Print Posted on 07/17/2017 in Awakening

My Reiki Journey

My Reiki Journey

* by Marcy McGuire 

If you should happen to ask a Reiki practitioner how they first learned about this hands-on healing modality which utilizes Universal Life Force Energy, chances are, you will be presented with a series of serendipitous, seemingly coincidental events which gently drew the practitioner in. At a recent weekly Reiki Share, I did just that, asking another attendee out of curiosity how she had discovered Reiki, and was rewarded with her fascinating story. 

As a young American woman from the East coast traveling by bus in New Zealand, she happened to notice that a fellow female passenger was wearing Sketchers shoes, a brand not usually found in that country. She struck up a conversation, and learned that the other rider surprisingly lived nearby back in the United States and had learned about something called Reiki when traveling in India.  More discussion ensued, and another soul’s Reiki journey began.

My personal story does not include anything quite as exciting as world travel or stylish leisure shoes, but in looking back, there is an identifiable series of events which led me to discover Reiki, a discovery which has shifted my life and brought me “home” again.

Around the age of twelve, with the encouragement of my father, I was exposed to topics which stretched my young understanding of life, such as the existence of other dimensions and the unseen forces just beyond. He shared his paperback books and I was introduced to Edgar Cayce, reincarnation, ESP, other life in the universe and happenings on earth which were “stranger than fiction.” It is still somewhat of mystery to me how this man who was so regimented and fixed in his thinking in many ways could have another side which was so willing to intellectually pursue unconventional topics and debate the unexplained. We had many fascinating conversations. Fortunately, my interest in such subjects never waned, even as I grew up, left home and got on with life.

During the late 1990’s while I was preoccupied with family and home, pets and jobs, I saw the word “Reiki” in a class description for a local college’s personal enrichment program. I was curious and decided to find out more… someday…when I had the time. 

Several years later, through a series of little, unexpected occurrences, I had the opportunity to sign up for a new email newsletter which offered classes and events designed to explore metaphysical topics. The first email received described a Psych-K class, and I felt compelled to immediately sign up. It was there that I was randomly partnered with the woman who would eventually become my first Reiki teacher. Some say that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. My teacher had appeared but I apparently still wasn’t quite ready. The universe had other plans.

Within weeks of that class, a cancer diagnosis sent me quickly into a tailspin. During this period, that newsletter arrived again and I decided to have a reading with Theresa Roba, a highly-regarded professional medium. I was hoping to receive some comforting words of wisdom from my now-deceased father. While waiting in a small room prior to my turn, I decided to try out some Doreen Virtue Angel Cards on a nearby table to pass the time.. I shuffled the deck and silently asked three questions: How am I supposed to get through this cancer stuff? (That was my scared adult self asking.) Are UFO’s real? (That was my curious twelve year-old inner-child asking.) What should I be doing with my life now? (That was my awakening heart asking for direction.) The angel cards pulled, in order, were (I swear): Be Strong, Believe, Higher Education - meaning spiritual pursuits. Interesting!

I spent the next eight months getting through the most difficult challenge of my life. Trying to stay strong for myself and my family, while working with a medical community that had failed me and continued to disappoint, was exhausting and frustrating. I began keeping a gratitude journal and was inspired to creatively visualize my healing process during meditation - which I found to be calming and empowering, even though I had not actively meditated before. I didn’t understand why this terrible thing had happened to me but I certainly wasn’t ready to give up.  

“Getting cancer was a gift.”  The first time I heard someone say that, I thought they were crazy. Now I know what it means, and it is true for me too. The diagnosis forced me to look at my life and reset some priorities. It taught me just how strong I can be. It encouraged me to graciously accept help from others. It required me to look at my life style and recognize changes that were needed if I wanted to be healthy. And it created the perfect environment for me to be open to healing not just my physical being, but also the spiritual aspects which had been neglected for far too long as I got on with life.

So what does all this have to do with my Reiki journey? I believe I was being readied to receive the beautiful gift of Reiki through these experiences. I was marinating in Spirit’s creative juices so that I could better learn to care for myself and also share the joy of Reiki with others.

Another year went by and I was doing really well. I had made it through chemo and radiation, and life was back to a better normal. The local high school’s adult education brochure arrived and in it, a listing for a Reiki I class taught by…my Psych-K partner!  That was too coincidental. I hadn’t even known she taught Reiki. I decided it was time. The student was finally ready. Still, Reiki was a mystery. Something about touch and relaxation and healing. But I didn’t even take the time to Google the topic. That may have been a good thing because I went into my first class with no expectations or preconceived ideas based on what was floating around the internet. 

After introductions and some history of Reiki, we received our first attunement. I had no idea what an attunement was but I was absolutely astounded by the warmth from my teacher’s hands on my back as we all formed a circle and practiced giving Reiki to the person in front. I was so excited to practice at home, giving Reiki to family members and especially my dog who immediately “chilled out” under my newly energized hands. I even gave Reiki to the home office copier when it became unresponsive one day, and after 15 minutes or so, it started right up. My daughter’s “dead” cell phone also responded to Reiki so that she was able to make some important calls after the battery had apparently drained. Some might think this was just a coincidence, that maybe the copier had overheated and it had cooled off enough to start up again in 15 minutes. Or that the cell phone had a teeny bit of power left that wasn’t evident on the indicator. Believe what you want but I believe it was the energy of Reiki.

A few months after completing Reiki Level 1, I completed Level 2, which was very interesting indeed. Class exercises allowed us to develop our intuition. My 12 year old inner-child was enthralled and amazed at the results! In the weeks following the Level 2 attunements, I experienced extremely intense warmth in my hands which felt like they were on fire, but without pain. The sensation was so strong it sometimes woke me up at night. It subsided as I treated myself or another. My husband can verify that since being attuned to Reiki, I have not complained once of having a cold nose, hands or feet!

When giving Reiki to another, I set my intention to be a clear channel with no expectation as to outcome. As I feel the Reiki flowing through my body, I feel relaxed, focused, aware of what I may be sensing through my hands, and most importantly, I feel joy. It energizes me yet calms me. I feel connected to a Higher Power and supported and loved by the spirit of all that is good in the universe. It makes me smile.

For 5 years, I have volunteered at local hospitals through Gilda’s Club / Cancer Support Community of Greater Philadelphia which offers Reiki as a complementary therapy to cancer patients. Most of the patients I have met never experienced Reiki before and aren’t sure what to expect, but all have felt “something”, and leave relaxed and smiling. I feel very grateful for the opportunity to share Reiki with others in this way. 

For eight years, I have had the pleasure of being part of a “Reiki Family” through Circle of Miracles which offers a Reiki Share every Tuesday evening. I appreciate being able to “recharge” myself on many levels, and enjoy sharing the simplicity and beauty of Reiki with new folks who arrive at the beginning of their own Reiki experience.

I sometimes wish I had followed my twelve year-old inner-child’s curiosity and taken a Reiki class years sooner. Yet, in the end, I believe that I had to get there in my own way on a Reiki journey uniquely my own.

*** Marcy McGuire is a seeker of truth and beauty and will always be a life-long student of the metaphysical. She is a bookkeeper by day and gardener, cook and quilter in her spare time. She has been known to watch Harry Potter and Hobbit movies more times than anyone should admit. She and her husband Jeff Egglestone have a daughter Brianna who is a co-owner of the Float & Cryo Spa in Jersey City, NJ. Their son Sean is a nature-loving vegan, working as a Registered Dietitian in California. Marcy is continually inspired by witnessing her children determine their own life paths.

*** Circle of Miracles Ministries, Inc. is located at 10 Beulah Rd., New Britain, PA. Reiki Share is held there each Tuesday night from 7 to 9 pm. It is open to Reiki practitioners and interested people to learn more and experience firsthand what Reiki is. 

For details about the Reiki Share, Reiki training or other COM events, visit the COM website or email Rev. Glenda Smith. For more information about Gilda's Club at Doylestown Hospital, email Lauren Potts.

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