My name is Cecilia Howard and Mindful Presence Reiki was "born" of my passion for connection and a love of teaching.
I am someone who knew from an early age that there was so much potential for healing within ourselves and in nature. I was the child who was out the door with the sun, staying out well past dark, whenever I could make it happen! I read books in the rain, propped up with multiple umbrellas on our front patio swing, or took any chance I could to swim and be near the ocean! There is something so innately uplifting about connecting to the great outdoors! I can still feel the sound of joyful laughter echo from long ago as I write this content on my website.
As time marched onward, and my career in the business world took hold, I found myself detaching from all those things that naturally nourished my soul: exploring nature, reading, dancing, making new friends, etc. What started as a successful career in upper management/marketing, resulted 13 years later in mild to moderate anxiety/depression, and panic attacks.
I felt myself trusting my instincts and turning toward things that simply "felt" right. Yoga, meditation, CBT, reflexology, therapeutic massage, aromatherapy and much more! Forever grateful for this, I took to it all and drank it in!
Fast forward years later, to early 2003 and a breast cancer diagnosis. I again trusted my instincts and sought out both alternative and traditional methods of healing that connected to me. After my mastectomy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in NYC, I returned home to NH and had the good fortune to attend a breast cancer support group at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center. A nurse attended one evening and provided Reiki to the group, one at a time, as we sat in our chairs. I had no idea what to expect. It lasted only about 10 minutes, but it felt as though my heart opened and I "melted" into the chair with such a deep sense of relaxation and calm.
Instinctively I knew, Reiki would play a much larger part in my life, so several years later when I decided to seek out training, Libby Barnett, MSW, trained me through to my Reiki Master level of certification. She, in fact, is the very same woman who has been training and teaching Reiki to health care professionals for many years now. Libby was connected to me long before I even knew her personally, and I am forever grateful for that healing connection at Southern NH Hospital!
I am also deeply indebted to the people I received professional teacher training in MBSR: the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School's Center for Mindfulness and additional training with Jon-Kabat Zinn, PhD and Saki Santorrelli, EdD, MA at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. It deepened my personal mindfulness meditation practice in ways that I had not thought possible. Taught me to how to navigate life's ups and downs in a more effective way that allowed me to respond more to life, NOT react! I taught MBSR for several years in Bedford, NH, loving every minute of it, but sensed I wanted a deeper, more one on one connection with people.
There is profound wisdom in the MBSR program and I encourage anyone to partake of a traditional 8 week program when able, especially at the Center for Mindfulness at University of Massachusetts Medical School in Shrewsbury, MA, where it all so humbly began over 30 plus years ago.
Over the past 6 years I have also been teaching mindfulness and meditation classes to the public at large. Doing so in a fun, friendly and informative manner that reflects my joyful enthusiasm about mindfulness and meditation is so important to me. In addition, I provide meditation and mindfulness classes in the nonprofit arena, in particular working with seniors, as well as those in active recovery from alcohol and substance use disorders. I am a trained Recovery Coach, continuously furthering my course work and studies in this area.
I have learned much in my 55 years on this earth. I have learned that we are all connected. That what one person does or says greatly impacts another, that I am not perfect nor will I ever be perfect, so I don't try. I have learned that the people who are naturally drawn to what you do will find you, and that honesty, integrity and authenticity in all things is what truly matters!
Mindful Presence Reiki is an opportunity to integrate the philosophy I believe most profoundly in: our connection to others is what matters most in this world. This is indeed a shared experience, as what is given to others is received in return. Integrated into your chosen session is always a deep intentionality for your personal path to healing and thoughts of warm hearted kindness.
To learn more, please contact me today!