My Reiki Journey - Part 6: Reiki Classes vs. Reiki Practice

posted on: April 24, 2016

If you've read My Reiki Journey from Part 1, hopefully it's all starting to feel a little more familiar and less confusing now.  It seems important to emphasize how different taking a Reiki class is from making Reiki a continual practice in your own life.  Just like taking one piano class isn't going to turn you into a piano player and taking one yoga class isn't going to make your body more flexible.  Reiki is a practice that needs to be experienced frequently in order for it to be better understood.

I often hear of programs that suggest fast-track progress, but then don't emphasize the importance of self-care or the dedication to the energetic journey after finishing a class.  Based on my own Reiki journey, the work of Reiki is so much more than a methodology and set of tools.  A class is just an introduction.  It's really in the experiencing and practicing regularly that it becomes real and understandable. Without regularly applying it into our own life and in sessions with other people, it will continue to feel difficult to understand.

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While you can technically do Reiki 1 & 2 in the same weekend with certain teachers, it doesn't seem to honor the time, space, and Reiki self-care work that really promotes a deep understanding and lasting set of experiences grounded in reality.  So many energy workers and natural healers are drawn into this work because of their compassion and desire to help others, but there's also often a deep part of ourselves that needs some of the same healing we seek to share with others, and it takes time, practice, and dedication for that healing to be revealed and to unfold in a natural way.  Deep healing and self-care takes more than a weekend- it's really a lifetime of practice.

A Reiki class and attunement can truly only introduce basic concepts, methods, and possible tools for healing.  It's up to each individual as to how they actually put that into practice in their own life.  If people go out into the world after taking Reiki classes and only seek to heal others without really do their own inner work, they'll spend a lot of their own energy trying to make things happen for others and wondering why healing work feels so draining for them, rather than tapping into a much larger source of energetic support and serving as a very clear conduit and multiplier.

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Thankfully, I'd done a lot of self-care and karmic work in my life before I came to Reiki.  In many ways, I felt ready for the Reiki Master level even before I started- and that's even with my own very skeptical nature, feeling unsure of what I was getting myself into.  In writing, that might seem a bit bold to say, but in my experience, it just means that I'd done a LOT of energetic clearing work before entering the energetic practice of Reiki.  That doesn't mean there isn't more ahead, it simply means I accepted a lot of my own karmic mess and dealt with it through many other methods before starting this particular part of my journey.  Most of the very dramatic energetic shifts I've had happened before I even began Reiki- so my flow through Reiki 1, and then Reiki 2 felt very effortless and fun- and that was certainly not the case for everyone in my classes.

Some people did Reiki 1 and discovered that their whole life turned inside out afterward- so they took years figuring it all out before they returned, if at all, to pursue Reiki 2.  Some sailed through Reiki 1 & 2, but hit a brick wall when it came to Reiki 3 and decided they were going to keep Reiki a personal and family practice.  There were only a couple people in my Reiki 1 class who followed the same sequence and timeline that I did- feeling as though the flow was fairly effortless, interesting, and graceful for them. I could tell from the beginning that they were either natural born healers based on the energy they had, or they had already done a lot of personal energy work in their own life.

The great thing with Reiki work is that you don't need to do it on anyone else's timeline.  If you feel called to it, it's best to treat it as a deeply individual practice that should be explored at a pace that feels right for you.  People gain nothing by rushing to the next class and trying to reach the highest level quickly.  In many cases, it seems that people who have rushed to the next class without really internalizing it and understanding it first, have also ended up taking certain classes over and over again with different instructors just to understand it better.  The instructor can make a difference, but there's so much more information that comes from practicing it regularly.

As a musican, I understand how fundamentally important practice is to refinement and developing musical flow.  As an artist, I know how much my own vision, understanding, and wisdom develops over time when consistently practicing and working on my craft.  Reiki is no different in that it is not what you learn in class, but how you practice and apply it to your daily life and your closest relationships that will make the biggest difference and provide the deepest understanding.

My Reiki Journey - Part 5: Reiki 1 Case Studies

posted on: April 17, 2016

The most common question after "What is Reiki?" and "How Does Reiki Work?" is "What is the Evidence of Reiki Healing?"

Lots of love from #NYC #lovewall

Reiki 1: Self-Healing Journey

Through the daily self-care practice following the attunement of Reiki 1, I was able to witness a new level healing in myself, and started to witness some additional healing in my family members who received hands-on Reiki healing sessions as well.

Faster Recovery from Illness & Better Immunity
For my self-healing, I noticed that my recovery times from bruises, cuts, allergies, flu, and cold were much shorter than they had been in the past.  I was able to use Reiki to help relieve minor headaches and to restore my energy after being in an energetically draining environment or interaction.  I became less sensitive to environmental agitators and allergens that had previously knocked me out energetically and became better able to control random surges of anxiety before they had any inhibiting affect on me.  New York City can be an energetically brutal place, especially when you live in the middle of Manhattan - so being able to restore and regenerate your own energy regularly is very important to living here successfully.

Greater Level of Compassion, Acceptance, & Understanding
My interactions and reactions in difficult situations became much more calm and centered with less frustration or anger entering my body and spirit at an emotional level.  The reactions of other people's emotions didn't seem to affect me as much as they once had.  I didn't feel any less sensitive to their energy, but I did feel much less triggered or reactive.  Things that used to upset me or frustrate me became tiny blips in the course of my day, rather than massive setbacks.  I gained some of that ability from meditation before practicing Reiki, but being able to deal with it in the energetic realm, rather than in my mind or body, helped me better recognize what was and wasn't mine to carry away from each situation.

Healing of Forgotten/Ignored Damage From Past
I achieved a new level of healing with previous trauma that I had completely forgotten about.  After receiving sessions from other practitioners who all highlighted the same two core areas that exhibited blocks, I became more aware that parts of my body had stored emotional and physical trauma at an energetic level, even though I had long forgotten about incidents and made peace with them at a mental level.  As mentioned in previous blog posts, I had already done quite a bit of self-healing work through learning meditation, yoga, and tapping, but I reached a new level through Reiki that I had not achieved with other methods because of what could be sensed in very specific areas of the body.

This #streetart on Stanton St brightens up a metal security gate during closed business hours. #NYC #les

Reiki 1: Insights from Hands-On Practice on Others

When I practiced Reiki 1 on others through my Reiki classmates, willing practice clients, and family members, I gained insights and information about their bodies or spiritual being that were surprising to me and to them.   Here were a few things that I experienced when working on others after Reiki 1 attunement:

• Sensed ancestral support & relationship information for several different classmates
One person's energy revealed that they were serving as a parent and support system to their parents- confirmed by the person, and another person's energy revealed that they were receiving direct support during a difficult situation in life from a deceased grandparent- confirmed by him.

• Sensed elemental and/or color qualities of people's energy during attunements
One person had an air/white quality to their being that I could sense even with my eyes closed- she confirmed feeling that element strongly for herself, another person had a very purple aura which I couldn't see with my eyes but could feel in my mind's eye, and it turned out to be a color that resonated strongly for that person on many different levels.

• Sensed scar tissue, energy blockages, and scattered energy during Reiki sessions
On three different people a feeling of "grey/cold" ended up revealing old scar-tissue areas based on telling each client where I sensed those feelings and their response all revealing old major injuries and scar tissue areas.  On a couple practice clients, a feeling of release was felt by myself and the client in certain organ areas of the body after 10+ minutes of holding an area.  For a family member, a 20 minute hands-on session helped relieve scattered energy from dealing with a stressful situation, which made it possible to return to the situation with more clarity, focus, and emotional calm.

• Mediumship & spiritual awarenesses while not conducting Reiki sessions
In a very surprising moment while interviewing a potential office assistant, I became a medium for an interviewee's deceased family member.  All it took was one mention of the family member, and suddenly the deceased family member's energetic presence, laughter, and a confirmation message for the interviewee were being shared with me as mental images and mental thoughts.  On top of that, I was also able to hear energetic emotional blocks and openings in someone's intention much more clearly even when they would try to cover them up with a tone or inflection.  The truth and reality in many matters became much more transparent without needing confirmation from individuals.

• Stronger level of spiritual connection with God (and the greater energetic body)
Feeling connected to a much larger supporting energy during Reiki sessions, and being able to witness very real and physical changes has provided so many life-enhancing benefits, but most of all, an awareness and witnessing of the infinite possibilities of healing beyond current scientific understanding.

If you'd like to read more about my Reiki Journey, try starting from the beginning at Part 1: Skeptical Curiosity, or going backwards to Part 4: Observing Outside Energy, or head to the next post Part 6: Reiki Classes vs. Reiki Practice


Finding What Frees You - Gratitude Journal

posted on: April 11, 2016

Here's what's real and vulnerable for me, every single year I'm in business for myself as a photographer and independent creative small business... 
Gone fishing


There are some amazing photographers out there, some who spend exponentially more time on their images than I do, some who are in higher demand than I am, and some who have all of the right ingredients but still struggle more than I do.


We can argue better or worse with regard to talent all day long, but at the end of the day, the biggest question for me is not one of comparison to other creatives in my field, but most often, can I keep turning this dream of living as an artist into a reality this month, the next month, and through the end of this year? 


Every day I have to ask myself, how much do I want this? Is this really the work I want, the life I want, the way I want to invest more of my time and energy each day?  


There are weeks and sometimes months when I will question myself and my path every single day. It happens most often in the space between when I've finished a large project, but haven't yet secured my next big project. In these moments of project voids, I may spend every minute of free-time exploring other options. The reasons for exploring other options often have less to do with a passion for something else and more to do with the mitigation of anxiety or risk of financial strain.


No one said this life would be easy. In fact, everyone knew how hard it would be, which is why they encouraged me to do something "safer" with more "stability." All I heard was "chain yourself to a desk" and "let someone else decide how you should work."  Even though I have plenty of experience taking risks and moving through the space of unknowns, there's always the lure of something "easier" and "safer."


Then I remember what I have now, working for myself, working as an artist, that I didn't get when I worked full time for someone else.


Freedom.


The feeling of freedom means everything to me.


I will sacrifice so many other things to have freedom in how I work, who I work with, what methods I use in my work, where I work, and how I value the work I do. This is the driving force that lights my fire when I start to feel it sizzling out. It is the fuel that energizes me to get up and get dressed, even when there's no where to go; simply because I am free- even in those moments of anxiousness and insecurity, I am free to choose how I want to make the most of my day, my time, my energy, and my life.


I am free to spend my day prospecting for a new client, or free to be inspired with a visit to an art gallery. I am free to act on fear of failure and explore other career options, or I am free to get lost in the wonder of a spring landscape coming to life. I am free to develop my technique and my craft, or I am free to sulk in despair and self-loathing. I am free to express these feelings through writing, or I am free to let them stew in my mind like a drugged mouse in a maze.


On the good days, I choose to use my freedom for the highest good of my artist development and for the gratitude of all that the universe has gifted me with. On the bad days, I forget how much freedom I have to enjoy life in ways that don't even require expense to my bank account. Luckily, the more years I have as a freelancer, the more I've learned how to turn all of the "free days" into good days.


Freedom is not easy, but it is always worth fighting for. A seed could just as easily remain in the ground, unnoticed and unrealized, but when it does the work and pushes through the creative dirt of freeing itself from everything that holds it back, the end result is the most beautiful expression of life and existence.  


Do you need to work for yourself to have this freedom? Absolutely not.  


For some people, freedom is a high level of specialization that requires being part of a larger system in order to experience freedom at an individual level. For some, freedom is not thinking about ideal clients, not thinking about invoicing, and not needing to worry about where the next paycheck will come from. For some people, freedom comes from not having to be responsible for anyone else.


Find your own sense of freedom. Find what makes you thrive. Find the flow of ease and simplicity in your life. Find what matters most to you- that which provides you with the freedom you seek. It's different for everyone, but you'll know it when you've reached it because it will feel freeing in the ways that reduce your stress and release your anxiety.  


Allow room for your sense of freedom to change over your lifetime, not just once, but many times. It may be freeing to own your own business when you're single, but more freeing to work for someone else when you have children. It may be more freeing to have a company contribute to your retirement account and to have set work constraints that you don't take home with you at night, than to think about how you can grow your business even when you're going to sleep at night. There's no right way to experience freedom- because it's just as varied as we are as individuals- and as varied as each stage of life.


Do not let anyone else tell you that their version of freedom is better than yours. Choose it for yourself. Find what frees you, and make the most of that freedom in every area of your life.



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