Most people don’t know who they really are, and some of us go through our whole lives without taking the time to get to know the stranger that lives our life. Sometimes it takes a traumatic event or a life changing Reiki wake up call, to get us to stop and re-evaluate our lives and to look at what’s important, in the process asking ourselves why we believe what we do.
We come into this world unbiased, uncluttered, and free from any preconceived ideas about ourselves or those around us. To use a contemporary analogy we enter the world a pristine system ready to accept all of the down loads that’s available; unfortunately, we don’t have a virus protection so we pick up everything that’s going. The vast majority of our beliefs, values, fears, and ideas have been given to us by others, and we accepted them as our own simply because we knew no better. Those around us automatically become our teachers whether they are qualified or suitable for the task and during our formative years everyone we come in contact with becomes an influential force in our lives. The closer the relationship the stronger the bond, and the greater the influence and control they have over us.
The problem we have is that teachers can only teach us what they themselves have learnt and although we eventually create our own experiences these are still influenced by what we were taught to believe and the way we think. Many experts believe that by the age of three we have a clear sense of identity of who we are, and how we fit in with those around us. In this sense our knowledge is more traditional and conditional, than educational, and it’s only when we take time to evaluate our beliefs and values can we begin to gain some understanding of who we are, and what personal awareness means to us. It’s about discovering the truth about who we are; who and what contributed to making us the way we are, and its only when we begin to understand can we be sure which beliefs, values, and fears we can truly call our own.
This process can be very liberating, as we reclaim our personal power through the letting go of other peoples stuff, and stop taking responsibility for other people’s actions. It’s also very empowering as we ask the question; is what I believe about myself supporting my idea of who I am, and what I want to be? Liberating to budding free thinkers who want to understand and know themselves, but very frightening to those who don’t like change and would rather things stay the way they are no matter how bad they appear to be. Hanging onto what they perceive as theirs, illness is an excellent example of what people claim ownership for, it gives some a sense of identity, it’s theirs, and some would rather die than change the way they think and believe about themselves.
We should never assume that what we think is the norm; just because we think and are sure in our own mind, others may not share our views or think the same way that we do, from their perspective, they are right and it’s us who are wrong, and we must be blind not to see something so obvious. In one sense they are right, we can all be blind to the obvious and to a certain extent this is created by the way our brain works in its effort to make sense of the world we live in.
What we believe determines our reality; our beliefs create structure and conformity, a platform that forms a foundation of our very existence and to a great extent determines what we believe to be true, real, and acceptable. We see what we expect to see, and sometimes we see only what we believe to be possible. They say to see is to believe, but in reality, it’s as much about believing before we can see.
In 1903, just sixty years before the popular TV soap Coronation Street came into our lives the Wright brothers flew for the first time. For the following two years they flew on a regular basis, sometimes beside passenger trains that ran along side their make shift airfield. Even though these flights were witnessed by countless people the local newspapers refused to publish all stories relating to these life changing historic events because these hardened newsmen knew beyond any shadow of doubt that it was physically impossible for man to fly. It took a presidential enquiry to decide that man could fly, and that the Wright brothers had indeed flown their plane in Kitty Hawk.
Our thoughts can be very powerful and persuasive, but when it comes to a fight between our thoughts and our beliefs there’s no contest, our beliefs will win every time. To use the analogy of a computer system again, our thoughts are like the cursor that moves from place to place, but our beliefs are the programs that create the work. The quality of that work is determined by the quality of the programmes, our ability to understand and work with them. Personal awareness is about understanding the programme we are running here and now, and how to upgrade in order to improve the quality of the most important piece of work; ourselves.
Reiki can be a catalyst for change but like any catalyst it requires the other components to be in place before the process can begin. Dr Usui knew through his own experience, for Reiki to be effective and have lasting results, the recipient had to play their part in their own healing process. If they didn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t their established thoughts, beliefs and actions would simply neutralized any benefits and old patterns would re-established themselves. Development of any kind requires change, we can’t stay the way we are and develop at the same time, to accept new ideas and beliefs we have to create space for them in our lives, and this requires us to let go of old or outdated beliefs and values. Development requires change, change requires choices to be made, and choices require alternatives to be made available to us, we then have to believe that we can change, and have the desire to implement those changes in our lives. If we want something different we need to do something different, if not we will simply keep creating the tried and tested no matter how painful or self destructive it may be.
Everything that exists must comply with the laws that were instrumental in its creation and it’s impossible for anything, including Reiki to act arbitrarily outside of those laws. Nothing just happens; we are all governed by the law of cause and effect. Everything we do down to the most fleeting of thoughts is governed by this law, what ever we think, feel, believe, or do is subject to the law of cause and effect. Our ignorance of this law does not negate its consequences, or annul its effects, it’s our responsibility to educate ourselves to these laws and then work with them in order to improve the quality of our lives.
If we can say ‘it’s just the way I am’ we can also ask the question ‘who am I and what is it that makes me the way I am’. In every situation we have experienced we are the common denominator; the factor that remains constant, we stand at the centre of our universe surrounded by the consequences of our thoughts, beliefs, and actions, we are the cause and they are the effect. Everything in life is a reflection, or a projection of oneself, a statement of our intent, past, present and future. You are the cause and they are the effect and if you want to make lasting changes in your life you must start with the cause, not with the effect, failure to do so will result in nothing more than momentary improvement until the next negative experience materializes.
Reiki inspired personal development helps us to realise that it’s no good trying to change if we continue to do the same old things, repeating the same harmful self fulfilling patterns over and over again. Lasting change comes about through personal development, when knowledge and understanding of who we really are helps us make the necessary changes to the way we live our lives, this way we control the quality of the effects before they appear. New principles become practice and life mirrors the changes you have made in your thoughts, beliefs, and actions which allows healing to manifest itself.
Article by Phillip Hawkins
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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.