Sarah Wheeler, Founder of Reiki Renge, is a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher trained in both Western and Japanese Reiki Lineages. She shares her knowledge and passion for this incredible healing modality that she practices and teaches.
Where and how did Reiki find you?
In 2014/2015 I was at the back end of a very challenging, psychologically abusive relationship. Although it was over, I was in a terrible state and had really lost all sense of my grounding and of who I was. I couldn’t grasp anything in my hands and my life felt as if it were slipping away. My best friend had never told me that she was attuned to Reiki and could share it with others. She came over and asked me if I was willing to give it a try and asked me to lie on the bed, although this is not how Reiki would be shared in a professional setting! She knew that this was what I needed right there and then. At this stage, I only had a vague sense of what Reiki was all about and wasn’t quite sure on what to expect.
She shared Reiki with me for about 10/15 minutes. Everything slowed down for me. There was a beautiful overwhelming feeling of being present with this loving energy. It was as if I was coming back into my body – and it felt like having an invisible hug. Those ten minutes had a profound shift on the direction my life was heading in. I am forever grateful to my friend for sharing her abilities with me that day.
Why Reiki over another energy healing modality?
As mentioned, my first encounter with Reiki was a personal connection with Reiki and with my best friend. What attracted me further to Reiki was its simplicity and the lack of complications regarding daily rituals, or dogmatic ways in which we have to live our life. The Reiki principles are there for self-reflection rather than for discipline.
Reiki was like a loving, calm and casual healing system that we can bring as much spirituality to as we want. We are connecting to the ground and ourselves, in the here and now, and in the Universe. Reiki is about bringing things back into wholeness, and clearing out the fuzziness that hinders our energy from flowing freely.
What impact did this energy work have on your life journey?
It radically shifted many things in my life, but mainly the relationship with self, and where oneself fits in their relationship with the Universe, the Earth and people – which is all connected anyway. One of the main points of the Reiki system is understanding one’s own connection in this web of energy that we all live in together.
I think people are often looking for something more in life. I remember very clearly that when I started learning about Reiki, I had a feeling that everything that I wanted and needed was already here with me. There were just certain things that were getting in the way. It was the profound action of the Reiki self-healing treatment that reminded me of that sensation of having an invisible hug (as I experienced with my best friend).
Reiki gives me perspective on those outside circumstances that affect us in our everyday lives. I feel more together and whole when practicing Reiki. That radical aspect of self-care has kept me wanting to practice Reiki as a spiritual system for myself and then later, I was able to share with others through teaching.
How much intuition comes into the practice of Reiki, for you personally, and in general?
Mikao Usui started the Reiki society in Japan. Intuition was really important to him and to how he was teaching his students in this first Reiki society. When a person is sharing Reiki with themselves, we are taught the nine or twelve hand positions for self-healing on the body. The more I started to work with these hand positions, the more confident I felt to actually listen to the messages that were coming through my body. I started to intuit where to put my hands instead of following the traditional pattern.
Usui wanted to teach his students a method called Reiji Ho. This is working with intuition, calming the system, grounding through your feet and belly, and to hear the information in whichever way it comes.
I believe that the daily Reiki practice of self-healing deepens or improves a person’s ability to connect with their own intuition and they therefore become more discerning about what is and isn’t good for them at a particular time.
Are some people more receptive to energy work than others, and if so why?
Everything is energy and everybody is energy. Given that Reiki is an energy spiritual system or treatment, it will be beneficial for us as this is the way in which our bodies are made. Reiki is a biofield treatment either on the physical body or to the aura. As every human being has this energy field, everyone can benefit from having a Reiki treatment.
It is important to remember that Reiki is a whole spiritual system for itself. Everyone can reap the benefits of having a system in their lives which is about healing, clearing energy blocks, and wounds that we have come into this life with – whether this be from past lives, or simply what we have brought into our adult lives from childhood; developmental traumas and upsets, relationships that need healing…
Of course, being ready and open to the idea of healing is a prerequisite for any person who wishes to pursue the path. If a person isn’t too willing to experience a Reiki treatment or is skeptical, the energy will still work its magic and the person will still feel more relaxed. However, consent is key.
What can you tell us about the Reiki discipline that you have chosen to follow?
When I completed my training, I was taught from a perspective from both the Eastern and Western lineages, and I always tell my students that I draw from both in my teachings.
The Western lineage focuses more on Reiki as a hands on or hands off healing treatment and treating yourself. There is much less focus on the other aspects of Reiki (there are five branches, one of which is the hands on/hands off).
The Eastern lineage is much more focused on the five pronged system of Reiki; meditation, hands on healing, symbols and mantras, attunements and The Reiki Principles.
What I connect more with is the full spiritual system from the Eastern lineage. It helps me have a loose framework that helps me deal with all the curve balls that are thrown in our paths.
Is Reiki a lifestyle, or do you believe it should be?
For those who choose it, absolutely. However, if it is not a lifestyle, that is also fine. Even if somebody only completes Reiki 1, that is an amazing formula to walk away with. Those achievements are extremely valuable and no one can take away from the tools that person has learnt.
Reiki can be as pertinent or impertinent as you choose in your life, and it will still help you. The more you work on your own self-healing with the hand positions, the more you top up the three main energy points that we all have in our bodies. When these start to get filled up, it becomes undeniable to one self that this is happening. It is almost as if you get to a point of no return as you start to feel so good within yourself that you feel called to take Reiki deeper into your life.
What have been the most rewarding aspects of your practice, for yourself and clients alike?
When my clients tell me about the progress they are making in their lives, this to me is the ultimate reward or feeling of gratification possible. When we as humans become more secure in who we are and feel whole as we top up our energy levels, life is undeniably better…this is what Reiki offers people. This was certainly the case for me. However, I was interested in healing, and finding a more compassionate way of healing myself at the time that Reiki found me.
Sharing Reiki with students is extremely important to me, knowing that however much or little they do, they will be taking something empowering away with them that has the potential to shift their life for the better, forever.
Reiki is a loving, compassionate, beneficial system that you can have as much or as little of as you choose in your life.
Sarah’s book entitled Shadow and Rose: A Soulful Guide for Women Recovering from Rape and Sexual Violence, will be published by The Unbound Press this Summer. Her next book, Enough! will be available later this year.
You can connect with Sarah on Instagram at reikirengebysarahwheeler or her mailing list via www.youreenoughyoga.com