Life has been a little intense recently. When one family member after another picked up what seemed like a particularly virulent type of ‘flu, I have truly been thankful for Reiki practice, not only to nurse our sick children through fever broken nights and ease their cough-rattled chests, but also to help me keep on my legs despite being slightly ill, too. We also had, it seems to me, more than our fair share of uncertainty and the type of emergency circumstances that require you to constantly think on your feet in order to come up with ever new ideas how you can manage, even though your normal ways of doing things are not available right now. Quietly, I notice just how much Reiki practice has changed me, as I deal with one situation after another relatively calmly and constructively. It brings back to mind a fellow Mum who commented that I made raising three kids look easy, as I hardly ever seemed to get my feathers ruffled. (Not true by the way, no one can get under my skin like my own, very lovely, kids).
And not entirely true in the above circumstances either. Weeks, in fact months of stress, however well managed, have left me exhausted and feeling vulnerable. And not for the first time (but certainly in the most dramatic way so far), I notice the hidden blessing in finding one’s guard lowered. As this allows the deeply buried ‘stuff’ to surface. In this case, I find myself experiencing panic attacks for the first time in my life. Boy does this suddenly give me an insight into what some of the clients I work with in my clinic in Galashiels must be going through. Out of the blue, and completely without warning, I find myself hitting the brakes on encountering oncoming traffic in a sharp bend. Stomach cramped, heart racing, arms stone rigid. Knees wobbly once the situation has passed. I am at a complete loss: Where is this coming from? What is this about? Am I falling apart?
Accepting ‘shin pai suna’ (do not worry) as one of the precepts that as a Reiki practitioner is to guide my life on a daily basis, I determine not to give in to this newly developed ‘driving disability’ that wants me to quit driving, and instead negotiate road bends at 25 miles an hour. I contemplate buying L-plates, as I feel for the drivers stuck behind me. Thankfully in a full week of holding up traffic like this, not a single driver shows me their irritation. When I used to drive at a reasonable speed, impatient racers seemed to dangerously overtake me all the time. Strange. But I feel grateful. Very grateful.
Trauma can be stored in the body unrecognized for a very long time, and I know this from many treatment experiences, when suddenly and usually unexpectedly, it is safely released just by giving a physical Reiki treatment in the right place. I remember the first time vividly, when an elderly friend relived (and released the trauma of) a burst appendix that had happened over 60 years ago. But the source of my own newly developed condition wasn’t at all clear to me. So I did what I would advise my clients to do in such circumstances: try the simple but effective treatment method we use in Jikiden Reiki to address deeply held psychological patterns. The unique advantage of Sei Heki treatment is that we need not go into the story, and we don’t even need to know where a particular problem is coming from. We can simply name the pattern that is holding us back. It doesn’t even matter if we don’t pinpoint the problem correctly first time. ‘Panicking at oncoming traffic is holding me back’. I feel icy cold while I’m giving myself the treatment, a sure sign that the method is working. Next time I’m driving I find myself thinking: I’m not actually scared of the car coming towards me, I’m scared of hitting an obstacle. Then the penny drops: Twenty years ago I was cycling in Galway, my brakes not getting any grip on the very steep, slippery road. Going straight in the bend and through the barrier, I fell 20 feet down the cliffs, being lucky to get away with only breaking my fibula (an open fracture). I wish I had had Reiki then, as Reiki treatment can be such a wonderful aid in mending broken bones. But that’s a different story.
Back at home, I use this insight to give myself Sei Heki treatment for ‘trauma caused by cycling accident’. Since then, I’ve been able to drive without experiencing severe panic attacks again, but I still take corners slightly gingerly at 35 miles per hour. And I realise that what I’m really scared of is losing control of my vehicle (caused by the experience 20 years ago). One more Sei Heki treatment, I reckon, and I’ll need to watch the dash board again, in case I accidentally break the speed limit.
Photo credit: Ian Mackenzie, photographer, my friend and fellow blogger
A memorial exhibition of Ian’s work can be seen at Oddfellow’s Hall in Edinburgh on 10th November, in conjunction with the People’s Festival Ceilidh (part of the Carrying Stream Festival)
Above photograph used with kind permission by Talitha Mackenzie