact, I know of no better topic
For us all to discuss — until we all die.

Kahlil Gibran ♥

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height
and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;

And then he assigns you to his sacred fire,
that you may become sacred bread
for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you
that you may know the secrets of your heart
and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness
and pass out of love’s threshing floor,
Into the seasonless world where youhall laugh, but not all of your laughter,
and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takesnaught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
When you love you should not say,
“God is in my heart,” but rather,
“I am in the heart of God.”
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy,
directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart
and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise
upon your lips.

i love you.

The Yoga of Ray Bradbury


Ray Bradbury, one of the most revered and loved science-fiction authors of all time, died Tuesday, June 5th at the age of 91.


Ray Bradbury – Thank you for being alive and sharing your richness with us all. I am honored that I had the extreme privilege of hugging you, sharing my homemade vegan cookies and drinking in your brilliance in person on so many occasions in my youth. I learned so much from you.

I remember meeting Ray Bradbury when I was 20 (working at his favorite bookstore in Santa Monica) and he told stories of growing up always wanting to be a writer… He was rejected HUNDREDS of times and everyone he knew told him to give up, he was a terrible writer, told him he would NEVER be successful. His passion was writing. He wrote every day. He reminded us all to never allow others to define our purpose or our passions or shrink us into a smaller version of self. His passion was to flowing thought from mind and soul to tip of pen. He lived his passion.
Thank you Ray Bradbury. Thank you for being. Thank you for leaving so many beautiful words behind. ♥

Come celebrate building your own wings! Ray Bradbury tribute yoga class today at Om ShalA Yoga at 4:00pm with moí, Artemisia Shine:


“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”


If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: “It’s gonna go wrong.” Or “She’s going to hurt me.” Or, “I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore …” Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.


 I have two rules in life — to hell with it, whatever it is, and get your work done.


 We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.


I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.


Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage.
Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.


Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spent the rest of the day putting the pieces together.


The best scientist is open to experience and begins with romance – the idea that anything is possible.


We are the miracle of force and matter making itself over into imagination and will. Incredible. The Life Force experimenting with forms. You for one. Me for another. The Universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts.


I believe the universe created us — we are an audience for miracles. In that sense, I guess, I’m religious.


We must become astronauts and go out into the universe and discover the God in ourselves.