A few months ago, I was asked to participate in a retreat for Reiki practitioners who volunteer for a large hospice in west-central Florida. This annual, half-day event provides education, connection, and uplifting experiences for the attendees.
For this retreat, the theme was "Accepting, Aligning, Allowing." I presented on "Accepting" with this thought in mind: "Acceptance and openness to self-discovery go hand in hand along the journey of life. As we accept the peaks and pains of our lives, we have a clearer understanding of what matters to us. As we understand what matters to us, we can speak our foundational values, align our actions to these values, and elegantly deliver our gifts to others and the world." Here is what I shared with my fellow Reiki practitioners.
What is the definition of "Accept"?
I consulted the Dictionary.com website and found various meanings of the word, "accept." The 3 that seemed to have a particular flow when considered together were:
"Accommodating or reconciling oneself to a situation or experience"
"Receiving as to meaning"
I also looked at the particular verb tense, "accepting." This is the present continuous tense that indicates the action is ongoing. To me, it also indicates a process. Thinking about my own life experiences, I could see that this action or process of accepting has various levels, depending on the situation. I could also see that accessing these levels, or engaging in the process, needed certain keys.
Keys to the Process of Accepting
There are assuredly other keys to this process of accepting, but as I pondered on the topic, these 2 stood out clearly to me:
Being open to self-discovery
Asking questions that are useful for revealing values, gaining understanding, and seeing a direction. These questions can include, "What does this mean?" "What belief or value is underlying how I am responding to this situation?" "What makes it easy or hard for me to reconcile to this situation?" "What matters to me?"
Levels of the Accepting Process
My own Reiki story, how I came to it, how and when it integrated into my being, and how it continues to inform the delivery of my gifts, demonstrates what I see as 4 levels of the Accepting Process, which I match to the definitions:
Level 1 - Accommodating or reconciling oneself to a situation or experience
Level 2 - Receiving the feeling that there is greater meaning in an experience
Level 3 - Implementing the keys of the Accepting Process to gain deeper understanding of the relationship between the experience and our core or foundational values.
Level 4 - Practicing Level 3 with ease; Level 3 feels integrated into your self-discovery practice
My Reiki Story and the Levels of Accepting
When I first started in the role of Palliative Arts Clinician, in which I was responsible for advocating for, supporting, and collaborating on Reiki and 4 other Palliative Arts modalities, I did not know anything about Reiki. I decided to take Reiki Level 1 so I could effectively advocate for Reiki. I was at the level of accommodating to the situation. I learned about Reiki but, I didn't integrate what I learned into my life. My Reiki Master who initiated me into the practice invited me to take Reiki Level 2. I was hesitant to take the time, but with gentle encouragement from the Reiki Master, I signed up for the class. As the class revealed new aspects of Reiki, I had one of the most intense "Aha!" moments of my life. It was a moment that I experienced a visceral sense that there is a deeper meaning to this practice for my life. I arrived at Level 2 of Accepting. I began to ask, "What does Reiki mean to me?" "Why does it feel like it matters?" "What else is there to know?" I began to engage with an amazing Reiki community within the volunteer corps of the hospice I served. Through book studies, Reiki supports, and simply being with like-vibed people, I was understanding what Reiki meant to me, how it integrated with my values and living my life, and how it complemented my work as a Music Therapist. This was Level 3. For me, Level 4 in the Accepting Process is a work in progress, and likely will always be. I may have phases of intense personal growth where Level 4 is more prominent, and I will have many other periods of movement among Levels 1 to 3, and on a daily basis. Most of the time, I don't feel the need to ask, "What is the meaning of sitting at this stop light on this day in this year?" But, if I do feel that inspiration in the context of my Reiki practice (or sitting at the stop light), something is moving me towards growth, towards deeper understanding of my part in the whole, towards a more elegant delivery of my gifts to others and our world.
For a deeper dive into understanding your origin story as it shapes your journey of awakening, unfolding, revealing core values, and personal growth, I recommend an exercise called, "Soulprint." This was created by Drima Starlight and is featured in the book The Buddha and the Badass by Vishen Lakhiani.