**What started out as a post about Reiki has accidentally morphed into a post about what led me to Reiki and all of my other off-the-beaten-path interests, mere minutes after I promised I wouldn´t digress into back stories. But as I wrote, I realized that the back story is kind of important, because that´s what led me to where I am today! Also, my grammar sucks. I´m writing conversationally, with the expectation that no one will really read this anyway.
Sometimes I´m surprised by the way my interests as a teenager have come around to meet me in my thirties with no real effort on my part. They say that your vibe attracts your tribe, and maybe that´s what this is. I can get all philosophical and spiritual about that – and I probably will in a later post – but I´m trying to tame my propensity for digression. 🙂 (See, I lied. I´ll still get philosophical and spiritual about this particular topic, but I failed at not digressing, because the rest of this post is 100% digression.)
My interests and beliefs have always been on the ¨woo woo¨ side…it may have started when I decided to become a vegetarian in high school, even though I´m an embarrassingly picky eater with a love of sugar. There were very few vegetarians in my community, and those who did exist were weird (according to the ¨normal¨ people). I knew so little about vegetarianism, or about the ingredients that are in a lot of foods, but in my little sheltered teenage mind I thought I was doing the right thing. And I guess I was, really. But when you know better, you do better, right? I didn´t have the resources to know that simply cutting out animal flesh was only part of it. In spite of my ignorance, I think this was one of the first times I really took a stand for something that wasn´t the norm, and it felt *right*. That was the beginning of my (beautifully) twisted path.
Over the last 20 or so years I picked up little bits of information about Reiki and psychics and aromatherapy and homeopathy and reflexology and spirituality, and all of that holistic and mysterious stuff makes my hippie heart sing. But I followed the path that ¨normal¨ people follow – I went to college, then grad school, and became a counselor. I got married and had two kids. (Ok, the marriage and kids thing I definitely wouldn´t change.) During that time I still loved all of the ¨witchcraft and potions,¨ but I didn´t know what to do with those interests because, really, how was I supposed to get a job and make a living studying *that* stuff, especially after spending thousands of dollars and over seven years to become a counselor? It´s hard to justify embarking on a totally different and uncertain path when I´m gainfully employed in my area of education.
Over the last couple years I´ve discovered different opportunities to expand my knowledge in my interest areas without spending exorbitant amounts of money. I did the first two Reiki certifications and can now officially practice, not that I have a whole lot of time to do it. I also felt a compulsion to become ordained, and that dream came to fruition when I became a Priest in the Order of Melchizedek last year. I have yet to actually use either of these certifications in an official capacity, but knowing that I can is extremely fulfilling to me. Someday I´ll put all of that to use!
As for the other stuff that I want to do – the aromatherapy and reflexology, and OH! I also want to become a certified life coach so that I can, in a way, take my counseling practice outside of the school environment – those certifications cost significantly more money and will have to happen when I either become unexpectedly rich or find some scholarships, because, you know, mortgage. And college loans. (Irony.)
One final thought…writing. As I mentioned in my first post, I feel like I need to write, even though I feel like I have no business doing so. I have really low self-worth, so I can´t imagine what I might offer to another person with my writing. As I was getting ready for bed tonight, I thought that maybe by writing about my extremely flawed existence and my journey toward living more authentically, I can empower someone else to do the same? I don´t know…is it possible to help people realize their self-worth when I´m struggling to find my own? Hopefully my writing will help me figure that out!