A few weeks ago I stepped out of my comfort zone and arranged for my very first Reiki healing. For those unaware, Reiki is an energy based healing practice developed in Japan in 1922 by Mikao Usui. Reiki is classified as a pseudoscience and medical professionals strongly oppose using Reiki in place of seeking treatment from medical professionals.
However, since its inception nearly 100 years ago, millions have participated in Reiki sessions and have sworn by its results. I personally would not seek out a Reiki healer for help with a physical medical condition or with a serious mental illness, but I found a lot of testimonials from people saying their sessions helped them feel more peace, find clarity, and work through certain emotional issues they were facing.
I’ve been in therapy off and on for years. I firmly believe in therapy, but I also understand that at its core, ultimately what happens because of therapy is due to the choices of the person in therapy. Basically, your therapist cannot fix you or your problems, only you can do that. Therapy only works if you do the work. But, your therapist provides guidance, a listening ear, and a safe space for you to work through these things you need to work through.
When I view energy work like Reiki through this same lens, I can’t help but notice the similarities. So, I reached out to someone I trusted who I knew did energy work and I knew I felt safe with.
Mishal Moore has been a trained Reiki healer since March 2018 and she is passionate about energy work. Throwing around the word, “calling” feels a bit lazy, but if ever it applied to someone, it does Mishal. Prior to our session, Mishal and I had a few intimate conversations in which she directly spoke about something in my life that I had not mentioned to anyone but my immediate family. I wasn’t spooked, but instead touched by her intuition and advice.
I ended up taking that advice and it led to opening communication with one of my family members who I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to speak to again. I already knew what I needed to do, but Mishal’s wisdom provided the extra push I needed to confront this relationship and commit to its healing. And this is why I chose to set up a Reiki session with Mishal. I felt safe that she would provide the insight and push I would need to deal with my own inner turmoil. In Mishal’s own words, “For me, the benefits of Reiki go way beyond healing. I listen and trust myself, more than I ever have, merely because Reiki has taught me, I’m enough.”
So, without further ado, let’s get right to the heart of what actually happened during my session.
One of the things Mishal told me to do to prepare for our distance Reiki session is set my intentions. This means understanding what it is I want to get out of our session, what I want to learn, and what I want to accomplish. This is the same thing you might do when meeting with a therapist the first time: you tell them what you want to fix about yourself. So, I reiterated to myself what I wanted.
Mishal (and the internet) also gave me a few tips: find a quiet place, meditate, listen to music if it helps, lay down if you need, or sit up if that feels more natural. Mostly just make your body comfortable so it isn’t distracting your mind.
I decided a bath was the best thing for me. It gave me ample alone time away from my family and it is one of the places I feel my most vulnerable, but also comfortable. I ran a full bath of hot water, added some bubbles, played The Cinematic Orchestra’s album “Ma Fleur”, and put on some masks. Within ten minutes I’d settled into deep breathing and quieted my headspace, allowing the warm water and meditative music to relax my entire body.
And then almost without thinking I lifted my body and leaned back, resting my head on the back of my bath tub, my hands laying on my chest. When I’d first entered the bath I was freezing and doing all I could to cover every part of myself with the warm water. Suddenly I was warm all over, even though my stomach, chest, and parts of my thighs were exposed to the cold air. Every part of me was almost feverish, except I wasn’t ill or too hot; just comfortably warm.
And then my mind started to spin. I flashed back to parts of my childhood and my complicated feelings about it. I began to sob. Thoughts, memories, and realizations came flooding over me. I’ll be sharing some of these things over the next few weeks, but all I’ll say for now is I opened some boxes there that had not been opened before.
I stayed like this for an hour. My mind almost raced now. But, it wasn’t frantic or distracted. Instead it was as though I was walking with great purpose and focus through a large, dark room with many boxes and many doors, and as I peeked into each one I was suddenly brought back to memories and experiences, now as an outside observer. I saw myself as a child in the aftermath or midst of these painful and traumatic events, and she often saw me there watching, sometimes leaving the scene to take my hand and walk with me through them.
I did this through several of my experiences in my childhood, most of which were not of much consequence: a conversation about sharing a room with my sister that made me realize I didn’t need my mother or my sister to love me, but I thought THEY needed me to love THEM and I had spent decades of my life trying to fix them with my love, when that wasn’t what they wanted. This had never occurred to me before. But, there I was in my mind, sitting on the bed in the room I shared with my sister, wishing I could reach out and save that little girl named Tamara who wanted to love the whole world so much that she allowed its pain to swallow her up.
And there were other realizations. Other little boxes and doors opened up and traveled through. And then there was one last box and I knew what was inside of it before I opened it. I knew it was 5 year old Tamara, torn tights and a striped sweater, a corduroy skirt and Wellies, with her knees pulled to her chest, waiting. I kept her in this box thinking she was safe there. I told myself that I could protect her, as if she wasn’t actually me; as if that little girl was someone else I could still save.
But, when I opened that box she wasn’t there. It was just a pile of bones. I wept in my mind and I wept in my bathtub. I can’t save that little girl from what her life would become because she wasn’t there anymore. She became me. And for years I’ve been trying to recapture what I felt I’d lost when we all had to grow up way too soon those many decades ago, all the while not realizing that she had survived. I didn’t have to protect her anymore. She was safe. She was me.
I brought the bones to my chest and they became one with me. She is me. And I am her. And I am safe. And there is nothing in the past for me anymore.
And I closed that box.
When It Was Over
After the hurried rushing from box to box and door to door, in my mind I looked around me and couldn’t see anymore to open. So, I sat down on the biggest one that had held little Tamara’s bones, and closed my eyes. My mind became still again. And as if being awoken from a trance, I could feel my whole body again, including the chill on my arms and breasts. I opened my eyes and squinted at the bathroom light. I hadn’t realized it but the music had ended and my water had gone cold.
I sat up, emptied some of my water, and then refilled the tub with hot water so I could wash my masks off. I felt almost delirious or dizzy. I can only describe it as the wonderful feeling you get when an anxiety pill kicks in. Or when you’re comfortably buzzed or coming down from an amazing high. I was awake. I was aware. But I was also on a whole different level. My brain felt quiet and safe. My body felt safe. My home felt safe.
I restarted my playlist and sank into the warm bath water again. I snatched an empty body wash bottle and began playing with it like a child, noticing for the first time the star shape at the bottom of it. I held it up to the light and stared through it. It sounds so silly but in that moment it was so beautiful to me. Everything felt beautiful and electric and real.
For the next 15 minutes I stayed like this. Just at peace. And then about 15 minutes after that I received an email from Mishal, following up our session, filled with what she felt she’d received from me and for me, and advice she wanted to share with me.
I won’t share those private details here but I will say that it was as though Mishal had been in that bathtub with me the whole time. It was like she was in my head too. Everything I had worked through she was speaking on and putting words to. And there were other things, other boxes I had intentionally left shut and she saw those and she called them to my attention. I knew I had left those boxes shut. And she gently reminded me it was time to open those as well and release those contents too.
I read her email and at one point muttered, “Dammit, Mishal.” Once again, she was right. Mishal also provided a tarot reading specifically for me and like her advice, the reading was spot-on. She finished her message with one final flourish.
Some things can not be explained. I accept this. Or, I’m learning to accept this. What happened tonight and how Mishal’s message synced right up with what I was experiencing is something I can not explain. Skeptics will make very good points about why this isn’t real. Believers will make very good points about why it absolutely is. And I fall somewhere in the middle. I can not speak for anyone else, but I can speak for my own experience.
In just two hours I worked through more pain and release than I did in, say, six months of therapy. That is the honest-to-gods truth. Whether it was because I was simply ready to or because Mishal was guiding me along and helping heal me through the practice of Reiki, I can not speak to with any certainty or authority.
I can only say that something happened tonight. Something real. Something raw. And something powerful. And yes, I will be doing another session sometime in the future. If you are one who believes in energy work or are curious about it, I recommend looking into it. It might just change your life.
On a final note, I’d like to make clear a few things about our session: I did not discuss anything specific with Mishal prior to our session. I have never done so. Mishal spoke about things I do not share publicly. She spoke on things that only 4 people whom I am close to in my day-to-day life know anything about.
Yes, I blog and yes, I’m very open about much of my life. But, Mishal tapped into information I have never shared publicly and I never will because some things are not for the whole world to see or know. And Mishal doesn’t know specifics, but she was still able to speak to those things and give guidance about them, without knowing those specifics. And I was safe with Mishal. Her guidance came from a place of love and authenticity. When you know, you know. And I know what happened last night.
You can find Mishal on Instagram, Twitter, and on her podcast, No Lies Detected. Mishal’s website has a contact email where you inquire after Reiki sessions and other work Mishal does. Mishal is a very special person and for me to feel safe with someone is a very big deal. I was safe with Mishal. And that, to me, should speak volumes.