I’m trying something new this year. 2018 is the time for me to feel all my feelings. It doesn’t sound all that impressive, I know. Yet it is a huge undertaking! The vast majority of my emotions have been ignored, suppressed, or deflected for decades. They’re still buried within, waiting to be experienced, digested, and released. It seems that this is the process that needs to be allowed for true healing to occur.
There are several key components that I’ve committed to in order to support this endeavor. I’ve recently realized that lasting change requires all of the pieces to be in play simultaneously.
- Gathering a team of compassionate, understanding, and supportive friends who can witness my journey without judging, blaming, shaming, or advising.
- Eliminating self-medication strategies such as alcohol, sugar, and processed foods and limiting time spent on social media, watching TV, and engaging in meaningless chit-chat.
- Devotion to spiritual practices that release blockages and reroute that freed energy for a higher purpose.
- Willingness to be radically honesty with myself about what is coming up in each moment.
- Commitment to stillness when uncomfortable emotions arise.
Ugh! It’s so much easier to eat something, to distract myself with electronics, or to check out with a nice pint of beer. I’ve become a master at using yoga, dance, and Reiki to shift the energy of discomfort. I now recognize this behavior as misusing these powerful techniques to avoid the work of healing by preventing emotions from rising to the surface for processing. Discomfort cannot be avoided in the healing process. Ugh!
Perhaps the most valuable lesson I’m learning is that there are multiple ways to use Reiki for emotional healing. First, it can be a remedy for getting through difficult situations by providing comfort in the moment. Second, it can be used to prevent emotions from becoming festering wounds that develop over time through neglect and abandonment. And thirdly (perhaps most importantly) it can be used to muster up the courage and willingness to sit quietly in loving awareness with whatever is true in each moment; without moving to escape or repair it.
So here I sit, prepared to experience whatever arises; willing to feel all my feelings despite great discomfort and the urge to flee. It might not sound impressive, but when I am able to allow complete emotional honesty, the liberation I experience is phenomenal. While the rewards are mostly internal, they are truly transformative. And that is more valuable to me than sounding impressive.
I’ve come to notice that when I deliberately choose to do something that I know is not in alignment with my values, the consequences are harsher for me than if someone else engages in that same behavior, but without the knowingnes. The difference, it seems, is that not only am I absorbing negativity or toxins from the action, but I am a separating my mind and body from my spirit. It is this splintering that is the most damaging to our well-being.
Reiki, and especially my daily self-treatments, helps guide me to my highest good. It opens me up to receive messages about how to achieve my goals. Quite often I get a message during my meditation that a certain habit or behavior is blocking my progress. The most recent example was when several months ago I realized that my morning mug of black tea with agave nectar and almond milk was interfering with my energy field. Well, I was quite attached to the ritual of my morning cup of tea! I carried on, despite the intuitive guidance. Nothing drastic happened; there was no illness or catastrophe that resulted from my impudence. Yet each sip was infused with a hint of guilt because I knew I wasn’t making the decision to pursue my highest good. So now, not only did I have the original deed on my conscience, but the added weight of self-criticism. I believe it was the latter that was more injurious than the former.
Eventually I decided that enough was enough. I wasn’t yet ready to forgo the habit, but I chose to love and accept myself while enjoying my tea. And do you know what? A short week later, I really had no interest in having it anymore. It was easy to replace my morning drink with a cleansing cup of warm lemon water. I had no cravings or withdrawal pains. It truly was miraculous. I brought my mind, body, and spirit back into alignment where they all began working together to support my highest good. Now that I am caffeine-free, I am noticing better quality sleep and more energy throughout the day even though I am naturally waking up earlier. My intuition knew that by letting go of this seemingly harmless habit that I could accomplish more of what was really important to me. Giving up the judgement and guilt was the key to creating a healthy energy flow and the subsequent ease of making the shift.
Negative thoughts and feelings block our ki (life force energy) as well as our internal guidance. Our spirits know that we are perfect, whole, and complete just the way we are. When we behave in ways that deny this truth, it interrupts the flow of energy that keeps us healthy and vibrant. Simply being kind to ourselves, no matter what our current choices are, creates a shield of dignity that enhances our well-being and motivates us to be truer to ourselves. It might seem ironic, but self-acceptance truly seems to be the magic that produces transformation.