Photo by  Erin Cox

Photo by Erin Cox

What is Reiki?
Reiki, as defined by Google Dictionary is, “a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body and restore physical and emotional well-being.” It is a technique that was developed in the 1920’s by a man named Mikao Usui and passed down through generations from Master to student through a series of “attunements”. But, the deeper meaning of Reiki is something I have a harder time explaining. This is in part because Reiki is something that is experienced in a completely unique way by every individual practitioner and client.

I was first introduced to the healing art of Reiki at the age of fifteen. Struggling with depression and anxiety, my mom began to explore adjunct therapies to support the ongoing psychotherapy and antidepressants. Although, at the time, I wasn’t fully open to the idea of energy actually being able to help me, there was something immensely relaxing and calming about lying on that table for a half hour and allowing myself to just “let go'“. However, it would be a further eighteen years before I was ready to dive into a truly immersive study of Reiki energy and energetic healing.
Around the age of twenty three, I was approached by a woman working the counter of our town’s local metaphysical shop, who quietly learned over and looked deep into my eyes and said with a voice filled with love and the deepest of conviction, “You are a healer my dear and you already know that. You just need to trust yourself. You have a gift.” That was it. No further explanation or guidance; just quite simply this is who you are and you know it, now go for it.
I entertained the idea briefly, reading some books, attending workshops and receiving sporadic Reiki sessions with various practitioners; but still there was something that held me back. I didn’t quite trust myself yet.
So, instead I put it in the back of my mind and I focused on my next great milestone; becoming a mother. I gave birth to my first child at age twenty four and from that moment on, I was fully consumed by the work of raising this little human being; however there wasn’t a week that went by that we didn’t somehow find ourselves randomly stopping by that same little metaphysical shop to just wander about for an hour or so. I had no explanation for it, but I just kept going back to meander through the shelves of crystals, incense, books on spirituality and tarot cards. The women who worked the counter often talked about energy work and I caught myself eavesdropping in on their discussions with fascination.
Fast forward nearly nine years later; I was now the mother of two children, homeschooling one of them and up to my elbows in grocery lists, house cleaning, and taking care of a house full of little humans and a menagerie of rescue animals. I had begun to do a lot of volunteer work with animals and after a particularly amusing rescue of a wayward rooster who had been dumped at a local park, I connected with a woman who had one of the most fascinating rescue farms I’ve ever seen. Not long after our Rooster rescue, she posted online about an event called “Reiki at the Ranch”….and I just couldn’t pass it by. I wanted so badly to participate, that I instantly emailed the woman coordinating the event and asked what the qualifications were to attend. When she told me that it was intended for practitioners and you needed at least a Reiki One attunement, I realized that I would do just about anything to get it. So, I asked her when was the soonest I could get an attunement.
To make a long story short, that particular Reiki at the Ranch event ended up having to be cancelled, but still I decided to pursue the attunement and just see what it was all about. I mean, I was familiar with the experience as a client, but I had never really understood how one actually began to practice it. And that folks, is where they say, “and the rest was history”. From the moment I stepped foot into that first attunement, I felt like I was finally coming home. All those years later, that woman’s words echoed in my ear “You were meant to do this”.
As I have progressed through my training (side note: I am not fond of that word “training”…as it feels more like a blossoming and a clarifying of what already existed) the sense of settling into myself has only become stronger. Even though the process hasn’t always been pleasant, there has never been a sense of uncertainty that this is a practice I am meant to partake in. I have felt everything from warming comfort to bliss to emotional overwhelm, to actual physical nausea and dizziness as I have dug down into the depths of this work and it has all served a purpose.
Today, I sit here writing this, a certified Reiki Master, knowing that this journey has only just begun. I am no special being. I have no particularly special gifts. I just know that for the first time in my life, I am following the call of my soul. There are details about the purpose and the exact direction that I am still working on clarifying; but for now, I know that I am on the right path. Somehow, in some way, Reiki is a part of my story.
And here is the most beautiful part of all this…Reiki is available to all of us. Reiki energy is and always has been there. It was there when I was fifteen, and it was there long before that. Someone wise once told me, it’s not that we are given special talents or “powers” but rather it is like we are all swimming in the ocean and when we open our eyes underwater, we can see the general shapes and colors of the reef around us; but through attunements and trainings and self exploration, it is like we are putting on our goggles. Suddenly the universe becomes clearer and we can discern the details of the coral, the subtle hues of the fish, and the shadows and light reflecting off the shells and stones. For me, my Reiki journey has felt exactly like this. I have always known this was right here in front of me, but the day I decided to truly put on my goggles; the energy around me crystallized into a more tangible experience, my connection to Spirit (Source, God, The Universe…whatever you term it) magnified, and my experience of everything around me (both physical and metaphysical) deepened and became infinitely richer.

So, as the spring emerges and the weather warms, I encourage you to reach out if you have ever been curious about or interested in a Reiki session, for yourself, your children, your animals, or a friend or family member. I will have many opportunities to share, both in private sessions and community based events and classes and I would be honored to work with you. Let’s put on our goggles together and go swimming; there is infinite beauty to behold.

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