It's one of the few times in my life that I have heard a very distinct answer. I heard, "You're right. You can't try to do it all yourself; you need a spiritual community. Go to Unity."
That was Friday, and that Sunday I went to the local Unity Center. Though the building had moved, I'd visited them once with my mom long ago, when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I showed up that Sunday, and was immediately made welcome. I also asked to be put on the prayer list, and within a week, we had all the money we needed to save our home.
I was always of the opinion that church didn't matter that much, so long as you were faithful in your personal worship. Now I realize that different things will call to you depending on where you are on your path. When I started going to church again (and I grew up Methodist, which didn't quite jive with me), I really started to thrive. I quickly became involved at Unity - I taught Sunday School for the Uniteens (who loved me, and it was so fun!), I participated in the inaugural Chaplaincy program, and I was voted onto the Board after my first year (I was also our church's youngest board member ever).
It was at Unity, and through the Chaplaincy program, that I met my Reiki Master. He was a long-time member of the church. I'd heard of Reiki but didn't quite know what it was. I was full of questions, which he obligingly answered. I was very drawn to it, but I was still struggling and didn't have the tuition money for a class. He offered me scholarships for Reiki I and II, and I bought a coupon from the church auction for my Reiki III. All together, I paid very little for this wonderful, life-changing experience.
My Reiki Master, K'Sitew, began his Reiki path long ago. He was attuned to Traditional/Usui Reiki, if I'm not mistaken. He then spent 20 years living with the Cree up in Canada. His path is his own to tell, but sometime after he returned to the western world, K'Sitew was gifted with the knowledge of Medicine Reiki, a blending of his Reiki and Native American energies. It is also called Hoop Reiki, from the Medicine Hoops that are incorporated into the practice.
I've always intuited in light and color, and I'd been doing my own personal energy work since I was a child. When I received my Reiki I in March of 2004, I immediately noticed an increase in the power of the energy. I began intuiting much more clearly, and the energies were much stronger. I also noticed that my meditations became more clearly focused, and I was sometimes having actual visions. Though distance healing is not taught until Reiki II, I had always sent love and light to my friends and family, and I noticed that the power of this seemed more effective as well.
I had my Reiki II two months later, in May, and by now I was using Reiki in all aspects of my life. I would send Reiki ahead to myself in job interviews and client meetings, to help me stay focused and 'put my best foot forward'. I landed my dream job this way, through prayer and Reiki. I began nightly distance healings, and I consciously used Reiki through my second pregnancy. I also did a lot of work for my uncle, who was battling cancer. (He won.)
I received my Master attunement in February of 2005. I'd had to wait until there was enough interest in the class, although I wanted to take it sooner. I questioned whether or not to take it when it was offered, though, since I was pregnant at the time. I'd been wanting to for so long, though, that I figured it was all happening in it's proper time. I wondered if my unborn child would be attuned, but figured that was her path if this was when the class was finally offered. I took the class and thoroughly enjoyed it, and K'Sitew told me afterwards that he had seen four medicine hoops - which he interpreted to be one for my Master Attunement, and three for Reiki I, II, and III for the baby.
After my Master attunement, my life took a definite turn towards earth energies. K'Sitew did not teach us any of the Cree ways, because as he said, he is not a culture-bearer. He did encourage us to explore earth energies in our own way. While this path did not open to me with my I and II attunements, it certainly did after I received my III.
Within a week of my attunement, three different friends recommended Sandra Ingerman's Shamanic Journeying: A Beginners Guide. I've really been enjoying my work with this book (and CD), and I've had some wonderful experiences that I plan to begin chronicling here.
K'Sitew also held a totem ceremony for me, where I met several critters, but learned that Wolf was my personal totem for now. I'll admit that I was skeptical, because it seems everyone has a Wolf totem. ~ LOL ~ Perhaps he just keeps busy. I've done Google searches on it, but I'm not entirely sure which Wolf is my totem. The Wolf I met kept changing, shape-shifting, and he would go from black to grey to silver to white, even changing size. I've come to think of him as a Spirit Wolf.
In doing some journeys to talk to Wolf, I also met a couple of my Reiki guides. I was very excited, because I'd been trying to meet them for a while. I guess the time was not right. I'll share that experience another time.
I've been doing a lot of Reiki work lately, and I'm feeling more and more pulled to begin Teaching. Especially now that my sister has broken her hip again, and she and some of her friends have asked for Reiki I attunements. I'm hurrying to complete my Gift to my Reiki Master. Well, ok, not hurrying, as that only messes me up every time. ~ LOL ~ I'm very lucky that he has an indian sense of timing. I'm almost done, finally, but I am still waiting for a few things to find their way to me. Once my circle is completed by Gifting for my wonderful Reiki attunements, I'll be ready to hold my first Reiki I class. I'm lending a lot of energy to finding the perfect, right objects to complete my gift, and I'm hoping that it will be done by my birthday, which is next month.