Thursday, 7 June 2018

The Importance of Rest

There's a Spanish saying: "How lovely to do nothing and then to rest afterwards" which I often find as challenging as the Reiki Principles!  In the modern world it is too easy to be busy all the time and for rest to be a problem.  My Reiki practice has taught me the value of time to do 'nothing' and helped me understand the importance of rest.

Practicing self Reiki treatment is a good way to take time out and have a rest - I recommend a 'Reiki nap' to my students!  However, it's also possible to have an un-restful time while self treating if my mind is busy on some problem.  What I find, in common with many other people who practice Reiki, is that something about the energy of Reiki fosters the slowing down of the mind.  It has often been commented on that people experience a meditative state while giving Reiki treatments.  This can be further enhanced by focusing my attention on my hands, which encourages my mind into the present moment.

In today's world of mobile phones and computers it can be difficult to give the mind time to rest.  I now follow the 'rule' of being off all screens by 8pm and having a day without turning on my computer.  This can be very healing!  I was recently struggling with trying to get an email about GDPR out to my two mailing lists (Reiki and Singing), but the website wasn’t working properly. It was very frustrating!  So I gave up and went to dig weeds in the garden.  It was much more satisfying to dig and pull out weeds - instant result: very satisfying!   I found this quite restful compared to the stress of trying to do something on the computer that I was unable to finish.  So even though it was hard physical work it was good rest for my mind.

I have also learned that it's only in the resting state that our bodies really heal.  A stressful state is particularly counter active to healing because our energy is diverted from repair functions to the essential organs and tissues to deal with 'fight or flight'.  There are more and more discoveries about how modern life which puts many of us in an almost constant state of stress is causing long term harm to our bodies and also mental health. 

Of course, one of the best ways to rest is to get good sleep and many people find that difficult these days.  With a few 'golden rules' and Reiki self treatment I have been able to improve my sleep and really notice the difference now when I don't sleep so well.  Now that I sleep better I realise what a chronic state of un-restedness I lived with! I also found that this lack of rest led to more stressfulness - reacting angrily to difficulty, not making good food choices and so on.

So nowadays I pay more attention to taking rest - in the form of receiving Reiki through self treatment and treatment from others, getting the best sleep I can and trying to manage my work time better to allow myself time off to relax.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Acceptance: a tool for transformation

This month my blog is late because my laptop stopped working and I was also not in a financial position to buy a second computer.  It’s not the first time this has happened and I confess that previously I reacted with worry, frustration and anger.   As the Reiki principles teach us this is not healthy!  So this time I chose a different path:  I simply accepted the situation.  I still found it painful to be without my only computer and therefore unable to work on my business.    

My husband commented on the difference in my response to this situation – and bought me a new computer!  This led to sorting, clearing and re-organising of my office: something that has been needed for months as the energy was feeling rather stuck.  As a result, I feel more at peace in my office and that it’s a good place for my work to flow: a transformation!

I have often felt when giving a Reiki treatment that what I am doing is offering acceptance and see   As I place my hands on my body during a mindful self-treatment, I feel that I am saying ‘yes’ to each area, accepting and connecting with my essential self.  I have felt something similar when I treat others: as I place my hands I feel I am saying: ‘you’re is OK, all is well’.   I have often seen people let go of their resistance to self-caring, accept themselves as they are and, through this acceptance, healing happens.  
this as an important part of the healing.

I find that if I deny that I am feeling bad, those feelings persist, whereas when I accept my feelings of sadness or disconnection, my perspective shifts and I soon begin to make different choices that improve my well-being.  

Acceptance of what is ‘just so’ may mean saying yes to discomfort and pain, which isn’t easy.  However it can be the beginning of the transformation.  When I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes my initial response was denial and a refusal to accept that I had a problem.  This is a well known response to any addiction (mine being food!)  The reminder of the Reiki principles not to worry, or waste time with anger, helped me to move to acceptance and from there it was easier to see what action I needed to take.  By accepting that my body was not doing what I thought it was – or should – I was able to see more clearly what change was needed to heal.  Having accepted my condition, I found it easier than I expected to make changes and with the help of Reiki achieved remission more quickly than anticipated.

I used to think that acceptance meant being resigned to your fate, a weak and passive thing to do.  However I’ve learned that denial – the opposite of acceptance – is the mindset that really causes me to be stuck in suffering.  Through its ability to bring me into the present moment and feel OK about what is ‘just so’, I have found Reiki to be such a gentle and powerful way to unblock these places of resistance and be more accepting of the challenges of life.  Now that Reiki helps me to be more accepting, I find that life is much more enjoyable!

Friday, 6 April 2018

Home Again

Landing at Birmingham airport from Madrid last month I noticed a feeling of arriving  home.  I had spent 10 days with other Reiki masters who have all completed a 3 year course called 'Responding with Compassion' with Phyllis Furumoto.  Reflecting on the time away I realised that I had experienced a similar feeling of coming home when I arrived - except that in that case 'home' was not a place, but the energy of a group of people.  I felt I could be myself there, knowing I would be welcomed and accepted.   Some people in the group have been friends for many years, others I didn't know.  However I felt a connection with everyone and this deepened as we explored authentic communication together on our shared Reiki path.  Some of this communication happened without words: each afternoon we exchanged Reiki treatments, sharing our common practice, at home with each other.

I experienced a similar feeling of being at home during my pilgrimage in Japan last year.  When we visited Mount Kurama, where Mikao Usui meditated, Phyllis suggested we made our first visit the mountain alone.  We had plenty of time to climb to the top and either return the same way or go down the other side, returning a different way.  The way up the mountain has well built paths, shrines and temples, surrounded by trees.  Above the large Buddhist temple near the top of the mountain is a wilder area, with a small shrine and spring among trees.   The path down from there is rough and less well built.  You feel much more as if you are in the wild place where bears and deer live!  I chose to return by this route and enjoyed the feeling of being connected with nature. 

When I arrived back at the hotel at dusk, Phyllis greeted me with the words "Welcome home!".  I responded immediately " thank you - but I've been home all day!".  After these words jumped out of my mouth I realised their truth: walking on the mountain, being present to everything around me, I had indeed had a feeling of being at home.  Even though I was in a land very far from my own, among people who spoke a language I didn't understand, I felt the same connection with nature and Reiki as I experience at home in Shropshire. 

Many people have described a feeling of coming home when they receive the initiations during the 1st degree Reiki class.  Similar feelings are also experienced  through Reiki practice and when people who have learned Reiki come together.

I believe it is a sign of coming home to our essence - the deepest part of ourselves that is connected with our fullest potential and connects us with all that surrounds us.   My experience is that the most important aspect of this is to welcome this part of myself, let go of self judgement and to trust my intuition.

My friend and fellow Reiki master Elaine Andres put it beautifully in her poem "Home" when she said:
"Home is a place of welcome
a place where I am received
just as I am without judgment.
Where I am loved
without any need to be different
a place where I am trusted to find my own way
to create my own path in my own time."

(Read the rest of the poem at the bottom of the page here: