Caroline Joseph Reese didn’t know what Reiki was when she had her first experience and after a session in New York, she felt a release. Since then Caroline continued to “learn tools to help myself and others” and recently moved to Lanai, in Hawaii, where she continues to help clients.
Check out this special interview for MysticMag now.
How was your first experience with Reiki, and what inspired you to dive in and become a Master?
My first experience with Reiki was when I was a single mom in my twenties. I was referred by a friend to go and see this spiritual healer, teacher, and counselor, Rory Pinto. Rory practiced out of his home on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. I was hesitant, but I was in a dark place then and ready to try anything to help me shed light on my life. I had no idea what Reiki was. The only thing I knew was that I needed help.
I met with Rory, and he first had me sit and chat for a while to get to know me, to find out what was going on in my life, and why I decided to have energy work. We then went into his living room, where his table was set up, and he told me to lie on the table, fully clothed, with a sheet placed upon me. He began the session at my feet, and there were times when I could feel his hands gently on me, and then I would not feel them at all. I began to relax as the session progressed, and then when he placed his hands on my heart, I felt a release, almost like a vast sigh.
I continued to see Rory biweekly, and he also taught me how to meditate and quiet my mind; we would meditate before each session. I attended his meditation sessions on Tuesday nights at the Learning Annex in Manhattan.
The meditation and Reiki sessions opened a new world that was brighter and more welcoming. I was so moved by how I saw things differently. I wanted to share Rory’s meditation sessions, so I began to host him at my apartment in Brooklyn, and I would have my neighbors, sister, and brother come to our meditation circle.
This healing and guidance I received inspired me to live more authentically. I started to self-love and became more aligned than I have ever felt. I remarried, moved to Wisconsin, gave birth to my two daughters, returned to school to finish my degree, and lived a whole new life.
My inspiration to dive in and become a Master Reiki Practitioner happened years later. I would never have imagined I would be doing what I do now.
It was 2010 when my sister and best friend Anna was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer; this was a significant shift in my life. I needed to learn and understand how energy works, how trauma can make us sick, and how to teach people how to cope and release what no longer serves them.
I studied with various Reiki teachers in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. I became immersed in learning and learning many different modalities. I studied Shamanic healing, sound meditation, and movement. I even made my master’s thesis about Reiki: Sensemaking and Identity in Complementary Alternative Medicine: Communication Study on Reiki. I continue to learn tools to help myself and others.
What do you believe is the first step to decreasing negative self-talk, something that can be so harmful to us?
When we experience negative self-talk, it is usually the result of our thoughts and emotions; pausing is the first step in cultivating a shift. Practicing pausing is to step forth and gather yourself and then step forth again. When you take the time to pause, you recognize your state of being. By changing your thoughts and how you view the self or situation, you mentally shift into a healthier state. This rewiring of the neurons in your brain happens when you think differently. Your inner pathways reflect your outer paths. Some ways to practice pausing are breathing exercises, body movement, and meditation.
I’ve come to understand that my thoughts create the experience I live in, that it may not be the events or people or the self that are disturbing me, but rather my thoughts or how I think about essential things. Having a conviction that what I think about, what I know, and who I am, empowers me.
How can we maintain a sense of calmness after a good Reiki session in such a hectic world?
Maintaining calm after a session in such a hectic world requires going inward and practicing meditation. When we practice meditation, we experience fewer mistakes and setbacks. I like to call it pausing for a few minutes to create space for better choices and less stressful outcomes. Making this a daily practice will reap wellness benefits for yourself and those around you. Focus on finding your inner calm is tapping into your power, your power of controlling how you want to feel. You and only you can access your inner peace.
Can you present to us your wellness and health studio? What can your clients find there?
I moved to Lāna’i, Hawaii, in 2019, and my studio Satori324 remained open in Whitefish Bay, WI, where I had two other practitioners working there until the second year of the pandemic; then, I did not extend the lease. I currently work at the Four Seasons Resort Lāna’i as the wellness supervisor, where I have created a collection of private wellness experiences. I also do virtual sessions that can be booked through my website www.carolinereese324.com
At the Four Seasons, “Guests can find relaxation and healing at Hawanawana Spa through low- and no-touch therapeutic care with an expanded collection of private experiences led by Wellness Supervisor Caroline Reese. The 1,200 square foot (110 square metre) yoga studio is positioned on an ocean-facing cliff with a spectacular view through a floor-to-ceiling glass window-wall.”
How do you utilize HeartMath in your sessions, and how does it complement your other specialties?
I utilize HeartMath techniques in almost every modality that I do. Focusing on the heart area by breathing a little slower to help draw energy away from distressed thoughts and feelings prepares you for all healing modalities.
HeartMath is a system for awakening and developing the heart’s intelligence. Participants learn techniques to increase awareness of the depleting and renewing situations and emotions, whether in business or personal life.
Do you have a special message for our audience in these challenging times?
Think of an immense storm at sea; you may visualize wind, rain, and chaos happening, but there is an inner calm underneath it. Many tend to focus on the external chaos in our lives and not visit the inner peace inside us.
Peace is an inside job; it is a state of being that is reciprocal to what is happening outside.
Your internal state tells you how you feel, and it is up to you to reposition yourself. If you can, think about how things are in relation to other things. It is the same with your inner calm. How you respond to the outer world relates to what is going on in your inner world.
May the spirit of love gently fill your hearts with peace, and may you remember to pause.