I was a massage instructor at the Cortiva Institute in downtown Chicago for several years. During that time, I worked many incredibly talented instructors; all of us with a different bend on healing. I had always considered myself to be a Western-minded, science based instructor.
I decided to stop teaching to pursue my interest in Canine Massage Therapy. One day, a Reiki Master joined our course to discuss the idea of Reiki; a form of energy work. I have to admit, I always held respect for those I knew that did energy work, but I never considered it as a part of my journey. This Reiki Master began to work on a dog that I had been observing for many months. It was clear that something was indeed happening between them. I was intrigued, and decided to pursue a level one course.
On completion of level one, I was in my massage room with a canine massage client who was clearly not interested in massage. I asked the owner if I could stop the clock and try something. I sat in the middle of the room and conjured my Reiki level one symbol in my mind. The dog, that had been lapping the outskirts of my massage room, came over, climbed up into my lap, and allowed me to massage her. In fact, her owner had to leash her to get her to leave the room. From that moment on, I was a true believer.
I went on to achieve my Reiki Master level; with a year of practice in between each level. So, what is Reiki? It’s a form of energy work that, once attuned to by a Reiki Master Teacher, allows you to offer the energies of the earth for physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual healing. I know many of you are now wondering about who exactly I am. I get it; I was once like that with my massage colleagues. It took a good while to realize that energy work is nothing I should be embarrassed about, but rather something I should feel blessed for being able to hold awareness of. The healing that I have witnessed in my human and canine massage clients, through Reiki, has been nothing short of profound.
I would like you to envision a power strip, with many things plugged into it. That’s how I view reality. Each person is plugged into that power strip, and I see God, the Universe, the Source – whichever name you prefer, as the energy that flows through the strip and into each of them. Each person, just like all items plugged into a power strip, serve different purposes, and go about things in different ways. A toaster is not a blender is not a cell phone; each unique, but yet all are still one, as they are merely a representation of the Source.
What’s nutty about this is, that once you tap into this line of thinking, you start to see it in every aspect of life. There is a level of compassion that comes over you as you embrace that each person is merely translating the Source in a different way, but that we are all genuinely connected. When you think about life this way, it’s not so far- fetched to believe that energy can be tapped into and shared.
I initially worried that learning Reiki was somehow disrespecting my religious beliefs. However, what I have now come to realize is that taking on this extended view of energy has brought me even closer to God. I no longer consider him an external entity, but rather the soul that is innervated within me, and within all of you.
When we sit amongst a congregation of like-minded individuals, we feel a vibration of compassion and connection between us. To me, that is indeed the Source at work. But, what about those people you disagree with? What about those on the opposite end of your spectrum? What if we allowed ourselves to hold compassion and connection to them? It doesn’t mean that we approve of their actions, but that we embrace that they are serving their purpose as the toaster, while we are the blender. We aren’t all meant to be blenders. And toasters can’t really be compared to blenders, as they were never intended to be the same.
Close your eyes and see if you can feel the vibration in your fingertips. That vibration is not your body, it’s your soul. Celebrate that you are plugged in, and that we are all connected.