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by Colleen Benelli
First Published – Reiki News Magazine, Spring 2007.
Artwork by Gaia Orion.
In my years of experience, both professionally and personally, I have found that resistance to Reiki and other spiritual practices is an inherent part of the personal growth process. Resistance shows up throughout life. Sometimes it is short-lived; at other times it may last months or even years. It can make us want to give up our spiritual practice altogether, and it can be so powerful that it challenges our entire belief system.
Spiritual resistance can show up in various ways with different faces on it, and it can be tricky to identify and understand. As a Reiki practitioner I see many common symptoms: withdrawing, chronic irritability, blame, criticism, conflict, judgment, negative thoughts, inability to pray or do Reiki or other spiritual practices, thinking it is all stupid or irrelevant. Resistance can show up as sudden distrust of a teacher, thinking we know more than we do, or that we know all we need to know, or as losing interest in learning. Sometimes we are too impatient to develop our skills, and we think there is not enough time. Or a spiritual practice can be at odds with what our ego wants to do, so we disregard the integrity of the spiritual practice and follow our own agenda.
These behaviors are simply fear disguising itself and presenting us with an “enlightened” idea that we no longer need to pursue our spiritual path or that another easier path is better for us. These “enlightened” ideas usually include a reasoning process that is an attempt to make the ideas acceptable. But underneath, they are simply excuses to avoid addressing important issues—issues that must be healed if we are to continue on our spiritual path.
One of my clients told me that resistance showed up for her as self-hatred, and she berated herself for needing spiritual help from others. She believed she should be a good enough Reiki practitioner not to need anyone else to heal her. Another client said she could no longer tell what issues were hers and what came from others because her blame and criticism for everyone was so loud. One wanted to quit his practice because he just did not want to do the work anymore. One said she watches herself be wretched, knows it does not work, but she does it anyway because she is good at being wretched. Wretchedness has become a habit for her. Another decided to discontinue her spiritual training with a trusted teacher because the teacher held her to the integrity of the practice when she wanted to follow her own agenda. My own resistance made it difficult for me to pray and meditate, although I normally love doing it. Instead, I turned on the television and watched the morning news, which is the opposite vibration.
Resistance to spiritual growth and practices occurs for various reasons. Sometimes life is hard and the densities of this earth and of being human can present daunting challenges. Death, illness, pain, relationship loss, money issues, etc. are real life experiences that cause us grief, sadness, anger and pain. It is valid to find it difficult to remember the light and joy of life at such times.
Spiritual work can be difficult, and we often do not have the skill to stay connected, or we may not want to do the real work it takes to have that connection. A spiritual or Reiki practice requires the same attention and daily skill building as any other practice. It takes practice, attention, time, and discipline. Sometimes we aren’t willing to make the commitment. And this can express as spiritual resistance.
Spiritual resistance can occur when we get caught up in one of the bands of collective fear, criticism or negative thought that exist all over the planet. This lowers our vibrations and changes our attitudes toward our spiritual paths, allowing resistance to develop. Negative political ads, news broadcasts and conversations can pull us into a collective field of negative energy that tries to convince us that it’s good to be negative, which in turn depletes our store of healthy energy and allows us to succumb more easily to resisting our spiritual path. When we blame others for our position in life and for the misery in the world rather than taking action and making a difference, we open ourselves to resisting our higher purpose. Gandhi reminds us, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
My most recent personal bout of spiritual resistance followed a period of intense Reiki and healing work that I did for a woman I had known since childhood. After her death, I was simply exhausted from the output of energy. I wanted what I thought was the relief of “tuning out” for a while. Except it was not a relief. I missed my Reiki Guides and my daily prayer and meditation practices terribly, and the disconnect from them made me feel miserable.
In fact, spiritual resistance is usually a method we use to distract ourselves from the changes we need to make so that healing can take place and we can then live in the higher vibration and state of grace that we have asked for and truly desire. As we continue in our spiritual practices, we reach higher levels of awareness, and we may need to make changes in our daily lives in order to hold that awareness. We may need to change dietary habits, exercise more, work less, heal our addictions, etc. Resistance can be a reaction to those needed changes.
Resistance to our spiritual growth and practice can be a gift, because it gives us an opportunity to use our free will and choose how far into the light and remembering our divinity we want to go. Being in the density of our human existence is very compelling. The drama and challenges, the triumph and glory are all amazing experiences that offer intense feelings. The higher we travel into enlightened awareness, the less human density can effect us emotionally. Our perceptions of the truth change and our feelings become more calm and peaceful.
It is helpful to recognize spiritual resistance as a very real part of the healing process and of our personal growth and development, so that we can learn the skills we need in order to heal it. Spiritual resistance can cause loneliness and a feeling of being lost. We may think that we are the only ones having the experience. This belief can leave us in a state of suffering with no compassion for ourselves, just when self-compassion is needed the most.
As William Lee Rand says in Reiki for a New Millennium, “The desire to grow is inherent in simply being alive. As we look around ourselves and observe living things, we can clearly see that the one activity all living things share is growth. Everything that is alive grows. Therefore, the desire to grow in one’s Reiki potential is a natural expression of ones core essence and of life itself. If you feel this desire in your heart, honor and respect it. Doing so will fulfill an innate need.”
It is easier to be spiritual when life is uncomplicated, and it can be difficult when life is challenging. Fortunately, Reiki will support and sustain us during our hard times. When we receive attunements to Reiki, there is an implied willingness to live a better life. We invite the higher vibrations of the loving Universe into our lives. A Reiki attunement is an act of asking for the wisdom and grace of Reiki to enter our consciousness and our actions. The more we activate Reiki, the more compassionate wisdom and the feeling of grace shows up in our daily lives.
This is what ultimately dissolves resistance. Resistance cannot flourish when grace, gratitude, and creativity are present in our minds and walking consciousness. Reiki will help us take baby steps or giant leaps to spiritual health, and it does not judge our choices or our pace.
Rand agrees: “No matter what you have been doing with your life and no matter where you are, it is always possible for Reiki to lead you back to your true spiritual path. This is the wonderful nature of Reiki; it contains all the positive qualities one needs for personal development as well as the guidance necessary for one’s spiritual path.” ~ Reiki for a New Millennium.
Gratitude and creative thinking are actions we can take to heal spiritual resistance.
Reiki can help us uncover the resistant heart and replace it with gratitude. Reiki can also help clear out unwanted mind chatter, providing space and clarity to think about what we want to create in our lives. Then resistance no longer distracts us, and our minds are free to focus on the spiritual activities that support our goals.
Use the following Reiki treatment for yourself and others. If you are not attuned to the symbols, just let Reiki do the work and guide you.
Reiki can empower us to create instead of resist. Reiki makes it easier for us to be on our spiritual path. Every time we invite Reiki to assist us, every time we draw the symbols, we are inviting the guidance and wisdom of the loving Universe into our day. As the Tao Te Ching says, “The spirit tends toward purity but the mind disturbs it.” Reiki heals our minds so we can focus on our creative hearts.
When I write articles for Reiki News Magazine, I always ask my Reiki Guides what they want to say. In this article, the message from the Reiki Guides is that if we want a better Earth, we have to work to create it, and if we are in spiritual resistance, we cannot get it done. It is time to recognize and release our spiritual resistance and declare our commitment to our spiritual and Reiki practices.
Using Reiki is a form of activism. As Reiki practitioners, we are working on behalf of our world. Humanity and the Earth are in great need of our personal and collective commitment. Every time we invoke Reiki, or draw the Reiki symbols, we invite the loving Universe into our hearts and onto the planet. We open the door for the spiritual guidance of Reiki to be present here and now.
With Reiki, and our individual intentions and actions, we can create a collective consciousness that declares that our united purpose to live in love, light, joy, truth, beauty, happiness, abundance, grace, and gratitude. Reiki is dedicated to us, and helps us empower our collective consciousness. However, we create our reality and we do need to ask, so Reiki knows what we really want. It is our free will to choose how far we want to walk on our spiritual path individually and collectively, and Reiki will never impose its healing grace without our permission. It does not judge our decisions but helps in accordance with our actions, because actions are the true measure of our intention.
Spring is the perfect time to declare our personal and collective intention to leave spiritual resistance behind. During the cycle of spring, we call on our higher vision and changed perceptions to find inspiration, which allows us to grow and create new life. The energy of spring brings clarity so we are accurate when we create our intention for a renewed and vital spiritual practice. It prepares us for the compassionate action we apply to our intentions as we move into the full strength and power of our spiritual purpose.
As we heal individually and live with inspiration, creativity, grace, and gratitude, we add those qualities to the collective consciousness. As Reiki practitioner Jenny Brooks said, “I just do something little every day and it makes such a difference.” It does make a difference. We can influence the health of the Earth and all life on it, each day that we live.
We have spiritual work to do and we cannot do it when we are in spiritual resistance, so we need to apply our Reiki skills to heal ourselves and get back to work. The planet Earth needs us. We are in a pivotal point in human history where we can really affect change by doing our Reiki practices. Strengthening our commitment to our spiritual practices and developing our Reiki skills adds to the collective consciousness and creates new possibilities for humanity and the Earth. Using Reiki is activism. Activating it daily makes a difference. It is time to leave spiritual resistance behind, because it is simply in the way of what we really want. Now is the time to declare our intentions, take action, and walk with confidence on our spiritual paths.
Colleen Benelli can be reached by email at email@example.com, by phone at 503.912.0664, on her website at www.reikilifestyle.wpengine.com, or on her Facebook page, Reiki Lifestyle-Colleen Benelli. Join Colleen’s monthly ReikiChat™ conversation, www.reikichat.com.