Energetic Birthright

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I just rediscovered this post I wrote for the Xen Healing Arts blog when I was associated with them in March of 2011.  I kind of appreciated it, reading it after this much time and so wanted to share it here on my personal blog as well (am I the only one who enjoys finding old bits of writing that I forgot about?).  Good thoughts for the new year… enjoy!

With Reiki I and II training coming up on March 19 & 20 at Xen Healing Arts, I thought it a perfect time to throw out some thoughts about confidence in healing. Challenges with confidence are as varied and individual as we are, but this article focuses on common issues for those new to sensing and moving energy.

Reiki is a wonderful and soothing method of utilizing life force energy for personal and interpersonal healing. It is a powerful system of natural healing and many holistic therapists are known to have started their training in healing with Reiki. I know for myself, Reiki is the baseline I always go back to as I progress into further healing skills and awareness. Reiki is useful for so many things that I can’t help but feel my life has been irreversibly enriched by the experience of its gift. I consider my Reiki attunements honestly among the richest blessings of my life. It has changed the way I think about … well, everything.

Our world and all we experience is made of energy in various forms. Whether you consider yourself a healer or not, Reiki is a concrete hands-on way to experience energy in a very personal way. However, the concept of moving and appreciating energy in the way that Reiki encourages and supports is foreign to many in our Western society. We tend to trust only what can been seen and measured. We tend to focus relatively little on sensing and feeling. Most of us have not ever considered nor tuned in to our personal energy fields, let alone the vast variety of experiences with energy that exist all around us.

I think this may be why learning Reiki can be difficult for some of us. The actual system is elegant and simple. It gives our brains something to focus on. The concepts underlying the system can seem esoteric to some, and this is where confidence comes in. When we are dealing with a system that is based on an invisible life force that many of us have never experienced in a directly conscious and personal way, it can seem incredible to consider that it is actually our birthright. Once that hurdle is cleared, we can still, at times, find ourselves wondering if we’ve gone a little loopy in the noggin as we attempt to work with this force. Who are we to move and manipulate the very essence of life? “Am I doing it right?” “What if it doesn’t work?” “Have I lost my mind?”

Granted, there are those who have enough experience and knowing to understand (or at least become comfortable with) the underlying principles at play. It tends to get easier with more exposure to both the ideas and the energy itself. We trust what we know, and there is no exception here. Then there are others, maybe most of us, who need a little injection of confidence – either to get started or to continue as doubts arise.

The first thing to remember is that regardless of what you’ve been told (or perhaps more to the point, what you tell yourself), energy is elemental to who you are, who we all are. We can categorize and define and work with various frequencies from x-rays to color, but the bottom line is that energy surrounds us. We are steeped in it, and we have an intimate connection with it. From our own personal energy field to the molecules in motion in the cosmos, energy is ours. Simply by being alive, you have a right to acknowledge, appreciate, and manipulate it. You do it whether you’re conscious of it or not. So, my question to you is: why not be conscious?

The second point is that regardless of what your particular gift for sensing energy may or may not be, you can trust that energy follows intent. Whether you feel palpable sensations… or whether you experience a “knowing” that you can’t explain or describe… or whether you simply trust that Reiki (and healing energy in general) is something that exists and can be harnessed or directed in some respect or another, you can always be sure of two things:

Intent is key.
Reiki does no harm.

If you start with those two concepts and develop confidence in them, this is a good place to begin. I believe that if you can start here, going back to these two concepts when you’re feeling insecure or wondering if you’re “making it up,” much of the nervousness can be set aside or cleared entirely.

We reside in a society that often fails to acknowledge (and at times is outrightly hostile towards) the energetic essence of our true natures. It can be difficult to leap into exploring these concepts and make them our own. As a good friend of mine said shortly after her introduction to energy healing, “I don’t want to believe it, but I can’t deny it.” There can be a significant degree of cognitive dissonance as we reach towards something that others have told us is not legitimate, even when our experience tells us otherwise. The irony is that so many of us are coming to know and experience these truths in increasing numbers. You may be shocked to discover how many around you are opening, as you are. We are waking up. And we are claiming what’s ours. What’s not to inspire confidence in that?

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The Way of the Wounded Healer

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My heart has been battered. This is what William tells me, what my guides tell me.

There’s a tendency to disregard such an idea. We’ve all had hurts. We’ve all had struggles. But now disregarding the state of my heart is beginning to feel like denying myself. So maybe it’s true. Maybe my heart has been battered.

What does it mean that my heart has been battered? I’m finding it doesn’t mean what I might have presumed. I’m beginning to wonder if the discomfort I feel emotionally so much of the time is not an attempt to boot the energy of whatever arises in the way of feeling out of my heart. I’m starting to understand that it belongs there. There, in my heart. And if I don’t allow it into my heart, I can’t “transmute” it, as William suggests. Maybe I’m an alchemist after all.

I got some very good, focused guidance on how to approach times past where I’ve blocked my heart from feeling. My task is now to go back to those times and repair… repair the heart, disperse the energy of the feeling that still hangs around me. But I am also getting additional advice on how to begin allowing my heart to open, to accept the energy of uncomfortable feelings, to draw them inside and turn them around.

The very last thing I’ve ever been inclined to do is pull an uncomfortable feeling inside myself. The thought is kind of repugnant. It’s frightening and it seems counter-intuitive to me. But a flash of wisdom comes to me that this is how to diffuse the power, to prevent the energies of things I don’t want to feel from getting “stuck” in my field – where they can harrass me forever.

So much of the energy I feel over the past few years has no specific source or name. I feel irritable. I feel uncomfortable. I feel angry or emotionally raw or anxious, and I don’t know why. I can’t draw a parallel to anything going on in my life, although the feelings tend to pile up and pull in more of the same. How many days have I woken up with a vague feeling of dread and had to give myself a pep talk in order to believe I can get through my day? How many times have I hoped that whatever is bothering me will pass through and the sun might come out in an hour or two? Honestly, this hope, knowing things can change so quickly, has so often been the only thing that gets me to put one foot in front of the other, heading out into the world I am “supposed” to inhabit.

My insight for today is that I don’t need to know why these energies float around me, and more important, I don’t even need to “own” them. I don’t have to accept them as belonging to me. I don’t have to get to the root of them. I don’t have to analyze them. I don’t have to overcome them. And I don’t have to protect myself from them – at least not in the way I’ve always imagined I should, the way I’ve always tried to. I don’t have to fight them. I don’t have to hedge against them. I don’t have to struggle to keep them out of my field.

Here’s what my guides suggested this morning: draw them in.

WHAT?! I don’t want them in! I want them out! I want them away! I want to work with the idea of why they’ve come. I want to understand how to make them go. It’s not that I need an easy solution – in fact, the struggle has often been colossal. But draw them in? Why, in god’s name, would I want to do that?

But I’m learning to trust, and I’m learning how to move energy. So I imagine the feeling, the discomfort as an energy. And rather than seeing it as an attacking force, something to block, I somehow stepped outside my fear (it helps that the discomfort was vague and mild – baby steps, you know) and… *gulp* … mentally pulled the feeling right into the middle of my chest.

How can I explain the trust it takes for me to do this? I can think of a gross example, but it’s rather accurate, so I’m gonna go with it. Imagine you’ve just taken the biggest, smelliest shit of your life. Instead of flushing it away, reach down, grab it, and smear it all over yourself.

NooooooooOOOOOoooooOOOOoooo!

(I’ll give you a moment to get over that image.)

Here’s the interesting part. It really wasn’t that bad. In fact, it felt no worse than trying to keep it out, to make it be something else, to figure it out, to think my way through it. Once that feeling was in the center of my chest, I imagined (as I’ve learned to do) a bright white light (which represents pure unconditional love as we rarely experience it here on Earth) moving from above my crown to the center of my chest. The white light surrounds the feeling energy, envelops it, embraces it, accepts it, and gently swirls around it. I imagine the uncomfortable feeling as a dark mist, and as the white light mixes with it, it becomes lighter and lighter.

And then it feels better. It really does.

Day 1 – insight and inspiration.
Day 2 through infinity – practice, practice, practice.

I feel like I’ve finally been shown what to do with a basketball. Don’t try to stand on it. Bounce it. Like this. Shoot it. Like this. Am I a basketball player yet? No, but at least I’ve gained the insight that standing on the ball has nothing to do with the game I want to play. And that knowledge is power.