Let me tell you a little story, as I do from time to time on my blog.
A while back, I had a client who was lost.
This is not unusual. As you know if you’ve visited me, it’s complicated to find me. The entrance to the building is on Mackey Street, which is not the address of the building, which is on Ann Street. But Mackey Street is in two parts, and just above Little Riley Street, it is cut off by a whole block of residences. It continues on the other side of Riley Street. So, if you’re lost on that part of the street, it can be difficult both to figure out where you are, and to get to the right part of Mackey Street!
It’s also complicated that Little Riley Street, which is the cross street for Mackey Street at the corner of the building where the entrance is located, also is cut off by a park and continues further away. This is just to say that it’s very easy to get lost in these little streets in Surry Hills and to use Google Maps in Surry Hills and sometimes if people are dropped off by an Uber, or have to park somewhere, they can lose track of where they are.
It’s the reason why I give very detailed instructions by text for how to get here, and why I keep refining the instructions, every time someone gets lost. I’ve even had to ask that people not ring the bell for 40 Mackey Street (which I use for people to see on Google Maps where our building’s entrance is, ACROSS from 40 Mackey Street). I was a bit horrified to discover how many of my clients have rung their bell! I’ve even had to alter our intercom system, as our bell is to the left side of the label for Unit 10, but many clients ring the bell on the right side of the label for the roof, which is next to the label for Unit 10.
And all of this information is irrelevant if, as has happened, a client’s phone runs out of power, or if they won’t use Google Maps or, if what they say is true, that Google Maps didn’t work!
All in all, it’s a lesson to me that we humans process information and think about the world in many different ways.
A while back my husband noticed and told me that sometimes when clients are lost that I sound sharp on the phone with them. Ever since then, I check myself each time, and try to sound open, direct and welcoming. And not sharp.
But that didn’t work when this client called, lost. ‘Did you use Google Maps’, I asked? ‘Of course I did’, she replied. ‘But where are you?’ She couldn’t describe it, and I couldn’t think how I could help her if she couldn’t say where she was. ‘Just forget it’, she then said, angrily.
I was taken aback, but I was glad for how I reacted. I could have let it go, of course. But instead, I took a deep breath in, and remembered the reiki precept, ‘Just for today, do not anger’. I sent her a text message: ‘Please just take a deep breath in. If you’d like to come for the treatment, I can come and find you and bring you here. Or I can try to describe how to find me’.
There was a wait, and then she texted she was nearby. And then she texted again, after a little while: ‘Come find me’.
So, I found her down on Ann Street, and I led her to the apartment. As we approached the entrance, she said, in frustration, ‘I was right here in the beginning. But your text messages said it was a ‘grey, concrete building’. Which it is but somehow, in the state of mind she was in, it didn’t look like that.
When we got to the reiki room, I was also pleased with myself for knowing what I wanted to say. I explained that coming to a reiki treatment in a really stressed state is the worst way to start and that we could do the treatment at another time, if she wanted. She didn’t have to do it now.
We then settled into chatting a little about reiki and why she came and then she apologised for snapping at me. And I was able to point out that I could tell she is a very capable person and would normally not have any problems finding me. She had just had such a bad morning that she couldn’t function properly. So, it felt great that we could be understanding and compassionate to each other. And she said she wanted to have the treatment, and then, after the treatment, she said it was a great experience.
Clients often ask me whether it takes energy from me to give treatments, and whether it is tiring. And while I may be a little physically tired if I had to give, say, three treatments, without much break in between, generally, no, reiki doesn’t take from me. It gives to me. I’m allowed to be in the same, healing space. And over time, I’ve learned through my reiki practice to be more compassionate and more patient, and in return, I feel gratitude, peace and, often, joy. My reiki teacher says that reiki is about uncovering your bright light, or if you are a reiki practitioner, helping others to do this, to discover their true nature. I know that to some people this concept will be hard to grasp, but I invite you, just for a moment, to close your eyes, and feel your true nature, your beautiful bright light. It’s nice, isn’t it?