One evening during a particularly illuminating chat with a dear friend, the topic of Reiki casually came up. Reiki: something I knew literally nothing about. But immediately a “dingdingdiiiinnggg!!!” arose in the soft interior of my awareness, and before I knew it, I was asking her if she knew anyone in town whom she’d recommend as a teacher. (A ridiculous question, given that we live in Portland, of all places ‘woo’.) She did (of course), and had trained with a woman not far from where I lived.
That night, I found myself on the woman’s website, chills all over my body, tears in my eyes. Who can say why? I clicked on her teaching schedule, and saw that she had an upcoming Reiki Level 1 training. It was sold out. I emailed her anyway (no small feat for a 75% introvert who occasionally manages to be gregarious), and a few days later, she warmly invited me to her office to meet, talk Reiki, and get to know each other.
That was New Year’s Eve last year.
I spent the rest of the day and night alone. I had been Desire-Mapping like the devoted little desire-monger I am, and that night, while my friends were out, I was inside. Deep inside the seed of my longing: to be dignified in my hunger for love, to be exalted in my need for connection, to be liberated by my aspiration to do work in the world that is an integrated model for who I aspire to be.
I sat in meditation, tears streaming down my face, my hands pressed in prayer, the utterings of precious, sacred yearning on my lips. I could feel longing practically tearing me apart from the inside out as my deepest, hidden-est desires unfolded me before myself, exposing my fears of unworthiness, my desperate clinging to old beliefs and hard-wired misunderstandings. The center of me burst into flame, and I swear there were sparkles. Bright, brilliant, celebratory sparkles as all of me succumbed in collaboration with my higher good, my deep knowingness that I am divine, I am light, I am splendid. I could feel the spirits practically dancing around me in the wild, naked dancing of goddesses before a great fire, firelight claiming flesh and curve and spirit.
And then, peace. Vast and comforting as a pool of warm milk. I smiled. I looked at the time: it had just struck midnight.
Two days later, the woman who would become my Reiki teacher called and asked if I’d be interested in her Level 1 training taking place in three days; she’d had a sudden opening.
And so, three days later, I received my Level 1 attunement. A month later, I received my Level 2 attunement. In between my attunements, I got sick. And then sick again, and then again. I was sick with only throat-related illnesses four months in a row, and have gotten throat-sick again (more than once) in the months since. It happened again about two weeks ago, took a week to clear up and then rounded things out with a cold sore on my upper lip. Awesome: a gooey, crusty reminder that I am mortal, apparently and especially in my throatal region.
I am a generally healthy person. I’ve only gotten sick once, maybe twice a year — sometimes not even that — since I was a teenager. I’d be confounded and frustrated if it weren’t for the fact that, during the second bout of my throat stuff (strep throat: bitch of all throat-sicknesses), my Reiki teacher did some work on me and gave me a very clear message: “You must speak your Truth,” she told me.
I started to protest, saying (oh me of little faith), “But I’m generally pretty expressive….” She stopped me. “This is old, old stuff, Morgan. Women used to be burned alive for being medicine women. To be a healer, for women, used to mean death and ostracizing. You are clearing generations of stifled Truth. The throat chakra is about more than speaking, it is about living out who you are. For those of us who are healers, it is no longer an option to live out of accord with that gift.”
So, you know, the easy stuff.
Reiki is well-known for inducing illness in new attunees, as a Reiki attunement is said to double your natural vibration, and a second attunement raises your vibration yet again, the basic idea being that an attunement to Reiki, given to you by a Reiki Master, is what essentially pops your lid, allowing Reiki to be channeled through the crown of a practitioner’s head and into their hands; with a Level 2 attunement, your bandwidth for recieving the Reiki energy widens, making it possible for you to access certain threads, if you will, and send Reiki across time and space.
Which is, like, kind of a big deal. As your body acclimates to these new, higher vibrations, you’re said to go through rounds of chakra-clearing, one per week, until your energy is clear. Hence (I’m guessing) my monthly forays into all things throat-related illness.
So, is it my fault that I keep getting sick? No, that is not what I’d say the message is here. But every time I’ve been ill this year — every single time in some way suffering from dis-ease in my throat — I am reminded of that New Year’s Eve last year, and the fervency with which I prayed myself into wholeness, into belonging to the life I so deeply crave. And I am reminded that there is no way around the hard things that must be released if I — if any of us — are going to stand squarely in our Truth, and speak and act from there.
From the full belly of desire. From deepest intimacy with the Self. From the unremitting call to glow from the inside out.