My desire for those who read this article is to realize that it is never too late to step into your
dream and begin by taking baby steps. I want to share my story of healing and overcoming obstacles, so women everywhere will know they have the power to heal and empower themselves and live a full life right here and right now. Finally, I will share how my healing path led me to Reiki.
At 55, I suffered a major stroke. When it happened, I was at my corporate job of many years, walking down the hall from a visit to a coworker’s office. My left arm tingled and felt similar to when you experience your arm going to sleep. I hurried to my office as the sensation climbed down my left leg.
By the time I got to my office, I could no longer stand, and I quickly found my chair, sat down, and rolled it up to the computer screen. I somehow knew I was having a stroke and searched for “signs you are having a stroke.” I typed it in with one hand and read, “weakness on one side.” The article said to lift both arms to an even height in front of your body, and if one wants to fall, it warned that you might be having a stroke. I could not keep my left arm in the air. I called out to my coworker across the hall and asked him if he would drive me to the hospital, as I thought I was having a stroke. He responded, saying he had called me an ambulance instead. A week after my stroke, I left the hospital paralyzed on my left side, very weak, and with a walker to assist me in my mobility. I immediately began physical therapy to strengthen my muscles again. Balance was a big issue for me, and I had several falls hitting my head full force, as I could not stop myself if I became imbalanced. There were a few emergency room visits because I was on a strong blood thinner and had an elevated risk for brain injury. Then I got stronger and transitioned to walking with a cane. Getting up and getting dressed was an ordeal, and even the little things zapped my energy.
I started back to work part-time three months after my stroke. Getting my energy back seemed the hardest hurdle for me to jump. I would spend days in bed, sleeping. There was fatigue in my body that I could not shake and a weakness that would not go away. I wanted to holistically and safely eliminate some of the powerful medications I was prescribed since the stroke. I spent about a third of my monthly income on pharmaceutical drugs and went further into debt. In my search for holistic healing methods, I added a few things I could afford to my healing regimen and experienced acupuncture and even a few cupping sessions with a Chinese doctor.
I was not only on a journey of healing myself physically but also on a spiritual quest as my health and my spiritual life merged into a desire for happiness, wellness, and wholeness. I knew everything was connected, and I fought hard not to become depressed and give up. Instead, I searched for the answer to my continual fatigue and simplified everything in my life that used up my energy. I asked for guidance each morning and opened my eyes to the signs given to me. Finally, I was guided to attend a local health food store presentation. I thought I was going for information on bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. Instead, a doctor specializing in treating many hormone imbalances gave the entire presentation. She spent 30 minutes talking to the small group about adrenal fatigue. Finally, someone understood the tiredness that I was barely managing and could help me. I held hope that I would get well. I began treatment with Dr. Karen the following week and increased my spiritual practices of meditation, gratitude, forgiveness, and mindfulness. I was on my way to recovery.
I sought spiritual mentors and read books, and when one of my mentors told me she was a Reiki teacher, I decided to be attuned to Reiki. Through all the searching, I knew I was being guided by this unseen, kind, gentle force that loved me for who and what I was. I knew I had been given a second chance at life. I sought my purpose and put all of my energy into being positive and filling my life with more things I loved. Somewhere along the way, I learned how to love myself enough to leave an unhealthy marriage.
My life changed as I changed inside. My spiritual life and having peace in all that I did became the gift I gave myself. I asked Reiki to help me and guide me in these changes, and I gave myself Reiki every day.
I thought about how Reiki had helped me, and I wanted to share Reiki with my friends, family, and pets and send it to unstable situations in my life. I made it a point to journal every morning about my dreams and desires and to write about the changes Reiki brought about in such a gentle way. I fell more in love with Reiki, and Reiki showed me how to love and accept myself on deeper levels, just as I am, right here and right now. My life changed completely, and I decided to be attuned to Reiki II. I did intuitive work at local fairs, and one time I noticed a lady doing Reiki sessions in the room’s corner. So, I talked to her. She mentioned the International Center for Reiki Training (ICRT) and said the owner of a local crystal
store taught Reiki classes through the ICRT. I quickly registered for my next levels of Reiki certification, taking the ART and Master Reiki classes at the crystal store. Upon receiving my Master certification, I immediately registered on the ICRT’s website as an affiliate teacher and began to teach Reiki. I started teaching Reiki I & II and added Master classes to my schedule within a month, as my students wanted to advance. I was led to take the Karuna Reiki® training when it became available and added Karuna Reiki® classes to my teaching schedule. I was now teaching one or two classes a month. After reading about Holy Fire® Reiki in Reiki News Magazine, I decided to go to one of my favorite places, Sedona, and take the Holy Fire® Karuna Reiki® class with Michael Baird and Laurel Shanti Gaia. I knew I wanted
to bring Holy Fire®️ Reiki back to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and my students. I had traveled to Sedona many times, but while driving in from Camp Verde to Peace Place the first morning of class, I casually mentioned to my husband that the Sedona energy felt different.
It felt calmer, more peaceful, and things looked brighter and even more beautiful than on previous trips. When I entered the classroom, there were 21 ladies all talking about the same thing—how the energy was different in Sedona from previous trips. We all felt it. I must admit I felt intimidated that morning by all these amazing women and healers. Laurelle and Michael put us at ease and explained that once we had made up our minds to get ignited to Holy Fire® Reiki, the energy of Holy Fire® came into our energy field. Sedona wasn’t different—we were. I found each of my classmates helpful and made friends easily. The three days went by quickly, and on the last day, Laurelle spoke to the class and told us we would be the teachers who were to take Holy Fire®️ into the world. In simple and easy-to-understand words, she explained the levels of Reiki teacher certifications the ICRT offered and encouraged us to consider applying for the Licensed Reiki Master Teacher Training Program (LRMTTP), an advanced course of study for licensure as a Reiki teacher with the ICRT. The seed to become an LRMT was planted, and it took root and grew. For several years, I continued to teach Reiki classes in person. Then, when COVID-19 appeared, I moved my classes online. I was ignited to Holy Fire®️ III online and took part in the first class to become certified to teach all of my classes online. By this time, I had been teaching spiritual workshops on Zoom for a few years, and it was a simple transition for me. My online classes filled up, and I was guided to retire from the corporate job in the fall of 2020, earlier than planned, which brought less stress and more balance into my life.
With these changes, the dream of becoming an ICRT Licensed Reiki Master Teacher was again finding its way into my thoughts. The guidance to do this was so strong that it became apparent it was time to revisit this calling or to put it to rest. I had just celebrated my 67th birthday. I contacted Colleen Benelli, Co-Director of the program. After talking with her, I realized it was time to push the dream I had carried for seven years into reality. I quickly registered for the ICRT Reiki I & II and Master classes I needed to take with a Licensed Reiki Master Teacher. This step completed the first requirement in the lengthy list of requirements. I continued to teach my classes online and mentor my students the year following completion of those two classes while patiently waiting for the required time to pass before submitting my application to the ICRT. When the time to apply for the program came, I froze. I doubted myself and hesitated, rethinking what I was going to do. I wondered about my age as I was now 68. Was I the oldest person to apply for the LRMT program? What about my health? I still had energy limitations. However, I was happy doing what I was doing. I was already busy, and I had built up a few small online businesses supporting me well. I was happy, had balance, and I felt fulfilled. I had many students, and I lived a full life; I lived the life of my dreams. Colleen reached out in an email, and I told her I was still thinking it over. Her reaching out motivated me to look at myself and my concerns. Colleen was sincere in wanting to help me and answer my questions. In meditation, I sought signs and clarity around my decision and what I wanted to do long term. I must admit, I was struggling with beginning the application process. I was guided to look at the process one step at a time and not to become overwhelmed by the big picture. I was thinking that the window of possibility had passed me by, when in fact, there has never been such an opportunistic time for me to pursue becoming an LRMT. Many requirements can now be met online rather than traveling in person. I was able to attend the Reiki Retreat online this year. I already have students on the roster for 2022 to help me fulfill my Reiki class requirements.
I have been teaching, for eight years and am comfortable in a Reiki classroom. I have students who want to support me and write letters of recommendation. I have the income for the expenses needed to become an LRMT. I have the support of the Universe and my husband, family, and friends. When I was extremely sick, I asked Reiki to help me heal, and Reiki was there. At each step in my healing journey, Reiki has been there for me. Reiki has brought to me a place of peace and fulfillment I treasure every single day. It supports me financially, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. I realize Reiki has given me the support system to achieve my goal, and I know it will carry me through to completion. I only have to trust Reiki in this, as I have trusted Reiki in every area of my life for the past ten years. Why wouldn’t I want to become an LRMT where I can learn more about Reiki from the best teachers in the world? Why wouldn’t I do everything in my power to reach more students and encourage them to become teachers themselves? I envision a web of Reiki students spreading out into the world. My students and their students and theirs and on and on.
The vision is like a spider web lighting up from the center and continually growing and moving outward. I know that I have been guided to spread more Reiki into the world, and the way to reach more students is to instruct more students and encourage them to teach. It is simple, and becoming an LRMT will enable me to reach more students and teach higher-quality classes.
One last thought here. Since I do not want my bucket list to have many unaccomplished things, I often ask myself what I will regret not having done at the end of my life. I am a lifelong learner, so continual spiritual growth and learning are on that list, along with travel, being happy, giving more, sewing all those quilts, and authoring a few books. But no matter how often I visit this list, becoming an LRMT remains at the top. I have shared the life experiences that led me to Reiki and eventually guided me to fulfill a seven-year dream of applying for the ICRT Licensed Reiki Master Teacher Training Program while in my sixties. I want women to love themselves enough to take care of themselves and never stop dreaming. I want you to know that no matter your stage in life, you are worthy, loved, and powerful. So, take that first step and trust.