A friend who is starting her Animal Reiki business asked how I explain Reiki in a way to pique someone’s interest and share what we do, while staying away from the “woo-woo”. After I shared my thoughts, she suggested I write an article to help others starting out.
So here goes…
It is challenging to approach people cold about Reiki when you are a newbie. When I decided to turn my Animal Reiki practice into a business, I struggled with talking to people about it. So, I concentrated on my daily practice, set the intent that the right people be attracted to me at the right time and asked the Universe to make those connections for me. I set up my business Facebook page and website. I sprinkled both with Animal Reiki stories to stimulate interest. Sometimes it is easier to start out in print. However, at some point, you do have to talk about it.
When initially explaining Animal Reiki, I go with “meditating with animals to relieve stress and anxiety and to promote relaxation and an overall sense of wellbeing”. I share examples of how Reiki has helped me and the animals in my life. I don’t have a canned elevator speech. I vary it a bit, depending on the audience, keeping it simple or adding more detail to fit the situation.
Sharing stories about how Reiki helps animals is a great way to stimulate interest. For example, with horse people, I share how Reiki kept my mare calm without medication for 30 days of stall rest after surgery. For dog people, I tell how it eased my senior dog’s passing, and how my Saint Bernard with bad hips “asks” for Reiki by parking his butt in front of me. For cat people, the older cat, who after several Reiki sessions, was running up the stairs and jumping onto the bed again. I try to share a story that will resonate with the person. If I don’t know the person’s interests, I share several examples.
I stay away from the “woo-woo” and keep it simple at first. I talk about how animals know when we are upset, angry or nervous and how they respond to our energy. Once again, I share examples or stories to demonstrate. Then, I talk about how creating a peaceful, compassionate, loving space for the animal through meditation will help the animal relax and decompress. I don’t use the word “healing” initially and I always make it clear Reiki is not a substitute for veterinary or medical care.
For people who express interest, I offer a complimentary Reiki session. I also recommend my web pages, Animal Reiki Source and SARA for more stories and information. As for getting the word out, I seldom approach anyone cold about Animal Reiki. Wearing my Let Animals Lead® shirts and sharing Facebook posts about Reiki are easy ways to grab attention. I think when people ask on their own, they are more open to learning about it. I find that the right people are drawn to me without a cold sales pitch. Friends who have experienced the benefits of Reiki are great at opening doors. A friend in Indiana connected me with a rescue here in South Carolina where I now practice and teach. A fellow pet sitter refers her clients to me when she sees an opportunity.
There will always be people who ask and then “make the face” or try to discredit Reiki. I don’t try to win these people over, I just leave it at “It works for me”. Don’t let these people discourage you; focus on the people who are open and interested.
Kathleen & Leah recently did a great series on getting started in shelters via the monthly SARA Member Calls. SARA offers its members great resources for introducing Reiki to shelters, organizations and the general public. There are SARA member Facebook groups where members can ask questions and receive advice from fellow practitioners. Kathleen has hundreds of Animal Reiki classes, audios, articles and books to help you grow and give you tips for success.
It is sometimes tough starting out, especially if you are in an area where people are not open to new ideas and alternative therapies. My Animal Reiki business has not grown nearly as quickly as I initially hoped, but if I find it is growing just as it should. As I go deeper in my daily practice, more and more opportunities appear. I have discovered the people I thought were most likely to embrace Reiki and support me, sometimes do not, and that is ok. As my practice becomes more solid and I become more confident, the right people find me, and it has become easier for me to approach people about Reiki. Don’t get discouraged, it will happen for you too.
In a nutshell, your explanations should be simple and true to the Let Animals Lead® approach. Keep a journal of your experiences and have a bank of stories to share. Focus on your daily Reiki practice and volunteer Reiki sessions wherever you can. Trust things will unfold exactly as they should.
Animal Reiki is becoming more popular and as we each practice and share the Let Animals Lead™ approach, the more mainstream it will become, making it easier it to talk about.
Great article, Laura!