I had my first session of Reiki during the week and I slept better than I have done in a long time, and felt a lot happier and more positive in the days that followed the session. Was it the placebo effect or the did the nuggets of truth discussed with my therapist and the positive energy that I felt during the session and the days after hit an authentic place deep within me that spiralled a series of events that changed my outlook on life? Maybe it was a combination of both, but whatever it was it seemed to work and I want to go back for another session.
Looking at my booklet about Reiki it reads that 'Reiki is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us…..if ones "life force energy" is low then we are more likely to get sick and feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.' The idea that a "life force energy" permeates our being and can affect the quality of our life may sound all a bit airy fairy and I don't know if Reiki has been backed by scientific proof, but in the days that followed my session it didn't matter to me, all I know is that it seemed to work.
But I know it wasn't just the Reiki that helped me change perspective on my situation; during the session the Reiki therapist and I spoke extensively about positive thinking and appreciating what we have. After the session I actively started to build on what we had discussed and do some 'home work.' I started to think more positively about my life and all the things I am grateful for. Inspired by my Reiki therapist I have started a new positive ritual of thinking about all the things that I am grateful for in my life…whilst brushing my teeth. I have only been doing this for a few days but it sets the tone for the rest of the day. Suddenly I am not so stressed about what I havn't got and wanting to change my circumstances but I feel a lot more appreciative of all that I already have. It then starts a snow ball effect of thinking more positively throughout the rest of the day, my mood lifts and I feel a lot more relaxed and able to let go of anxieties and the ego.
It seems to be common knowledge that dwelling on negative thoughts affects how we feel and can affect our behaviour. Emotions and thoughts can linger in our beings and we can exude a positive vibrant energy or if we are feeling in not such high spirits we can feel less upbeat and energetic. All of this thinking about unseen energy, auras and the power of the mind had me thinking how powerful we as humans really are. We can often think that it is our circumstances and external factors that control our lives, such as our jobs, money, or the lack thereof, and relationships. Maybe they are only important because we give them importance and attach meaning to them. If I actively choose to focus on negative thoughts and emotions and give them importance when I should really disregard them, I may open the flood gates and snow ball effect for more negative thoughts and emotions. What I am consciously trying to do now is disregard the unhelpful thoughts, acknowledge them and then let them go. Or perhaps in the language of Reiki - throw those thoughts right out of my "life force energy."
Undoubtedly, psychological illnesses such as depression and severe anxiety can take hold of a person and it needs to take a lot more than a powerful dose of positive thinking to lift the burden that these illnesses can place on someone. But positive thinking can certainly help and be a good starting point. We are not our thoughts, emotions or circumstances, they don't need to own us, rather we own them. Maybe it is true what they say - 'mind over matter' - you are less likely to give your power away.
Written by Sara Akkad