Loss, A broken Heart, and the Power of Reiki


I grew up with a broken heart. When I was 6 years old my mother passed away from breast cancer. From then on it was just my dad and I. When you are young, you are extra sensitive and open. So, when major life tragedies happen, the whole world feels like it’s crashing down. It wasn’t just my mom passing that was hard, but it was watching my mom battle cancer. I can’t remember everything, but I have fragmented visuals of that time. I remember the agitation, frustration, and sadness my mom and dad felt. I remember not understanding what was happening but knowing it was not right. I believed she was going to get better and everything would be okay. It left an ache to witness faces of her loved ones when she passed. I distracted myself, not wanting to see any of it as real. When you’re a kid your parents are your everything; your joy, your love, your educators, and your safety net. After my mom passed I felt like I had lost it all. I felt unsafe in this world. Things were so serious so early in my life and it felt like I had to grow up fast. I was searching for answers and for the truth about this life that seemed so painful and so confusing. It seemed that there was less time for joy when I felt like I had to figure this whole thing out. There was always a weight and an absence, and for years I searched for answers and ways to fill that. My dad (a Vietnam War veteran living with PTSD) did everything to support me and my interests, but he was going through his own multitudes of emotional, mental, and physical challenges. He had a broken heart too.  

Kristen and her Mom

Kristen and her Mom

For many years I was so confused, tired, and angry. I cried so much I got physically ill. I was depressed, anxious, and in a constant state of fear to lose something- especially my health and my loved ones. At that time, my aunt who lived in New Jersey was a practicing Reiki Master and a past life regression guide. My dad started bringing me over to her house more frequently, and every time I went she would give me Reiki. It wasn’t until later on in my life that I discovered she was always giving me Reiki. I remember going to my aunts and receiving Reiki and feeling so calm and at ease. It was the only time I could sleep and actually rest. I believe she was channeling healing energy not just from the universe, but from my mother. Since Reiki can only provide the highest good from the universe, it channels love, and the love we are willing to receive. This love I have always felt extending and teaching me from beyond the physical plane into spiritual realms. In the moments where my Aunt was practicing Reiki on me I felt the warm embrace of my mother there with me. I felt Spirit reminding me the truth, wisdom, and power of my love. This was a great source in healing and understanding the pain and tenderness I carried. I later realized that my broken heart wasn’t a bad thing, but a blessing that gave me understanding and taught me compassion. I started to notice the tenderness and broken heartedness of others in a whole new light. From then on, I would practice a simple Reiki exercise my aunt taught me (placing one hand on my heart, one hand on my belly) when I was upset, overwhelmed, and stressed. Practicing this always brought calmness and clarity that reconnected me to the presence of Spirit and Love.

Reiki is described as universal life force energy or the “divine breath of life”. This energy is intangible, subtle, and unknown. There is a cosmic maternal essence to its nature, as it has ability to nourish, protect, heal, create, and transform. Reiki reminds me of my mother. My mother gave me life and breath. She was once tangible, but then she was not. She was not physically there to raise me, but she taught me through Spirit (as Reiki does). This is hard for me to describe, and I am still learning how to communicate this. But, our Spirit and our love is bound to the universe, beyond life, death, and physicality.  I believe whatever ties us to Spirit and life force must be interwoven.

My father says:
“When you channel Reiki there is a dimension of Spirit you tap into...Through your transfer you remind someone of an inner truth that creates clarity and inspires change. This Great Spirit and Source of Reiki is a work of love…”  

It’s this Spirit that softly touches the tender or broken hearted in need of remembrance or embrace. Reiki is divinely guided by our hearts and our intention to nourish well being for ourselves, others, our communities, and this world. The healing that comes from Reiki is different for each person and infinite in possibilities. What unfolds is an obscure secret and an ambiguous gift from the macrocosm! When my aunt was practicing Reiki on me she was guiding the love and Spirit of the universe to provide me with what I needed. At that time, I needed calm, rest, and the embrace of my mother. And I felt it! This deeply aided my grieving process and the pain in my heart. To this day when I receive Reiki I feel warmth, calmness, and the presence of my mother; but I receive this through a wider lens, which shows me the teachings of Spirit and deep wisdoms of love that exceed time and space.

In the Four-Fold Way, Angeles Arien describes the four archetypes of human being as the Healer, the Warrior, the Teacher, and the Visionary. We each embody these archetypes and step into their powers, and shadows. In my opinion, Reiki is a way of authentically and intuitively stepping into our healer nature. Stepping into the healer is not only about giving, but also about receiving. When we soften into the unknown energies of the healing process, we open to receive healing from the universe’s highest good. On our own accord we “allow” or give permission for ourselves to heal. This is a day-to-day process. From when I was a child to this day I have been practicing softening and opening to receive. Reiki has guided my experience and awareness of this to be more harmonious and authentically true to my own path. Reiki continues to bring me to a natural state of peace and joy within myself as I embrace the nature of my universal interconnectedness. 

Eric Leventhal writes:
“A healer’s power stems not from any special ability, but from maintaining the courage and awareness to embody and express the universal healing power that every human being naturally possesses.”

Now, as I am a Reiki practitioner, I give myself as an instrument for Reiki to flow through. My hope is that I can help assist people to remember their healer archetype in their journey. Through the practice of Reiki I believe this remembrance happens naturally. I have realized that I still have a broken heart, but it’s not a bad thing. It’s my strength. This break isn’t a lacking but a gift and a reminder of our human need for love. This gift removes any fear of love and recognizes the love we each carry within to share. My intention is to help guide those that are living with loss, a broken heart, and in grieving to the healing of love and Spirit in the universe. It’s a gift to pass Reiki on, as it has blessed my life on my path of remembering. I’m humbled to be a student of its mystery, and grateful to be on the path of working with it.

Kristen Rae.jpg

Kristen Volpone,
Level 3

"Kristen explores the energetic tapestry of the human body & offerings of the heart's gifts through Yoga, Reiki, Meditation, Sound, Creation, and Intentional Practice..."

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