How does the act of allowing relate to accepting the experiences that shape our values and aligning to those values? I think a key word is "trust." Trusting in the alignment with your foundational values, you are able to dream big and specifically, to be open to all opportunities to express your gifts, and, with grace and gratitude, to let go of things that no longer serve you. Trusting is the first step of allowing.
What is the definition of "Allow"?
Going back to Dictionary.com, we find that "allow" means: "To permit something to happen or exist; to make provision for." As I reflected on these definitions, I could feel that these simple descriptions of the word are not always simple to do. Why can it be hard to permit something that aligns with our values to happen? What makes it difficult to make a provision for an opportunity that expresses our values? I'd like to offer these thoughts: spiritual resistance makes allowing difficult; spiritual resistance comes from beliefs that are deep in our spiritual and psychological cores. I have come to understand, through introspection and guidance, that some of these core beliefs were established in my early childhood and reinforced in my teens. Because they were established so early in my life, it is an ongoing work to remove the layers of the beliefs. So, I would like to add to the definition of "allow," "clearing resistance from the path."
Clearing the Path
Thanks to experiences that made me aware of limiting beliefs, exposure to the works of scholars and spiritual teachers, and fellowship with the community of Reiki practitioners where we can share our stories of growth, I have found some tools that work for me to remove resistance from my path.
I love these words when used from a place of intention rather than worry and fear. They energetically feel like a door is opening and light is coming in. When a limiting belief, such as, "You're not good enough" pops up, I ask myself, "What if I was good enough?" Then, when I feel that sense of opening, I visualize myself taking the action that was blocked. Another phrase that is useful is, "What would today be like if I knew that I am good enough [fill in the opposite of the limiting belief]?" Great! Now we are starting to move.
I like to use these words when I am moving down a path or taking action and an emotion like fear is beginning to collect and slow my momentum. Again, the fear usually comes from a limiting belief (including those rooted in my personality, such as, "If it isn't perfect when I put it out there, it will fail!"). Here, I bring in, "Remember when..." I like to think that we have all had an accomplishment that stands out in our lives that required us to move through fear or worry or an emotional pain. To use "Remember when...," think of that time when you reached a significant goal or arrived at a higher place. How does it feel in your body to think about that time? Now, close your eyes, take in a full breath and focus on that high-vibe feeling. Then, visualize yourself arriving at your current goal.
Just for today
Sensei Usui's words to us in the Reiki Principles are powerful words for clearing resistance. They can chip away at resistance one day at a time. We can choose to speak the principle that most reflects what we need to clear, such as, "Just for today, I will not worry." We can speak the principle that brings up our energy, "Just for today, I will be grateful for my blessings." We can also take, "Just for today" and add that which we need to hear to bring ourselves into the present and focus on what we can do today, the only day we have.
In October of 2020, I signed my first contract for my company after moving to a new city. I was to provide Music Therapy for a hospice company that had never had Music Therapy. How exciting! The contract was for 12 months, and a month before the expiration date, I had not heard from the hospice if the contract would be renewed. I began to feel some anxiety from the unknown. I had already been telling myself that either way, contract or no contract, I would be fine. If the contract renewed, wonderful, I could keep seeing the patients and families with whom I had built meaningful, therapeutic relationships. If the contract didn't renew, excellent (except for ending Music Therapy for the patients and families), I will have time to work on other elements of my business (Reiki sessions and trainings, hospice volunteer music trainings, consulting). But, the anxiety kept building. One morning after meditating and writing in my gratitude journal, I had a thought and wrote it down. "Just for today, I will be open to (allow) any opportunity to deliver my gifts." Within that week, I was contacted by a local healthcare company about the potential to start a new Music Therapy program next year. Within the month, I was asked if I would be interested in serving on a state-wide Music Therapy task force. In my personal life, other opportunities to deliver my gifts have presented themselves. I am so excited to see how these will manifest.
During this part of the Reiki Retreat, I led the participants in an exercise called, "The 3 Most Important Questions." This exercise helped us identify specific goals, aligned to our values, that we want to accomplish. This exercise was created by Vishen Lakhiani of Mindvalley. Follow this link to do this exercise: "3 Simple Questions to Figuring Out What You Want from Life."