Occasionally I hear from practitioners who have had an uncomfortable experience at a Reiki share. A recent email by a First degree student was written so thoughtfully that I asked permission to share this example of choosing to heal. —
“I arrived at my first Reiki share excited and a little nervous.
“The diverse group of practitioners gathered in the room was intriguing. Some were younger and others older than me, men and women of different races. All were lovers of Reiki practice and the peace the practice imparts.
“The lights dimmed, the room became quiet, and we began practicing on one another. I eagerly climbed onto the table and relaxed as a middle-aged woman sat behind my head while our other partner, a young man, took his place alongside the table to practice on my torso.
“I closed my eyes as the woman placed her hands, and prepared to settle into a restful Reiki slumber. But I lost my composure when the man’s hands landed on me what felt like borderline territory.
“I was shocked, but didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to make a scene or disturb the others receiving treatment around me. It didn’t occur to me in the moment that I could simply take his hands and move them to a more comfortable placement.
“Perhaps he realized his error; his hands began shaking and he kept moving them an inch here and there as if trying to find the right spot. He seemed nervous, unsettled.
“By the time he finally found where his hands belonged, I knew this Reiki session would not be a restful one for me. His hands were so unsteady – constantly shaking, moving every few seconds – that I stayed completely alert the whole time, finding it impossible to totally relax.
“When practicing in my First degree training, one of my practice partners commented on my “steady hands.” I didn’t think much of it at the time. Now I know better than I ever wanted to what a difference the practitioners’ confidence and steady hands make.
“Reflecting on my experience after the clinic, I am clear this was an unintentional gaffe on the part of the practitioner, who was overall respectful and well-meaning.
“Nonetheless, the experience was upsetting.
“I was surprised to realize that what unnerved me most was not his shaky, misplaced hands, but my own silence. I didn’t use my voice to protect myself.
“I wished I had told him immediately that his hands were in the wrong position and to please move them.
“I feel upset with myself that I did not speak up. Before this experience, I wasn’t so acutely aware that speaking up for myself was a challenge for me.
“Some might say this was an unfortunate experience. I cannot agree. It was an uncomfortable experience, and sometimes growth is uncomfortable.
“Contemplating the experience has led me to recognize other places this reluctance to express myself shows up in my life, the ways I haven’t used my voice to protect myself, the ways I need to strengthen my physical boundaries and my sense of where I end and others begin.
“And I can now say with gratitude that among many other benefits, Reiki practice is helping me find my voice.”
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