Stephanie Hunter-Dines is an Om Mama Collective member, Reiki Master, mom, and animal lover, offering in-person & remote Reiki sessions in Seattle. Stay tuned for a very special event we have coming your way with Stephanie centered on tuning in, finding your strength, and listening to intuition!
As I sit here writing to you on this stormy night in Seattle I am giddy I get to share my story about Reiki. I have the honor of expressing to you how this beautiful practice has changed my life. The wonderful thing about Reiki is that it touches everyone differently. Everyone will have a different Reiki story, Each person who chooses to explore this magical mode of self-care will experience something entirely unique. That is why I’m grateful that you’ve chosen to read my story, as it will hopefully welcome you to your experience with this practice, and your own Reiki story!
I’m Stephanie. I am a Reiki practitioner and mom to my amazing two year- old daughter, Cecilia. I describe myself this way because I cannot imagine being one without the other. They go hand-in-hand as one might consider body and mind; each helping the other grow and learn through a deep understanding and discovery of one another. I feel fortunate to have grown up surrounded by Reiki, thanks to my mother who is a certified Reiki Master. In my childhood home, utilizing this form of healing was as common as taking a Tylenol to ease a headache. I remember feeling grateful to know this practice, as though it were a little secret in my back pocket. I considered it very normal, but I knew it was unique. I knew everyone didn’t have Reiki to help them when they fell off their bike. I developed a very special respect and admiration for the mysterious tool. As I matured into adulthood, Reiki strengthened the bond between me and my mother. I’d call her for anything from a sore throat that wouldn’t go away to a sinking feeling of emotional imbalance. It was an amazing way for us to stay connected and close, even though we now lived on opposite sides of the country.
You may be asking, “so, what is Reiki?” Reiki is a form of hands-on healing, also known as “energy healing” or “body work.” The word, “Reiki,” is a combination of two Japanese words. Loosely translated, “Rei” is the Universe or a Higher Power, and “Ki” is the “life force energy.” Therefore, Reiki means to utilize the universal life force energy to heal and balance mind, body and spirit.
Reiki is a remarkable tool for anyone experiencing physical or mental imbalance. This could include, but is not limited to, the experience of fatigue due to thyroid issues, tension headaches, depression or mental anguish. However, I believe it is particularly effective and beneficial to us mamas in all our wonderful chapters of growing and raising a new life. Be it women who are trying to conceive, pregnant, postpartum, nursing, or adjusting to any stage as it pertains to motherhood. I’m writing this entry today because my own personal experience with motherhood cemented my faith in Reiki.
Being pregnant with my daughter was harder than I ever imagined. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t exercise. I found it impossible to meditate. To me, balance and connection within my body was unachievable. Then I remembered … Reiki. I started seeing a Reiki practitioner to help find myself again, ground my energy, and reconnect my body and mind. I knew that until I found this balance, I would not be able to connect with my growing unborn child… a healthy mama = a healthy child. This is so true! Rediscovering Reiki was an A-Ha moment for me. I began to see and experience transformation in just a couple of sessions. We started during my first trimester to help ground the energy that was actually trying to leave my body to escape the sick feeling I had felt for so long. Once we realigned my chakras, created balance and grounding, the rest was easy. We could then start working on the aches and pains, the nausea, the fear, and the inability to breathe. You name it. Reiki solved it.
Utilizing Reiki throughout my pregnancy, postpartum and even on my daughter once she was born has been a blessing. My daughter seems to dissolve into my hands when doing Reiki on her. Our nighttime feedings were a special place and time for us to share in this practice together. The calming energy that Reiki provided soothed us both during the more difficult moments of learning to be mother and daughter, easing us into sleep.
What does Reiki feel like? It’s different for everyone. For me, it is pure love; that feeling you get when you are around people you love. It is a soothing, sometimes-tingly feeling that brings actual heat to our hands. It is an incredible feeling to be shared.
Finding Reiki as my passion happened almost by accident. I was living in NY, building a career as a casting director working very very long hours. Becoming a successful casting director was my dream, but somewhere along the way it wasn’t anymore. Suddenly, there was no perfect project or perfect company to make me like my job; in fact, quite the opposite became true. Every day of work was draining me of my energy and light.
For our honeymoon, My husband and I went to Bali. I had always wanted part of our trip to include a long-awaited visit with a healer. We hired a guide to take us there. The healer sat on a small, raised porch with people surrounding him on all sides. I approached him in awe as I could physically feel the energy of his presence. I was apprehensive, excited and very emotional. What was about to happen to me? I watched as other people lay next to him, their head in his lap, as he poked and prodded at their bodies and pressure points. Most people winced in pain at his touch over these carefully selected areas. Then, it was my turn. I left my 20 American-dollar donation in a bowl and sat down. He fiddled with me as I’d seen him do to the others. However, while I felt the pressure points, I didn’t wince in pain. Then, the healer spoke. He was surprised. He said “you’re healthy, but you have no passion in your life.” He then mentioned a baby and within his broken english it wasn’t clear if he said I could or could not have one. To my surprise, I immediately broke down in tears and started sobbing. He then clarified that I had 6 years before my time would be up, and that this baby would help me find my passion. Everything changed in this moment like getting hit in the face with hard truths. I couldn’t continue the way I was; long hours and energy draining work, there had to be more. My passion ended up being both Reiki and my daughter Cecilia who have intertwined in amazing ways. Both of them finding me almost simultaneously and keeping me honest to myself.
This was the moment everything changed. Sometimes healing comes from facing hard truths. I couldn’t continue living my life without passion. All the long hours and energy-draining work had left me empty. Deep down, I knew that wasn’t my truth. Through Reiki, this healer awakened me to a future I had not seen before. I was going to be a mother and a healer. Four years later and I am living this truth as a Reiki healer and mother to my daughter, Cecilia. These separate identities have intertwined in amazing ways and make me who I am; both finding me almost simultaneously. Every day, they encourage me to remain honest to myself.
We as women are such rockstars. Our bodies physically and emotionally twist and turn into ways we never thought possible. Sometimes we just need a little guidance along the way. I welcome you to explore your Reiki story.
You can follow Stephanie on her Website: https://stephaniehunterdines.com/
and on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stephaniehunterdines/