October 25, 2018 we said goodbye to our oldest dog, Daisy. She had just passed her 14th birthday and had been with me since she was 9 weeks old. She was my companion through many life challenges, so many fun adventures and, with Jason and I since the beginning of our relationship; she was a very fearful puppy and thought he was the best guy ever from day one, so obviously he was a keeper. She was also the reason I found force-free/reward-based training and promote it so passionately. We learned so much together and I learned so much because of her. I will never forget her – she's what dog people would call my heart dog.
I have been trying to write this post since January 2019, so it's been a journey. We miss her everyday and I've struggled. Her passing was traumatic and I have spent countless nights replaying that evening in my head instead of sleeping. Once I realized what was happening, though, I made a decision to change the pattern. No matter what you are facing, I think changing the pattern is half the battle. If you can get there, you've made a ton of progress and you should be proud of yourself! It takes time, though. It took me months to realize what I was doing, so don't beat yourself up if it takes you a while to get there, too.
I created a night-time ritual that included lavender essential oil and self-reiki. Every night, I would inhale some lavender for it's relaxing properties then, after I got into bed, I immediately started self-Reiki and I would calmly drift of to sleep. It was literally like a switch – as soon as the energy started flowing, negative or traumatic thoughts stopped floating through my head and my body began to relax and I would fall asleep. If I woke up in the middle of the night and have troubles falling back to sleep, I would use Reiki again with success. I have noticed that the more consistent I am with my self-Reiki practice, the more I am able to look at the positive and remember the happy times instead of the trauma. I would much rather be sad from the happy memories than from trauma, that's for sure. The emotions are still there, but they come from a different place now. Every once in a while, I still get sucked in and go down that rabbit hole, but overall, it's been months since I've felt the fear and anxiety related to the trauma.
It's important to note that we shouldn't resist our emotions. Emotions are energy and when we resit feeling these feelings the energy flow in our bodies can get blocked or sluggish. Don't ignore your emotions, pay attention to them. Acknowledge them and feel them. Don't take them out on other people. Reiki can help change negative thoughts and feelings into healthy and positive ones. If you want to explore how Reiki might be able to help you before, during or after the transition of a pet, please get in touch – I have experience on all ends of the spectrum.