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by Colleen Benelli
First Published – Reiki News Magazine, Fall 2011.
Artwork by Gaia Orion.
Handmade Gifts are fun to make and wonderful to receive. Add Reiki as you create, and begin sending blessings to the person your gift is intended for as you work. The gift will begin giving right away. In addition, you will receive Reiki as you are imbuing your project, so the gift gives to you too. Reiki will flow long after the gift is given, and the blessings will be felt for a long time.
The Reiki craft projects in this article are easy and inexpensive to make. Simplicity and gratitude have been a theme for our family holidays for the past several years and that has reduced the stress and expense of the holidays. Gifts are optional and if given, they are small as well as thoughtful.
It is easy to fill your project with Reiki—simply activate Reiki while you work. You can meditate while you work, or you can ask Reiki to fill the space around you and your project while you watch TV, talk, or do multiple things at once. It is nice to meditate while creating, but not always possible. Reiki will fill your gift regardless of your activity level.1
The above pictures of Dr. Usui, Dr. Hayashi, and Mrs. Takata are 4×4 glass squares with photos in the center, wrapped in silver tape on the edges. The Reiki Kanji is a coaster. The Reiki Kanji Wall Hanging in the center photo is made of toilet paper! The paper Reiki Kanji on the right began with a piece of handmade paper I bought. It was dipped in water, crumpled, spread over the same mold I used for the center wall hanging, and bleached. I made the mold using craft foam paper. I printed the Reiki kanji, glued it to the foam, and cut out the shape. Then I glued it to a piece of vinyl. I have found all sorts of uses for this type of mold and it is super easy to make. I have also been playing with polymer clay over the mold with great success. I am looking forward to more projects using this kind of mold. The ideas are flowing along with the Reiki!
1 Colleen Benelli, “Handmade with Reiki,” Reiki News Magazine(Fall 2009). I wrote all about imbuing handmade crafts and art with Reiki in this article, which, along with the instructions for the craft projects, are free on my website, www.reikilifestyle.wpengine.com.
Reiki Master Katie Black works in a local craft store, and every day, she is inspired by her surroundings. She made these feather earrings and necklace, which my daughter, Robyn, agreed to model. (Actually she kept them after she tried them on!) Robin is also a Reiki Master and she said that she could feel the Reiki in them they felt energized and warm next to her throat and chest. Katie is in the process of creating her own business making Reiki jewelry. Her husband, Andrew, also makes jewelry with Reiki, and they work together creating new beaded treasures!
People often ask me where I get my ideas. I have to say that first of all, my mind works this way. I made a good living as a fiber artist before I became a professional Reiki practitioner and teacher. I was worried that I would miss my arts and crafts when I started practicing Reiki full time. Reiki taught me how to complement my arts and crafts with Reiki. As always, it worked with me in my own unique way, and it continually guides me as to which projects would benefit others.
I find my ideas in various places craft stores, magazines, books, the Internet, etc. and they are usually combined with other ideas that make the project my own. For instance I got the idea to make the Reiki Kanji wall hanging from a show by well known TV and online craft show host Carol Duval: I substituted toilet paper for handmade paper because it was easier; the idea to hang it on sticks with beads was from a paper sculpture I saw hanging in a hospital; and I painted it using a crackle paint technique I learned in a class with artist Michael deMeng.
Reiki increases your imagination and confidence so you can let your mind wander and just create. Several of the crafts shown here are the result of this freestyle approach. Reiki can also help release you from “performance anxiety” if you get a creative block or find yourself over-critiquing your work. The jewelry on this page was all made easily and inexpensively using small glass tiles and photos from my printer. I found this idea at Collage, a local craft store here in Portland, Oregon. Reiki Master Heather Cole is wearing a pendant featuring a photo of Mrs. Takata and a bracelet with pictures of Dr. Usui, Dr. Hayashi, and Mrs. Takata. The top center photo is of me wearing my “ancestor jewelry.” The necklace is a picture of my grandmother and the bracelet is called “The Many Faces of Eva,”—each tile is a different picture of my granddaughter, Eva. In the top right photo, I am wearing a necklace framing Dr. Usui. Also pictured is my horse, Mother Mary, power animals, and designs using special photos I have taken. I have also made bracelets with old masters’ paintings of the saints like the one Heather is wear-ing. If you need a little help getting started, I have lots of great photos you can use in my photo galleries on my website. They are free to download and use and are also copyright free. The bracelets come in forms made for this application.
When I saw a craft program featuring “Free form crochet by Renate Kirkpatrick,” I was inspired to make the purses in the photo on the left. While I knit better than I crochet, I found that I didn’t have to know how to do either to make these. I began with a mesh rectangle, a pile of compatible yarn ends, and a crochet hook. I just started on one end and watched as the purse created itself. I had no plan, and there was so much freedom I loved it! I know that Reiki helped me get out of the way and healed any judgments I had over the design emerging. Robyn is wearing a slouchy hat, which are all the rage these days. She snowboards on Mt. Hood, so I knit safety into it as well! I also made the Reiki Shawl with free form knitting and Reiki. I gathered all of my off-white yarn ends and just knit every row. I used a big needle and doubled the yarns so it knit up very quickly and easily. I wrap myself in this shawl and give myself Reiki. It is soft and comforting and I can feel myself being wrapped in Reiki warmth!
I love the project below. William Rand was visiting last year, and he gets such a kick out of the fact that we call my daughter “little Robyn” she is 27, but my husband is also Robin so she has been little Robyn ever since she was born that he thought we should make her a special t-shirt with a little bird and “We love you little Robyn” on it. So we went to the craft store and got a t-shirt and a package of iron-on tee shirt transfer paper that goes in the printer. We printed the image and words from my computer and ironed it on the t-shirt. It turned out really cute and Robyn loves it! It was simple and easy and Reiki went into every step.
My granddaughter Eva and I had a great time making Reiki infused beeswax candles for her teacher. She gave them Reiki and thought of fun memories at playschool as she rolled the candles. She enjoyed selecting the paper and stickers to decorate her gifts. We have the “Bee Store” here and love going in just to see all the beekeeping supplies and to get our sheets of beeswax for these candles. This year we are making Rock Boxes out of clay for her playschool teacher. She is painting the rock, writing a blessing on it, wrapping it in clay, and baking it, turning it into a treasure box for her teacher. Eva and I love to play crafts together. She always places her hands over the project and gives it Reiki. We would have finished the Rock Box in time for a picture for this article, but her little bother Calvin was born right in the middle of the project, so we’ve been playing with him instead!
Just for Today, I will not be angry, or worry, I will be grateful and devoted to my work, and I will be kind to all others. Reiki Master Margie McMahon made this fun, mixed media wall hanging of Dr. Usui’s Reiki Ideals. Her family uses Reiki and this is a great prayer for all them in their home. Margie also works at the Guide Dogs for the Blind here in Boring, Oregon, and has been instrumental in creating a Reiki program for the guide dogs in training and their new owners. She is truly devoted to her work.
The Spirit Dolls above are made by Reiki Masters Pearl Pierce and Marla Deere. Pearl is a colleague of mine at the LightSong School of Shamanic Studies, and she has made these dolls for the people who are on a vision quest in our yearly shamanic practicum. We decorate them and use the Distance symbol to send Reiki to the questors. The dolls are gifts for them when they complete their ceremony. Marla makes her dolls to give to people who have suffered a tragedy in their lives. She imbues the dolls with Reiki to comfort them. These dolls can be made with all kinds of intentions. They are great gifts to give to children and adults! They are filled with special blessings and Reiki, and people love to receive them!
Reiki Master Therese Fisher is a Reiki weaver, making wonderful baskets and other crafted objects using Reiki. She made the Dragonfly, Basket, and the Intention Ball pictured above. During one of our recent craft “playdates,” I looked up to see the dragonfly she had created out of some of the materials we were using for another project. It’s now hanging on my car mirror! She is an expert basket maker and weaves all of her projects with Reiki, laughter, and joy. The Intention Ball on the right is a small hanging ornament with an intention tucked inside the ball!
The paper ornament above is another one of my toilet paper projects! It is so easy just layer the paper over the mold, dip a small paintbrush into water, and dampen the paper into the mold. The finished piece is soft and pretty. I colored some of the ornaments with tea bags, which made them look antique.
Whether you make these particular gifts, adapt them into something of your own, or have other projects, consider simplifying your holidays this year and give small gifts from the heart. I like to start early in the season so I don’t have any stress about completing them on time. Adding Reiki to your handmade gifts provides blessings for others and for you!
Colleen Benelli can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 503.912.0664, on her website at www.reikilifestyle.wpengine.com, or on her Facebook page, Reiki Lifestyle-Colleen Benelli. Join Colleen’s monthly ReikiChat™ conversation, www.reikichat.com.