I was talking with a friend of mine last week over dinner who happens to be one of the rare physicians actually open to the idea of holistic healing. Yet when I mentioned I was teaching a Reiki class soon, she rolled her eyes and told me about an experience with one of her colleagues. "You know a friend of mine at the hospital just learned Reiki and she keeps coming up to me when she sees I'm stressed and wants to practice Reiki on me. I keep telling her that it's not really the appropriate time or place."
I had to chuckle, because I remember first getting certified in Level 1 Reiki and doing the same thing to everyone, everywhere! It's like my hands were their own evangelicals! Working in restaurants at the time, building my practice, I'd see stressed coworkers and I'd want to do the same thing. But placing hands on someone's head channeling this peaceful, calming energy during the height of a 200-seat dinner crunch wasn't really the best timing. I found attempts thwarted and being swatted away like a pestering mosquito.
It's a funny thing when we get attuned to this pristine energy, we just want to share it with everyone. I think there is something within it's vibration that drives us to do so. Even though we might feel shy or not quite confident to share it, our hands and our intuition are screaming at us to go forth and conquer!
Sharing is caring, and there is an appropriate time, place and way to approach newbies rather than following them around with our hands outreached, flocking the crown of their head. Here are some steps you might think about trying:
1. Have a clear, concise explanation of what this energy is. This is the very first thing I teach in my Level 1 Class. What the heck is this 'Reiki' thing? I hear all kinds of explanations from students, most of them vague, overly spiritualized pontifications involving all kinds of woo-woo. You know me, I love the woo-woo, but most people, well, think it's woo-woo and shy away from it. So here is a clean, clear shot of what Reiki is: "Reiki is a very pure energy channeled through the practitioner into the recipient. Because of its purity the cells in the body respond quite well and want to align with it. The more it is received, the more the body begins to align with its true balance. It facilitates a physical decompression, an emotional clearing and an overall restoration to the entire person."
When I came into this work, I heavily researched quantum physics principles in order to understand energy, how it works and how it affects what it comes into contact. I also believe having an understanding of cell structures is highly important. Again I teach this in Level 1, because the millions of cells in our bodies are the energy powersource. Understanding cells helps you understand how Reiki acutally affects the physiology of our body. Cyndi Dale does a nice outline of this in her book The Subtle Body.
2. Once you have your explanation down, then you can share with others that you are now certified in Reiki. Explain what it is and how calming it can be and let them know that you'd love to practice on them (jazz hands optional) if they'd be open to it.
3. Let people approach you. Once I backed off my restaurant coworkers, they began approaching me at the end of the night. It all began with one man having a toothache and he asked if I'd do that 'energy thing'. So we sat down at a table after all the diners had gone and I placed my hands over his jaw and the crown of his head. After 15 minutes, he said the pain was gone. In the nights following I would treat headaches, shoulder tension, sore knees, etc. Some of these people followed me as clients when I officially opened my practice. It might take awhile, but people will come as they are ready.
4. No matter where you are, there is always an appropriate time and place to practice Reiki. Having someone place their hands on you for an extended period of time can be a little unsettling for people, especially if it's in a public space. So in order for the person to feel comfortable enough to relax with you, find a place that is out of the way from many people. This is if you're practicing impromptu in a public space. If you can create or have access to a healing space, then certainly do the healing work there. Again, letting them approach you and being sure that you are in a good state of mind and energy to provide the healing.
I hope this is helpful as you advance in your practice and come out of your shell into the healer you're meant to be!
Please feel free to post your experiences or questions about sharing Reiki below!