- from my book Why Are You Sick?

my momMy journey began in 2007 when my mother told me I was supposed to be a healer - four years after she died.  My husband and I went on a much needed vacation to Arizona. It was the first vacation we’d taken in nearly five years. We were burnt out, tired and I was feeling lost and looking to reconnect with my spiritual self. My mother had passed away a few years prior and I was still struggling with her loss and the journey that cancer took her and the rest of the family on. It was a journey I hadn’t signed up for, none of us did. If you have had cancer touch your life, then you know what I’m talking about. Cancer shakes you right down to your foundation. You begin to question your beliefs at least I did, and I was hard pressed to make sense of it all. So the trip to Arizona was also a trip to heal and to try and put some pieces back together.

...I was determined to find an intuitive, spiritual guide to help me get back on track. We searched all afternoon for anyone that might be able to provide psychic readings or insights but we were out of luck, they were either all booked or closed. We gave up and started heading back to the car when I saw a tiny sign in an upstairs window that read ‘Psychic’ and a little voice inside me said "Go on, give it a try". We walked up to the counter and asked if there was a psychic available to do readings that day. The stunning blonde woman at the counter apologized and said the regular person was on her lunch break. My heart sank as I felt my chance to reconnect with my mom slip away. Then she followed by saying, "Well I could give you a reading, I work with Angels, is that ok?". Is that ok?! My mother LOVED angels. She had little cherubs all over the house and frequently called me 'Her Little Angel'. "Yes", I said, "that would be great".  It was only years later after reading many angel books by a woman named Doreen Virtue and attending one of her workshops that I recognized her as the same person who gave me a reading years before! I was able to confirm this by looking at the book she signed for me the day of the reading and verifying that yep - that was Doreen Virtue!

We proceeded to a back room where Doreen had me lie on a table and proceeded to do an energy clearing. She was able to quickly connect with my mom before I said anything. She described her in great detail, her loving energy, her smile and her favorite dog Dusty that was now with her in heaven. She even mentioned that my mom's little brother, Tommy, who died in Viet Nam, was with her. I was overcome by emotion and could feel my mom in the room with us. The room took on a new energy that felt warm, comforting and absolutely real.

Doreen then waved her hands over my hands and stopped and said, "Do you feel that?" and I was surprised to be able to answer back, "Yes!" My hands felt immediately hot as hers hovered over mine. She did this a few times, back and forth and I could feel the heat each time. She said emphatically, "You're supposed to be a healer and your mom says so too. She says you're supposed to work with animals and children. She also says to heal with your heart - not your head". I was stunned. Completely baffled. What the heck does that mean? What was I supposed to do with that?

Doreen proceeded with the reading conveying additional messages from my mom to other members of my family and reminded me to stay connected with them stressing the importance of family. My husband and I both walked back to our car more than a little stunned and with a great deal of peace. We spent the rest of the trip discussing the reading and how spot on it was for each of us. The only thing that didn't sit quite well was the 'Healer' aspect. That was such a foreign notion to me that I didn't really know how to interpret it and was frankly terrified at the aspect of  trying something like that. How do you even start?

Being a healer was the furthest thing from my mind at the time and sounded crazy frankly.  Back then I was waist deep in data, literally. I was a Market Researcher for some of the top high tech companies in Silicon Valley. My job was to find patterns out of millions and millions of records collected by these Internet sites in order to help aid marketers and product teams to build the best products and market them to the right audience. That was my life for nearly 15 years before everything turned upside down. We returned home from our trip and jumped back into the minutia of our daily lives. Work, eat, sleep with little else in between. A year went by and in that year I had moved to another company and began working more intensely than I ever had before. My commute was longer, the demands on my time were greater and I again began to feel empty and unfulfilled.

As the stress began to mount so did my health problems. When Sunday evening rolled around my stomach would revolt forcing me to spend some quality time with my toilet. I was losing sleep. I was exploding at my husband over little things like not taking out the trash or asking me a simple question. I was not spending any time with friends or family because I simply didn't have the energy and didn't have anything more to give. I was miserable.

It was at a point of sheer despair that I remembered a little reading I had where my mom told me I was supposed to be a healer. I re-read my notes from the reading and went to Google and typed, "animal healing". Kids and I are a bit like oil and water so I left that part out of the Google search.

What came up first was a book called Animal Reiki by Elizabeth Fulton and Kathleen Prasad. I had never heard of Reiki before and was skeptical but intrigued as well. I wentahead and bought the book online and it shipped later that week. When it arrived I felt a bit awkward even opening the pages. I had never really read anything 'New Agey' like this before. Was this going to change me into some flower child? Perish the thought!

I started reading the book and found myself unable to put it down. It was written in a way that was easy to understand peppered with stories that showed the significant impacts that Reiki had on animals. What struck me about Reiki was that it worked regardless of the practitioner. So I didn't have to be a super spiritual person who meditated 23 hours a day nor did I have to be tied to any specific religious or spiritual belief system. All the Reiki practitioner has to do is have the intention for Reiki to flow and then Reiki took over and did the rest. Reiki didn't require any long training period in fact you could learn it in a weekend.

I learned that Reiki uses what's called 'Universal Life Force Energy' - the pure energy in all living things. ... This energy source has an intellect all its own and knows where to go and what to do. I found this to be completely liberating as it didn't require a medical knowledge of anatomy or of various illnesses or ailments. ... It was that easy.

What I found even more compelling about Reiki was that it was completely safe for the practitioner as well as for the recipient. In other words, Reiki works like a one-way channel. The Reiki practitioner doesn't run the risk of absorbing the energy of the person they're working on, nor does the recipient receive the practitioner's energy.  I was elated to hear this because I knew that I was already sensitive to other people's moods and didn't want to absorb their emotions or even their physical illnesses. ...

Once I finished the book I was hooked. I Googled 'Reiki Classes' and found one in my area, signed up without hesitation and was on my way! At this point in my life I still wasn't interested in 'becoming a healer' but I knew I needed to learn some tools that would help me deal with the stresses in my fast-paced life.  I learned the first two levels of Reiki in one weekend. My goal in taking the class was to create a protective barrier or shield so that I would no longer be as affected by my work stress. My teacher, Jessica Miller, was absolutely amazing and my classmates were equally encouraging and warm. I learned about the Japanese history of Reiki, where it came from and how it was brought over to the States. I learned how to use Reiki on myself, others and situations. I learned how to send Reiki across time and space, healing things in my past, present and future and sending Reiki to people who weren't physically nearby. And most importantly, I learned how Reiki can clear up the energy in volatile situations and environments. This was just what I needed to help me out at work where there was constant negativity and demanding personalities. I felt alive, charged, cleared and ready to start using my new Reiki tools in my daily work life.

As I went back to work on that first Monday after my Reiki class, I felt ready to take on anything. Nothing was going to upset me, I was going to let it all bounce right off me. I was going to clear my work space and our communal spaces of any negative energy and all was going to be well. Or so I thought. As I took one step through the threshold of the door I had a nervous breakdown. I started to cry uncontrollably and had to go straight to the bathroom to compose myself. I couldn't stop crying. I was shaking all over. What was going on? I had new training, new tools, why was I reacting this way?

After I was able to compose myself I had a deep moment of clarity, I wasn't supposed to be there anymore. It was clear that I wasn't going to be able to make this work. I thought the Reiki would be providing me with protection and shielding but that day it did so much more. It provided me with new eyes, that I was able to see more clearly with. I was meant to do something greater with my life and Reiki was helping steer me in the direction of my life's purpose.

Four short months after that experience I quit my six figure salaried job and four months after that I opened up my Reiki practice. It happened that quickly and was that easy.  Life becomes a lot less difficult when you finally realize that your round peg will not fit into the square hole. When I had that epiphany I had to do a 180 degree turn on my life. I acquiesced to the thought of becoming a healer and for the first time in my life let something else take the reins. From this point forward I was letting Reiki steer the train.
I wasn't just a passenger on the Reiki train, I did my homework, I drafted a business plan, did my market research and came up with a solid business model. I found a great location for my office and lined up contract work from my old high-tech network to help support my family while I grew my clientele.

Everything happened just as it was supposed to. I slowly started to get more clients and learned through the eyes of Reiki with each new client, with each Reiki session. As of this writing I have worked on over 500 clients equating to over 1,700 Reiki sessions. I have provided Reiki at homeless shelters, medical clinics, corporations, temples and helped to organize Reiki practitioners at cancer centers.  I am extremely grateful to this day for the opportunities that Reiki has provided to me and my clients. Through its powerful yet subtle energy I've seen lives completely transform, including my own.

I am a Usui Reiki Master and a Karuna Reiki® Master. I am also a Certified Angel Card Reader™, EFT Level 1 Practitioner, an International Center for Reiki Training Professional Member and hold a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from UC Berkeley where I studied Sociology, Anthropology and Physics. Prior to my Reiki practice I worked for nearly two decades in market research and data strategy for such high-tech companies as Macromedia, Yahoo and Facebook. My husband Mark and I also run our comic book store in Milpitas called Black Cat Comics.

I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, love to play the drums, guitar, read/write horror fiction and run around with my kittens.

Per California State Law SB 577: Francie Soito is not a licensed physician. REIKI is a complement to 'healing arts services licensed by the State', i.e., it is a complement to more traditional western medicine provided by doctors, nurses and hospitals. As a complementary or alternative medicine, REIKI does not require licensing by the state of California.




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