This article is based on Beyond the Reiki Gateway’s podcast “Spiritual People – Myths and Misinformation Debunked!” created by Reiki Masters Kathleen Johnson and Andrea Kennedy.
Table of contents
- The first major misconception: spiritual people and healers never get angry
- The second major misconception: you always have to be nice, pleasant, and serene
- The third major misconception: people with psychic abilities are more spiritually advanced
- The fourth major misconception: healers and spiritual people never get sick
- The fifth major misconception: spirituality and professionalism are mutually exclusive
Hello everyone! Kathleen Johnson here today. This is the second full length episode of our new podcast Beyond the Reiki Gateway. Andrea and I are very glad to have you here with us again.
It’s funny, but when Andrea and I were talking about what our next episode would be, we had no idea at that time of the events that would unfold during that time.
As we sit here today with our new episode, a lot of conversation has gone before between the two of us. We wanted to share that with you. And just as an acknowledgement of the tragic, horrific events that have unfolded in our country over the past week and a half.
In fact, we had considered discussing that in this episode, discussing those events, possible repercussions for the future and even beginning to delve into the spiritual significance of those events. Because make no mistake, there is a spiritual significance. However, after much debate and discussion and reflection, we felt that it was simply too soon.
Speaking quite honestly for myself, I don’t think I would be able to discuss this issue this time without my anger and sorrow coming through very strongly. And I don’t want that to be the case in our podcast or in this episode. So, we felt that in the interest of all, myself, Andrea, and of course you, the audience, it would be best to put some space between us, some space and time.
We will be discussing this in greater detail in a future episode and how the events of the past week, and indeed the past months and even years if you want to get into it, will be impacting us collectively and individually going forward. And what does that mean for us as spiritual seekers? Hopefully you will bear with us and understand where we’re coming from about this. We just wanted to let you know how we feel about it and why we’re not discussing this in more detail now.
However, there is a bright side to all this, and that is when we were discussing all this, we decided that a great topic for today, because we were feeling such anger and such sorrow and fear around all of this, would be to talk with you today about some of the myths and misconceptions about spirituality, spiritual seekers and healers, people who practice Reiki like myself and Andrea, because there are a lot of myths out there and misconceptions.
The first major misconception: spiritual people and healers never get angry
One of those, we’re going to be getting into it in a moment, Andrea and I, but one of those major myths is that if you’re a spiritual person or if you’re a healer or a seeker, you never get angry, you’re always just so calm and serene. That is the biggest myth of all. So, that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. The myths and misconceptions surrounding spirituality and spiritual people. Andrea, what do you think about that? As far as never getting angry? Do you have anything to add? In fact, I know that you have. So, let us hear what you have to say.
Thanks, Kathleen for clarifying our process and putting it out there, sharing it with them. I look at it as a privilege to be able to talk with people that are like minded and have questions similar to our questions. And yeah, that whole myth that if you are a spiritual person, if you’re a healer, if you are on a path towards greater enlightenment, that you don’t have the right to be angry or if you are angry, somehow it shows that you’re a fake, that you’re really not a spiritual person. And wow, that is just so far from the truth.
From my perspective, anger gives us opportunity. Anger is contrast and contrast is instrumental for us in our evolution on our path. And what I mean by all that is, it’s very natural to get angry, we’re human, and things need to make us angry. We’re navigating the world, we have different cares, we have different opinions about things and we have standards about how people need to be treated, how we as individuals, need to be treated. If someone has healthy boundaries, and those boundaries are challenged by someone else, we might have anger. And anger for those Reiki people out there, they might be thinking about the first precept that many interpret as I will not be angry.
And I think that’s also a misconception and that it sets that false narrative, I guess, it supports that myth that we shouldn’t be angry and I think that’s misunderstood. I’m not sure how you feel about it, so please chime in here in a sec.
Be aware of your anger and try to learn its lessons.
But for me it’s more about do not hang on to anger, be aware if you’re angry and choose wisely in your anger, don’t wield your anger and inflict pain or hurt upon others through anger. To me, that’s what that means – that it isn’t about living a life without anger. That kind of makes me think about our episode last time, about meditation; people thinking they have to sit cross legged on a mountain top in order to meditate and nothing else will do. And again, that isn’t true!
So, it’s about awareness, like in meditation, awareness of our thoughts and it’s about letting it go, letting it pass by or dealing with it in a constructive manner and having it be fuel for change, positive change, positive growth. What do you think about that?
I absolutely agree with what you said, and I’m glad you mentioned the Reiki precept. For those of you who are not Reiki people, Reiki practitioners, the precepts are a set of guidelines, if you will, I hate to use the word rules, but guidelines for life. The first precept states, it’s about anger, which I think is very relevant, because anger is something we all deal with when we are living on planet Earth, in a human body. I have seen the precept written many different ways and I have my own version of it and what I say is: Just for today, I let go of anger.
I have seen it written, more often than not, in a way that says just for today, I will not be angry. And it’s going to sound a little silly, but that always makes me angry, because it’s really… as Andrea said, false narrative. Ok. So, if I’m going to be a good Reiki practitioner and be spiritual and all those things, does that mean, Oh, I can’t get angry? So, every time you feel anger, which is going to happen because you’re human, we’re all human, we can’t get away from the emotions. And we have emotions for a reason, they help us navigate the world. So, every time we feel angry, are we going to be ashamed? Are we going to suppress that? Are we going to push it away? No, no, I don’t think that is what the precept is all about.
It is about recognizing that we get angry. It is about recognizing what we do with that. It’s not about, Oh, we can’t get angry, it’s about what do you do with it when you get angry? Are you using it as a motivator? Are you using it as an opportunity for change, or are you using it to wield power over others or turning it in upon yourself? Those last two options are clearly not the best choices. So, having anger at our disposal as a human being living on planet Earth is actually a gift because it gives us the option to utilize that in a way that’s constructive and helps to build up instead of tear down.
So, that is my thought on anger. Now I don’t know, does that help clarify what, what you thought Andrea?
Yeah, it does. And listening to what you said made me realize something else that I think is worth sharing and that’s for myself, I’m always observing myself, how I react, what I’m feeling like, probably too much, it drives myself a bit crazy at times. But anger is a good example of that, because it is so much in contrast to my normal vibe, I guess, if you want to call it that, that when I get angry, that really gets my attention. And how I walk my path is, I notice those moments of contrast and then I say okay, “Wow, why did I react that way? Or why did I feel that anger? What is that about?” And I use that to help me go within and find anything within myself that needs healing, that needs to be looked at, that needs to be acknowledged by me. And that is self-healing.
When we can use our anger, our emotions, we might, if you’re trying to live up to that standard, every time you’d be angry, I’ll fail that time on your big score card of spirituality. But instead of doing that and recording that as failure, use it to help you heal and grow. It’s like fertilizer on your path helping you enrich your life and enrich your spirit by not denying those things, but allowing those things to be a tool that help you progress and heal.
Exactly. Yeah. That’s a good way to describe it. I’m the same as you in terms of feeling angry, I don’t often feel angry, it’s not my normal mode, but when I do get angry, I get really angry. And it’s such a sharp change in how I normally feel that, as you said, you notice and it’s… everything you said I do this, I have found that to be very helpful, that, ok, “Why did that create this response? This reaction in me? What is it about me that triggered that?” And, what you said about it being an opportunity, that’s absolutely right. It’s an opportunity to learn more about yourself, to gain some insights, gain more self-awareness and learn a bit about who you really are, authentically, without beating yourself up, because you got angry for a reason.
No, you are not failing your spiritual path because you feel human emotions
Now if you want to say, the spiritual thing to do would be to try to learn more about why that happened, and where that anger comes from and begin to heal those issues. So, anger can be an ally when you approach it that way. That’s how I perceive it. People who know me, they know I don’t get angry all that often, and at the times I do, I’ve had people react in almost horror, “Oh, my goodness, what’s going on with you?” Like, I suddenly turned in Frankenstein’s monster. So yeah, I just people do, they have, and we all do this, we all have certain expectations of others and we tend to put people in certain labels and boxes and ok, this person is nice, this person is a little bit of a pain, this person is etc.
And when we dare to step out of those boxes, people are like, “Oh, my goodness, who are you?” So, being angry it’s perfectly natural, perfectly normal. If any of you are out there listening to this and you can relate to this and think, “Yeah, I really don’t like to be angry, because I feel like I’m somehow failing my mission to be spiritual.” No, you’re human and you’re allowed to be angry. What matters is what we do with it. At the end of the day, what do we do with it? That’s really all that matters.
The second major misconception: you always have to be nice, pleasant, and serene
What about another misconception, Kathleen? What’s another one that you’ve often heard about that we want to address?
Ok, there’s quite a few, but we’re not going to have time to get them all today, but we’ll get maybe the top 4 or 5.
The one I get sometimes and this is normally from students of mine in classes, they feel that they always have to be nice. I have to be nice, pleasant and serene, and tranquil, and calm, which is very closely related to the whole anger thing, of course. But yeah, I get that, you have to be nice. And generally speaking, I’m a nice person, I tend to be, I’m kind and compassionate, I listen to people, I have a lot of what I think are good qualities. But there are times when I can be not so nice. And sometimes it makes me feel bad, because I feel like I’m letting myself down. But I have learned that No, that’s not the case at all. Again, we are human. If you take anything away from today’s episode: Remember, we’re all human. All right? And that’s not to say you can embrace your humanness and go nuts with it and start trampling over everyone on your path, it’s just about giving yourselves a break, ok? And recognizing that we have these qualities within us and then we have the opportunity or the choice to use them in a way that either benefits us and others or hurts us and others. So, being nice, Andrea, I know we spoke a little bit before we began today’s episode about being nice and you mentioned about your upbringing and how that plays into your feelings of needing to be nice.
Forcing yourself to be nice at all cost: is that the path to an authentic self?
Absolutely. I have a double whammy. I ended up on the spiritual path, that I wasn’t really even looking for, when I was younger. But here I am. But looking back, oh my goodness, it’s taken me many years to see the extent of how I was raised and how other people weren’t raised like me. We were raised to be “fine.”
We were just raised to be fine. It didn’t matter if our pet had died that morning. If somebody asked, how are you? The answer was “fine.” That’s what we were conditioned to say. And that’s a whole tip of an iceberg right there. Because not only does that tell you that you need to be nice, but that your emotions don’t count, hide your feelings, stop your emotions, blah, blah, blah. We go on and on about all the ramifications of that.
But in the context of what we’re saying today it’s important, because the idea here is that I grew up with the belief that being nice took precedence over anything else. That was true for me. It was expected that I just smile and nod and be fine, and deny who I really was in that moment. And that’s what I did for many years. And when you were talking a moment ago, it made me think about the ego. And that’s a big topic too. And spirituality. We’d probably do a whole episode on the ego. But I think it goes with this anger thing, it goes with the nicety thing, because you’ve brought up a couple times now about how we’re human. And that’s ok. Guess what, being human takes into account we have an ego! And I think in spiritual terms, there’s such a belief that we have to fight the ego, that we have to press the ego down, we have to divorce ourselves from the ego, whatever. That the ego is no good and we have to rise above the ego.
Is your ego bad? Do you have to divorce it?
And I just would put out there that Spirit, the Universe, whatever you want to call it, those forces know we have an ego and that’s part of us and there’s nothing wrong with that. It is part of the human experience. And the way I teach Reiki and the style and everything, we embrace the ego and we use the ego to help heal us. And that’s really what we’ve mentioned already today. I just wanted to throw that in there, that the ego is not bad at all. It is part of who we are and to deny that is to create separation instead of unification within ourselves.
The idea of being nice, I do think you’re right Kathleen, it really does go with the whole angry thing and it keeps us in a lie. It keeps us upon a false surface where our truth doesn’t matter and we can’t be real. And if we can’t be real, how can we even be spiritual? It just doesn’t make any kind of sense to me.
Your ego serves a purpose; you couldn’t function without it.
Yeah. I agree. It’s about, how can we expect to be whole? We always talk about we’re on a path to wholeness, and yeah, all of us are, that is part of the journey. We’re on a path to wholeness and wellness and authenticity. How can we expect to be whole if we are denying significant parts of ourselves and you’re mentioning the ego, was a great thing to mention, because it’s true, the ego gets a really bad rap, really bad rap. I explain it to my students and clients as: It’s not about killing the ego, it’s not about getting rid of the ego. We have the ego, it was given to us by Source, by the Creator, however you want to refer to All That Is, it was given to us to help us navigate our world. There is a reason for the ego, it performs a necessary function. We couldn’t function in our lives without it. However, what I tell my students and clients is that: Who’s driving the bus? Is the ego driving the bus, or is your spirituality, intuition, driving the bus? That’s when it gets a little tricky. It’s about using your spirituality in a way that you are, I don’t want to say controlling the ego, but you are moderating it and it’s not running your life. You don’t want the ego to run your life.
Don’t let the ego run your life and learn to keep the balance!
So, you need both of those. You need your ego. You need the spirituality, the portion of you that’s spiritual because we are all spiritual beings having a human experience. So, you need both of those and it’s important to keep them in their proper balance. And once one gets away from the other, that is when problems begin. Yeah, you’re absolutely right. Ego is not, it’s not a bad thing. It can be, but it is not inherently bad. And I think that’s another, that’s actually another myth, isn’t it? We stumbled into another one without even trying.
There’s just so many of them.
Yeah. And you said the word balance, which it was like you read my mind in that moment, because that’s exactly what I was thinking. Anything is not healthy when it is without balance.
If all I ate for my whole diet was cauliflower, that wouldn’t be very healthy, I would be out of balance. I don’t care how much I loved cauliflower, riced and roasted and whatever, it takes balance. So, we need variety. We need balance in all things and this is no different. So, a balanced, spiritual side with the ego at side that makes a quality deep and aware human experience, from my view anyway.
And I really want to get to the next one, Kathleen. So, I’m going to, I’m going to switch gears at, let’s talk about psychic abilities and the spiritual progress idea, all right?
Oh, my, yes, Andrea! Go ahead.
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The third major misconception: people with psychic abilities are more spiritually advanced
We’re coming at this kind of from the Reiki path, but of course we’re also addressing all spirituality, all seekers, all healers, all of that, but it’s very much a myth that people who have intuition, psychic abilities, things like that, that they are somehow farther along the spiritual path, like they have this special gift and they are farther along. And I don’t ever like to think in judgement or whatever. But let’s be real, that’s what we do, what a lot of us do. And so, it’s very wide spread that people well believe that if someone has those abilities, they’re more spiritual than somebody who does not have those abilities developed. And I do believe that everyone has the capability of developing those things. I think it all comes in the mix with us when we come in, I just think maybe it’s easier for some people than other people. Some people work at it, some really don’t, but it’s an individual thing. It’s an individual thing for sure. And I’ll add one other thing and then I want to get your thoughts on his Kathleen, but I actually just got another email last night. And this woman was from Ireland I think, anyway, she emailed me and she was very concerned that she wasn’t doing Reiki well, because when she does Byosen scanning and that’s just for those of you not familiar, Byosen is just a technique in Reiki where we use our hand to scan over the body of whoever we’re offering Reiki to, and it helps us know by sensation in the hand, by a knowing perhaps, where that person is in need of Reiki. So, this woman contacted me and said, that technique, she senses nothing and she gets nothing intuitively during her sessions. She did say however, that her feedback from people that she offers Reiki to is very positive, they have great results. But she… in her mind is missing that psychic, intuitive part of the session and she is feeling very less than… very discouraged, and feeling like she isn’t fulfilling her potential as a Reiki practitioner. And she wanted to ask my opinion about that.
Reiki does not mean intuitive abilities; if you don’t get those, it’s fine.
And my opinion is that I know other Reiki practitioners who also do not have the intuitive or psychic skills or whatever. But here’s the thing. That’s not what Reiki is. Reiki is spiritually guided life force energy. And that is what we offer. If a practitioner does have some intuitive skills, can do some reading type things and they add that to the session, then that is a choice that they can make. But it doesn’t make one practitioner in the field of Reiki better or not as good. That isn’t what Reiki is. My heart went out to her because that’s the last thing I ever want any Reiki practitioner to feel like is that they’re missing something or they’re not fulfilling their potential as a practitioner for that reason. What do you think, Kathleen?
Reiki works with each one of us in the way that is right for each one of us.
I absolutely agree, I think she bought into that myth. And it’s unfortunate because a lot of Reiki practitioners do, they feel that they’re somehow deficient and that they can’t be good Reiki practitioners or spiritual, unless they’re able to invoke and work with those psychic abilities in a way that they want to.
And it is unfortunate because that is a huge myth, and that myth, I think, does more damage to the individual than to any one around them. It’s about feeling ashamed and less than, as you said, unworthy. And that’s simply not the case. I’ve said many times and in many articles I’ve written, and when I teach, when I work with clients, I know this to be true that Reiki and any spiritual practice, not just Reiki, but Reiki, I’m just going to refer to that at this point, it works with each one of us in the way that is right for each one of us, whatever that looks like.
For some people that may be channelling and having all kinds of impressions and information and psychic experiences, while they’re channelling Reiki or doing a Reiki session.
For others, not so much, maybe it’s more about the hands-on portion of Reiki, working with the client, listening to them. It may be much more a practical type of practice, a practical practice. But it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what it looks like. It doesn’t matter what anyone’s Reiki or spiritual practice manifests as. I have learned a long time ago that however it manifests is the right way for each one of us, because the energy that we’re receiving and a spiritual practice such as Reiki, as you said, is spiritually guided.
Spirit isn’t going to steer us wrong, it never does. So, when we start to question and doubt ourselves, what that is doing actually is impeding that flow of energy, because now we’re worried, we’re concerned, we’re feeling bad about ourselves, we are closing ourselves to some degree to that flow of energy. We just need to open to it and relax into the flow.
And I think with your individual in Ireland who emailed you with her concerns, I think maybe, she would try that, to just relax and not worry about it. I know easier said than done. But if she just would allow herself to accept that this is how it is for now, and trust that this is how it needs to be for now. And I think you suggested that she maybe do some self-Reiki and see how that… keep working with that.
There’s just so many tangents here, but I do think that it’s, every spiritual practice we work with it in the way that is right for each one of us and nobody’s better than anyone else. No one is superior to anyone else. And if anyone tells you differently, they’re just wrong, it’s my opinion, don’t listen to them. Because nobody should make you feel ashamed or blame you if you don’t have these amazing psychic abilities. We all have them. Andrea mentioned that earlier and she’s absolutely right. We all come into body with psychic abilities, but I look upon it as learning to play a piano. Yeah, we all probably have the ability to learn to play the piano. Some are prodigies, they can command concerts in concert halls. And then there’s people like me who can barely tap out chopsticks without making a mistake. So, we have the ability, it’s just a matter of how much of it we have, how much natural ability we have. And do we have to work harder at it than someone else? It’s the same thing and to beat ourselves up over what we don’t have is pointless because each one of us has many gifts to offer. And we just need to focus on those. And the rest will come naturally.
Yeah, I agree. And it’s like piano too, because if you want to get better at playing the piano you practice. And so, yes, I did suggest that this woman ask Reiki perhaps do some self-Reiki with the intention of clearing any blocks she might have to developing that. But yeah, it’s not about fighting, right? It’s not about fighting to get the ability or worrying yourself, should-ing yourself. We talked about that last time. Don’t should yourself to death. Don’t should all over yourself in order to make yourself, I don’t know, progress or invest in attaining something. I just don’t think it’s worth it.
And the other word that I thought of when you were explaining this was inadequate, right? It’s, yeah, never feel inadequate. And also, there are classes out there about developing these things, there’s books and things like that. So, if it’s important, if you want to develop that in a healthy way, then just look out there and see what resources you might spend some time exploring. But have fun with it. Don’t allow it to be a should, don’t allow it to be something that you weaponized against yourself and beat yourself up. That’s just not the way to be. Please don’t do that.
If you want psychic abilities, practice!
No. It’s going to just create damage to you. It’s not going to be of any benefit. And I think you make a very good point Andrea, that if someone is very concerned about this, there are so many possibilities to develop your psychic intuition, your ability is out there that, if you’re really determined to do that, then go for it. It’s just like learning to play the piano. If it really bothers you that you can’t play the piano, take lessons, practice. If it really bothers you that you aren’t more psychic… Practice! Take lessons! It’s the same thing. It’s about flexing and developing that muscle.
Some people with psychic powers are not spiritual at all.
It is. And one other thing before we leave this topic, which is been great, but I think to bring it full circle and to offer the other side of that is, I don’t know about you Kathleen, but I have known people who were psychic, who did have very developed skills in that area, and they were not spiritual people.
So, it is not an indicator of someone’s progress on the spiritual path. It is certainly not an indicator either way. I guess that’s what I wanted to say about that. Do you have anything to add?
I’m glad you added that, because that is true. That is so true. I myself have met, fortunately, only a couple who were very psychic and had really tremendous abilities, but quite honestly, they were terrible humans. And that’s really all that matters to me and I am not judging anyone’s spiritual progress or growth, but for me I think it’s important to be a good human. I know, I mentioned this a lot talking about how we’re all human, but we’re here for a reason and being a good human is really important.
And no matter how many abilities you have to do wonderful things, if you’re not a good human first, they’re not really helping anyone. So, I’m glad you mentioned that because I think that super important, it is certainly on its own, on its face, it is not an indication of spiritual progress and the lack of a developed psychic ability is not an indication of un-spirituality either. It’s a myth. We go back to that. It’s a myth. And one that I think needs to be tossed out very quickly.
I agree for sure. So, are you ready to move on?
The fourth major misconception: healers and spiritual people never get sick
How about, this is always a good one too, it’s laughable when I say it out loud, but it’s true, that healers and spiritual people never get sick. Say, WHAT? I only wish!
I know. We didn’t put in a capsule long ago and passed it out to everybody.
Exactly. You never get sick. If I could sign up for that, I would, but unfortunately that’s not an option. Again, here on planet Earth, we get sick. Guess what folks, we’re all human. And what comes along with that is the physical body, along with its flaws and its frailties. Yeah, we do get sick in case that if you were wondering, I will say this though, having a spiritual practice does seem to provide a boost to immunity. I know Reiki, a steady Reiki practice provides that, and I know that from experience and from the research I’ve read. So, that is a thing, we still get sick. And Andrea, have you had much experience with people who think that because you’re a healer or a Reiki practitioner or a spiritual person that you can’t ever be sick?
That’s a great question. And I remember back, I have to say, I don’t get sick very much. I would probably come up against that a lot more if I was, if I had a condition, a chronic condition or something like that. And fortunately, I’m pretty healthy. So, I don’t get that.
You can still be a great healer, even if you have a medical condition.
But what I have seen is, I have had students before question if they do have a condition, could they be a healer then? What seems that’s also part of this myth. We come up with this unworthy idea. This is a rampant idea or belief, but this idea that if they have a condition like a chronic medical condition are they worthy to learn Reiki or some other modality and have the audacity to try to help other people if they suffer in any way?
Wow, that just saddens me to have the knowledge that there are people out there that would question that and again, feel inadequate and their heart so wants to reach out and help other people, but yet they have that mythical belief that healers, spiritual people can’t be sick and so therefore, who do they think they are to pursue that inner pull towards helping people in those ways if they have something. That is just… Ah, please! I just would like everyone to know: “We can all help people.” Everyone can help people. I don’t care if you’re healthy or sickly. There somebody there that you can help and not every person can help every person, but we can all help.
And again, as you’ve said, the humanity, the humanness part of ourselves, what a blessing, I will say, how wonderful that is, that there are people who don’t feel well and yet they still want to reach out and help other people? Shouldn’t that be celebrated? That should be celebrated. Those people should be not questioned in that way at all. We need more people like that. I think.
I agree. Absolutely. I agree. I’m glad you mentioned that part of it, Andrea. I hadn’t really thought of that until you said it, but that’s true. And that really hit close to home for me because I have a chronic medical condition which was diagnosed 26 years ago. And it was the reason why I was forced to take an early retirement from my first career, which was in law enforcement, I was a Major Crimes detective.
I have to interrupt you and say: I love that about you. I’m fascinated.
Thanks! I could tell you stories.
Yes, I was diagnosed with a chronic medical condition 26 years ago. And although it was a huge blow in my life, I realize in retrospect it was just the way it needed to be, because that is what truly launched me on the spiritual path and it’s what ultimately, over the course of a few years, led me to Reiki. The chronic condition I continue to live with is obviously still there, but it has created so much wonder and beauty and benefits in my life. So, the thought of someone who has a physical illness or a disability that they can’t help others, that just goes against everything I believe in. And I know some truly amazing people who are healers and spiritual and they have all kinds of physical issues and difficulties. But they rise above it.
And I think when you have these disabilities, for lack of a better word, they help you. I think you feel better when you’re able to rise above them. They help you to feel better. I know since I began Reiki, my chronic condition has improved tremendously, tremendously. I still know it’s there. It never lets me forget that, but it’s so much better than it used to be, because much of my life is spent in service to others at this point. And I think that when we are working in service to others, either as a Reiki practitioner or just being a good human offering help whenever it’s needed, however you can, it makes us feel better, because we are then moving outside of ourselves and looking at something greater than ourselves, like this person needs help and I can help them. So why not? Why wouldn’t I?
A medical condition can make you a better healer.
So, for somebody to think that they can’t be a Reiki practitioner or a healer because of a condition makes my heart hurt. I hope if there’s any of you out there listening to this, and if you’re one of those people, please, please do not buy into that myth, because it is simply not true.
I’m here to tell you as someone who lives it, it is simply not true. You can do whatever you want to do, physical limitations aside. I know a woman, her life story would break your heart, she’s blind, she’s alone in life, and she has so many, I guess, factors stacked against her, but she is the kindest, most compassionate person I think I’ve ever met, and she goes out of her way to help others. And here’s a woman who needs a lot of help on her own, but she goes out of her way to help people every day of her life. She’s truly an angel on Earth. And she has never let her limitations, if you will, slow her down.
So, take heart, if you are thinking along those lines and you feel that: “Oh, I’m not good enough because I have this, that or the other wrong with me.” No, that could actually help you and make you even better, if I dare say that word, better able to help others because you have a deeper understanding of, maybe they’re suffering, you may have a deeper empathy and a deeper compassion for them. So, go for it. That sound right, Andrea?
You went through major traumas? You are not damaged goods, you now have a gift
Absolutely. Thank you so much for sharing that. Towards the end there, what came into my mind was the term damaged goods. I’ve had clients through the years… that’s what we uncovered with them was they had a belief and this is clients, these aren’t even healers we’re talking about. But I think that there is a widely held belief out there with people that if they’ve endured something, whether it be illness or a circumstance or something that they’re damaged goods somehow and it’s best to keep a distance from people or whatever. And this for me, goes into that category. It’s, you’re not damaged goods, you have a unique and wonderful perspective. That’s a gift. And I think those experiences often lead to people believing falsely that they’re damaged goods. It’s those experiences that are rich gifts, because they can meet other people where they are, based on a common resonance of experience and help each other. With that, I think we’re not alone.
I have a Reiki client, a long-time client and she tends to refer to herself as broken. And every time she says that, it’s like a stab in my heart. And my response to her every time is you’re not broken, you are being rearranged to be even more beautiful. And so, I think I finally got her to the point where she is buying into that. So, I said, every time you think you’re broken, remember these words, you’re just being rearranged to be even better than you were before. It hurts me when she comes in and she says: “I’m just so broken.” And I just want to cry. It doesn’t take much to get me crying anyway. She’s not broken and she’s not damaged good. She’s perfect. She is perfectly imperfect, like the rest of us in her own perfect way.
The fifth major misconception: spirituality and professionalism are mutually exclusive
I think we have time to get into one more myth. There are so many to choose from, but I think I’d like to speak a few minutes just about the myth that spirituality and professionalism are mutually exclusive. Like you can’t embody both worlds, so to speak. I’m wondering Kathleen did that spark any ideas for you when I said that?
Yeah, it did. I’m glad you thought of that one, because I didn’t. As you said, there’s so many to pick from. Which one do I choose? Yes, spirituality and professionalism mutually exclusive ways of being, that’s a myth. And I’ve experienced the result of that with clients who meet me for the first time. And I’ve heard comments more than once that I’m not at all what they expect it. If I feel like probing a bit more and say: What did you expect? More often than not, it’s somebody who’s in long flowing robes, maybe gigantic hoop earrings, perhaps a turban, wearing a bunch of crystals.
And that doesn’t describe me at all, maybe the crystals’ part does, as I do wear a lot of crystals, some of them though, you can’t really see, I’ve got them in my pockets, I usually stick a few of them in my bra. Anyway, the crystals, yeah, but the turban, the earrings, the flowing robes, definitely not my style. But there seems to be that misconception, that myth, that if you’re spiritual, if you’re a healer, that this is how you look, and this is the persona that you adopt. I know Andrea, we’ve known each other for a couple of years now, honestly, Andrea is very professional as am I, when I’m working professionally in my Reiki practice, but yet we are both very spiritual people. Honestly, most of the Reiki practitioners I know are that way, they are very professional. I don’t know that there’s a lot of flowing robes going on there. I don’t know. I don’t really care. That’s not the issue. It’s just about that misconception. That’s what we all do. My mother is elderly and I think she has this image in her head of what I do that is nothing at all what I do. She once asked me what I wear during, I’m sorry I have trouble keeping a straight face while talking about this, what I wear during a Reiki session.
I wear nice pants and a shirt.
And she’s: “Oh, I thought you might wear, I thought you might wear something like a long dress or something.”
No, no, mom. I said: “Have you ever seen me wear anything like that, ever in your life?”
It’s just, it’s funny. Even my own mother, and she actually had a Reiki session from me and I was just dressed in regular clothes. But there is that misconception out there that there is some kind of airy-fairy hippy-dippy woo new-agey thing going on if you’re a healer.
Now, and if there’s any of you out there that do dress like that, I mean, no disrespect. I think we have to do what works for us. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable like that. That’s not who I am. But there are those who are and that’s fine. And I wish you well, because I think it’s great as long as you’re comfortable with what you’re doing and it works for you. God speed. It’s not me. And what we’re really talking about here is the misconception, that’s how all spiritual people, all healers look and behave and it’s simply that – a misconception and a myth.
I totally agree, Kathleen. I was cracking up about that. What you wear, that’s pretty good. And I also have seen this, because my Reiki office to see clients is in a medical building and people would come to my office for the first time pretty shocked that I wore regular clothes.
I actually had a client once and she came into my office building, I have a waiting room and also a treatment room and I brought her in from the waiting room and she was very surprised that I didn’t have those, the big billowy skirts, those wrinkly crinkly ones, she thought I’d have that, crystals all over myself. You know what else she said? She thought I might have turkey feathers hanging from the ceiling. I thought, what movies have you been watching or something? Yeah. Turkey feathers and stuff like that. I thought, “Wow, I couldn’t believe that she even made it to my office.” That would be a little alarming, I think, but anyway.
And people listening may know, I’m Mainstream Reiki, right? So, for me it’s all about bringing Reiki to average everyday people and that’s how I consider myself. And I might wear, well I was going to actually say I might wear a skirt, something … yeah, that’s not true, I don’t do that. But anyway, I don’t wear the skirts or anything. So, I don’t know why I was going to even go there, but I might wear crystal, might wear crystal pendant or things like that. And I enjoy those. But yeah, I agree. It isn’t about generalization, as practitioners, as spiritual people.
It’s ok to be yourself and do what resonates with you
I think in all of the myths that we’ve covered today, I think the take away maybe, or the common thread is that we’re all individuals and we all just need to do it our own way with what resonates with us and we need to feel ok with just being ourselves and not feel like we’re less than or we have to apologize or we have to be something we just aren’t. Life’s too short for that! Let’s just be who we are. And we will help the people that we resonate with, that are drawn to us, and we’re drawn to them. And let’s just accept each other the way we are and set all these things aside. There just false beliefs and generalizations.
Exactly. It’s just outward trappings as well, which at the end of the day are so unimportant as to not even matter. I absolutely agree with that and yeah, what you said is absolutely right. We have to be who we are. I come from a very practical background and I know you do as well, Andrea. The idea that some people have in their minds of the robes and the skirts and the crystals and the turbans is simply not who I am. But there are people who are very comfortable with that. And that’s wonderful. I actually think those are very, those things are very pretty to look at, but I would feel foolish wearing things like that.
It’s about being authentic. And I think people know, too, if you’re being authentic or if you are not, I think people can sense that on some level. So, you have to be true to yourself. At the end of the day, you have to be true to yourself, honour who you are, and that goes for everything you do in life, not just what you wear. Honour everything you are, because who you are is important and it matters, you have something to offer, no matter who you are, where you are, what kind of “limitations” you may have. I say that in quotes because we can do a lot even with limitations. And just be yourself! We get that advice a lot when we were growing up, “Just be yourself.” I never really understood that when I was growing up, it always sounds like a bunch of malarkey, but I get it now. Just be true to yourself and everything else tends to fall in place.
It sure does. I think we’re about out of time today, Kathleen. What do you think?
I think we are. Honestly, we covered more of these things than I expected to when we started. But that just goes to show you how many of them are out there and there was probably a lot more we could talk about if we had the time. So, I think we’ve about done the job for today though, Andrea.
Yes, yes. So, this has been so fun and the time flew by for me and I just wanted to invite the listeners to go to beyondthereikigateway.com, you can sign up for our email list if you’d like, you can also subscribe to the podcast, if you haven’t already and drop us a line.
I think you said it all Andrea, quite beautifully too, I may add. So, I just want to thank everyone who tuned in and those people who are going to tune in the future. And I look forward to doing this again in a couple of weeks. Take good care, stay safe and well!
Thank you again for joining us. And we would invite you to return for another episode as we journey beyond the reiki gateway with Kathleen Johnson and Andrea Kennedy.
Episode Show Notes:
Misinformation is rampant these days, and its spread even affects truths about spirituality and those on a spiritual path. Listen as Kathleen and Andrea do their best to set the record straight.
They discuss and debunk some of the most widely held myths and misinformation they have encountered in their years as “spiritual people.”
With humor and compassion, they take on misconceptions such as:
● It’s inappropriate for spiritual people to feel angry
● Spiritual people must always be “nice”
● Psychic abilities are a necessary part of being a spiritual person
● Spiritual people never get sick (What??)
● Spirituality and professionalism are mutually exclusive concepts
Kathleen and Andrea also explore the role of the ego in spiritual growth, and feelings of unworthiness as a barrier to spiritual service. Join them as they lay to rest fears and apprehensions that may be standing in your way toward a more fulfilling spiritual life!
Connect with Kathleen and Andrea:
Kathleen’s Website: universoulheart.net
Andrea’s Website: www.mainstreamreiki.com
Support the show: https://ko-fi.com/beyondthereikigateway