I'm a qualified Reiki Practitioner, working towards attaining a CNHC-accredited Reiki Diploma. I have been steadily building my experience, by giving treatments to an ever-widening circle of friends and family as my first case studies. It's wonderful to be able to share the beautiful Reiki energy with others, and to hear about how the treatments are making such a positive difference in their lives, as it does for me too.
But I haven't always been a Reiki Practitioner. In 2018 I was working in the Public Sector, in the Project Manager role I'd been aspiring to for 8 years! Holistic therapies had always been a keen interest for me, and something I'd integrated into my life - they just seemed to resonate with my perspective on the universe - they felt right, made sense, and they worked. My first ever Reiki experience was at a brilliant yoga retreat in Cornwall, in 2018. I was receiving a treatment from a lovely lady called Jane, and I felt the most beautiful calm, peaceful energy, along with a deep sense of connection and harmony. I was blown away by how profoundly spiritual and really moving it was. Immediately, I felt that I had to find out more!
And as is so often the case, the Universe gave me the opportunity to do just that - but not in the gradual gentle way I had envisaged...
Later that year, I had a complete breakdown, partly due to the damaging culture at my work. In addition to this, my "dream job" was giving me too many excuses to fall into some pretty self-destructive, workaholic tendencies. The costs of clinging onto that dream were to the detriment of my physical and mental health. On one particular day, my whole being told me that enough was enough, in a very non-negotiable way. During the year that followed, I had to do a lot of serious work with myself, including a course of CBT, which was deeply scary and difficult, but very helpful.
When I was well enough to, I decided to invest some time and money in my something for me, and finally go for a Reiki course in my local area.
That was a complete game-changer for me! My Reiki self-treatments brought me a calm and deep sense of wellbeing and safety that took forward my recovery from severe depression and anxiety by leaps and bounds, whilst gently helping me to face the issues and baggage I was lugging around with me in a safe and positive way.
It wasn't a cure-all, but it made my recovery and progress feel easier, more achievable and a lot faster than it had been. It helped me to get a different, healthier perspective on my self-worth, my work situation, my strengths and weaknesses, and what would be best for me as a human being - as well as the feeling that I was worth looking after.
So my"eureka!" moment happened one morning, shortly after my first Reiki attunement. It finally dawned on me that I couldn't go back to being a Project Manager, as the nature of that job and its culture was always going to be damaging to my wellbeing, as my values and outlook were so absolutely opposite to a lot of other people in that role; I value respect, collaboration, openness and doing the best I can to help those around me. It came to me that I should do something that made my soul sing. I should start my own holistic practice. I'd always been passionately geeky about holistic therapies (herbalism, aromatherapy and massage, mainly) since I was a kid, but I had never considered it seriously as a possible career path. It had always felt like a hobby, or like a treat for me. But now things were different. I knew that my old way of life was killing me, and no dream job was worth sacrificing the person I am. Part of being a therapist is self-care and self-awareness, so this would not only be an opportunity to help others - it would come with an in-built way for me to manage my wellbeing. How cool is that?!
In tandem with obtaining my Practitioner level and working towards my Reiki Practitioner Diploma, I am also studying for a 3-year CNHC Shiatsu Practitioner diploma, and will be qualified to practice acupressure in July (at the end of my first year). It's wonderful, mind-blowing and humbling to learn how these two different practices share unexpected common ground, and to meet so many lovely, talented and special people on my course (teaching and studying). The Ema from 2018 would never have guessed it possible for me to be following the life path I'm now on!
The Universe never ceases to surprise me - and give me new challenges/blessings (which are generally the same thing, aren't they? )