As a child, I was sensitive to people’s personal energy fields. I could ‘feel’ people, as well as ‘feel’ their intentions towards the people around them. I remember certain situations in which I would either run towards people I barely knew to hug them (because their energy felt so wonderful), or would pull back and refuse to shake an adult’s hand or hug a ‘family friend’ because of how grimy their energy felt.
As I grew into adolescence, I realized that I could move my energy for healing or intuitive purposes. I could enter into a meditative state and ‘mesh’ with people’s energy to intuitively sense things about them. I didn’t need to touch them, though this experience could also be triggered by touching someone’s belonging or walking into a space where an energetically-charged event had occurred (unforeseen deaths, etc).
My experiences on this side of things exploded with the death of my father. While I was sensitive to energy to begin with, following his death, everything accelerated. It was as if a faucet had been turned on high. I learned to channel my energy to comfort my family as we grieved, as well as to heal physical manifestations of dis-ease. At this point I also began to have greater contact with those I refer to as my ‘guides’. As a young woman, my ‘guides’ were primarily my guardian angels, Archangels, Catholic saints, and my father. I would reach out to them in prayer, asking for assistance as I would lay my hands on others for healing purposes. My guides would share information for the purpose of healing with me, which I conveyed to the person in question that I was sitting with.
Most of this my closest friends knew to occur, but it was not something I was accustomed to making public knowledge. I grew up in a community that was predominantly Christian and semi-conservative, and I was uncertain of how to explain what I experienced within a framework that would make sense to some of my observant peers. I went off to college out of state with my crystals and healing books in tow, and slowly over time began sharing with close friends in college what I would feel and experience intuitively and energetically. I realized in college that sending energy could be very draining. I did it in times of urgency, but would often feel very depleted afterwards and would feel faint or in need of several hours sleep after sending healing energy. I was happy to help those I could help, but cognizant that my own energy reserves needed a bigger reservoir to tap into if I wanted to send energy with more frequency.
I found Reiki as a junior in college at Princeton. I was dealing with a few inexplicable health issues that kept landing me at the doctor’s office for round after round of testing, only for doctors to be inconclusive on what exactly was wrong with me. I felt like my stomach was being torn apart from the inside, much like an ulcer, but all my tests came back negative. It was then that I found Reiki and attuned to the first two levels. After regular practice, my intense abdominal pains completely dissipated.
I later went on as part of my senior thesis in Anthropology to study with a Reiki Master from the International Center for Reiki Training in Honolulu, Hawaii to attune to the Art/Master level. I also had the opportunity during this time to study the work of Native Hawaiian energy healers. They worked with song and prayer as part of their healing practice, and what I saw and experienced in Hawaii changed my life. I came back renewed with a direct line to universal life energy, and I found a way to stop feeling depleted when I sent energy to others. I also found a way to send powerful healing energy to myself, addressing past trauma and challenges along my path.
I’ve being a practicing Reiki practitioner now for 17 years. My Reiki work has been both personal and professional, though my life is so busy that most sessions I do these days are for close family and friends. I’ve taught Reiki courses and attuned fellow practitioners. My family has now grown accustomed to asking, “Hey, can I have some Reiki?” As the kids get older, I plan to attune them as well. Reiki is not the Alpha and Omega of my spiritual practice, but it is certainly a central pillar of it. Reiki has brought out my better me- the me that is patient, caring, and empathetic. Reiki has helped me feel safe and calm in distressing moments. It has also helped me comfort strangers after I administered first aid. I have yet to find a situation that Reiki isn’t helpful for. It’s deeply interwoven into the fabric of my life, and honestly, I’m very grateful for it.