Saturday, 3 December 2016

Exchanging Gifts

Have you been busy shopping for gifts?  When I visited my mother recently  her hallway was full of cardboard boxes from all her online Christmas shopping!  I know it will give her pleasure to give all these gifts. Recently she told me how much she had enjoyed the time when I got to the age when instead of looking forward to what I would get for Christmas I began to be more excited about giving presents. I still love to give, but I realise have more difficulty with receiving.  Reiki has taught me that this is an imbalance and for there to be healthy flow there needs to be giving and receiving.  Have you also been taught that it's more honourable to give than to receive?

I learned Reiki because I wanted to give to others the same wonderful experience as I had received from treatments.  I became a Reiki master because I wanted others to be able to have the same gift in their own hands.  Reiki, therefore, initially satisfied my desire to be a giver more than a receiver.

However, Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki teaches us that there needs to be a balance of giving and receiving: we receive Reiki energy and give something in return, maintaining the balance of the universe and fostering flow.  This does not necessarily mean that what is received is of equal monetary value.

The real value of a gift is not necessarily a physical object that is given.  One of my favourites episodes of the TV show 'The Big Bang Theory' is where the character Sheldon expresses his dislike of present giving.  He finds out someone is going to give him a gift and feelsSheldon opens gift Big Bang Theory awkward about finding a gift of exactly the same value to give in return. So he buys lots of gifts of varying values so he can choose which one is appropriate once he receives the gift.  However the gift he is given is a napkin signed by Leonard Nimoy, so has little monetary value but it means a great deal to him in other ways.  So he gives ALL the gifts he had bought in exchange!

Through my Reiki practice I have been challenged to overcome my resistance to receiving and I am learning, through practical experience of exchange for Reiki treatments and teaching, how to give without attachment and to receive without expectation.  I've discovered that when I give as a way to show my gratitude and receive with thanks, there is equal joy in both.

It seems that Reiki wanted to really test me about receiving recently when I decided to ask for support to attend the OGM Retreat: not only did I receive enough money to pay for the trip - thank you so much to all who contributed - but I also received several gifts on the trip, including birthday gifts from the flight attendants on both flights to Almaty!   Sheldon would have been squirming because there was no way to give something back at all!  Among the Russian speaking Reiki people I discovered that giving gifts to visitors is an important part of their culture, so was given a lot of practice in receiving with grace!  You can read more about this in my Almaty blog.

So I wish you joy in giving and receiving gifts over Christmas and in the New Year.