Article by Phillip Hawkins
Having looked at the dictionary to find a true definition of the word ‘disability’ I can safely say that every person I’ve ever known and I include myself in this statement, everyone I have ever taught or worked with has had a disability to one degree or another. A considerable length of time working in the field of training and development has provided me with the opportunity to work with people who had raised their disability to an ‘ology’; some went on to gain a Masters while others were content to simply achieve a distinction within their chosen affliction. One of the greatest gifts Reiki brings is the ability to look beyond the obvious and to get to the root cause of the underlying problem, but in our haste and desire to help others we can sometimes forget the Reiki precept that the only person we can truly heal is ourselves and the desire to heal others may be a part of our own disability and mask our unwillingness to recognise, accept and deal with our own stuff first. When spiritual teachings command the physician to first heal themselves they do so in recognition that knowledge and understanding is the basis of all healing and self knowledge is a prerequisite in all personal development.
If we think about it for a moment we all have our own definition what a disability may be, and being subjective these can cover a multitude of physical, mental and emotional conditions and our perceptions will be determined by and large, by our pre-conceived ideas, personal experience and beliefs. Collins gives a definition of a disability as ‘when our ability is reduced or impaired’ and if we take this literally then we must accept that we all have a disability of one description or another. Some disabilities are more obvious than others and generally the easier they are to see the easier they are to deal with, while others may be less obvious, their effects on our lives can be no less debilitating for it’s the unknown barriers that can exert the greatest control over our lives.
If asked to define a disability how many of us would identify a thought process or a belief as a major impairment, yet it’s my experience that a person’s belief system can be the most debilitating part of their lives for no other reason that their belief determines their expectations, forms their pre-conceived ideas, and ultimately creates their experiences. It has been said many times that we never deal directly with reality only what we believe that reality to be. This being true; a negative belief will ultimately create a negative experience which will impact on those who share that experience with us, a negative belief about ourselves or another will influence what we expect and experience. Alternatively, a positive belief creates a completely different perspective, a different framework by which we view the expectation and the outcome. In short our belief creates our reality and we see what we expect to see, even if it doesn’t exist.
Reiki has shown me that there are three things in life that determine the quality of our experiences, regardless of our ability or perceived disability, and that is what we focus on, what it means to us, and what we choose to do about it. Our experiences are created by these three choices that we either make consciously or suffer the consequences by default, for the lack of knowledge and understanding of these choices or an unwillingness to accept their influences will not negate their effects on our lives.
Life isn’t static; it can’t be because change is fundamental to all creation, to all progress, personal development and most importantly healing of oneself. Movement is life in motion, knowledge and understanding is movement with purpose and meaning. No matter how permanent we think a situation or belief may be life determines that change is the only constant and how we view this transitional process will determine whether those changes are positive or negative. We can’t do anything about the hand fate has dealt us but we do have control over the cards we choose for ourselves, and once chosen we have no choice but to live out the experiences that we have created, but we can always increase the quality of our lives by changing our focus from the negative to the positive, re-evaluating what is important, and then deciding to take action that supports our new outlook on life. If we want something different we simply must do something different.
Medical science has made great in roads in treating and eradicating illnesses and dis-eases yet they have failed miserably to come up with a cure or even a preventative medication that can fight against ignorance and fear, a remedy that can overcome prejudice’s, or a transdermal patch that when applied will ease the pain and suffering caused by a misguided belief. This unfortunately is left to the individual who is faced with these disabilities to come up with their own coping strategies. Healing is education by another name; the only force that can work against ignorance and fear is knowledge and understanding, education is the key that can unlock the strongest door, and break down barriers that are impenetrable to brute force. Unfortunately when we are forced to accept views that appose our deep seated beliefs it’s no more than begrudging compliance and we will revert back to type or our established negative default setting at the earliest opportunity. Before we try to educate others we must first educate ourselves (physician heal yourself) in order to recognise the stranger that lives our lives. In coming to know ourselves we can begin to understand others more clearly by seeing our own fears, failings, and insecurities reflected back to us by those around us. We may not be able to change the physical, mental, and emotional disabilities that we encounter but we can always cure the effects of a crippling belief we have about ourselves, or we hold as true of others.
Our beliefs aren’t real; a belief is nothing more than a feeling of certainty and the purpose of a belief whatever it is, is to affect the way we behave and our attitude to one another, change the belief and you automatically change the effect. Most of our defining beliefs were given to us by others during our formative years and we automatically accepted them as our own, our parents were our first and most important of teachers but they could only teach what they had learnt, and in doing so they perpetuated another person’s truth. Some of those beliefs are good and true based on a solid foundation of knowledge and understanding, but some like the belief that we will never be good enough or that we fall short of some perfect ideal need to be let go of and replaced by beliefs that will release rather than restrict, and fully support the person we are and more importantly the person we desire to become.
Whether we like it or not we all have a disability to one degree or another; a blind spot where all manner of debris has collected out of sight and out of mind, a belief held onto for so long it has become second nature and no longer requires a second thought. What greater disability than to search for something that doesn’t exist, to find fault where none exists, if so we must then claim ownership of it for we will have created it if only in our own mind. Before we strive to heal others of their ailing’s and failings we must be willing to first put our own house in order and self prescribe a dose of truth and honesty, knowledge and understanding which may be a bitter pill to swallow, but will none the less take us ever closer to healing ourselves.
We all have the potential for greatness regardless of our condition real or imagined; conditioning can only control us by default, the moment we become aware of it we can if we wish to, reclaim control over our lives and begin to live life with purpose instead of by default. Potential is our reservoir of creativity that seeks to express itself in the positive way we live our lives and is limited only by our imagination, education or knowing oneself brings knowledge and understanding which is a prerequisite for healing of mind body and spirit, it also provides us with a window of opportunity to be true to ourselves self and all that we can become.
A Reiki practitioner since 1999, Phillip started teaching Reiki in 2000 and using those skills and abilities he has spent the majority of the last seventeen years working with a wide range of social and educational needs including Autism and ADHD. Working with addicts dependent on alcohol and drugs, people whose lives were extremely violent and abusive, and others who had to deal with severe mental health issues. This has enabled him to work extensively in the private sector, schools, colleges, education and care in the community, the prison service and psychiatric units.
In 2016, Phillip decided to semi-retire from full-time employment to concentrate on developing his career as a published author and the setting up of his Reiki personal development programme at the Chilton Community College.