Saturday, 30 July 2016

Alone but not Lonely

Recently I had to travel alone from my home in Shropshire to Essex to appear as a Reiki expert
Selfie taken just before leaving for court

witness.  It was a daunting journey, not only the physical travel, but also the challenge of appearing in crown court for the first time.  However it struck me that although the experience was challenging I didn't feel alone.

I remember how alone and disconnected I felt around the time I learned Reiki, in my early thirties.  Like many people I could feel lonely in a crowd and also felt unappreciated.  Learning Reiki changed that.

I found like minded people in the fellow students from my 1st degree Reiki class.  We met every weekend to share Reiki with each other.  We talked about our experiences and wonderings about this healing art we had just begun to explore.  From those early days there was a feeling of connection which I'd only experienced in other settings after spending time with people in a deep group process.  This feeling of being part of a spiritually-minded community continues to this day, especially at the Reiki Shares.

Soon after my 2nd degree Reiki class, I began offering Reiki treatments to people I didn't know.  I was surprised to find that I felt kindness towards people who, on initial meeting, I didn't like.  As I gave people a series of treatments this feeling deepened.  When I became a Reiki master a few years later I had a new way to connect through teaching Reiki.  I can see now that this feeling of connection was Reiki beginning to awaken my non-judgemental, compassionate self.

Then I became involved with The Reiki Association, which led to further exploration of being non-judgemental.  As in any organisation there can be struggles around hierarchy and the organisation's purpose.  My involvement helped me to grow personally, towards a more tolerant way of being.  "It takes a whole village to raise a child" - by joining community I received the education and support I needed to grow. 

I learned that the more compassionate I became, the more I received the acknowledgement I craved.  It was good experience of what Phyllis Furumoto said to me recently: "Honour others if you want to be honoured yourself". 
I now have the blessing of being in community with Reiki people all over the world: I feel part of a world-wide Reiki family that is always connected even if we rarely meet in person. 

So when I made my journey to court, I asked my Reiki community to support me by sending Reiki for the physical and emotional journey.  In the witness box I was questioned about distant Reiki: it gave me great pleasure to think "Yes I'm receiving Reiki right now, thanks to those who are sending to me".  I felt them all there supporting me.  I also received kind messages of acknowledgement and appreciation in response to my request.

When the world seems to be going through a time when division and separation are highlighted by violence, it comforts me to know that Reiki practice brings connection and compassion.  So what can I do to help the world in it's apparent state of confusion and disarray?  Share Reiki - with myself, with family, friends and other Reiki students, with a wider circle. 

Friday, 8 July 2016

Reiki for Midwives

On 1st July I had a wonderful opportunity to introduce Reiki to people at the Maternity, Midwifery and Baby Conference in Edgbaston, Birmingham.  Wendy Henry, one of my students, works for Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital NHS Trust and when she heard about this event coming up, she asked about offering some Reiki tasters.  In response she was asked to submit a paper, which she did and was then asked to do the presentation at the conference! 

She asked me if we could do the presentation together, so we spent a day together planning and organising our talk and Powerpoint slides.  I had never done a Powerpoint presentation, so was glad to have Wendy's expertise in preparing this!  Neither of us had given a talk to such a big room of people either, so were very glad to have the support of some distant Reiki from some of my students. 

As well as the presentation we had a table for leaflets and space to give taster treatments.  I asked one of my Reiki master friends who is a retired midwife for a testimonial about how Reiki had helped her in her work (you can read it here).  we made it part of the presentation, illustrating how Reiki could be beneficial in the context of midwifery.

Due to the comforting and calming response most people have when receiving Reiki, it could help women in labour to be more relaxed, leading to easier births.  Indeed one of the midwives came and told me about how a first time mothers had given birth quickly and easily with the help of some Reiki.  We are also told that if women receive regular Reiki treatments in the last trimester it helps the birth to be easier for mother and baby.  I have heard it said that Reiki helps to encourage the baby to participate in the birthing process, like a chick pecking its way out of the egg.  Reiki babies have often been observed to be calm and alert immediately after birth and are often less distressed in the first days of life outside the womb.
We also wanted to get across to our audience was that Reiki could be helpful for the midwives themselves.  Working in the NHS can be stressful - Wendy would like to set up a clinic for staff to receive Reiki treatments.  It would be really beneficial for midwives and related healthcare staff to be able to treat themselves - any time day or night - to help cope with the stresses of their work.  Wendy had noted that many staff have been going off sick, creating heavier caseloads for other midwives.  If Reiki could help to reduce this sickness it would be beneficial for all.

We gave taster sessions all day, but were particularly busy after our talk.  A long queue of people waited patiently for their 'go' and we were the last stall to pack up because people were still wanting to talk to us and receive Reiki right up to the end of the day. 

Many knew little or nothing about Reiki and, to my delight, were really interested.  They were impressed with what they felt from the Reiki tasters: even the most sceptical was amazed by how calm they felt after just a few minutes of Reiki. 

I'm very grateful to Wendy for having the courage to ask for this opportunity, to Reiki students for supporting us, for a successful day and to everyone who came to hear our talk and receive Reiki tasters.