Trust Reiki

18 Apr

I started practicing the Usui Shiki Ryoho tradition of Reiki more than 15 years ago now. I was introduced to Reiki in a synchronistic passing with a neighbor on Carrollton Ave in New Orleans, LA.  “You should try Reiki” he suggested and it was as if a little bell rang in my ear. “Yes I should!” I thought.  A few weeks later I saw a Reiki flyer at the local yoga studio which connected me with a class by Reiki Master Elizabeth Ohmer Pellgrin.  And so my Reiki journey began.

I’ll be honest with you, my beginnings with Reiki started off a bit choppy. My body was so wracked with the depth of recent challenges and a lifetime of “holding on tight” in the midst of traumatic circumstances that when I gave myself Reiki my body practically convulsed and the energy was met with my own habitual resistance.  “Trust Reiki” Elizabeth encouraged and I did, continuing with my daily practice. “I am turning into a gloworm” I joked as I noticed a palpable shift in my body and being with regular self Reiki treatments.

I was fortunate to become part of a vibrant Reiki community. We met regularly for group treatments in various circles all over town. I made new friends and connections and Elizabeth was a steadfast support in my journey. I felt swept up and supported in a whole new way that formed the beginning of a new foundation.

A few years later when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and we were dispersed everywhere, Reiki was there. I met up with Elizabeth in Austin, TX  for a private second degree class. I can still remember sitting at the kitchen table in my temporary Austin abode excited and enchanted by the new leg of my journey.

Elizabeth shared the story of asking her first Reiki teacher, Ken Bower, the difference between first and second degree. He said, “Honey, first degree is like driving a Volkswagen. Second degree is like driving a Lamborghini.” Elizabeth said “Ken, how can you compare something as spiritual as Reiki to cars?”  He smiled and said, “You’ll see!” About two minutes later he pointed to a fancy car Elizabeth had never seen before. She raised her eyebrows and said “What?” He smiled and said “THAT’S a Lamborghini” as it sped off like a jet!

With second degree I began to support myself and others in new ways. A few years later when I took a leap and left the United States and began an unexpected international adventure, Reiki was there.  As someone who was very sensitive and still challenged by simple and day to day things, Elizabeth encouraged me to send Reiki to those in our community not only to support them, but to support me. Amazingly, as I began to devote more time daily to the practice of sending Reiki to others, my own challenges and discomforts lessened.  It felt like through sending I was becoming aligned with that energy and the more I stayed there, the better I felt.

I had the opportunity one year to attend the Northwest Reiki gathering at Breitenbush in Oregon.  I loved not only meeting and connecting with other Reiki practitioners and learning from the wisdom of the Masters, but also soaking in that energy for a weekend. I was at a crossroads in my work life at the time and I’ll never forget, after bathing in Reiki all weekend I just KNEW what I needed to do. In my “ordinary life” the choice that it supported may have seemed like a risk, but after a weekend of Reiki it felt like walking on solid ground.

As the years have gone by, Reiki has been my refuge, as I lean thickly and heavily on my daily self hands-on practice and hearty distant practice. As my New Orleans community has dispersed and grown, we still stay connected via a second degree Facebook group.  In this group we share our own Reiki requests and those in our community and send Reiki regularly. This daily devotion has become one of the pillars in my life and where I turn to provide a foundation for myself in the midst of ordinary life as well as crisis and challenges.

I am someone who has experienced a lot of upheaval and challenge. This includes physical and mental health challenges and challenges from the past. I had my apartment and all my belongings destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and then once again all my belongings were destroyed a few years later in a leaky storage unit in the hot humid city.  This launched me on an unexpected five year extravaganza abroad filled with interesting but also challenging twists and turns living in Europe and Asia. And in the past few years, my North Carolina apartment flooded, which began my house and pet sitting tour of the United States which has lasted over a year now. Through it all, Reiki was and continues to be there. My steady practice lays the stones that one by one support the building of an unshakable home no matter what is happening in my life or where I am.

In the midst of new challenges and in the wake of my journey and experiences, I hear the words of my teacher and the many teachers among her and before her. Trust Reiki.

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