Between Reiki Level One and Two there are usually at least six month to allow for the students self-development and personal growth. The door had been opened and there was no turning back. I needed to understand energy. Today, I know that the universe always sends you, what you need at any one time. I came across an author called Carlo Rovelli, who was an Italian physicist, who had written a column in The Times, explaining the latest discoveries in physics and in particular quantum physics.
I had read a review in the Times and ordered his two books “Seven brief lessons in physics” and “Reality is not what it seems”. Here was science easily explained in words that a non-scientist could follow. What surprised me the most, was that the science was not contradicting my experience with Reiki. It seemed more like science was catching up with ancient practices and beliefs humankind had always known.
My interest was awakened. From Carlo Rovelli, I went on to Christophe Galfard, who had been a student at Cambridge under Stephen Hawking and had written a book called “The Universe In Your Hand”. Wow! Here was a whole new world, a whole new exciting way of looking at the world we were a tiny part of. The realization that we were less than a fraction of the tiniest grain of sand in the biggest desert put everything that I had believed to be important into perspective.
The beautiful planet Earth that until then had been my whole world, suddenly became almost insignificant when looked at through the eyes of astrophysics. Our solar system turned out to be this tiny group off planets with the sun at its center on the very edge of the galaxy called the Milky Way, which in itself was only one of billions of galaxies that existed in the universe. And here I was, worrying about whether my friends liked me, whether my son's school was right for him, or whether I was a good enough daughter?
I had suddenly gained a bigger awareness of our place in the universe. Encouraged by the beautifully easy writing of Rovelli and Galfard, I dared to go further, reading Stephen Hawking's “A Brief History of Time” and “A Theory of Everything”. I loved it! It was like fireworks of knowledge exploding in all directions and I didn’t know where to look first, totally overwhelmed by all the beauty around me. At the same time Einstein's book “How I see the world” somehow found its way onto my bedside table. I think what surprised me most, was how spiritual these scientists seemed, and how many of my own beliefs about life were reflected in their writing.
I would lie if I said I understood quantum physics and much of what I was reading was way beyond my academic abilities; but at the level that I could understand it, it all made sense. It made sense, that there were energy fields, waves in various frequency ranges, particles that were there, all around us, even if we couldn't see them. After all, we were using these fields every day: our mobiles our wireless Internet connections, satellite television, all these things used energy fields, wavelengths and frequencies to carry information from one place to another.
What I also learnt was that through our thoughts and intentions, our focus, we were able to direct these energy particles. If this was true, there could be a whole new approach to healing. Scientists like Dr Bruce Lipton and Dr. Joe Dispenza had carried out numerous research projects on energy, frequency ranges and the effects these had on the human body, the brain and the human cell. I became aware of how much our thoughts and beliefs effectively influenced how we saw the world around us, how we each interpreted what we experienced based on our beliefs. That interpretation would in turn influence the energy field of that environment, effecting every cell in our body to vibrate at either higher/positive or lower/negative frequencies. We were energy and in order to heal we needed to understand our bodies as energy.
Six months later, I signed up for my second Reiki course, as I couldn't wait to learn more. I loved it. As part of Reiki, you also learn to meditate. Meditation became a daily practice. In Level 2, my understanding of Reiki and energy went deeper. You learn signs, symbols and mantras that help you to hold your intention and your focus for long periods of time.
You also learn to live by what we call the Reiki precepts:
Just for today, I will not anger.
Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will be honest.
Just for today, I will be grateful.
Just for today, I will love myself and every living thing.
I started to at least attempt to live my life according to these precepts every day. For the two weeks a months I found myself in pain, it was almost impossible. But I learned to observe myself. I became more aware of my thoughts, my emotions and what thoughts would cause stress, anxiety, worry. Whenever I was worried, I would repeat over and over in my head “Just for today I will not worry.” Again and again, like a mantra. Eventually I was able to see that worrying about anything did in no way help the situation. It didn't help solve the problem. All it did, was put me and my energy field into a low vibration.
Worry was a big one for me. Just like my mum, I was a born worrier. I would worry about everything. Even when there was not the tiniest thing to be worried about, I can assure you, I would find something.
At night, I would lie in bed, imagining burglars coming into the house. My husband is Jewish, so I would imagine people attacking the house shouting anti-Semitic paroles. Not that anything like this had ever happened, but in my mind, I wanted to be prepared in case it did. In my head, I would run through the scenarios of what I would do, how we could all escape, how I would get to my son. Emotionally, I was there. I was being burgled, I felt the fear; my whole body was tense, listening to every sound of the night. My husband was blissfully snoring next to me, totally oblivious to how my overactive imagination kept me awake.
It was when I started observing myself that I realized how much rubbish I was thinking, and how many of these thoughts were causing me to feel stressed. Useless thoughts. Thoughts I could just as easily not think. Just for today I will not worry. Just for today I will not worry. Just for today I will not worry. It took a lot of repeating before my mind slowly gave up the worrying. The minute I dropped my awareness, my mind was back in charge. Stop! I would say over and over, trying to get back in control of my mind and thoughts. A constant battle between me and it. Worry was definitely the most difficult precept to work on for me.
Anger had never been much of an issue, if anything I had to learn to express my anger rather than suppress it. But not many things made me feel angry anyway. Gratefulness and loving every living thing were equally achievable.
Being honest seemed easy on the surface, but when I went deeper, I had to face the hard truth that I hadn’t been honest with myself for a very long time. I hadn’t been honest about my desires or my needs, I hadn’t been honest about how much I was hurting, how much I was just pretending, how much I hadn’t been living the life I wanted to live.
Loving myself was another big one. That was hard! I had lived my life loving others, loving every spider, every bird, every tree, but loving myself seemed wrong somehow. It seemed selfish. But then again, I could see so clearly how not loving myself and not caring for myself the same way I cared for others had lead me to where I was. In pain, unable to speak, two chronic illnesses pretty much governing my life. Maybe it was time to love myself a little.
The Reiki precepts are a real treasure trove. Trying to live your life according to the precepts will definitely be a massive step towards true happiness. But it’s a journey. A journey that gets easier the longer you travel. Slowly, over many months, the precepts become part of who you are. Without noticing, you change. You become a new, better, truer version of yourself.
Eventually, there is nothing to get angry about. You recognize the ego behind the anger immediately. There is nothing to worry about. You see the opportunity for growth that a problem is and you look for solutions. You learn to accept and let go of anything you cannot influence or solve either by yourself or with the help of others. You feel your way through life with your heart, rather than think your way through life with your head. Your heart is always honest with you. When you do all these things, every day becomes a day to be grateful for and it becomes easy to love yourself and every living thing.
So while two weeks every month endometriosis was crippling me, the other two weeks I had already started my journey of self-discovery and healing. Back then, I had no idea how much of an impact this new knowledge would have on my life. No idea that eventually it truly would help me to heal. All I knew was that learning all these new things gave me short bursts of happiness between the pain. It made me want to live life and explore life in between wanting to escape life and end it forever.
My life was a yoyo. Black and white. In constant movement between two extremes. The dark bits were extremely dark. And when I was in them, there seemed no way out. It felt like I was at the bottom of a deep well. I knew the tiny dot of light I could see at the very top was where life was. But I also knew that there was no way I could get there. I felt like shouting for help, but equally knew I had no voice, nobody would hear me.
The light bits gave me such joy and hope. They felt like a different world, a world that I hadn't thought existed, yet a world that felt so familiar. A world where I felt truly myself. A world where I felt at home instantly. A world where all my troubles just disappeared. I oscillated between total exhaustion and upbeat energy levels I had not experienced since childhood.
And one day, while I was in excruciating pain, something extraordinary happened. I had tried to meditate on a bad pain day. Usually this didn't work too well, because the pain would demand one hundred percent of my attention and focus, would grab all of my awareness and hold it in its relentless grip. That day, I kept repeating "Get me out of this body. I cannot bear this anymore. Get me out of here." Who was I asking? Myself? God? Again and again, rocking back and forth in my pain, I would repeat my request.
And suddenly my prayers were answered. I was hovering above my rocking physical self and seemed no longer connected to the body or the pain. What relief! I was literally looking down on myself. How was this possible? Part of me didn't really care, to be honest, because to get out of the pain was all that mattered.
My awareness seemed to have shifted from the physical level to some sort of higher energy self. In that self I had no body. It was just an awareness. Pure consciousness. Interesting. Over the next few months, I experimented more and more with this. Now that I knew it was possible, I had a goal: to be able to leave my body at will. If I managed to do this, I'd be able to disconnect from the body and the pain whenever I needed to. I'd be able to laugh at endo from above.