Many roads to mastery start with a search for a solution to a problem. My path to Reiki Master/Teacher came from a search for a remedy for pain that modern medicine wasn’t fixing. That part of my story seems so long ago, 20 years or so. My introduction to “formal” energy work didn’t start with Reiki. It started with Tai Chi/QiGong and Healing Touch. I was curious. I was eager. And I was a “natural” at connecting my awareness to the energy around me. I have a knowing sense that is not intellectual thought or remembrance. It is a knowing that I just know when something is needed. It is simple, and most times, it comes without words. It is the language of Energy.
Starting this year, 2024, I have committed to sharing Reiki in classes and Reiki Shares and to start seeing clients again. I had taken time off from those aspects of my life, but not from the conversations with the Energy. In preparing to teach and “talk Reiki” again, I’ve had to take a look back to see how I got to this place in my path and notice the nuggets I have found along the way that show me that Reiki has indeed mastered me. This is the goal. Now, it’s time to really share the teaching.
I will fast-track my timeline from the back pain through learning Tai Chi, to Healing Touch training, to massage therapy school, to my Reiki I & II class. When I was taking all the Healing Touch levels, something was missing. And the teachers mentioned Reiki like it was taboo. This made me more curious. What Reiki had for me that Healing Touch did not was the lineage of Masters. It was ancient. It had mystery, and it had a ceremony.
Taking my first Reiki class in October 2009, I was like a rebellious child, breaking the rules of Healing Touch and finding another way. I am not bashing Healing Touch here. For some people, it is their path. It was only a few steps on my path and part of the journey. My first Reiki class was chaotic, to say the least. It was the teacher’s first one. She crammed the two levels of Usui Reiki into one day and too many students into her small office. Still, it was powerful because Reiki was the teacher, and it helped with the next steps on my path.
I had finished my massage therapy training, set up my private practice, and started working at hospice as a staff massage therapist. Part of my job was to manage all the complementary therapy volunteers. We had a variety of therapies to offer patients, including Reiki. The requirement for Reiki volunteers is they have to be Masters. I wasn’t one. I went to my boss and questioned how I was supposed to know if a Reiki Master was legitimate if I didn’t know what they were supposed to know. This began my search for my Reiki Master/Teacher.
My search for my teacher landed me in Summerville, South Carolina, in October 2010, at an old pink plantation-style home with a dolphin fountain in the front courtyard. My teacher had two labrador retrievers, and they were “Reiki Masters” for sure. Annie was the black lab, and during one of our mediations, she pushed the room door open, came in, laid down, and put her paw on my leg. She stayed like that for the entire meditation, and then she left. I could feel the energy from her running up my leg. I questioned, was she giving me Reiki? Animals have a natural connection to Energy, and they share it if you let them. Ella was the yellow lab, the momma of a litter of puppies. During the weekend class, these pups were finding their forever homes. There was one pup that had the oldest soul I ever met. One by one, the puppies left the Pink Dolphin. By Sunday, the last day of class, only one was left. Guess who?
I wasn’t planning on getting a dog. That year, I had lost my dog, Bailey, and was a cat-only house. My heart sank when the old soul puppy was the only one left. At that moment of leaving, I asked my teacher if I could take him with me. She said she would happily have the puppy go with one of her students. I was not prepared to drive 4 hours in a car with a puppy. I put him on the car’s passenger side floor and said, “Listen, we have a long trip. You need to chill.” He laid down and went to sleep. This began my extended “Master training” with my Reiki Dog, Myo. That training lasted ten years.
In February 2011, I was still working at hospice and felt there was more I could offer my patients with Karuna Reiki. This was a style of Reiki with a focus on compassionate action. It was the right frequency for my hospice patients and connected to Ascended Masters like Kuan Yin. I traveled back to the Pink Dolphin for my Karuna Master training. While I was there, I learned that Reiki Dog Annie was going to be bred that year. I told my son, and he said he wanted one of Annie’s puppies. What’s one more dog in a house? So, I secured the second litter pick, and my girl Karma was born in January 2012.
As a dog lover, my dogs were part of my Reiki journey, not only because they came from my Reiki Master but because they radiated the pure essence of Energy. They loved my treatment space, and I would find them in my home studio after sessions, sleeping on my massage table. It always felt like they were clearing and balancing the room.
During the next couple of years, I was growing my private practice, experienced a bunch of losses, and quit my job at hospice. My mom had died in the summer of 2012. I was tired of working with so much death and illness. Hospice was master training in a different way, and I am grateful for my time there. I sat with so many people at the edge of life and held space for them to go on. I feel that my level of compassion was raised by working there, and it numbed me a little. Working in hospice, you have to care deeply from an objective place. It’s very intimate work that walks with people and their families at a most vulnerable time. It takes a toll, even as you train to care from that objective place.
Reiki translates to Universal Life force or Energy. It is a vibrant, living, breathing Energy. In 2014, there was an evolution of the Usui Reiki to Usui/Holy Fire. My Reiki Master invited me to her first class because the attunement process had changed, and she wanted feedback from Reiki Masters before setting all her classes to Usui/Holy Fire. I returned to the Pink Dolphin for a “girls’ weekend” with my dog, Karma. It was a powerful weekend for both of us. After the class was completed, and before I headed home, we took the dogs for a beach run. It was Karma’s first time at the ocean, and she loved it. Pure joy! What does this have to do with Reiki? We were following the Energy. It is Elemental, meaning it shows up gently as soft rain or with exuberance like crashing waves on the beach. Reiki is always teaching.
In April 2016, I took another Reiki class, Usui/Holy Fire II remotely, with William Rand. That, too, was an enlightening experience. I hadn’t, to this point, received an attunement/ignition remotely. Sure, I have done distance work with clients and family. It felt like a tune-up or a tweaking of my alignment with the Energy. This is the level I now offer in my classes, Usui/Holy Fire II.
Reminiscing about my Reiki journey has reminded me of all the nuances of the teachings and how the Energy continues to teach even after the attunement, ignition, or placement is given. Master/Teachers can show up with fur and four legs. At some point, I realized that Reiki is my life’s blood. It is in my art, but that’s a story for another blog. Reiki pulses in me each day. It radiates from me in everything I do. It has Mastered me in ways I am just now seeing 20 years later. I am humbled, grateful, and honored by the path I walk. It has not always been easy, and I know I have been supported and guided by the Universal Life Force called Reiki.
If you want to learn more about Reiki, join one of the Reiki Shares I offer with Reiki Master/Teacher Elaine Riley in the Wilmington area. I have the dates on my websites under the classes page, or there are events on Facebook. Please follow along on social media as I share more of my story in my blogs. Blessings and peace on your journey. May you find the right teacher for your path if that is what you seek.