Article by Sharon Ehlers
The universe often has a way of bringing something to us when we need it most. This can be said for how I “found” Reiki. I was working in Washington, D.C. as a government civilian in a job that was beyond stressful. The politics, long hours, and push to get things accomplished hit hard every day. As a result, I ended up working nights and weekends. I wanted to make a difference, but it was taking a toll on my health. I exercised, practiced yoga when I could, and ate healthy. However, things still were not right. It seemed like I never got a full night’s sleep. I woke up at all hours. Sometimes I just ended up going into work because I couldn’t go back to sleep. It was becoming a vicious cycle. Something had to change.
How I Found Reiki
While on travel in California, I saw a business card on the bulletin board at a local coffee shop with an angel on it. I had always loved angels. They kept me going when times were tough. On the card, it said, “stress management.” Something inside me said to take the card and call the number. I thought I had nothing to lose and everything to gain if I made an appointment. So, I did. When I arrived, I was told I was about to receive one hour of Reiki. At that time, I had no idea what it was. When it was over, I felt wonderful. It was one hour of pure relaxation and peace. It made me feel better than I had in a long time. I decided to learn more about Reiki and took a few classes. I was taught how to practice Reiki on myself to keep myself “relaxed and peaceful” at work, and eventually I learned how to practice Reiki on others. Finally, my life was calm again; but it did not last for long.
Two Devastating Losses
In 2009, I experienced the first of two major crises in my life. My best friend Joy died by suicide. It was probably the worse feeling I had ever experienced. I had no idea what to do. No one I had known had ever died this way before. I wondered how I was going to get through it. One of the first things I did was to call my Reiki teacher and schedule a session. Although it didn’t take away the pain of Joy’s death, the session did help me to let go of the pent-up emotions I had been holding inside about her suicide. It gave me the strength to pack my bags and make the five-hour drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas without being a complete mess. Sure, I cried the whole way there, but I made it in one piece. From that point on, I practiced self-Reiki throughout my grief journey.
In 2012, my former fiancé John also died by suicide. Although we were not together at the time, he was my one true love. His death hit me to my core. One suicide is hard enough to fathom, but compound that by two in two years: I was beyond heartbroken. Once again, the first thing I did was call my Reiki teacher to schedule a session. It was comforting and peaceful. It helped me to get through those first few days in less of a fog. It helped me to keep it together for my children. As a single mom, I needed to go to work. I couldn’t just sit home and grieve. One of the few ways I could make it through the workday was by continuing to practice self-Reiki. It kept me from falling apart during meetings or while I was alone sitting in my office when the grief caught up to me. It helped me to relax so I could actually fall asleep at night. Reiki didn’t take the sadness away, but it did help me find a place of peace within myself. This place of peace helped me to move forward on my grief journey through both Joy’s and John’s deaths, one step at a time.
Coming Out of the Darkness
Grief Reiki® was born out of all of these experiences. I knew I wanted to create a multidimensional approach to grief through emotional recovery, as well as physical and spiritual healing. It is the culmination of everything I learned (and am still learning) while on my own grief journey. Primarily, how important is it to address all three grief components to move forward. This culminated in the book, Grief Reiki® – An Integrated Approach to the Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Components of Grief and Loss, which focuses on each grief component and the manner in which Reiki provides benefits. I also created a companion Grief Reiki® Oracle Card App to complement and align with the subject areas in the book.
Since I began this journey 4 years ago, I never could have imagined how grief and the healing power of Reiki would change my life. Because I have found writing to be so cathartic, I have continued to write about loss and healing. I was a co-author of “Grief Diaries: Surviving Loss by Suicide”, which was a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards, the Book Excellence Awards and the Best Book Awards. I contributed to other books in the Grief Diaries anthology including “How to Help the Newly Bereaved” and “Hello from Heaven”. I recently created a course on Udemy called, “The Grief Reiki® Healing Program”, to teach Reiki Practitioners better understand what a griever experiences, so they can provide support through the ups and downs associated with loss. Most importantly, I am deeply humbled and grateful to all those who have trusted me to help them on their own loss journeys. Watching someone learn to heal themselves has helped me to heal as well. I am honored and blessed that the amazing healing power of Reiki transformed my life and helped me to move from surviving to living again.
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Sharon Ehlers is the founder of Grief Reiki® – a multidimensional approach to grief and loss using emotional recovery, Reiki and other spirituality-based tools. She is also a Reiki Master Teacher, Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist®, Master Grief Coach and Death Midwife. Sharon helps others to recover from grief by providing them with a safe, compassionate and healing environment for their journey. She is the author of Grief Reiki®- An Integrated Approach to the Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Components of Grief and Loss and is the co-author of Grief Diaries: Surviving Loss by Suicide, a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards, the Book Excellence Awards and the Best Book Awards. She has three beautiful children, two adorable cats and lives in Los Angeles, CA.
You can contact Sharon through her website www.grief-reiki.com or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She also can be followed on Facebook, Instagram, and Twiter