How did Energy work find it’s way to a Midwestern, 4th Generation Irish Catholic Funeral Home family?


Maya in the back of hearse

Well that’s a mystery called, My Mom. One weekend when I was in Jr. High, my mom and her woo-woo friend went away (out of the state of Ohio) to learn Reiki.  Upon her return home, my brother, sister and I teased her terribly, making fun of her new “energy”.  One day, however, I sliced my finger pretty chopping carrots. “Mom, quick! Do your Reiki stuff on me!” I pleaded.  She did, and the bleeding stopped immediately. “Whoa, that’s pretty cool. I think I might wanna learn Reiki.”  So  Reiki Master, Carol Vidula Krumm, who was initiated directly by Grand Reiki Master Phylis Fermuto, came to Toledo, Ohio to teach and attune the rest of the family and friends. A seed was planted in me, and the Reiki ball started rolling. Mom continued to host Reiki Workshops at our home throughout my high school years.  “If we can’t heal ‘em, we can seal ‘em”- was the joke made by the Reiki folks who came to the mortician’s home for Reiki Circle Nights (and no, we did not live IN the Funeral Home).

Now as a 7th grader, I was thrilled to discover this new capacity in my hands. I asked the kids sitting in front of me in class if they wanted some Reiki, as my hands instinctively wanted to touch their shoulders.  Most kids thought that was pretty weird, but the girls on the volleyball team appreciated having my warms hands on their sprained ankles throughout the season.  I was seriously geeked about Reiki. After learning level 2 (Distant Reiki), I was excited that I could send energy to my future tests, before games or piano recitals, even to relationships with friends. I learned Reiki 1 & 2 over and over, as the workshops were happening in my living room every 6 months or so.

I thought my Reiki Master had the best job in the world, and I thought I might want to be one someday. When I was a sophomore in high school, a woman in rural Michigan introduced my mom to another type of Energy work. She called it Renewal.  Mom (and family) dug it, and soon we were hosting Renewal healing energy workshops at our house. Most Reiki students learned Renewal as well.  This amazing teacher, Sandra, is still  kind of like our family’s private Spiritual teacher/master. We love her like family. She is in the process of publishing her work to make it available to a much wider audience.
I finally did become a Reiki Master at the age of 19 while working at the Omega Institute for Holistic studies in NY.

Inspired by my first Reiki master, Carol Krumm, who shared stories about traveling to Japan to find the roots of Reiki, I studied Japanese in high school and college.  After graduating from Indiana University Phi Beta Kappa with Majors in both East Asian Studies and Psychology, I went to Japan on the JET program.  My husband (then fiance) joined me. After teaching in Japan for 2 years, then getting married back home in Ohio, we moved to Portland in 2000.

I was planning on attending NCNM to become a naturopathic doctor. It was the respected credential that could make use of my nerdy ability to study, love for nutrition, and desire to teach about energy healing. It seemed a perfect fit. I spent 2 years taking medical prereqs at community colleges, and started volunteering at Hospice, first in Toledo, then Portland.

Hospice was fascinating, my job was to just sit with the dying patients. Of course, I put my hands on them, holding their feet or hands, I had conversations with their spirits. It was interesting to notice that their energy wasn’t in their body, but rather outside the body, as an orb of biggness that was their being. I guess the energy was going to their spirit. I often felt moved to tell their spirit that it was okay to move on. Several times Hospice staff reported those patients died later that day, which freaked me out a little at first. I swear I was not trying to get new business for the family funeral home.

Back to becoming a ND… so after we moved to Portland, I found a job as an office manager for a small ND LAc clinic, and soon realized that I would not be happy being an ND. It  was not the type of  healing most interesting to me.  It became clear that I wanted to create health at the level of thought, and use my hands to transmit energy for healing.

So next came a period of “What the #%@ do I do now? I’ve already completed Organic chemistry, moved across the country, told family and friends I’m going to med school!”.   That was uncomfortable.

A few months later an opportunity for Pilates teacher training showed up. “Why not?” I thought, not knowing what else to do with myself. I became a certified Pilates instructor, and began my therapeutic body and energy work in the fitness industry.  2 years ago Pilates Style Magazine featured an article, Reiki and Pilates, which talks about how I combine the two.  Pilates training taught me a lot about body energetics, patterns of muscular tension, and what motivates people.  It also proves the power mental focus, breath, and visualization has on our muscles and nervous system.  Creating connection with core strength seemed to open up new avenues for clients.  That’s the best part, seeing bodies and lives become empowered.

Now I get to share those pathways of connection, the grounded physicality of energy, and how it moves in our bodies in my healing practice.  My energy work has taken on it’s own form- it’s not Reiki, it’s not Renewal, it’s become it’s own brand of energy, that needs a new name. It goes right to the core beliefs held in the body and mind and works to shift them into alignment with the soul. It’s physical, it’s spiritual, it’s emotional, it’s radical, and it’s actually fun. I would like to call it Boogie energy, cuz it’s like your soul gets to boogie into a new groove of how you express your being.

Boogie Energy may not be the best fit, my Midwest & Hospice roots cringe a bit, and worry about others finding it offensive. But ya know what?  Sometimes there is boogie music in the hearse’s sound system. And who knows we don’t dance our way into the afterlife?  What’s stopping us from boogieing though our days here and now? Where do you feel that lightness of your being? And how do you celebrate it?

and invite me to your party!