The first level of Reiki is focused on self-healing. We teach that you can only heal others to the extent that you have healed yourself. (This may or may not be true, as sometimes intent can supersede all of this, but that is for another post). Most people look at Reiki Level 1 as a necessary hoop to jump to get to work with others and have a Reiki practice. As a Reiki master teacher, I have learned that Reiki Level 1 may be the most important level of all.
What manifests in our lives, whether it is our bodies or our relationships or any part of our lives, is a reflection of our beliefs. Thought creates. And it can be non-conscious thought. The more ingrained, unaware, and emotional the thought, the more powerful it is in playing out in the things we experience.
"Life, until now, has created you. You’ve been acting according to ingrained mechanisms wired into your brain before you had a choice in the matter, and it’s out of those automatic mechanisms that you’ve created the life you now have. It is time to re-create: to choose a different life". - Gabor Mate, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
Self healing is about listening to your energy and connection to the divine, and asking yourself questions on all levels: body, emotions, thoughts, and spiritual connection. Life will provide all the clues you need, and the practice of self-healing creates the opportunity for you to listen and see the patterns. It gives you a practice for being whole, and looking at these sign posts as little signal lights, like the dash-board in your car. If your shoulder hurts, what have you been carrying emotionally? If you cannot move your breath, what is stuck in your belly or your chest?
I find myself asking "What do I need?". I have built so many coping mechanisms and defense mechanisms based on others that it is very easy to think I need all of them replaced as I currently tear them all down. For example, do I need a relationship? Do I need a senior leadership role? Or am I used to them looking a certain way and do everything possible to keep it all the same? One of the elements of codependency is making things look normal, keeping it all the same. Is it possible to hide behind the trappings of relationship, and miss the opportunity for depth and courage and love? I think it is. And I come dangerously close to that often. I have spent 5 years straining against these very constructs, and now that the ties are severed, I have to not only grieve, I have to prevent myself from going right back into them.
I had no idea it would be so hard to choose a different life, even though it is exactly what I have been moving towards for years now. And here I stand, doing my self-healing, feeling my wholeness, and it is frightening. Overwhelming. Exciting. Exhausting. Awe inspiring. The Reiki Master is finally learning the lesson of Reiki Level 1. Took me long enough!