Reiki, part 1 / by Vanessa Fiola

**The next 25 days I'll be posting 500 words a day here as part of a creative writing challenge. Join the FB group.  Often I phone it in.** 

Today I began the process for Reiki certification. In fact, I'm now Reiki Level 1-certified. #woke

I had my first Reiki session about 15 years ago, which makes me feel really, really old. I work among people who were 7 at the time. I'm like, "My chakras feel so balanced," and they're like, learning basic subtraction. This direction is not a breadcrumb signaling a career change. I am a partner in a technology-based media and entertainment consulting firm. By the time you've both put in the kind of time I have and come from an upbringing of near-poverty, no one ever is like, "I think I'll forego any semblance of financial security in my 40s to cobble together my own single-practitioner healing arts business." Though I can't say I don't fantasize about that at times.

The instructions for the weekend were clear: stay away from alcohol and meat past 7pm on Friday. I identify as rule-agnostic, so I ended up drinking my way through Friday and Saturday nights. Inexplicably,  I also put 4 pieces of bacon in the oven at 10pm last night. That's not even a thing I do. 

The training started at 1pm in Encino. I'm studying under a Reiki master whom I've done healing work with over the last four months. She's incredible. I arrived, found my place in the circle, and put my phone away to prove to strangers that I am definitely not addicted to it. Anyway, I have no idea how time passed. We started with an intro to what Reiki is (universal life force), its rules of conduct, what it affects, the attunement, and finally a group practice. I have to italicize attunement because now I'm special, even if spellcheck doesn't officially recognize the word. 

The act of being attuned sort of feels like a kundalini rising---the crown of my head began tingling, then energy shot up from the base of my spine, and finally my hands felt warm, like there were vortices in each of them. I think that part of the process was relatively short--5 minutes??--but even still it was five minutes times five of us getting attuned. My left shoulder started to ache from holding my hands in prayer position and I spent most of the rest of the afternoon wondering if I'd worn the right bra.  

They say that if you're particularly sensitive you'll develop flu-like symptoms. I don't consider myself especially sensitive, and I didn't get sick, but I did get really, really sleepy by the end of it. On my drive home I crossed into the other lane of traffic without thinking. So I guess I shouldn't reiki and drive. 

The instructions for post-attunement are very clear: take an epsom bath, eat cleanly and lightly exercise for the next 21 days. Your body is a heightened state and you need to treat it with delicacy and care. I drove straight to my friend's house who's already gone through the training. She opened a bottle of wine and we shared a gluten-free pizza.

Anyone want a session? 



From back in the day.

From back in the day.