Day 25 / by Vanessa Fiola

**The next 5 days I'll be posting 500 words a day here as part of a creative writing challenge. Join the FB group.”


This reiki thing is getting out of hand. I literally just searched Craigslist for a used massage table. Today my friend came over and I gave her a second session and I love this new party trick. I’ve been working on myself most days, (lift skin, improve eyesight, soften jaw), and Jonah usually asks for reiki before he goes to bed. I discovered the other night that I could use it to put him to sleep, and you guys, why didn’t I get attuned three and a half years ago.

I worked on Ryan when I first came back from training three weeks ago. He won’t let me try it on him again because I am mean. Sometimes I think if people at work had access to my Nest camera (don’t hack me, plz), when I am screaming at—er—talking to Ryan they would think I’m a goddamned lunatic with zero chill. Actually they probably already know I have zero chill.

Anyway, Ryan has seen me through almost eight years of healing modalities either studied or received: yoga teaching, reiki training, shamanic vision quests, Body-Mind Centering™, rolfing, bi-weekly acupuncture, hypnosis and making my own kombucha. I’m counting that last one because it really is a spiritual practice. When I get mad at him one of the ways he strikes back is to tell me that I am not Zen at all, which is infuriating. I protest that I’m not trying to pretend like I’m enlightened. (Except if you are enlightened, of course, in which case, uh, me too.)

It suggests that all of this work that I’ve done should make me someone different than who I am. Someone who doesn’t have anger. Believe me, I’ve really tried not to have anger. One of the things I’ve learned from my friend/guide/healer (though she bristles at that term), Chloe, is that the only way to move through emotion is to seek its deeper purpose, and under no terms, judge it. 

Which is very difficult when you’re really mad because someone wants to go to an art show at the exact same time someone said he would hang the rattan lights on either side of the guest bed, and oh, now someone conveniently doesn’t have the right ceiling hooks even though we talked about it earlier, so someone will just hang them tomorrow.


It’s interesting to me, this work. I think about all of the times I have felt significant shifts. The type where you feel like your whole perspective is blown wide open. The kind where you understand that time is parallel and also other things. Where you know you’ll never be the same.

And yet here I am. Essentially the same.

My guess is that if I were able to look outside of myself through the trajectory of my life, all of this work has only moved the needle in the most subtle of ways*. But that’s something.




*Pretty sure I’ve written about this a billion times already.