Monday, March 29, 2010

Disturbing Divisions

I have a student who has been learning with me for close to a year. She started with no previous knowledge of Reiki, and learned Kundalini Reiki with me, followed by working on her intuitive development in many areas through Intuitive Development Coaching. She's shared her successes as she became more aware of the sensations of energy, her guidance, angels, and confidence in her abilities to work with Reiki. It's been beautiful to be a part of and witness to the many ways in which she has discovered these abilities and connections. It's changed her life for the better and helped her see her path more clearly. She has been learning with me via distance. We've never met in person, although we have spoken on the phone a couple of times. Last week, she told me this story:

Recently, she decided to attend a Reiki circle in her local area. Gathered with other Reiki practitioners, they were all getting ready to start the flow of the energy. She watched them draw symbols in the air and on themselves. She sat quietly, intending that the energy begin. Kundalini Reiki does not use symbols. She felt the other practitioners looking at her sideways. She overheard one say to the other, "Where did she get her training?" The other responded "Oh, she phoned it in over the internet." How snarky. My student left shortly thereafter.

I'm unhappy about the attitude of some Reiki practitioners about distance learning. Let's face it - Reiki energy is not limited by distance any more than love is. Learning Reiki is like learning any subject - the depth and ease of your learning is partially your effort, and partially your teacher's ability to teach you well. I teach locally and I teach by distance. In each case, I give my students close individual support and guidance. I am invested in his or her learning. I care about my student's experiences learning and working with the Reiki energy. My local students do not receive more because they are with me in person. I take my role as teacher seriously, and my students' success, confidence with their Reiki practice, and genuine love for energy work are testament to both the effectiveness of their practice and confidence in my teaching methods. I'm truly proud of my work and stand behind it.

So when one of my distance students is treated with disrespect by others who practice Reiki, I am disturbed. This is not what BEing Reiki is about. My student is comfortable and confident with the way she practices Reiki. Her energy is strong. I doubt that anyone experiencing Reiki from her would be able to tell the difference between Reiki from her and Reiki from one who learned in a local class, (provided the one who learned locally had a good teacher).

I think that the politics of those who would judge distance learning against local, or Usui Reiki against other methods, is unnecessary and negative. How about we all focus on our common goals - offering healing energy to those who need it, balancing ourselves, and trying to make the world a better place through our work? Seriously, there is enough to deal with from those who don't understand or accept that Reiki helps. We don't need to be passing judgment on each other within our Reiki circle.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Healer, Be Healed

This weekend, I had the blessing of going to spend the day with Connie Dohan, one of my mentors and wonderful, caring teachers. She gave me several energy healing sessions, read my cards, drew my angels and those of my children and husband, took a picture of my aura with her aura camera, taught me about crystals, and gave me advice on promoting my Reiki teaching practice. Her husband nurtured us with home cooked food. We took walks together in the spring sunshine. It was a very healing and rejuvenating day and one I needed very much. I'm so grateful for her place in my life.

I learned a lot too. I get very caught up in helping others, taking care of my family, teaching, sending Reiki, and working on various writing projects. I'm spread pretty thin. It's okay because I like to be busy, but I, like many others, forget to take time to receive the energy that can revive me and restore my balance. Things that bother me just sit in my energy, waiting to be taken care of. Sometimes they wait a long time. In spending a day receiving healing, insight, guidance, fresh air and good food, I realized how much I had been needing this replenishing.

As I became aware of my baseline, and the shift that took place after each healing session, I was made aware of just how important receiving healing is. Not just for me, but if the people I share Reiki healing with are receiving this kind of powerful clearing, then what I do is not only important, but really needed. Since I became a Reiki practitioner, I believed in the benefits of Reiki. But experiencing it for myself in such a direct way was a very strong reminder of why I do this for others.

Energy practitioners are not exempt from the need to receive healing. In fact, all who offer energy healing to others should also receive healing from others on a regular basis. I'm not only a Reiki teacher, but also a working mom of four. Everyone falls into the category of being able to benefit and really needing the power of energy healing to help release the energetic sludge that accumulates as we wear so many hats. I didn't even realize that I was in such ragged shape until I felt the difference afterward.

I want to mention that I do daily self-Reiki healing at least once per day. But it's been a while since I received Reiki from someone else in several powerful sessions, and wow, did I ever need it. I feel renewed and much more aware of my emotional, spiritual and physical state.

The readings helped me see my path more clearly, and confirmed what I'm doing well, and what I need to strengthen. They helped me see my children and husband as being cared for and loved by the angels around them. They helped me connect more where I had felt doubts.

Let me mention that I believe that we are all capable of learning to help each other in this life. Connecting to Life Force Energy through learning Reiki or another energy healing modality enables us to care for ourselves and to care for others. We are also able to receive healing from others who know this too. I teach Reiki because the more people who can do this, the better our world can be. I'm always in awe of how easy Reiki is to learn, and how life-changing it can be.

Connie is seriously wonderful, and that is due in part to the fact that she decided to listen, strengthen her intuitive gifts, and nurture her own connection to Spirit. She fully embraced this path and now teaches and nurtures others who wish to do the same. I'm blessed to know her. I'm also inspired to continue moving ahead, offering healing and teaching to others, and nurturing them. Receiving energy refreshed my gift of being able to give.

So this lesson was one on receiving, but also on the power of giving. I'm grateful to share this lesson with you here.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

This Time it's Personal

Recently, on Twitter, I received this tweet in my mentions column:
@ReikiAwakening Reiki is just faith healing without the faith. Witchcraft in other words. We foremost promote REAL alternative medicine.
I don't follow (on Twitter) the person who challenged me in this way, nor have I had any previous interaction with him. When I receive tweets like this, my first instinct is to try to explain that Reiki is real. I did send two tweets back in response, and then my dear rational friend Sophie Lhoste told me to block him. I did. Sophie reminded me that what we put our attention on increases, and what we ignore decreases. It was wise advice.

This came on the heels of two days of being challenged by another Twitter member who is a scientist and kept tweeting at me to explain what I do in scientific terms. I tried, unsuccessfully, to put a logical, rational explanation out there of what Reiki is, how it works, what I experience, and so forth. Eventually, after this person kept asking me repeatedly more probing questions, I found it impossible to explain. I'm not a scientist. I'm not a faith healer. I'm not a witch. I am a Reiki practitioner and a teacher. (I feel like I'm in a Star Trek episode, "Dammit, Jim, I'm a Reiki teacher, not a scientist!" Bones said that once, didn't he? ha).

It brought me to a realization and a little source of frustration that Reiki is not something that always has predictable or measurable results. I can intend for the energy to do a certain thing (relieve a headache, remove emotional blockages), and it may do that. The only way of knowing that it did is by getting the feedback from the recipient that he feels better. I can often get energetic "dings" when I scan a person's energy, alerting me to imbalances in a certain area when I'm giving a Reiki healing. I respond to those "dings" by directing the energy there as I am giving the healing. But the only way I know for sure if it worked is when I hear back that the person feels better. I don't always know what the outcome will be, although I nearly always get a response that there is relief of some kind after a healing session. That consistent validation keeps me confident that Reiki helps. But it's not an exact science, like pinpointing an issue with a laser beam and watching the changes occur through a microscope. It's not visible. It's subjective. And different results happen for different people, because needs are very individual. So it's hard to explain that to someone who wants a concrete explanation.

My mother-in-law was recently discovered to have a 5-cm tumor on her left lung. It was discovered accidentally. She underwent a battery of tests, both external and invasive. Yes, it's what you're thinking it is. And it may have spread. I'm not saying the word here. That's because I don't want to put more energy into the word or make it a self-fulfilling prophesy. As Sophie said, what we put attention on increases. That isn't to say I'm ignoring this, not at all. But I'm also doing all I can not to feed it.

Which brings me to the next point, regarding the vagueness of Reiki. I mobilized all of my Reiki friends and put in a request with the Distance Healing Network to send my mother-in-law healing energy. Another Reiki friend and I did a combined healing session for her, visualizing wrapping that tumor in healing energy and shrinking it. We sent light to her immune system. We worked together, feeling the energy flowing strongly.

Scans showed there was no change in the size of the mass. It did not grow, it did not shrink. Still there. Weirdly, biopsies came back inconclusive but the doctors feel the need to do more invasive biopsies because the scans showed the cells are active and spreading. I have no idea if or how all of this Reiki is helping. That's my frustration. She is still anxious and having trouble sleeping. The mass is still there. More tests and forthcoming treatments are planned. It's as if nothing made a difference.

Am I expecting miracles? Well I'd like to think that I could do SOMETHING to help. Yes, of course I'm there, taking her to appointments, offering support, love, presence, reassurance. But I'm blessed with the ability to do Reiki for a reason, and I want to use this gift to help someone I love so dearly! She wants to fight this, to live to watch her grandchildren grow and enjoy them. The doctor's words "stage cure....radiation...." echo off the walls and deflate hope with each bounce. I don't want those words to have energy that feed this diagnosis. I want positive thinking to prove a miracle can happen.

Abraham-Hicks is bold enough to say that positive thinking is all one needs to turn one towards complete health from any condition, nearly immediately. That sounds so bold, and I want to believe it, and yet it seems to fly in the face of reality. And yet....and yet....friends tell me of surprising results when doctors suddenly couldn't find a tumor when they were ready to operate. All that changed is the person remained positive and didn't get discouraged by the doctor's diagnosis. Miracles happen and I'm really hoping this can be one of those miracle stories. I also know it's not all up to me, even though I'd like to be able to do something that will help make a difference.

There are those who say Reiki goes towards a person's highest good, whatever that may be. It's so vague. And then there's the aspect of setting intention to drive the energy toward a specific goal. That's the opposite. Which is true? I'm not sure. Probably both. And I also don't have knowledge of what a person's highest good is. Sometimes this is challenging. I often ask for "the healing that is needed" and add that "any lessons attached to this healing be gently received." I trust in the higher powers to translate this intention into reality for the recipient. This leaves the challenge of explaining or reconciling what the outcome is to the goal of the healing. Is it really in one's highest good to remain sick or get worse? I don't know. I hope not. There are those who say that one has lessons to learn in this lifetime, or karmic debts to pay that are lived out through one's experiences. I don't know lots about this personally, so I listen to those ideas and take them in, weighing them against my own gut feelings. Suffering can be so hard to understand.

I've felt that it's my path to continue to offer and teach Reiki healing. It is a niche that I've fallen into and it's fit me so well that I'm merged with it. I receive emails from students and clients about how much the Reiki has helped them feel better. This is my validation. This is my signal to keep doing what it is I do. I can't give the scientists and skeptics who challenge me more of a concrete answer than that. There are literally hundreds of people who I've shared energy with that are grateful and received relief from receiving or learning Reiki. This keeps me going. This renews my faith every single day.

So despite not knowing what the energy will do, where or how it may specifically help a person, or knowing if it will or won't trigger a miracle, I keep on sharing it. I keep on believing in the power of Reiki.

The combination of trust and intention are keys to the process.

Thanks for reading.