A little more of the longer story to answer the question, “Why Reiki?”

As I prepare for Wichita’s Alternative & Holistic Fair this weekend, I began thinking about how excited I am to bring Reiki to people. I was happy to go to the last Alternative Fair just to be around likeminded people. Plus, my friend Jenny Thompson was doing readings, so we went to support her. I met all kinds of great people and bought a few great books and crystals. But it’s more than that.

Going to the fair gives you a chance to feel at home amongst our local metaphysical community here in Wichita. Say what you will about finding such a thing in ‘Merica, as I call it. We’re here. We do not have huge fancy yoga studios like that which I used to attend in Phoenix (and in which yoga classes cost $25/each and all the women wore LuluLemon pants). Our yoga is much cheaper, our pants far less glamorous. We may not wear our metaphysical stripes on our proverbial sleeves. But if you dig and poke around and talk to the right people, you’ll find what you’re looking for! (Ok, I’ve yet to find a polarity therapist. Which brings me to why I am writing this).

When I moved to Wichita, I had really wanted to find someone who did polarity therapy because I’d grown accustomed to receiving it once a month at the Southwest Institute of the Healing Arts student day. I only paid $15 for it on that day! And I loved it. I’d tried various kinds of massage, polarity, and cranio-sacral at that point. I had yet to try Reiki. But Reiki is what I found…or it found me.

So I have been learning Reiki ever since 2012 with Donna and Conrad Jestmore at Reiki Wichita. They will be visiting my booth this weekend at the fair to support me! They are more than just teachers — they are friends. This is my first time at the fair now that I am a Reiki master, so I appreciate all the energy, love, and support.

Let’s go back even farther than going to student day at SWIHA. How did I even get there? How did my healing journey begin? I was raised to be somewhere between a total atheist and agnostic (gasp!). My spiritual awakening reluctantly began when my mother died in 2004. It was a rough start because I began as so many do — confused, hurt, and angry at God. My doorway into spirituality became my friend Dan’s yoga class (yes, one of the $25 ones), various yoga books, one about the Tibetan beliefs about life after death, and honest to God, that was it. That was my start.

At the same time, I was faced with the knowledge that my mother’s illness (CJD) was genetic. How was I to stave that kind of thing off? How can one fight genetic neurodegenerative disease? I was raised in a home where God wasn’t the only dirty word. My mother had also railed against seeing a psychiatrist and chiropractor! Self-care was a bad thing! Avoid at all costs! I have since learned to not only enjoy but embrace all forms of good self-care. I see my chiropractor, therapist, doctor, get my eyes checked, practice yoga, exercise, eat right… It’s been a journey! But it’s oh-so-worth-it!

I felt that, after watching my mother die of a disease with no (current) clinical diagnosis or cure, I needed to do what I could to bolster my own health. For me, that began with a hardcore vegan diet from 2005-2007 until my wheat/gluten allergy set in. I was also hard core into Krav Maga as well as yoga, maybe a little too thin and overtrained. Prior to my mom’s death, I had spent a long time NOT walking after ripping up my ankle in a multi-person drill in KM. Thank God I have evolved… Somewhat 😉

I continue to follow traditional Western medical guidelines when I must. (For example, I saw my Western doctor today to confirm I have strep and need antibiotics, which I already had on hand and have been taking since Saturday). But I’ve become much more open to any and all alternative medicine and healing techniques. Massage. Chiropractic. Kinesiology. Nutrition. Functional Medicine. Meditation. Yoga. Stress management. The idea is to stay open and keep learning. I participate in medical research at UCSF, volunteering my own body for research in the race to cure CJD.

So if you were to ask me, “Why Reiki?” I may not know where to begin! I’m a long story. I like Reiki because it’s helped me to facilitate healing for myself and others. It’s helped me relieve pain after giving myself shin splints by running too hard, too much, too fast (a problem of mine). It’s helped me fall into a more peaceful sleep when my mind wanted to take off like a runaway train on fire with a circus on board. More than that, Reiki gives me a lifestyle of healing and relaxation. It gives me a level of self-care so absent from the life of my mother. That woman never saw a doctor unless she had to. She never got a change of prescription in her hard contact lenses for 20 years. She never saw a psychiatrist or chiropractor, content to suffer from “back pain” and a life of what I viewed as too full of isolation, depression, and insomnia.

Choosing to pursue alternative health practices for me has been a way to purchase insurance of a better future. I cannot prove anything has been cured in my life to date. But I can tell you 1,000 different ways my life has changed and improved for doing this.

Insomnia is not a way of life for me; a night of insomnia shows me something is wrong in how I am living my life and it needs to be fixed.

Minor aches and pains send me running for my Louise Hay book, “You Can Heal Your Life.” Show me the root cause of this issue I need to be aware of. Give me the right affirmation to relieve it. And then I send Reiki energy to it — to my body, to the energy of the issue, and my intention to heal it. (The other night this made an issue worse before it got better…but the body truly can heal itself as long as you’re open to the journey).

Stress used to be my way of life. It is no longer an option. I can’t prove my mother would still be alive if she’d had any of this. But no doubt, she would have had a better quality of life. None of us should have to die or have something catastrophic happen in order for us to choose to make changes in how we live. We can change today. There doesn’t have to be a major, Earth-shattering reason. We can change now. Just because we want to do so. That is enough.

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