The Reiki School + Clinic is really excited to be partnering up with Healing Arts Studio in Chestnut Hill to bring you “Reiki 1 for Artists” taught by Laurie Elder. On a sultry Summer day, I sat down with Laurie at my kitchen table while little ones played about to talk about what lead her to this point.

To go back to her experiences with taking Reiki 1 & 2 at The Reiki School + Clinic, she had huge burst of creativity:

“I was shocked at how easy it was to create! When practicing Reiki daily I wouldn’t really experience blocks, but if I did, it wouldn’t be more than a day til I was back at it. I would just remember my Reiki practice, and it really helped the creativity flow! I spent many nights up til 4am creating the most interesting artwork that I had ever created. I think artists can tend to have rough patches, so I really wanted to offer tools for moving through those and using that as part of the creative process. I’m excited to share and to experience a Reiki 1 class in this new way.”

Laurie has been teaching Reiki for 9 years, but this class is a little different:

“All of the info I teach in our Reiki School Reiki 1 class is included within this class, but the clinical practice in Reiki 1 for Artists really focuses on the students supporting each other through Reiki sessions instead of having volunteers come in for sessions. This class also includes regular studio time, some of it is open and some is guided; although people can choose how they want to use that creative time. The studio time increases as the class continues and students will take part in a group art show on the last day. Their Reiki 1 certification can easily transfer over to one of our Reiki 2 classes, maybe even a Reiki 2 for Artists!”

On the connection between Reiki and art-making:

“To me, my Reiki practice is a way to connect with my true self, underneath all of the other stuff, the layers that life puts there, and if you were to move all of that stuff out of the way, you have this true self at the center. Then as an artist, I’m also engaging in this bigger picture, pulling from something beyond myself. My best art comes from when that deep part of my true self speaks and is also engaging that big picture. I remember some of this came together for me through my step-daughter, Siona. We were driving around in New Jersey and came across a street called “Memory Lane,” and I started pretending to be this tour guide telling the history of “Memory Lane.” As we drove it turned into an epic story that I told over 8 months. It had all kinds of characters and mystical creatures… and I always felt pressure to come up with new ideas. So, I would take a moment to practice Reiki and the ideas would just come flowing out! We joked that I was “connecting with Flo.” I would connect with “Flo” and the story would consistently come pouring out! Since then we have told a number of epic collaborative stories and now Sio is working on an epic story of her own (2nd one!).”

Laurie recently curated an art show at The Reiki School called “Milk Full of Love.”

“This was a collaborative show with mostly local artists and a breastfeeding theme. This was a desire I had for years that came to life! I love breastfeeding! It’s so sweet, lovey-dovey and goofy, and I really wanted others to see that. I wanted to celebrate breastfeeding and create some conversation about it. I love art, so it gave me a chance to really work in these creative spurts, spend time on my own artwork and collect and hang work from others. It was very healing for me. I would have a breastfeeding themed room in my house if I could!”

The closing party for “Milk Full of Love” is August 8, 2-5pm.

After time as a graphic designer, Laurie became a practitioner and teacher at The Reiki School + Clinic:

“In 2006 Kim decided to expand the school from a me to a we. At first it was her and George teaching, then George moved onto other ventures and it was just Kim teaching for many years. She was ready to have a team so chose a small group of us to join her as teachers at the school. I feel so grateful that I was one of the teacher’s she chose. (Thanks Kim!!) Really, I was a little nervous about teaching, but Kim encouraged me take the plunge. I trusted her judgement so much that I decided to quit my full time graphic design job and teach at the school. It’s been such an amazing experience and it turns out that I love teaching! I’ve taught at the both 4th street locations (past and present) and our NJ satellite. I’ve been practicing Reiki since 2000 and over the years I’ve received my master teacher certification from The Reiki School + Clinic and I’ve expanded on my education by taking numerous Reiki themed workshops, Japanese Reiki Techniques classes with Fran Staret, Jikiden Reiki classes with Frank Arjava Petter and recently became certified as a Reiki Sound Healing Practitioner through Natalie Bliss. After several years teaching and offering sessions at the school, I began doing graphic design work there as well.”

Laurie was not always in her flow:

“While going to college for graphic design, I felt so stuck creatively all the time, working so hard just to please my teachers, but was not able to confidently follow my inner voice. That was a challenging time for me. Through The Reiki School classes, and my daily Reiki self practice, I developed this more authentic version of myself, the me that follows my intuition and connects with my true self.”

What’s that about a Reiki baby?

“So through the Reiki School + Clinic, in my Reiki 4 class, I met my fiance Raven! And then my inspiring step-daughter Siona! And now we have a our sweet little Arowyn, our Reiki baby!”

Meet Laurie and learn more about the “Reiki 1 for Artists class” at her “Free Intro to Reiki 1 for Artists” on August 19th from 6-7pm at Healing Arts Studio in Chestnut Hill.

Laurie laughs her signature laugh! (fade out)

Interviewed by Alexandra DiFilippo