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Reiki and Personal Growth

Article by Deb Karpek

Reiki has been a part of my life since 2000 when I first discovered it at a Women’s Wellness Conference. It was the spring and I had recently quit drinking. Normally a Saturday morning would find me hung over and miserable but this particular morning I was charged up and ready to go. Self-discovery was my new addiction and I was eager to get on with it.

I went alone to this conference, as I couldn’t get any of my friends to shell out the $75 fee for the day. Normally I would not have been willing to pay the fee but something was guiding me there. In retrospect I see it was Reiki, getting ready to meet me!

I was proud of myself for showing up and sharing breakfast with a table of 8 strangers. At this point in my life I was shy and insecure in groups. I lost my crutch of alcohol and felt very much out of my comfort zone, but I pressed on, excited to see what the day would bring.

Because I signed up late my session choices were limited. The first workshop I attended was Alternative Healing Methods. I wasn’t really interested in the topic but something drew me in. I was about ½ through the session and considered leaving, hitting up the shopping area when a woman, a nurse from a local hospital took the stage. She began to talk about Reiki. Immediately I felt a buzz in my body. I sat up straighter and began really paying attention. I felt she was talking directly to me. She had a bit of a glow about her! I remember sitting there feeling all tingly and knowing I would be doing this thing called Reiki! What? Doing what? Me? I don’t think so!


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After the session I approached the speaker and asked her many questions. I wondered if Reiki could help me in my recovery and she said yes. She was very helpful, spending time with me, offering me resources. She invited me to a Reiki Share at the hospital, suggested I take a Reiki Level 1 class and recommended some books to get me started.

I left in a sort of daze, wondering why this strange new thing called Reiki had such a hold on me. I had never heard of it before, wasn’t particularly interested in it, yet it seemed to be pulling me towards it. I was especially interested in the healing addiction aspect of it, as this was the third time I had quit drinking and I really wanted it to last. Because I was willing to do anything to stay sober I decided to explore Reiki and see what it had in store for me.

The next day I went to our local bookstore and sat in a chair for hours, reading different Reiki books. To be honest I was confused and didn’t like what I had read. It made no sense to me! At the time I was a meeting planner in my career and very black and white. I’m also a Virgo and I like things clean and neat. Reiki is not. It is very grey and I believe it means different things to different people. It is so unique and we all get what we need from it. I didn’t yet know that, and it just confused me. I just couldn’t GET it. I left the bookstore confused and frustrated thinking that maybe it wasn’t for me.

But it was. It kept whispering in my ear and pulling me back to it. It was time! I continued to read about Reiki, but it wasn’t getting any clearer.

Reiki seemed to be popping up everywhere! I began hearing about it, meeting other Reiki people, and continued to read about it. It was certainly on my radar! I saw in the paper there was going to be a talk on Reiki at a clinic near my home. I went with a friend and it was there I met my first Reiki teacher. The evening was fun; it was full of information about the history of Reiki, what it was, and what it was not. It was presented in a way I was able to better understand and the instructor had us play around with different “energy exercises”. I believe it was right then that I became a student of Reiki. I “got” the energy and vibration references. I realized I had been doing this most of my life, without really being aware of it.

That evening I signed up for my first Level 1 class. I was terrified to go, but I went afraid. This would be the first of many times I faced my fears. This is the biggest gift Reiki has given me. I have been afraid since I was a little girl, of many, many things. I suffered from anxiety and insecurity and for years had used alcohol to self medicate. It worked for a short time but soon the alcohol became a problem, and the anxiety continued. In fact, it got worse.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I discovered Reiki shortly after I quit drinking and I believe it is responsible for allowing me to live a relatively peaceful recovery. Almost immediately I felt the calming affects of Reiki. It brought grounding and calm to my life, things that were sorely lacking.


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After my Level 1 class I went out and bought a table and practiced on everyone I could get my hands on! Six months later I took my Level 2 class. I loved meeting the symbols and began using them in my daily life. I like to think of them as little people, here to help me. SHK, the mental emotional symbol became my best friend and I used it all the time.

I had a new daily practice. I began my day with a prayer of gratitude for my new sober life, and Reiki. I sent Reiki to my day, using HSZSN asking it keep me safe, guided, protected and loved. If there was anything I was struggling with I asked the distant symbol to help me. I asked SHK to come in and help me with my anxiety and to keep the peace and calm in my life. I asked CKR, the power symbol, to help me with my personal power and to keep me grounded.

All these years later I still begin my day with this practice. Reiki has changed my life. I have been alcohol free for 15 years, no longer have anxiety and each year overcome more fear and move forward in my life. I was able to leave the corporate world and began a Reiki practice that almost immediately took off and continues to thrive. I practice and teach full time. I am currently writing a Reiki book, sharing my experiences, to help others do the same. I continued on with my classes, taking all of my levels twice, with different teachers and just recently have completed and have begun teaching the Holy Fire Reiki, taught by the ICRT (International Center for Reiki Training).

For me Reiki has been like a giant key that unlocked a door to my future. Behind that door are many teachers and guides that have helped me on my journey. I am now able to SEE those doors and windows that I used to walk by, complaining. I like to say that Reiki is like a GPS that brings us right back to ourselves, if we pay attention.

Reiki helped me to meet myself and transcend those things that no longer serve me and to face my fears head on. Many times it helped me to move forward and “do it afraid”. In fact, that has become my mantra. I recognize the fear as just that and know it’s not real and so I am able to jump past it. The experience is never as bad as my fear! Pre-Reiki I used to let my fear paralyze me and stop me from doing things. No longer! Now I am armed with this lovely energy and can face fear.

I love how Reiki keeps me in the NOW. Practicing all day long I can stay in that place of mindfulness. Teaching helps me to continue to learn about Reiki. Clients and students continue to show up in the form of highly polished mirrors, reflecting back to me things I need to heal. I am the teacher and the student. Working in the Reiki energy, both practicing and teaching brings up my stuff and I now welcome it. In the beginning it was a bit overwhelming but now I recognize it for what it is and am grateful for the healing opportunities.


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Reiki has taught me so many things and has brought me so many opportunities. I talk to it daily, asking it for what I need and then listening to the answer. When the answer comes I act on it, even it if does not resonate with what I would think. Especially then! I know that it is coming from a higher place than my mind! I know it has my best and highest self in mind.

When my clients lie down on the table before a session begins I ask them to set an intention. I then share an affirmation with them, which I believe is the true essence of Reiki. It goes like this: “I am ready and willing to let go of those things that no longer serve me or my highest good, so I may bring in those things that do. Because I deserve it.” Bingo.

If you are a Reiki practitioner don’t forget to use it on yourself! So often we get so caught up in our clients and students we forget to take care of ourselves! So be sure to get Reiki for yourself, practice self Reiki, use your symbols, talk to Reiki, listen to the answers and act on them!

If you are not a practitioner but someone who is interested in Reiki, get some! I always tell folks that if they have the time and the money they should come at least once a month. I’ve been getting monthly Reiki sessions for as long as I can remember. It helps to keep me balanced and grounded. Also consider taking a Level 1 class, so you will be able to give yourself and your loved ones Reiki. It can be life changing!

I love Reiki and am grateful for having it in my life. I’m glad I answered its call. I like the saying Reiki finds you when you need it and it gives you what you need. It came when I needed it most and it has served me well. Thank you Reiki! Onward!

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Deb Karpek

Deb Karpek

Deb is a Reiki Master Teacher and the owner of Peaceful World Reiki located near Sedona, Arizona. She's been studying Reiki since 2001, practicing since 2003 and began teaching Reiki in 2006. She is an Usui and Karuna Holy Fire II Reiki Master/Teacher, receiving her Reiki Certifications from the International Center for Reiki Training. Deb received her Master of Spiritual Psychology from the School of Integrated Psychology in Glendale, Wisconsin. She is certified as a Level I breathwork practitioner, is a Reiki Crystal healer, Reiki drum practitioner and performs Reiki and sound healing with tuning forks. Deb is one of our featured guests on our Reiki Rays - Reiki Age of Light video which can be found on YouTube. Deb is also the author of a book about the nuts and bolts of starting a Reiki practice, including the emotional highs and lows that go along with that. Her book is called “The Reluctant Reiki Master’s Step-by-Step Guide to Creating and Sustaining a Thriving Reiki Practice” and can be found on Amazon.
Having experienced profound life changes as a result of Reiki, Deb continues to study and practice the various modalities of energy medicine. She devotes her life to walking the Reiki path and helping others discover the benefits of Reiki. Deb can be reached via her website at www.debkarpek.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/debkarpekreiki.


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