I relish opportunities to re-learn what you thought you knew. Herewith, a reflection on the challenges of 2012, meeting our needs on many dimensions, and where Reiki helps.
Sometimes we place Reiki or other spiritual endeavors as a “higher order” activity, one that is all about self-actualization, ascension, connection with Goddess and Spirit. We shunt it aside when we are busy with other things. Yet many of my clients have come to me specific traumatic injuries, particularly back, neck, and upper body skeletal. They realize they need to heal these distinct ailments if they ever want to return to being their vibrant, self-actualizing selves. First A, then B.
When we work with Reiki to relieve anxiety or acute health issues, we are allowing it to realize its full potential. Blessed with good health in recent years, I had forgotten this. 2012 helped me realize was that Reiki can be utilized on all levels.
Recently, I made a public presentation on human development and soulcentric leadership (watch the cool Prezi here). Early on I introduced one of the most familiar and straightforward models of developmental psychology, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Here is the commonly seen pyramid (though truth be told, Maslow himself never used a pyramid!)
Thankfully, most of the people I know, and most anyone who would be reading this post, has the “bottom” section of the pyramid basically secured. Yet even there we can struggle – with insomnia, with unexpected illnesses, with sexual dysfunction (or just not any sex).
2012 was a challenging year for me. In part, I am now able to reflect, because I didn’t have the second “safety” level as secure as I have grown accustomed to. My finances were all over the place. While new opportunities – e.g. this Panza de Oro Reiki enterprise – were in bloom, I didn’t feel abundance, I felt insecurity. I wasn’t sure where my next check would come from, and I was accumulating some debt. The home my partner and I were living in ceased being a safe, secure, positive environment for us, yet it took us months to find a new abode. And being engaged and starting to prepare for a wedding & marriage paradoxically introduced strain and insecurity into our relationship. In fact, in 2012, my digestive system acted up, too, and forced me to re-examine my diet (have now almost totally cut gluten, cow dairy, eggs, sushi).
What happened? Well, I had been dancing along nicely for a few years focusing on my self-esteem and my self-actualization. Trying to step into my life purpose and become a more fully realized Seth. Suddely, rrrrrrrrr, the brakes were put on, and I was forced, by life and by my own psyche’s reaction to life, to deal with these “lower” order needs. The higher levels of the pyramid by nature “transcend and include” the lower levels. But include is key here. You have to bring them along, or you get derailed.
I often utilize a version of a prayer I picked up from my Reiki Master teacher, Bronwyn (a brilliant Bay Area healer):
“May this Reiki healing be complete, permanent, and on all levels of being.”
We have a chance to not box our healing experiences in to one limited area of our life, but let the light and positivity spread.
Dr. Usui, the founder of modern Reiki, provided 5 precepts that we learn in Reiki 1. They are very sound. They bring us into the present. They allow to to focus on manageable healing. Notice how several of them focus explicitly on “lower order” needs, or can be used to attend to your mundane life concerns.
- Just For Today, I Will Not Worry.
- Just For Today, I Will Not Anger.
- Just For Today, I Will Earn My Living Honestly.
- Just For Today, I Will Honor My Parents, Elders, and Teachers.
- Just For Today, I Will Show Gratitude For Everything.
While the translations are approximate, with that understated Japanese elegance, they work on several levels. They are succinct and simple, and yet of course, can be taken to the most spiritual realms. “I Will Not Worry” can mean that I will not freak out about making my car payment, or it can mean that I will trust the evolving order of the Universe to guide me in my deepest spiritual work. Both are vital to a well-lived life.
So thank you, Maslow, Reiki, and 2012, to re-introducing me to what I thought I knew and encouraging me to grow on all levels.