This week I repeated a time-honored yearly tradition, the displaying of the holiday cards I receive from family, friends, clients and students. A tradition I learned from my parents, who had a unique husband/wife practice – Dad the dentist, Mom the dental hygienist/office manager.
My father truly loved his work, doing his very best to keep up with the latest in painless dental techniques, and would not hesitate to go the extra mile, sometimes literally. Each patient knew Dad would open his office if a toothache hit at 2 a.m. or a crown came loose during a holiday.
One way the patients reflected his caring back to him was in the form of Christmas cards.
I think it may have been my mother who devised the method of displaying them so that each giver could see that their thoughtfulness had been appreciated. A length of ribbon would be taped at the top onto the door frame or wall, and one by one each card would be affixed with another piece of tape so that they hung in a colorful line almost to the floor.
As Christmas approached, the office would begin to resemble a Hallmark store gone wild – cards were everywhere, filling all empty spaces. There were so many the staff would run out of wall space, and then the cards would be stood upright on any remaining horizontal surfaces, sometimes making it difficult to find the receptionist behind the desk.
As the dental practice was attached to our house I would often wander in after office hours, opening several cards at random to read the notes of gratitude and thankfulness that they contained. It gladdened my heart to know that the services that my family provided were so well thought of.
Years later, my father deceased, my mother retired, I realized I was now carrying on the family tradition with my own practice, albeit in an entirely different field than dentistry.
I also receive personalized notes from my clients – gratitude for support through times of personal emotional/physical pain and/or that of an animal companion, or gratitude for the skills they learn in Reiki or shamanic classes. And I humbly report that I often receive such notes at other times of the year, not just Christmas – my parents probably did, too.
I never had a conversation with my father about how he felt about the outpouring of appreciation from his patients. As I wrote in my book in the article “The House That Love Built,” Dad was a man of few words. He shared his caring through the dental work that he created for his patients, and through the items that he crafted for his family.
As I hung the Christmas cards I had received, I realized that I could do something that he couldn’t – I could express my feelings through the power of words, through my writing.
So to each of you who has written to me to express your heartfelt thanks for a personal session, for support for an animal companion, or for any of the art or energy gifts that my website offers, I say, “Thank you.” Your words and positive feedback keep me going through the brief moments of darkness when I wonder if being on this path is worth it, for being a healer can mean facing hard truths while doing your own personal healing in order to be of assistance to others.
To the many people who have taken time to write an email or send a card, sharing how what I have written in my book/blog/newsletter has touched your life and what that has meant, my thanks. Your words offer me the encouragement to write when I hurt or am tired or discouraged, and sometimes the courage necessary for stepping outside my comfort zone and sharing my journey in hope that doing so may be of benefit to someone else.
Whether geographically near or far, many of you have reached out and touched me through your words more than you can know. And so this Christmas I would like to offer my own Hallmark moment (when you care enough to send the very best) – the gift of telling all of you how much your support has meant to me over the years, for I could not continue to do this work without you. Munay!
From all of us at Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing – Rose De Dan, Saqqara, Kiya, Cougar, Sand and Puma – Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a blessed and Happy New Year!
Think Outside the Cage
Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is a mesa carrier in the Peruvian Q’ero tradition. In addition she is also a Reiki Master Teacher, animal communicator, author of the acclaimed book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism, and creator of Animal and Reiki Art. As an animal shaman, she views her role as a healer as one of building bridges between people and animals, and of empowering them to reconnect with Pachamama, Mother Earth.
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