Pearl was her name, and she certainly shared her wisdom with us that day. She was a little Chihuahua that was volunteered to work with me and my students during the “Self-Healing for Animal Caregivers” class that I taught at the local shelter where I volunteered.
I was nervous, as usual, before the class. I arrived 40 minutes early to get set up. I assumed that I would be teaching in the shelter’s conference room, where my 7 students and I would have plenty of room to practice techniques. That was when I was told that there was already a meeting scheduled in the conference room, so I would need to set up in the staff break room.
Immediately, anger began to well up in me. WOW, why can’t I ever catch a break?! It seemed that my class wasn’t even important enough to be held in the conference room. The break room is TINY! And how can we invite an animal into the room with us if we don’t have any room?!
Then I remembered two of the Reiki precepts: Just for today…Do not anger. Be humble.
I began to wipe down the tables and set up chairs in the room. What was I thinking? Who was I to say that my class was any more important than whatever the staff had going on in the conference room? No reason to be angry…this room was actually perfect. It felt much more comfortable, more intimate even. Plus, bigger isn’t always better! I could feel my anger melting away. This room felt more like a home, with coats hanging all in a row, and various well-worn, colorful rain boots that lined low shelves. This is where the hard-working shelter staff came to find a second of peace from the stressful pace of the day. In fact, it was the PERFECT place to practice!
But then I started to worry. Still, the breakroom WAS small, and it would be distracting for an animal there with all of the strange smells everywhere. I guess we would have to go without an animal in the room during class.
Then my friend Carol, the behavior specialist, showed up with Pearl in her arms, just in time to remind me of another precept: Do not worry.
She set Pearl up in her little bed in the middle of the room. “What do you think?” she beamed, always the one to find a solution in any situation! Pearl looked up at us and started shaking, obviously stressed.
So we practiced another precept: We practiced diligently. We practiced breathing deeply and letting go of thoughts, which we recognized is not exactly the easiest thing to do! Soon, Pearl stopped shaking. Then, somewhere in the middle of Joshin Kokyo Ho, Pearl let out the most adorable thunderous snore! The students and I burst into laughter. We were witness to the amazing effects of Reiki!
After that, I was in a much better frame of mind to explore the last precept: Be compassionate to yourself and others. After each class that I teach, I tend to underrate my teaching skills and feel that I should have done things much differently: been less nervous, avoided saying or doing this or that. But then I remembered: each class is a new opportunity to improve! Besides that, that thunderous snore was all that I needed to know that PEARL was the true teacher that day.