Article by Phillip Hawkins
Change is inevitable but personal development requires a conscious choice to be made which is only possible when we come to understand options are available to us. This realisation is a life-changing event in itself and opens the door to further personal development.
One of the main underlying principles of Reiki that many choose to ignore or overlook is the only person we can heal is ourselves. The ultimate responsibility and duty of care is to self first and foremost. This is neither selfish nor self centred; it is a vital and necessary part of our physical and spiritual development, it requires us to stop undervaluing our own needs and over valuing the needs of others. To have knowledge and understanding of one’s self is the beginning of healing of mind, body and spirit, for healing of any description is impossible without these two physicians being in attendance. They are able to identify the underlying causes of what ails us, and prescribe the remedial action we need to take to return us to a point of balance, and improve our health and wellbeing.
Reiki is neither intrusive nor dictatorial; if it were any perceived personal development would be nothing more than subversive manipulation. Neither is it a miracle cure-all that has to be dressed up to cover the shortcomings of its message, and the teacher who promises so much and delivers so little. A lie must always be dressed in order to make it acceptable and sold to the unsuspecting as more than it is, disappointment and disillusionment is the only guarantee it will be able to deliver. Reiki isn’t in the business of taking anything away, it doesn’t deal in magic, smoke and mirrors. If anything it uncovers that which is hidden and dispels confusion. It draws our attention to underlying issues that need to be addressed, the covert cause to the obvious symptoms that grabs and holds our attention.
When Reiki is used as the primary method of personal development success is guaranteed. Personal development guaranteed in direct relation to the time, commitment and effort my students wish to invest in their own health and wellbeing, but it comes at a price many refuse to pay. Unfortunately, many more are totally unaware of their own potential to improve their health and wellbeing.
We never know what we’re capable of until we are tested. Tests highlight our strengths and weaknesses and show us what we already know, and what we have still to learn. They are a natural part of our development yet we dislike the idea of being tested and avoid them at all costs. Tests can challenge what we hold to be true about ourselves, and help develop our character and resolve, yet most of us avoid anything that takes us out of our comfort zone or cause any kind of distress. The problem is, if we constantly avoid stressful situations we will never be able to effectively deal with stress, anxiety or tension. There’s nothing new to be found in our comfort zone; It’s only when we step outside of it do we have the opportunity to learn more about ourselves, discovering who we are and more importantly what we are capable of. The softness that comfort provides cushions us from the harsh realities of life, it’s ineffective as a creative force, a sedative and robs us of the desire to change or challenge negative beliefs, and our ability to overcome them.
Life is uncertain and unlike a toaster doesn’t come with a guarantee; life is challenging and it’s these challenges and more importantly how we respond to them that defines who and what we are. Collins defines a challenge as something that “makes demands of us to stimulate growth” and all personal development comes out of a desire or the need for improvement, and through the challenges, we must overcome to make that happen. Our ability to rise to the challenge whatever it may be, or run away from it depends on how we look at things and our attitude to dealing with it. Our perception is how we look at things and more importantly what we see, and our attitude determines how we react or respond to what we see. It’s said that we never really deal with reality only what we think and believe to be real. Do we see a challenge as an opportunity to change and improve our lives, or do we see it as a hardship or punishment for past mistakes? Is our attitude positive or negative, do we always see the shadows of uncertainty or focus on the light of opportunity?
Our attitude is invisible, colourless, and tasteless, yet it’s clear for everyone to see, it controls our behavior and effects how others respond and react to us. It’s our attitude that can provide a catalyst for change and development; it’s our attitude that allows us to fully access all of our skills and abilities to rise to the challenges that life presents us with, if it weren’t so we would react to adversity and life’s problems in exactly the same way. It’s only when we see individuals overcoming personal problems, disabilities or severe hardships in ways that appear to set them apart, we realise they are looking at their particular challenges in a different way to the rest of us and have a different mindset or attitude to the obstacles that have to be overcome. When it comes down to it the way we look at things and the attitude we adapt to dealing with life is the only real difference between us. Skills and abilities are no more than tools to be used and their effectiveness is determined by the way in which we decide to use them, even wealth and prosperity provide no guarantees to success or happiness in life.
Abraham Lincoln once said “most people were as happy as they had made their minds up to be”, he realised that happiness is as much a state of mind as wealth and prosperity is and that the way we look at things help determine the value we place upon them, and to value anything we must first and foremost have an attitude of gratitude and appreciation.
If we’re not careful we can look at the lack and limitation in our life and use it as an excuse for what we can and can’t achieve, yet we can see others who have started with less and overcome greater challenges to achieving so much more. All change and personal development owe as much to the attitude and insight of those who have fought to bring it about, as to the skills and abilities they used to create the change they desired. Before we can learn a new skill or ability we must first have the belief that change is possible, that we are capable of creating that change, and have the vision, or perception to first see it, and then make it a reality. Reality is nothing more than a thought or a belief made real through attitude, creativity and hard work. The quality of life we experience is determined by how and what we think, our beliefs and perception, our attitude and the actions we choose to take. When it comes to personal development we should ask: do we value ourselves enough to do whatever it takes, are we worth the effort to create the life we desire and believe we deserve? The fine words of others may inspire, but unless we are willing to take them to heart, to make them our own and act upon them, nothing will ever change.
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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.