Tag Archives: self-reiki

Praise for “The Kickass Formula that Restored My Libido!”

Age has not been kind

Yours truly.

Just received word Libido will appear in print for the anthology, Unmasked, Women Write About Sex & Intimacy After Fifty. The book is slated to go to print in April.

Through the closed lids of my eyes, I feel the morning sunlight streaming in.

Hey, it’s the weekend.

I take inventory of my brain for traces of a hangover.

We’re in the clear.

And then I check for any activity that might be stirring in the netherworld between my legs which has, of late, been about as playful as a schoolmarm.


I can hear Chris breathing beside me. Sweet beautiful man, and yet for weeks now no amount of touching or stroking or licking on his part can bring back the phenomenon of rapture, nothing eases our hearty pursuit of it. Chris has tried, I’ve grimaced.

Sex-wise, everything was going great until I hit 50. Because it had been so easy before, I couldn’t understand why climaxing had become like trudging up Mount Washington with a dead body strapped to my back.

A quick Google search advised me to: “Get a pedicure, touch up your roots, spritz on your favorite perfume, get some exercise, schedule your sex, add a toy or two, try porn…”


But lately I’ve wondered if this was about something that KY Jelly can’t fix.

Hidden in my bedside drawer are sweet almond and rose oil and some ylang ylang I got at the organic food store. These oils are aphrodisiacs, but they are also antidepressants, hypotensives, nervines, and sedatives, and while I want that man sleeping beside me to slip inside and have a go, there’s also a reason I want the regular, easy cures to work.

I don’t want to acknowledge the changes going on in my 50-year-old body, the fact that I am no longer wet at the drop of a man’s hand feels like a failure somehow.

And, because I feel like a failure, I’ve been avoiding my body and therefore my self-Reiki practice. Reiki, a wild healing energy we can apply to ourselves, seeks out what’s maligned and out of whack in the body — blocks to creativity, depression, grief. It’s a catalyst to deepening spirituality that can offer glimpses of the divine.

On this Saturday morning with the aromatherapy hidden in my bedside table, I think: And isn’t sex divine?

With self-Reiki, you put your hands on yourself (absolutely anywhere, it really doesn’t matter… your arm, your belly) and bring your life force through your hands and into the body.

So, on this light-filled Saturday morning, because I am dying (literally) to be with the guy I used to crave, because last night during a scotch-induced haze I fell asleep while he was saying, “How about this?” and I was saying, “Nothing,” I put my hands on my abdomen and start.

My hands get warm, and I feel a deep sense of relaxation, not sleep but something wider, more alive.

That energy, whatever it is, doesn’t care whether you can have sex or not, how old you are, if you are getting a pudge around your middle, how many wrinkles have settled around your eyes.

Time slips away, I slip away, all that remains is blissed-out peace. Like drinking a martini — without the edge.

When I finish, I eyeball Chris. His eyes are half-mast, he’s styling an alfalfa hairdo, an imprint from a crease in his pillowcase runs across the right side of his face.

Not exactly a turn-on, but I don’t care. “Let’s give it a go,” I say.

Being a man in love (if he’s not too far under the influence of scotch), Chris is always ready to give it a go.

With a blind hand, I pull the end table drawer open and fumble for oil I concocted from the health food store.

Forget the sticky KY goop, this stuff glides like heaven.

Chris gets his hands on the love rub, goes about the business of inducing the hopeful rapture amid my numb equipment.

I anticipate the onslaught of banter that has ensued for the past few months like doc to patient:



“How about here?”


Those myriad times when I can no longer tell if his are the hands of a green gynecologist or a prospective cow buyer at auction.

But today something whispers: Hang in, be still.

Be still?

Stop trying so hard; relax. Look, there, out into the horizon.

That little voice sounds suspiciously like my intuition. I don’t hear it very often, mostly because I’m too busy listening to the voices saying I’m not supple enough, pretty enough, I’m past my prime…

The horizon? I ask it.

Behind your eyes.

There’s a horizon in my head?

Just close your eyes.

In my head, a cumulonimbus cloud appears in the distance, rolling with great billows of white particles.

The atmosphere changes.

And the change is charged.

“Here?” asks Chris.

Humidity — wet blanket type — sweeps in.


The storm hits.

A jagged line of electricity streaks across the room and touches my numb equipment. A lively spark ignites. Eyes squeezed closed, my heart pounds, I begin to sweat, my breath comes in short gasps. The spark ignites into flame, deep inside a pinch expands like fire to paper. I’m sucked into a trippy spiraling vortex.

The rapture fills me — a delicious swell that comes from the bottom of the ocean, too big to be experienced but a moment or two.

The wave recedes, leaving me pie-eyed, legs in rigor, fists clenched tight.

I look to Chris, who is hovering over me, his expression one of delight, the crease from the pillowcase stretched thin against the smiling muscles of his cheek. Given that he has a technical mind and has a limited repertoire of reactions, it’s rather comical.

“The self-Reiki,” I say, “the essential oils.” I catch wind of my torso. It’s charred in places and emits wisps of smoke.

We may have a formula to bring about a bit of the ol’ spark.

As the blood begins to seep back into my flesh, I let out a laugh — ribald, raucous. Besides having a great partner who will push and prod without feeling like a jackass, and will let you get as woo-woo as you want in the sack, I no longer feel old. Sex can last until 90. We just need to nurture ourselves in order to feel sparked about anything, including our libido.

And, in order to feel the wonders of the Universe, we need to let go and let god, whatever the hell your definition of god is, to be a part of it.

Circle of Life (She Mother, Me Daughter)

lisa mystic cropped“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” ―Lewis Carroll

The room closed in. The air got thick, dense; tension seeped into my pores. I grew smaller in stature, shrunk right there in my chair before her as if I was Alice and had just choked down a little red pill.

The topic is forthcoming, typical of family gatherings, a line of discussion of an inquisitive nature. It is terribly humiliating this line, disintegrating the little validation I feel about myself and certainly paving the way to pulverizing any validation I someday hope to feel.

She is triumphantly sitting across from me in my brother’s parlor, her hands folded over her swollen belly on this Christmas Day. My hands are not folded over my own swollen belly; my ever-shrinking Alice fingers are fumbling about, trying to maintain a grip on my ever-growing glass of sherry. I wallow in thought. It’s a terrible thing to be shrinking, I muse, and try to convey to her with an expression of pity that I’d like her to cut this sort of thing out, hand me the blue pill, return my body back to its normal inadequacy. She picks up on my expression. It doesn’t stop her. Her eyes, piercingly blue, are boring into my forehead mining my mind for the reasoning that prolongs the ongoing predicament, the matter that most likely sears her brain daily upon waking.

Words penetrate the thickness. They loom before me, big and fat and dripping with turkey gravy. She says, “Are you ready to get back into the circle of life yet?”

Here we go. I resist rolling my eyes, suck in my breath, feel the pressure against my insides. Time slows to a crawl. My lungs deflate, a slow leak like a bum tire, I maintain my front—an uneasy smile—thinking I have never departed from the circle of life. I am here, albeit dwindling to mere molecules in my chair—she, mother; me, daughter—amid a festive family holiday. In my book, that constitutes part of the arc in said circle.

In an inner voice in sync with my current stature and best depicted as first taking a hit from a balloon filled with helium, I hear: That’s not what she means.

I laugh to myself, ‘girl interrupted,’ entertained. Say something else.

She’s not referring to procreating or dying or “eat or be eaten” or even the arc of the circle as you put it. She means circulation, as in “are you ready to get back into circulation yet?”

Oh, yeah, ‘girl reactivated,’ the topic—the one that translates to getting a paying job versus my continuing to “run away from reality” with my so-called “writing interests.” Four years, I suppose from her perspective, is a long time for her daughter “to run away from reality,” a novel pursuit which thus far has yielded fruit the size of a watermeal. Four years, however, she has failed to realize that I’ve poured my heart, soul and angst into a self-proposed commitment and accordingly, sought out Reiki to induce some self-love since I am, especially when engaged in writing, constantly and colorfully harassed and torn to shreds by my inner critic.

Needless to say, my mother is my outer critic.

In the peace of the lovely colonial room, Dennis sits in a chair to my left, my father beside my mother. My brother is off in the kitchen cutting the cheese. The question relating to the humiliating fruitless topic that my mother could not resist in asking one moment longer, particularly in light of the New Year—making resolutions, picking up the pieces and starting anew, and so forth—remains there, unaddressed, splattering the coffee table with fowl juice, tainting the sherry, the nibbles; extinguishing the flickering light of the assorted votive candles. The “circle of life,” the subject, deflates the holiday mood—it falls flat. I gaze back at her with a hint of incredulousness as if to say, why can’t you support my endeavor, can’t you just be a nice mother.

She, of course, does not pick up on this, she has never picked up on the particular line the countless amounts of times I’ve attempted to impress it upon her, why would I expect anything different this Christmas Day. Despite it, the hard-pressed issue, I don’t defer to Dennis for his unwavering sympathy, support or opinion; I keep the subject between my mother and me, leaving the possibility and proper space to hash it out so-to-speak.

The hashing it out, a confrontation of sorts, the candid discussion does not happen. That’s because any real invitation to speak candidly, openly, ends up shunned upon. There’s no getting around it. She moves the subject right along and puts the question in a more specific form. She says, “What kind of job will you look for?”

My expression sours, the refrain in which Elton John sings “in the cir-cle, the cir-cle of life” begins to repeat in my head. The core of me begs to rise up, shows itself looking inside-out—the scorched and glistening spongy tissue springs from my throat and slops to the floor next to the coffee table. I stare at it, the battered evidence, my guts, and choose to defend myself, something I haven’t dared to do since I was a teenager. Deadpan, that is void of the four-year compounded emotion relating to my writing efforts best described as trying to squeeze blood from a stone intermittently overcome with a great effin’ high, I assert into the space some distance over my scorched and glistening core, my guts, “I’d like to become a successful writer.”

My mother’s expression remains unmoved, quite serious and probing. I keep my vision clear of Dennis keeping the perimeter clear for fire, the hopeful confrontation, the once-in-a-lifetime candid discussion. Dad, who shakes himself out of dozing at the subject matter, pushes his glasses further up on his nose. He interjects, “There are lots of teaching jobs out there, you could be a teacher. All my retired engineer friends teach. You could teach middle or high school.”

But Dad. I don’t want to be a teacher.

Not quite at my advantage, my mother’s ears fall deaf on the suggestion. Conversation flatlines. I focus on the flame of a burning candle situated in the middle of a marble-topped mahogany end table between my father and mother, cross my eyes silly. My forehead cramps; the funky play on light and objects brings me into a world of my own, prompts ironic clarity. Helium inner voice comes on the wind again. She is from a different time and playing field; knows not what it means, what drives and feeds your magnetism for risk, leaving the known for the unknown. The voice becomes stronger, sloughs off the high pitch. She is the catalyst to your creative expression, you see, the thing that sates you, your subversive writing.

Anew: I am rebel with a cause, confident, triumphant even, in my own right.

My scorched and glistening guts slither up the couch and climb back down my throat to its rightful place. In a trancelike state I say, “Wait till my manuscript hits the big screen.”

My parents are stunned, wide-eyed; I can make out their expressions in my periphery.

And nothing more is said on the matter.