“I’ve been thinking about taking a Reiki course for a while. I want to practice on myself, family and friends. I understand Reiki is peaceful and can’t harm anyone but still feel nervous about taking the plunge.
I’m not so sure I want to become an empty channel for conducting Reiki.”
I often receive emails like the one above, emails that make me sigh as I contemplate how misunderstood Reiki practice is.
And that most of the misunderstanding stems directly from the way Reiki practitioners communicate the practice.
Please stop to think about this. Imagine reading about becoming “an empty channel” without having the context of your Reiki experience. Wouldn’t you be concerned? (If not, your friends are right to fear for your safety!)
Your personal Reiki experience
When we practice Reiki, we are often drawn into a very personal, inner place, a safe haven sweetened by a sense of coming home to ourselves, and sometimes imbued with a profound sense of Oneness with All That Is.
As Reiki practitioners, we cherish the sweetness of our inner haven. It’s an exquisitely nourishing part of our intimate practice experience. When we speak to other Reiki practitioners, we can share that intimacy. They know what we’re talking about.
But speaking to new people requires a different approach. We cannot communicate effectively to someone who has yet to experience Reiki practice from such a personal, subjective perspective.
Swimming in a Reiki pool
Our practice experience is so inner, so intimate, so full, that we might not realize we are alone there.
When speaking to someone who doesn’t practice Reiki, we might be blind to how subjective our perspective has become, like a fish that doesn’t know it’s wet speaking to someone standing on dry ground.
We are so enamored of our Reiki experience that we often don’t realize the discrepancy in perspective between us and people who are just beginning to discover Reiki practice.
We talk about the practice as if there were a lot of shared ground between us, and it doesn’t work. We seem, well, out of perspective. People think that Reiki practitioners are — ahem! — odd. (And we get those looks as people change the subject, or walk away.)
Finding common ground
If you want to communicate with someone, the first step is to establish common ground. Once you find an experience you have in common, then you can speak to people where they are, in words that are relevant to them. Words they can actually hear.
Not sure how to do that? When someone asks you about Reiki practice, ask them why they are interested. Then listen closely until they tell you what you have in common. That’s a good place to start sharing about Reiki practice.
For example, when someone mentions insomnia, why not share how your Reiki practice has helped you sleep better?
Someone whose anxiety borders on panic attacks would like to know that your stage fright before a work presentation no longer requires medication.
A person scheduled for surgery would like to hear how you gave your friend a Reiki treatment before and after surgery, and how much it eased her post-op pain.
You get the picture. Listen to what the person says until you hear common concern, and gently share how your Reiki practice supported you there. Gently. Not let’s-fix-that but maybe-you-can-relate-to-this.
Try it next time someone asks you about Reiki practice, and leave a comment below sharing the difference it makes.
Meanwhile, let’s help you find your Reiki words.
Nothing deepens my appreciation of an experience and clarifies my understanding as much as writing about it. I don’t mean writing for publication; I mean writing, just writing, making notes, sketching with words, writing for myself.
We all have the ability to put words to our inner experience. Once you start, you’ll likely come to treasure your writing time as much as I do mine.
If you want to dive into your Reiki practice and discover your inner writer, here’s an invitation to make the process very easy.
I’m collaborating with coach, author and writing facilitator Cynthia Morris on an adventure that will transform your relationship to your Reiki practice and to writing, and especially to writing about Reiki. It’s an adventure you’ll have at home, on your time, with support and community every day.
WRITE REIKI is a two-week online program that takes you deeper into your Reiki practice, and unlocks your words, so you experience what an ally writing can be for you, and you discover how comfortably you can express yourself with words. Added bonus: the ease you find in writing will flow naturally into your Reiki talk.
There is no critic in this process, no right or wrong words, just you discovering your words.
Writing is a solo practice, and you will write at home on your own schedule. At the same time, we will write in community, interacting with one another, sharing as you choose, and receiving support from Cynthia and me every day.
The next WRITE REIKI program starts July 10. Early fee ends July 6, so register now!