After participating in the 6-day Coming Home self practice mini-retreat, Ali Walters left a comment that left me feeling she’d really gotten what I set out to give during the retreat, so I invited her to write a guest post.
I first met Ali when she came to the Copenhagen Reiki & Medicine Intensive. We’ve stayed in touch, and I visited the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton, England, where she offers Reiki treatment to children in the high-dependency (intensive care) unit, their families, and staff through a program provided by the charity Active Lightworks.
Knocking at the door of my daily Reiki self practice opened a whole new homecoming experience.
Yes I already had a daily Reiki self practice habit. That started in 2016 at the Reiki & Medicine Intensive in Copenhagen. My daily self practice felt comfortable and beneficial—really beneficial—but I now realized it was rather lacklustre. The walls, so to speak, were a little in need of a lick of paint and, whilst I hadn’t noticed, my daily self practice definitely wanted a good airing.
At the beginning of the Coming Home retreat, Pamela asked us to share our goal for the 6 days while introducing ourselves to the group. Two things came to mind. First, the Covid outbreak caused rather a hiatus in my public Reiki practice. Second, despite being trained as a Reiki Master Teacher in 2011 and wanting to teach, I’ve never taught a class. So I wrote, “I’m aiming to use this retreat to bring a greater light on my way forward to sharing my Reiki practice more widely, along with my passion and love for our amazing planet.”
To my surprise, Pamela opened the retreat by sharing the answer to all our questions. She said, “The way out is in.”
Given my regular attendance at the free twice-weekly, global I Love My Self Reiki practice sessions, “the way out is in” was not news to me. I’d heard Pamela say it many times before. Yet somehow this time, with this repetition, the penny dropped and I found myself blissfully settling into a deeper experience of my Reiki self practice.
The retreat highlighted to me that my daily Reiki self practice had become a routine habit—albeit a wonderful, beneficial one. I was taking it for granted, just practicing and repeating. Once more with Pamela’s patient repetition of her guidance, in this case to practice, observe, contemplate, repeat, thankfully another penny dropped—I wasn’t observing or contemplating.
It might take some diligence for me to strengthen the observe and contemplate part, as I find myself off at tangents, rather easily distracted and forgetting to return. But I saw such a difference after just one day of paying gentle attention, no fuss, and six days was really game-changing. So it seems worth developing this skill, and I’ll take Pamela’s advice and be kind to myself as I learn.
A couple of useful synchronicities in my personal reading during Coming Home expanded my contemplation of the retreat themes.
I worry about getting it wrong—a lot. When Pamela shared a quote from Maya Angelou, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better,“ I contemplated what trips me up.
Then a piece in the annotated Earth Pathways Diary for the retreat week brought more insight. The writer, Looby Macnamara, explores what seemingly impossible things we can achieve when we consider “What visions are hiding behind the smokescreen of ‘I can’t,’ ‘it will never happen’ and ‘it’s not possible?’” Reading that in the context of the retreat brought home to me that my fear of things such as my Reiki practice not being perfect or getting it wrong when teaching were the “I can’t” or it’s not possible” obstacles I had put in my way. I’ve come to realize all sorts of seemingly impossible things are possible if I allow myself to dream, build and make mistakes. My daily Reiki self practice is the key to supporting me in this. What a relief!
I was also reading The Four Elements: Reflections on Nature by John O’Donohue. He wrote, “To attune one’s self to one’s inner rhythm is to come into the deeper levels of one’s own hidden and unknown presence.” That spoke to me of how my Reiki self practice takes me deeper into my awareness and love of myself, my gifts, my values and who I am.
And finally my own observation—when we pay attention to something, it becomes so much more valued. Noticing a beautiful blue butterfly amongst tall dry grasses, for example, makes me appreciate the value of the grass as a home for the butterfly. Simply paying a bit more attention to my Reiki self practice helped crystalize just how valuable it is in supporting and nurturing me every day and how much gratitude I have for that.
My daily love letter
The Coming Home retreat helped me delve into an even deeper layer of my daily Reiki self practice—increasing self love and gratitude. After practicing on Sunday, I wrote, “My Reiki self practice is the love letter I send to myself each day, a spark and a breeze to fan the flames of inspiration, hope and wonder.”
Those flames of inspiration, hope and wonder seem now to be fuelling the continuing process of delving deeper. I’m so grateful to Pamela’s wisdom and way of looking at things for this.
Coming Home left me with much to contemplate. After one practice session, I wrote in my journal, “I practice self Reiki because I want to live a healing not just healthy lifestyle so I want to explore what that means for me.” That’s something to contemplate on the days when self practice is a challenge, helping me to see how then to be present, patient, kind and not discouraged with my practice.
Not last and certainly not least, is the deepening of my personal experience of the benefits of my daily Reiki self practice as again I realized I can take them for granted – oh yes here we go again I’m feeling relaxed, calm, still, balanced – but that is so important.
My self practice makeover
Did I achieve my goal? Not totally, but I made significant movement in that direction. Although I still have the same self practice, it is re-invigorated, as if I’ve traded up a trusty old manual screwdriver version for a shiny new power tool daily practice.
And I’ve also made a commitment to myself to start putting together my Reiki manuals and planning how classes might work post Covid. Not to mention—and very much to my surprise—I am writing this guest post for a blog I read regularly.
I feel energised, empowered and much more confident. Wow, what an amazing Coming Home makeover to my daily Reiki self practice that week was!
Sign up here to be informed of the next Coming Home mini-retreat.