Tag Archives: human interest journalism

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Find Your Breath

Mental wellbeing is a popular topic in today’s fast paced society. People are spending time and money looking into ways to improve their mental health status in order to keep up with the hustle. Luckily, there is something that can be done right now about creating a positive mindset about improving mental health. Incorporating meditation practices into a busy lifestyle will help to bring balance to a chaotic life.
IMG_2221                                                  Photo by Ashley Coffey/ Peter Rodriguez

There are many forms of meditation. Kathleen Prasad is an expert in the practice of Reiki, specifically animal Reiki. She started her own non-profit business in California, with several other locations, called Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA). Information about her business can be found in the photo below. Kathleen was diagnosed with breast cancer several years ago and began the practice of Reiki, a form of healing meditation, and is now cancer free. She attributes her health and wellbeing to her daily practice of Reiki for over eighteen years. When talking about the practice of Reiki, Kathleen says, ““Reiki is a spiritual practice, it has healing benefits. That is not whole purpose of Reiki. The purpose is a spiritual practice to bring you to open up that inner compassion that you have; your true self.” Part of what makes life stressful is the questions that people have, but feel as though they have no answers. Kathleen presents a calming solution, “[Reiki] it is so simple, but it is hard for us because we like stuff to be complicated. Reiki reminds us that we already have the answers, but you’re going to have to quite down so you can hear them.” The healing component of Reiki is a benefit to the practice, but like Kathleen said, it is not the only purpose. Reiki can be practiced throughout a busy day and will improve the life of those who make it a habit to take care of their mental health.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 6.23.58 PMPhoto by Ashley Coffey/ Kathleen Prasad Business Information

Meditation helps to form a person into a mentally strong and emotionally balanced individual. With consistency in the practice, a person will find that they are better capable of handling the stresses of daily life. Simply taking time to notice physical surroundings and finding appreciation for the simplistic components of life is a form of meditation in itself. So, enjoy the video below and take a few seconds to relax and find your breath again.

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Video by Ashley Coffey/ Lake View

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Articles Health Lifestyle

Animal Reiki: Open Your Heart

“In Reiki there isn’t a dialogue… Reiki is about unification of hearts, there is no dialog, no words, there is just an opening of the heart and the animal joins you in that space.”
– Kathleen Prasad

IMG_1250Photo by: Ashley Coffey

The connection between animals and humans is an innate relationship that has existed since the beginning of creation. Humans have an opportunity to connect with animals on a compassionate level. Human beings have learned that animals can benefit from their own therapeutic energy. Reiki is a practice that opens up a space for compassion that leads to the benefits of healing energy that promotes natural restoration. Animal Reiki is the practice of essentially doing meditation with an animal and facilitating a compassionate space.
Kathleen Prasad is an expert on the topic of animal Reiki. She has dedicated that last seventeen years of her life to the practice of Reiki, she had the opportunity to study with Frans Stiene, who is an expert in origins of Reiki, and is a living proof of the benefits of practicing Reiki. Prasad has written many articles and several books on the practice of animal Reiki. She has been featured on radio talk shows and Healing Quest that aired on PBS. Prasad says, Reiki teaches the most ultimate healing power we have is through compassion. True compassion is when we don’t judge; we don’t try to fix something that is wrong, we don’t define the animal by its problems or issues; we look deeper and see the animal as a bright light.”

The practice of animal Reiki has shown to have multiple healing capabilities through the openness and awareness that it promotes. Animals are able to release pent up energy and open up an avenue where healing can occur. These interactions of physical touch or distance healing can promote Reiki with animals that are suffering in finding balance or a healing space. “Even when you may sense things about the animal, about the energy, the goal in Reiki is that you let it go. So, you hold everything with an open hand,” says Prasad. She says that it is best to allow the animal to open up its own heart and feel the safety surrounding the connection between human and animal, “the best space for you to be in a Reiki treatment is quiet, and so when thoughts come up, you let them go.”
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Photo by: Ashley Coffey

When animals recognize a human who practices a lifestyle that reflects Reiki, they are drawn to the human and want to connect on the level that the human is acting upon. The cat in the photos above has been known to hide from anyone other than her one constant human. Once her human started meditating with her she has become much more outgoing and friendly towards visitors, and now even sleeps with her owner. This compassionate connection between animal and human creates a healing environment for both participants. “Healing is about becoming whole its not about curing a physical or emotional problem its about a wholeness on a spiritual level,” says Kathleen. She says, “We can access that (healing) through meditation and animals are very sensitive so when we are in that space of meditation, openness, compassion, they feel it, so they come and they sit with us.” When asked about how humans are capable of promoting healing Prasad says, “It is more like we facilitate the animals to find their own strength through our compassion.” She goes on to say, “Reiki itself is a spiritual practice it has healing benefits but that’s not the purpose. The purpose is to open up that inner compassion you have, your true self. When we invite animals into this space, they help us go deeper because of who they are and they are healing all around.”
Animal Reiki benefits both the human and animal involved by creating a space for love, light, and compassion. Through practice and an open heart, animal Reiki brings together two species that walk this earth together and share a common ground of understanding, compassion, and a safe place to find healing.

Articles Community Lifestyle

Kris Carlson plays live music for local nonprofit coffee shop

It felt like a big sing along with a bunch of friends.” – Angela Bride

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January 22nd, 2016 – Kris Carlson is the worship leader at First Christian Church in Greeneville, Tennessee. Carlson said, “…I kind of ran from ministry, but in the end, God reached into my heart. I decided to use my gifts for worship ministry.” He was recently inspired to create an event where people from the community could come together to fellowship and enjoy live music. His mission for the event was to create an atmosphere where people would enjoy their Friday evening with friends and family. Attendees would also have the opportunity to indulge in freshly brewed coffee and scrumptious deserts provided by the nonprofit establishment started by First Christian Church, Catalyst Coffee Company. Attendees were invited to put in their own musical requests.

 

Catalyst Coffee Company is where Carlson performed his live musical appearance. He has done multiple performances at Catalyst. This time, he took requests from the people who came to listen, which built an atmosphere of connectivity between Carlson and his audience. An attendee, Angela Bride said, “A lot of the songs he had never performed before. He performed them on the spot. He is a musical genius when it comes to that kind of stuff.” In total, which Carlson blames mostly on the snowy conditions, 14 people were in attendance to see his performance. “I’ve been to a lot of concerts before at Catalyst but this one was very different because of the snow… We didn’t have a lot of people, but we eventually ended up with quite a few people there.” Carlson said, “The thing about Catalyst is that it is a ministry of our church, and the reason I did that [performance] the other night is because I knew there wasn’t a lot going on in town, people were snowed in… So, I took requests for two hours.” Not only did his performance distract people from the snowy weather, his music also boosted business for the café.

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“All of it was cotemporary. He sang Billy Joel, James Taylor, basically anything anybody requested… He did a Michael Buble song. We would just come up with artists,” said Bride.

Photos by: Kris Carlson