Aren’t there all those things we learn not to do in an Animal Reiki class? Been there, done all those things I was told not to do! And weirdly in some ways, these are memorable and often entertaining lessons that I will not be forgetting any time soon.
The cats have been my toughest disciplinarians when it came to practicing Animal Reiki. I could have sworn that they have a secret book – “How to teach Reiki to Humans”. And if I dare stray again, they are there to remind me what Animal Reiki truly is about.
And of all the wayward stuff I have done, these three remain on the top of my list:
#1: Self-care comes second? Really?
When Duchess, my cat-teacher was diagnosed with a terminal condition, I wanted to do every possible thing to make her feel comfortable. Reiki was obviously the first on the list.
And Duchess in the true essence of her personality would gently insist that I go first. More than offering Reiki for her, she would rather I did my own practice. And when I gave way to her demands and simply focused on my own practice, she would come and snuggle next to me. My self-Reiki seemed to bring her more comfort than me offering her any amount of Reiki.
She made me realize that unless I took care of my own emotions around the situation first, I was not really eligible to take care of her. And our bond was strong enough that she benefitted from my self-Reiki as much as I did.
#2: What do you mean you are doing Reiki?
As Let Animals Lead® practitioners, this is drilled into us. I too have now learned the importance of being in a state of Reiki instead of trying to do anything.
It wasn’t always like this. Earlier I would often fall into that zone of trying to do something. Little did I realize that the act of “doing” creates a sense of separation because in doing there is an “I”, and a “You”.
The cats of course disagreed with this need to do something. They lived in that state of oneness and for them, Reiki was as natural as breathing or lazing in the sun. Doing Reiki, struck a discordant tune in their state of communion and they would simply walk away.
This was a powerful lesson for me because, in their own style, they guided me through the teachings on being Reiki.
#3: So you think you have a say in the outcome?
This one was big. Because I simply loved and still love a positive outcome. I cannot bear the thought that I have no control over the outcome. My teachers said, “It is not your job to control the outcome”. And I said, “But what’s the point of it all if I cannot guarantee an outcome”. It is like buying a food processor and not knowing whether that thing will ever work.
And then this little voice whispered, “Simply breathe. That is all you need to do and that is all you need to control.”
With time I learned to focus on the breath instead of trying to force something. I realized that when I was simply focused on being present, it actually went quite well and was of immense benefit. The cats would relax as I was relaxed too. And that act of surrendering opened the space and possibility for profound spiritual healing.
My job was not to heal. My job was to simply be present with them. That is all my job description needed me to do – nothing more, nothing less.
To sum it all up in the words of Winnie the Pooh,
“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering” – Benjamin Hoff