I recently had the opportunity to become certified as a scuba diver, and not only was it an amazing experience, but it also provided an opportunity to expand my view of myself, of Reiki, and of the world around me. Here are the top five things I learned by stepping out of my comfort zone.
Number One: Fear is not a stop sign.
So often I hear stories of people who stopped themselves from doing something because they were afraid to do it. Whether that was asking for someone's phone number, or going skydiving, or not investing in themselves because of financial fears.
But fear was never meant to be a stop sign. It was meant to show us where our current limits are, and give us the opportunity to decide if those are the limits we want to take into the future. For my first open water dive, I found myself floating in the middle of a body of water, with an instructor telling me to drop down 30 feet under. In that moment, I was told to do the impossible- to breathe underwater.
My mind was afraid. Afraid of what might happen, of getting hurt, or running out of air. But in that moment I was able to understand that if I walked away, if I got out of the water, I would never expand past my current limits. As someone who values travel and adventure, I would have been going against my own core values if I let my fear make the decision.
So instead of giving in to the fear, I listened to it. I acknowledged that I was, potentially, in danger. I acknowledged what could happen, and then I decided I didn't want my current limits to be my future limits. So I dove.
Fear is not a stop sign. It’s an invitation to go within and redefine who you are.
Number Two: There is so much more than what we see.
We often take for granted that we can only perceive a small fraction of reality. We see everything through our own personal lens of experiences, beliefs, memories, and habits. It’s natural for us to unconsciously assume that we can see everything around us, or even to say we know we can’t, when in reality we still feel like we do.
While I was diving, we got to a point nearly 60 feet underwater. I rolled onto my back and looked up to see how far down we were, and instead of seeing something familiar, I saw something incredible. The light shining down through the waves, the fish flying through the water above me.
It was a poignant example of how we see things so differently from the person next to us. The fish swimming under the water know nothing about what it’s like to live on land. They only know what it's like to swim underwater. But the space that was so familiar to the fish was so unfamiliar to me.
This is how it works with people, too. You live in your own version of the water, seeing the sky as a watery image with light shining down, while your friend lives on their own version of the shore. It’s the same world, the same basic life, and yet we all live in completely different circumstances.
Never forget that where you see air, someone else sees water. There is so much more to the world than our own perceptions.
Number Three: Being healed doesn’t mean you won’t be triggered.
As someone who has struggled in the past with body dysmorphia and eating disorders, I am very sensitive to the shape of my body. Throughout the years, I’ve done a lot of work to feel confident in my own skin, and although I’m not perfect, I am so much better than I used to be.
However, being in situations that required me to be in a bathing suit around strangers, or wear a skintight bodysuit to dive in, brought some of those old feelings to the surface. Add on an instructor who makes derisive comments about my size, and you have a recipe for an extremely triggering situation. But instead of falling back onto the paths I used to walk, forgoing a meal to make up for myself or exercising far more than I should to get rid of suppressed guilt, I was instead able to look at the situation, acknowledge my feelings, process them, and let it go.
Healing doesn’t mean you won’t ever be hurt or triggered again. Having an emotional reaction to something doesn’t mean you aren’t healed. Healing is the process of being able to respond to your emotions with clarity and compassion, rather than reacting from a place of fear and hurt.
Don’t measure your healing by your triggers. Measure your healing by how you respond when those triggers occur.
Number Four: Energy is everywhere, and energy is a choice.
As a Reiki practitioner, this may seem self-explanatory. You most likely already know that energy is everywhere, in everything. Energy is what binds us all together and what allows us to heal.
However, we often take for granted our heightened energetic awareness, forgetting that for most people, energy is something for either quantum physicists or those who have gone off the deep end. Training for something as extreme as scuba diving with a group of individuals who never think about energy was extremely enlightening.
Watching how their words impacted one another, or how things continued to go wrong with the pessimist of the group. Watching how the fish underwater swam alongside certain people, but avoided others.
Energy is everywhere, constantly impacting ourselves and the world around us, whether we are conscious of these effects or not. Because energy is the nature of the Universe, we have the potential to come into conscious connection with it. We can choose to work with the energy of the Universe, or we can choose to work against it. No matter what we choose, what we say, how we feel, and what we do, we are always influencing and influenced by the energy of everyone and everything.
We can choose to turn a blind eye or to be awake, but at the end of the day, it is a choice.
Tune in to this 10-video series to learn more about the lessons Reiki has in store for us!
Number Five: Reiki isn’t just a practice, it’s an experience.
Reiki is often taught in a structured way, suggesting that we must do self-reiki daily for a certain amount of time, and follow a set structure for our work with others. It is rare to hear Reiki discussed beyond the Reiki room or outside of a session.
But when we look at what Reiki truly is, a Universal energy, it seems obvious that Reiki is so much more than a practice. Reiki is everywhere, in everything. It moves through us daily, guides us by using the voice of our intuition, and is knit together with the flow of the Universe itself.
Our lives often pull us into the future, calling us to save for retirement, buy groceries for the week ahead, and finish one project so we can begin the next one. But Reiki flows, exists, and heals here and now. We don’t have to be in a session to experience it, we just have to be in the present moment.
Reiki is more than the hand positions or a tingling in your palms. It is more than a feeling of peace or the colors you see behind your eyes. Reiki is an experience, a way of life, something that we can stay connected with through our breath, through our words, and through the beating of the hearts.
Try taking Reiki out of the Reiki room today. Bring it along on your morning commute, infuse it in your cooking, read it in your book. Reiki is so much more than a practice, but is it up to you to allow it to become an experience.