Do you know what I love about life?
It’s that the universe gives us signs to guide us along our journey directing us toward expanded consciousness and our higher purpose.
These signs call for our attention and can be seen in physical form or as a spiritual “knowing.” Initially, they begin as a tap on the shoulder then if ignored a forceful nudge. If however, you have a tendency to be stubborn (or fearful) like me, the Universe will take the privilege to slap you in the face. The struggles that follow are not for the faint of heart yet necessary. And now, as I stand in the light and recall a lifetime of darkness, I realize that the unimaginable pain that I experienced in the past is far less than what would’ve become of my life had I not awakened to myself.
This is a story about Reiki, recovery and rebirth.
Ever since I was a little girl I suffered from anxiety. In retrospect, I can understand the root of many of my anxieties and while I had a great childhood and a loving family, a dark cloud hovered over me. By the time I was in college, my anxieties had become intolerable and depression began to loom. I began therapy as I had done in the past, lost and desperate to relieve the pain.
And so it goes, I was prescribed anti-anxiety medication to alleviate my symptoms even though I had anxiety about taking medication too. I’ve always been highly sensitive as to what I put in my body and can feel immediately when there is a chemical shift. Perhaps it was psychosomatic but from the moment I took that first pill I was never the same. I wanted the obsessive thoughts to go away, the constant dread and worry to subside but instead I became numb…numb to my feelings and numb to life.
Months of experimenting with various dosages and brand names had taken its toll and I turned into a shell of the person I once was, unable to be fully present and unwilling to engage in life. Happiness? That sounded nice but I just wanted to survive, to put on a presentable “happy face” for my family, friends and colleagues until I could return to the safety of my home and dwell in my misery behind closed doors.
My depression became suffocating and my life felt so hopeless that I had seriously considered suicide on at least two occasions. I was angry and felt sorry for myself spending hours determining the best way to take my life because after all I didn’t ask to be born. In my solitude, I would weigh out the options as to which method would be the least unpleasant for me and my family. I determined that an overdose of pills would be my exit strategy…no pain, no mess. I would just go to sleep after all sleep was my escape.
So why didn’t I go through with it? Because even with all of the fogginess of my mind and weakened body, I knew deep within my soul that there was a light that still shined as bright as the sun just waiting to be acknowledged. It was there because I was destined to make a difference in the lives of others some way…somehow. The journey that would follow in the years to come were calculated steps orchestrated by a Higher Power that would rescue me from the darkness and deliver me into the light.
In life there are no coincidences and as fate would have it, one of my mom’s colleagues gave her a brochure for an “alternative” type of therapy. My mom took it and reviewed the information with an open mind eager to save her daughter. The brochure described a woman living in North Carolina who specialized in an alternative healing method known as energy healing or Reiki.
Reiki energy balances the chakras (energy centers within the body) thereby treating physical ailments, spiritual blockages and even emotional traumas.
We made an appointment and drove and hour and a half into the mountains for a one hour session. I had always been a spiritual person and dabbled in metaphysics so I was open to the experience. I connected with the doctor right away; perhaps subconsciously her abilities were familiar to me. For the next year I would visit her to release and recharge. Each session was emotionally draining as my body, mind and spirit processed the energetic shifts that were occurring within me.
Miraculously, the fog began to lift. After a few months of treatment, I decreased my medication and within a year I was drug-free. That was several years ago.
To this day I have no need for medication.
Reiki has been very sacred to me even in times when I wasn’t quite ready to embrace it as a life changing calling. I truly believe our greatest lessons are those that cause us the most pain, otherwise else would these lessons grab our attention? Reiki took a back seat for a year or two as I tried to conform to a life that was inauthentic to my true self. To make matters worse, I was fearful of the judgment I would receive from my peers and colleagues had they known my past struggles.
All of that changed in April 2011 as I struggled once again to find myself while drowning in an unhealthy, abusive relationship. As an empath I was overwhelmed by the intense combination of toxic energy and negative emotions that I was experiencing myself as well as the dysfunctional energy that I had absorbed from my then fiancée. At the time, I had no tools to protect myself from the stress and found myself gasping for air and at the end of my rope not knowing which way was up and struggling to make sense of it all. I sought the help of a marriage counselor on my own for relationship guidance but the fact was I’m an intuitive with a psychology background, I knew this stuff and I needed help now!
Desperate, I contacted a local Reiki Master and EFT Practitioner. We spent most of our time using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to release the emotional trauma. At the end of each session she gave me Reiki to balance and ground my energy to facilitate the healing process. My entire being craved Reiki energy and soaked it up like a sponge. Finally, I was able to get clarity in the midst of the chaos and was able to breathe. It was after this experience that I realized my purpose and exactly how I’m meant to help others.
Since that time my life has transformed. I ended the relationship, regained myself and I’ve become a Reiki practitioner myself, offering general and specialized services for people suffering from anxiety and depression. Reiki has been a tremendous gift in my life and I am grateful for the chance to share it with others. I have to laugh when I hear Reiki described as “alternative” or “New Age.” The truth is, energy healing has been in existence and used as a legitimate practice for thousands of years all over the world.
All too often in the West we’re given pills for every aliment.
These pills are full of dangerous chemicals and do not get to the root of the problem, they only mask them and cause side effects. And, hey, there’s a pill for the side effects, too. Instead of treating the symptom, get to the core issue using energy healing.
Reiki is beneficial in the treatment of a wide variety of concerns and can be used alone or as a compliment to traditional medicine. It is not necessarily a quick fix, in fact the healing process is often compared to “peeling an onion.” Once one layer is revealed and healed another layer may surface to be released. The benefit: a balanced body, mind and soul. Holistic balance means less chance for disease to manifest as well as overall well-being and a healthy outlook on life. Best of all, with Reiki there are no side effects—just peace.
I owe my life to Reiki. I am living a happy, healthy and fulfilled life now and it is all because of this beautiful journey and the love and support of my friends and family. My purpose is to spread my message and have faith that it will be received by those who need it most.
Stephanie Colletti is a metaphysical and holistic lifestyle writer, a dancer instructor, a yogi and a certified Reiki practitioner offering therapeutic and specialized sessions for people suffering from anxiety and depression. Her passion for Reiki healing and her lifelong devotion to the art of dance led her to create Chakra Belly Dance which combines chakra activation and healing with the ancient tradition and feminine movements of belly dance. She is motivated by her sincere desire to connect with people through her love of energy healing and dance by facilitating Chakra Belly Dance classes and workshops in Atlanta. Stephanie is a co-founder of World Belly Dance Alliance www.worldbellydancealliance.com and recently founded her new company Sacred Circle Healing & Dance. Contact Stephanie by visiting www.sacredcirclehealinganddance.com and “Like” Sacred Circle Healing & Dance on Facebook.
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta