A personal journey of how the Usui principles guide and provide healing in this time of economic challenge
By Patricia Keene
editor's note: This article appeared originally on the Oakledge Polarity at LivingWell website in November, 2009.
In March of 2009, the world as I had known it for the past 11 years was seemingly turned upside down when my three day a week position as an Employment Specialist IV at Maine Medical Center was suddenly eliminated. This decision was made in response to a major departmental financial shortfall. As my thoughts tumbled in disbelief, I thought about things like: How could this happen when my most recent evaluation had been the best ever and my productivity numbers were some of the best in the program? All along, I sent Reiki to the situation and in the end; I listened to my inner guidance as well as my integrity. Following is the account of how the Usui principles have played a direct link to my healing from this loss, a shift in my perspective and the delightful discoveries along the way!
Just for today…………
For about 3 days, I panicked, and I admit it! I was rendered practically non-functioning; I couldn’t think well, couldn’t sleep well and was, for all purposes, a nervous wreck wondering how I would manage with the towering shortfall I faced.
It was then that I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to practice what I teach my Reiki I and II students and Reiki Master/Teacher apprentices. Though my being was shaken to the core, I knew I could model the Usui Reiki principles in a very visceral way!
Early on, I received the most helpful encouragement and advice from a wise esoteric teacher and friend whom I had sought for guidance and perhaps a bit of solace. What came back was loving yet at first, surprising and almost shockingly startling. It was the best response she could have given me. It went like this:
Do not allow yourself the luxury of going into the fear.
She wrote more than that little phrase, all of which was compassionate and wise but as I thought about her choice of wording, I soon came to know that she was helping me to get up and out of my own way! (Isn’t that something we teach our students?)
“Just for today, do not worry,” said to me that it was time to trust in the wisdom of the infinite; the all-encompassing universal harmony of life. This I knew, cognitively, however………..
Then came the anger; not overtly expressed but just a little bit of roiling around inside with things like, “The indignity of it all!” “This is the thanks I get!” Still, I am forever an optimist at heart. I found early into this sort of thinking that it felt awful and I didn’t like it one bit!
Weeks passed, and as I continued to teach Reiki and work my practice, my own words started to echo in my head. Reflecting with students on “Just for today, do not anger”, I make it a point to highlight the thought that anger is an honest emotion. To deny its existence is to attempt to fool oneself but to take that emotion (energy) and use it as a catalyst for some positive forward movement into life is fostering the highest good for oneself and others. Is this, perhaps, what Mikao Usui intended! It began to dawn on me that I was being handed the distinct and perfect chance to live this principle. In addition to beginning the practical steps such as updating my resume and the myriad activities related to seeking employment, I directed this “energy” into things like a collage of what I desired to see for my life and affirmations posted so that I would be reminded daily to direct my energy to those very ideas/ideals.
There is a familiar little phrase that says: We teach what we need to learn. This concept was becoming a living reality in my experience! Incredibly, I found that I gained strength precisely because and from that very real difficulty. I thought back to my own mentor who talked often about the importance of the “don’t know mind” or “letting go of the outcome”. More trusting………
Spring came and with it, the splendors of the season awash with new and fragile life, demonstrating the promise of rebirth and renewal. For the first time in my adult life, I found that I had an abundance of time to relish in nature, something that has called to me since childhood. The “Honor your parents, elders and teachers” principle suddenly came alive in my consciousness and I listened with my total being and all of my senses, including my intuitive faculties. I felt the unfaltering and ancient whispers of Mother Nature teaching me to listen to my heart, my dreams, and my longings and simply be, for once in my life. Reiki, apart from all other energy modalities, is the modality of BEING. I started to honor all of my teachers; human, animal and plant life and to give myself the precious gift of experiencing what it is to simply BE and of course, more trusting…
With the onset of summer, I had had, to date, a mere two interviews, from countless hours spent with the application process, in a field for which I was well versed, well educated, and abundantly experienced. Nothing materialized, and as puzzling as that was, even with our current economy and tough competition, my inner knowing was calm, serene and I remained happy for no apparent reason! I thought about “Earn your living honestly” as I talked with my Reiki students about levels of understanding. It is thought that the throat chakra is connected to our ability to “speak our truth” and the ability to “ realize our full creative potential”. When either of these two ingredients are missing or not fulfilled, we are apt to experience a wide range of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual symptoms; simply the body’s method of disseminating information and an indication that change would be beneficial. Having long experienced my throat to be my weak spot as well as some thyroid function issues, it became increasingly clear to me that although I made significant differences in the lives of the clients through my work in rehabilitation/employment counseling, my yearning had not quite been fulfilled and I had fallen short of “earning my living honestly”. Even with my complementary health care practice in Polarity Therapy and my Reiki teaching, there seemed something more beckoning. All the while, the practical side of life seemed looming and squarely in my face! How would I reconcile all of this? Summer marched on and although time was mine, it seemed to fairly speed by. I began to pay particular attention to envisioning what I really want and to feel the emotion of what that would be like.
Perhaps the most significant of all the principles and likely the reason for listing it as number 5, is “Show gratitude to every living thing”. We might take this a step further to say that everything in our universe was once organic, therefore, we might say, “Show gratitude for everything”. One of the most highly discussed and widely written about laws of the universe has to do with what we send out will directly affect what we get back. Perhaps we could make a case for this thought relative to all of the principles.
As summer began to wane, my favorite time of year was just beginning to show itself in the rustling breeze, the delightful earthy scents of the forest, cool, brisk mornings, and the last brilliant burst of harvest. I thought about the season of plenty, grateful for the wisdom of the universe in taking me up and out of a situation that had become one of false comfort and complacency. My heart swelled in gratitude for the time I had had through the summer with my daughter and growing granddaughters, the deep immersion in nature and all her wonders and delights, the connection with family/friends and for the “piece out of time” that I had been gifted so richly enhanced through the time worn principles of Reiki.
My journey continues to unfold with the blessing of a new opportunity brought forth from an invitation to join a healing center with like-minded practitioners, incorporating mind-body modalities and a philosophy to offer enrichment with easy access to the community at large. I continue to pay attention, to not worry, to use strong emotion to fuel my actions for the highest good, to honor all of my teachers, to take leaps of faith to realize my creative potential, to speak my truth and to be grateful for this amazing journey.
Thank you Mr. Usui for the principles you have set forth, providing guidance for creating our best life, extending that life and sharing it with others.
Patricia Keene is a Reiki Master who also specializes in Polarity Therapy, Therapeutic Touch and Craniosacral therapies. Her practice is located in Westbrook, Maine.