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First Published – Reiki News Magazine, Fall 2019
Millenials are the generation born between 1980 – 2000, and you hear increasingly about us because we are coming of age. We are starting to influence society in politics, business, medicine, science, and of course healing. By 2020, according to a Brookings Institution analysis, one in three adults will be a millennial. (1) The “festival generation” is here and we are brimming with optimism about saving the world! I am a “millennial” (well, technically Xenial) and I am proud to say it! I love my generation and what we stand for. We are an independent, individualized, and are unique in the way we think, the values that we have, and the way we want to live in the world. We have grown up on technology and are in a unique position in the choices we can have. Included in these choices is spirituality, and I believe that Reiki is a perfect fit for what my generation is seeking. I am an older member of my generation and therefore have a unique perspective that may differ from some of the younger constituents of the group. My position in the generational timeline does help me to bridge the gap of pragmatism of the older generations and idealism of the younger. In this article I will outline why millennials are moving towards alternative forms of spirituality in numbers never seen before, why I think Reiki is a good fit for millennials, and how to position your messaging to attract more millennials to your Reiki practice.
Millennials are moving away from organized religion and seeking alternative forms of spirituality. “The number of Americans ages 18-29 who have no religious affiliation has nearly quadrupled in the last 30 years.” (2) Of course, this is a more complex issue than I can highlight in this article, but there are a few reasons I think we are adopting a more individualistic approach to spirituality. Millennials are moving towards their inner guidance, away from an outside authority, and heading towards spiritual paths that we can define for ourselves as opposed to someone else defining it for us. Whether it be astrology, shamanism, crystal healing, Reiki, or all the above, we are looking for ways to connect with our inner guidance!
Millennials are finding ways to connect with their higher consciousness and their spirituality more than ever before. We have the benefit of taking our 20s to explore these issues. Millennials are the most educated generation, and getting married and having children the latest, which is giving us time to explore our spirituality much earlier than previous generations. (3) We have college to define who we are, and our mid to late 20s to define whom we want to be. Most of us have also grown up with the internet and exposure to a wealth of information, unlike the world has ever seen. What we have found is that the existing constructs of organized religion aren’t necessarily a match for us. “Younger generations are opting for spiritual practices like crystal healing because it allows them to mix elements from multiple faiths and ancient traditions into an individualized spiritual practice.” (4) We are seeking answers within ourselves. We are using tools do this because even at a young age, we are a conscious generation, wanting to live with our planet and our fellow humans, animals, and nature in symbiosis. So, in our 20s we are starting with ourselves. If we can connect with our inner guidance and inner authority at this age to help raise our vibration, hopefully, we can then participate in the intention of raising the vibration of humanity.
We are moving away from structures that rely on an outer authority to tell us what and how to believe. Rebecca Nicholson writes in her article, Star Gazing: Why Millennials are Turning to Astrology, “Astrology offers an alternative to systems that no longer seem to be working—especially for outsiders…It’s a system of beliefs not defined by hierarchy or power structures.” (5) This is true for many forms of individualized spirituality, including Reiki.
Many of us blend many different forms of spirituality, recognizing there is not one right way, just our way. We may take bits and pieces from various sources to match our belief systems, all with an overarching goal to become a better person, have a higher vibration, live a happy and conscious lifestyle, and to help with the betterment of humanity and the planet. I have no judgment to what my neighbor picks and believes, whichever path that achieves any the above is the right one! I choose Reiki, and I believe it is an amazing fit for our path of seeking enlightenment.
Are you a millennials wondering if Reiki is right for you? Reiki is an amazing fit for anyone seeking alternative spiritual modalities and especially a fit for millennials. There are a multitude of reasons for this and here are a few that I would like to highlight:
Many millennials will be attracted to Reiki because Reiki has no required religious belief systems. It is possible to be in a Reiki class or Reiki share where there are very diverse beliefs. Reiki is widely used in hospitals, has scientific research reflecting its beneficial results, and Reiki can be a beautiful path for those who have more traditional religious beliefs. My mother Colleen Benelli and I, who work side by side every day together, have different spiritual perspectives. She experiences Reiki with spiritual guides and beings, while I think in terms of consciousness more than a religious deity. I love that Reiki shapes and supports me while I explore these concepts and is a helpful tool and a path for spiritual exploration.
Millennials love to spend time exploring the larger concepts of life, the universe, and everything. In my experience, Reiki is one of the best tools to access realms necessary to do this. Reiki does not require external influences such as psychedelic drugs, often popular amongst millennials, to achieve states of elevated consciousness. While I have no scientific evidence of this, I wonder if Reiki is accessing similar parts of our brain that provide similar experiences to those external influences do. While in a journey state, using Reiki consciousness and meditation, I have explored some of the big concepts of the universe, and Reiki consciousness has helped answer and shape some of my big questions. I know the exploration of the answers to the big questions of the universe will be ongoing throughout my life; I love that I have Reiki as a tool I can use anytime I want to explore my spiritual understanding of life. Reiki supports me in taking my spiritual practices further and deeper.
Colleen Benelli and I authored an article for the Spring 2019 issue of Reiki News Magazine “Reiki-on-the-Fly.” I highlight this topic much more in that article, but Reiki-on-the-fly is my go-to Reiki practice when I am need of instant support for stress relief, relationship management, parenting, healing, and self-care, or repairing my shortcomings, revealing my strengths, or making conscious choices in my life. Reiki is a pillar of stability for me and helps highlight the conscious path.
Reiki is like spiritual insurance! It is one of my major support systems. I know that when I have life events happen or events from my past affect me, I can turn to Reiki to help me get through it, just as I would turn to a friend for help. I don’t always know what I need, but Reiki gives me a method of healing to which I can turn to heal and empower me on my path.
Many people who turn to the healing arts do so because they are naturally empathic. Reiki is an outlet for my empathy, compassion, and acts as a form of activism for me. I can see injustice everywhere, and Reiki helps me with feeling the depths of it. It helps me to not carry the problems of the world on my shoulders. Humanity’s awareness is rising, but at the same time, because of the advances in technology, we witness so much more of the world’s tragedies. I care deeply about world affairs, and Reiki balances my empathy and compassion so that I can help in the ways that I am able. If there is a world event, I can send Reiki. If there is a cause that I cannot physically be a part of, I can send Reiki. I can also send Reiki to world peace and the heightened vibration of humanity. Reiki helps highlight solutions so that I can be effective in the areas in which I can help. Most of all, I believe that contributing to the world starts with me. Reiki helps me be a better person so that I can contribute more to humanity.
I am a Holy Fire® III Reiki Master; however, I am a firm believer in following whatever path and Reiki lineage to which you are called. I believe that Holy Fire® Reiki is a match for millennials for a couple of reasons. It’s energy is at its core a unification consciousness. It removes the rules of the outside authority and connects a person to their inner authority, their authentic self, and very enlightened spiritual realms and energy. I believe that through the concept of unification, Holy Fire® III Reiki developed the Placement and Ignition attunement processes. In these styles of attunements, the Reiki Master provides a short guided meditation, and then the Reiki energy flows directly to the student rather than through the teacher physically attuning a person through hand positions that require physical abilities.
I feel the Holy Fire® Reiki energy guided this new attunement style to accommodate and create equality for people with disabilities. I recently volunteered Reiki with a group of people at the Oral Hull Center for the Blind and Low Vision in Sandy, Oregon. A few of the clients there were very interested in furthering their Reiki training but were hesitant due to their limited mobility and sight. They didn’t believe they would be able to teach Reiki to others because the attunements required sight and mobility. They said that even if they could perform a traditional attunement, it was intimidating due to the physical nature of it. I told them about Holy Fire® Reiki, and the difference in the Placement style of attunement, and I watched as the restrictions around learning, practicing, and teaching Reiki lifted. I feel like this evolution in the Reiki attunements opens the door for some of the most spiritually and emotionally gifted members of our society to teach Reiki!
Holy Fire® Reiki energy is about our inner authority rather than an outside authority. Another benefit of the Placement and Ignition style of attunement is the direct connection it provides between the student and Reiki. A student receives the connection to Reiki through a meditation-type experience rather than the energy passing through a teacher to the student.
Millennials are removing culturally-created constructs. Holy Fire® Reiki assists us in doing this. By Reiki revealing our authentic self, we are going back to our essence, to before the layers of society were placed upon us, back to our soul’s true nature. The energy takes you to unimaginable depths of consciousness and enlightenment. It far surpasses anything I have ever experienced. I don’t want to say this is the only way of achieving this; each person has their path, but for me, it is like a rocket ship to enlightened realms and experiences.
Simon Sinek says in his TEDx talk: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Moreover, what you do proves what you believe.” (6) Millennials want connection; they value relationships and connectivity to humanity and experiences above material things, so make sure you are conveying your beautiful heart in your messaging and marketing for your Reiki practice.
As marketing genius, Seth Godin says: “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but about the stories you tell.” (7) I won’t get into the details of exactly what techniques you should use, that could be a whole other article! There are thousands of blogs and resources online. If you are trying to attract millennials, you will likely have to use technology in some manner. That can vary based on your interest in technology, your practice and your area. Generally, speaking, millennials are visual, so if you are looking to attract a younger demographic, head toward the more visual social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, or Pinterest. There are a ton of resources out there for social media, plus it’s ever-changing, and even I am having to keep up with what the kids are doing these days! The overarching principle that I would like to convey is to put the “why” in your messaging. Why does Reiki help them?
Podcasts are another great way to reach millennials. They listen on their phone to information and podcasts are an easy way to share your information. Millennials are flocking to podcasts because the hosts are unfiltered, and they feel like they get to know the actual person. The best podcasts are conversational and straightforward. Podcasts have no rules and do not have to adhere to the traditional channels that big media requires. Millennials are looking for authenticity and connection. It is another layer of the outer versus inner authority. They are looking for the why in your stories. They want to hear your failures and your successes. They want to connect with you and your humanity.
Reiki is an amazing fit for millennials because it can be a solitary practice or work in tandem with any other spiritual practice we choose to explore. Reiki fits in with the spiritual ideals of our generation; it has so many qualities that help through the different stages of our life. It is easy to attract millennials to your practice; we are searching for our answers, remember to reveal the why and authenticity in your messaging. Although millennials have a certain reputation, we are young still and brimming with optimism. We are grateful for the path that the older generations have laid out for us and want to continue what they started in fixing the problems of humanity. Please have patience with us; we are trying! As most of us who have experience with it know, Reiki is an answer!
Holy Fire® is the registered service mark of William Lee Rand.
Raphelson, S. (2014, November 18). Amid The Stereotypes, Some Facts About Millennials. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2014/11/18/354196302/amidthe-stereotypes-some-facts-about-millennials.
Why millennials are really leaving religion (it’s not just politics, folks). (2018, June 26). Retrieved from https://religionnews.com/2018/06/26/why-millennials-are-really-leaving-religion-its-not-just-politics-folks.
Raphelson, S., Ibid.
Thomas, M. (2017, April 06). Why Are Young People So Into Healing Crystals? Retrieved from https://psmag.com/news/why-are-young-peopleso-into-healing-crystals.
Nicholson, R. (2018, March 11). Star gazing: Why millennials are turning to astrology. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/global/2018/mar/11/star-gazing-why-millennials-are-turning-to-astrology.
Sinek, S. (n.d.). How great leaders inspire action. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.
Robyn Benelli is a Usui/Holy Fire® III Reiki Master Teacher and practitioner and Animal Reiki practitioner. She is a professional member of the Reiki Membership Association and a contributing author for Reiki News Magazine . Robyn has been a Reiki Master for over 15 years and has used Reiki in the different stages of her life; from a teenager, college student, professional, and now business owner and mother. She loves Reiki as a support for living a conscious lifestyle. You can reach Robyn Benelli at firstname.lastname@example.org.