I have been interested in health and the healing arts for a long time, and after finishing University I began to pursue a career in the field of psychology. It was only a couple of years later, after my dad died of cancer and my health was not so great that I decided to leave my job to go and see the world. I wanted to explore the healing that could be found in the wonder of seeing and experiencing amazing and beautiful places – and the freedom of deciding moment by moment exactly where I wanted to be.
I looked for a Reiki teacher during my travels. I met many teachers, but none of them inspired me to learn with them - in fact, a couple of them scared me - including the guy in Nepal who told me that before I could do Reiki he had to “plant a seed in me”. I left the room very quickly and not long after that, I gave up the search, decided Reiki must be weird and forgot about it.
Months later, when I was finally returning home to England, I was waiting in the transit lounge between flights when a girl approached me and said, “Do you do Reiki?” I was really surprised by the sudden question and told her I didn’t though I knew what it was. She told me a couple of things about it and said, “You should do it,” then left. I thought it was kind of strange but my mind soon turned to other things - like hoping the plane would stay in the air for as long as it was supposed to.
Back in England I got on with deciding whether to get a job or go on to study psychology further. Yet, I had a nagging feeling in my stomach. My head was saying I should stay and build a career in England, but I knew my heart wanted to go away again. I have no idea why, but I suddenly decided to go and teach English in Japan. I had heard people talking about it and saying it was a great life, but never thought about it before. This time I had a strong feeling that it would be good to go, so I applied for a job there, got it and within a month or so of sitting on the sofa listening to my nagging feeling, I was in Japan!!
I absolutely love teaching, and I fell in love with Japan and its people almost immediately, so I was really happy with my job and my life and didn’t think of Reiki – in fact I don’t think I even realised it originated in Japan!
About a year or so after arriving, I found an advert in a magazine advertising a Reiki class, and I suddenly remembered the girl at the airport who had come from nowhere telling me to do Reiki. I took the first level of the class, and although I liked it, I still felt that something was missing for me. I had no idea what it was… until a Japanese friend took me to Chiyoko Yamaguchi’s apartment to introduce me. As soon as I entered and saw her sitting in a chair smiling up at me, I knew what was missing in the Reiki I had learned before. It was a feeling – that was it! Just a feeling. And as soon as I met her and felt the love radiating from her, the warm glow she seemed to have and her humble, unassuming attitude, I knew that I wanted to learn from her. With the help of my friend’s translation, I talked to Chiyoko Yamaguchi and her son, Tadao, about Jikiden Reiki and loved what they were telling me. I got more and more excited about learning with them.
I took my first seminar and because I lived so close I was able to attend the seminars many times. I trained, did treatments and practiced for over a year before starting to help with the seminars. At first I began to give Reiju (attunements) and then started to help with the seminars held in English by teaching some of the sections so that they didn’t have to be translated. In all, I learned and taught with the Yamaguchis in Japan for nearly 4 years.
I finally left Japan in July 2006 after 5 years in Kyoto. I really loved it there, and I often miss it now, although I don’t regret leaving. It just felt like the right time to go – so I went.
Part of my life
Jikiden Reiki has become a large part of my life, I use it every day, and I am so grateful to everyone who played a part in helping me to find and learn it. It has changed the way I live my life, enhanced my health enormously and aided in my process of feeling safer and more connected to my body and the world around me.
Now I am in a wonderful place where I can combine three things I love doing – travelling, teaching and Reiki. I would never have imagined this when I was legging it out of the office in Nepal with a man grinning and shouting after me about planting seeds.
In 2009 I completed my masters in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica, and incredibly opening, powerful and healing experience and I now offer Spiritual Psychology sessions alongside Reiki. I am finding it wonderfully effective to combine the two.
I am also a Heart Circle Facilitator and am passionate about sharing the incredible experience of Heart Circles. You can learn more about Heart Circles from the founder, Tej Steiner here.
Thank you so much