You sought peace and
No more depression.
and we went there
A place without our
bodies and our pain.
We went someplace else
and came back
by Janice E. Lodato
Elsewhere is a reflection on a Reiki session where a client sought freedom from depression.
“I have something to let go of,” I said out loud in my sleep waking myself up from the most intriguing dream. As I laid still in the dark, under the covers but wide-awake, I wondered at the statement I heard so clearly. What was it that I need to let go of?
As I reflected on this the possibilities seemed endless. Here are just a few of the ideas that first came to mind.
I could let go of the:
Need to be right
Expectation that I’m interested in everything
Drive to try to be good at everything
Expectation that I have to do things by myself
“Wow,” I thought to myself, “that would be a lot. That would be so liberating. But would I still be me?”
I started from the bottom of my list and worked up. “Let go of the expectation that I have do things by myself.” I developed a simple intention: Ask for help.
Now this may sound simple if this is not something that you carry with you – if you naturally ask for help and rally others around you, but, honestly, for me this is difficult. Often when I ask for help I do so in an incredibly awkward way. With people I don’t know very well I may appear overly eager or overly aloof. With my family members I often only ask for help when I’m at the end of my rope. Sometimes literally crying and crazed for someone to dig me out of the hole I’ve gotten myself into. Here’s an ugly example:
It’s Sunday afternoon on a hot and humid summer day, I’ve worked a full week at a new job with a long commute. I’m exhausted and overwhelmed by my weekend to-do list. I feel the list of responsibilities is all mine. I’m kneeling in our backyard pulling weeds that seem endless. Pulling, pulling, until my hand hurts and I start lashing out at my family. “How can you do this to me? If you loved me, you wouldn’t let this happen!” I literally cry out to them. They rally to help me, but I’m left feeling incredibly guilty about my outburst and my lack of ability to ask for help to begin with.
Where did this drive to be so independent come from? Is it something innate in my introverted personality? Was it fostered by birth order? Or did it stem from those elementary school teachers who poured accolades on me for my independent project work? To me, it really doesn’t matter where it came from. I’m here now and this is how I act and react. Now, how do I change it?
Because I’m not proud of any of these incidents of crazed independence and isolation and the results are often filled with regret and guilt that lingers over days. I ask myself, “How can I head this off before it happens?”
I repeat my intention: Ask for help. And, I add: Do it now, do it often.
The other three ideas to let go of seem closely related to each other. Of course, the one at the top of the list: the need to be right is a big one. It is so wrapped up in my ego. My sense of self sometimes seems to hinge on it. However, when I let it go. When I don’t need to be right. When instead I focus on my relationship with the other person – on the love and kindness and a being of light that I am and they are and that I want to nurture in the world, the need to be right drops away.
‘The faster we learn to drop our emotional dead weight, the more room we create for something better. I’m talking about everything from stewing about the guy who cut you off in traffic this morning to still refusing to forgive an old friend for an event 20 years ago. …
My question for you is, “What’s one thing you can set down this week?”’
I’ve been working on this lately – the letting go, the liberating myself from these restricting and toxic approaches to life. I’m replacing them with the following:
Ask for help right now.
Focus on my true interests and skills.
It’s a practice and sometimes I fail at it. I am hoping that the more I follow these the better I’ll get at it and the more I’ll be liberated from the grips of false expectations.
Wishing the same for you: abundant freedom, love, and light.
If these thoughts resonated with you, please join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook!
In a typical Reiki session, lasting an hour, the recipient lies down on a Reiki table (aka a massage table), fully clothed and is offered Reiki by the practitioner through the light placement of hands on the recipient’s body. The hand placements are over eyes, jaw joint, back of head, throat (with a cupping hand position), heart, solar plexus, stomach, abdomen, knees, and feet. If there is time, and the practitioner thinks it would be helpful, the client rolls over onto his/her stomach and the hand placements are upper back, mid back, lower back, and coccyx.
Those are the mechanics of a Reiki session, but what does it feel like? During a Reiki session, recipients experience deep relaxation and some report a pleasant floating session. Sometimes a recipient experiences a rush of energy to a particular area or intense heat where the hands are placed.
Here are some experiences of cancer patients that I work with describing how Reiki feels:
“I felt lots of warmth and a pleasant tingling radiating from my heart.” Barbara
“You helped so much. The pain is gone. I’m floating. Thank you.” Irena
“I’ve been experiencing neuropathy as a side effect of my treatment. After our Reiki session, the pins and needles are gone!” Nancy
I hope you’ll join us at an upcoming Reiki Clinic or schedule a Reiki session to experience for yourself what Reiki feels like!