I Gave Myself Reiki Every Day For 21 Days. Here’s How The Practice Shifted My Life.
By Rachel Nichols
On an early morning in spring, I walked into a stunning sacred space flooded with tons of natural light, sparkling healing crystals in all the right places and a room full of bright faces whom I would be spending the weekend with learning Reiki, a beautiful healing practice that brings us back into alignment with our true selves.
Our teacher Greg, a purpose-driven entrepreneur who also happens to be my healer, welcomed us into a beautiful space and led us through a magically connecting, resourcing and transformative weekend that is quite honestly hard to put into words. In a nutshell, though, learning Reiki from someone who I trust deeply, among several other incredibly inspiring souls who are committed to making a big impact during their time on this earth, was a life-changing experience.
So what exactly is Reiki, you might wonder? It's essentially an energy healing practice that helps bring our body, mind, emotions and spirit back into harmony by using intuitive touch on or above the body. In this practice, we aren't here to diagnose or prescribe anything, and we aren't here to impose the power of our own will onto anyone else, or ourselves for that matter.
Rather, when we practice Reiki, we simply hold neutral space for ourselves, and for others, so that any stagnant energy or dissonance in the body that might be holding us back from living into our full potential can re-pattern and come back into balance. The healing is an unlearning, unmasking, and a return to our neutral state of being. When we come back into this state of balance, we can more freely express our true selves, feel safe to take big leaps and find more meaning in our lives.
After our training, Greg invited us to participate in a 21-day, post-training self care practice to help us integrate everything we had learned and to get to know this wisdom tradition more personally and deeply. We were invited to come up with a sankalpa, or sacred dedication or intention, for the 21-day journey following the training. I chose to focus on what I heard Greg say to us over and over again during the weekend; it is also something that I personally struggle with: Thinking less and feeling more.
With that, I committed to thinking less and feeling more; staying curious and open to my felt experience without trying to change or fix anything—a sweet surrender. In Reiki we learn that when we can hold space for ourselves in this way, healing and realigning with our true selves truly begins. So I committed to practicing Reiki on myself for a minimum of 10 to 20 minutes each night before bed, holding space for myself to be just where I was; I practiced acknowledging and accepting whatever I felt without trying to change it. Here’s what happened.
My sleep got deep.
I was amazed to find that pretty much immediately following Reiki training, I started sleeping longer and harder than I ever have. I have struggled with sleep for my entire life. I typically toss and turn, waking up several times during the night, and never feel rested in the morning. Once I started practicing Reiki, I found myself waking up less throughout the night and feeling more energy in the mornings. I keep track of my sleep patterns on an iPhone app, and after a few weeks of Reiki practice, I noticed that I was sleeping an hour longer on average per night. I also started sleeping more soundly, waking up once or less a night versus four to five times prior to practicing Reiki on myself each night.
I now wake up feeling rested and energized, even after a night of wild dreaming, and wake up at the same time every day without an alarm, which quite honestly feels like a miracle. I believe part of what kept me up at night was my racing mind; and as I practiced feeling more and thinking less, it became easier to let go of my thoughts, drop into my body and allow myself to get the much needed rest I have been deprived of for way too long.
My creativity began to flow like crazy and I have more energy.
Before working with Greg one-on-one, and then going on to learn Reiki, I was living with chronic fatigue and physical pain for about a year; I also struggled with a lot of anxiety. All of these things were really beginning to affect the way I was able to show up, in both my personal and professional life. I was feeling stuck and completely cut off from my creativity and flow. These symptoms are what led me to begin my one-on-one work with Greg to begin with.
After practicing Reiki on myself for a few weeks and learning to accept myself exactly as I was without trying to change anything, ideas and solutions to problems I had been facing started flowing into my life. Using the practices we learned in our Reiki training helped me find movement where I previously felt constricted or stagnant. Sometimes by simply just accepting what I judged as stuckness without trying to fix it was enough to find flow again.
I learned how to get out of my own way.
The practice of Reiki helps us live inside of an unfolding process rather than a goal-oriented one. In other words, we learn to follow the energy of life without attaching to any outcomes rather than use our will to force an outcome. This practice is inspired by the Wu Wei—a concept we learned about in our training that translates to non-doing or non-action. It’s living in a state in which our actions are effortlessly in alignment with the flow of life. In my experience, beginning to practice living this way has eased my mind and opened my life up to more possibility. I feel less pressure to make things happen, and as a result have found that life tends to flow with more ease—even when it feels like I am in a more contracted state versus an expansive one.
I have also noticed that through this daily practice, I have become more in tune with my intuition and long for more quiet. As I continued to feel more and think less, multi-tasking started feeling more distracting and less productive, which led me to start focusing on one thing at a time. Following that energy, I found that I actually started to accomplish more with less stress.
I developed a larger capacity to face my fears.
As I continued to practice holding space for myself each night, I began to develop a larger capacity to handle situations that would historically overwhelm me. I have noticed that I feel more resourced to have tough conversations, ask for my needs and speak my truth with more confidence. While I have always been naturally introspective and reflective, even as a young child, Reiki has been a key stepping stone on my growth path.
Turning Pain Into Purpose
I am so passionate about doing inner work as I truly believe that our outer world is a reflection of our inner landscape. And I believe that taking personal responsibility by healing our own wounds and finding inner alignment is the first step in healing our planet, so I was super excited to dive in and open to the possibilities of how implementing Reiki into my life could transform my pain into purpose.
Seeing Greg one-on-one as well as practicing each night on myself has been a game-changer for me. This work has helped me grow passed my perceived limits, get to the bottom of my pain and helped me see where I was in alignment in my life and where I wasn't. Since discovering this gap, I can now begin to bridge it. I feel empowered, excited and so super grateful for this new path that feels more true to who I am.
Greg’s next training, The New Entrepreneur Summit is September 14-16 in San Francisco. Greg's passionate about helping thought leaders and visionaries use business as a force for good through the intersection of spirituality, trauma healing, leadership and purpose. Greg is offering full scholarships to this transformative three-day event.
For details and to claim your full scholarship please visit: thenewentrepreneursummit.com.