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For my first post on my newly purged and revamped blog, I had written a lovely piece about Reiki Mastery and what it meant to walk that path. It was great – well written, coherent, and articulate……and it utterly sucked. It was not a human story.

Instead, I will tell you about this human being stumbling toward elegance, fumbling toward mastery. I will tell you a human story about what it’s really like to walk the path of mastery.

If I were on a literal path, I would have awoken this morning with my face planted squarely in the mud – an unrefined and awkward start to the day. I woke up late, battled traffic and co-commuters who seemed hell-bent on putting both me and my vehicle out of commission. I swallowed frustration, muttering, “Just for today, I will not anger……”

The day continued in this same vein – nothing outrageous happened, nothing meant to inspire the kind of holy rage that it feels so good to sit in sometimes. No. I had a day of stumbles. If I picked something up, I dropped it, tore it, broke it. If I spoke, I stuttered or was misunderstood. If the phone rang, I felt the sudden and desperate urge to cough like a patient in the tuberculoid wing, where a moment before I’d been fine.

I made the determination that I would not arrive home to my fiancé, who I genuinely missed throughout the day, in the kind of state that I could tell I was bordering on – a state of immediate and irrational frustration with everything. Not really fair to him. I weaved in and out of orange barrels and drivers gone mad on the hour-long commute back home, attempting with increasing desperation to eject my rotten vibe to no avail. I muttered, “Just for today, I will not worry……” as a persistent stream of very pragmatic, and completely useless, worries darted through my thoughts.

Instead of the lovely greeting that I am sure he anticipated when I walked in the door, he received one of my marrow-deep sighs and a quiet growl. “I thought you said you were in a good mood,” he said, cautiously. I hated myself for putting the caution there in his voice, but the insane person who had taken over my body started to talk, and in talking, attempted to eject this craptastic mood out of me and onto the closest living host – him.

We prepared our meal together, during which time, I alternated between the crazy person who had gained control and was running my mouth, saying negative and ridiculous things – a long muttering harangue on the annoying minutia of our lives – and the real me inside, who apologized immediately and begged him not to listen to anything I had to say.

The path of mastery? At this point, I was sitting in the bog to the side of the path, in it up to my ears. Ugh.

The lovely man, who did as I asked and didn’t listen to a single thing I had to say, sat down with me over the meal that we’d prepared together. And for the first time in our long relationship, turned to me and said, “I think we should say grace.” He offered me dibs, but I said that he should do it. We are deeply spiritual, but not religious people, and I don’t know why we’d never done this before – we just hadn’t.

Very simply and clearly, he gave thanks to God for our meal and our lives, including all of the evidence we’ve experienced that God has a sense of humor. I sat there, looking over at him with a ball of tears in my throat, touched. And, brought back to the path. That one act snapped me out of the very human snit I was in, and brought me back.

I am grateful for my companions on this path to mastery. I have no illusions – I know I have a looooong way to go and that the journey will take me through both lush sun-dappled meadows with pretty birds singing pretty tunes, and through the desert – through desolation and wasteland where everything looks the same and the path is nearly obscured in the shifting sand. I also know that when I can’t see the path in those moments, there will be someone to guide my steps and offer to show me the way back.

In Reiki Mastery, you need more than knowledge and practical experience – you need self awareness, understanding, wisdom, compassion, and a love for life and others. In Reiki Mastery, you walk a path of connectedness – to yourself, mind, body, and spirit, to God, to others, and to the world in which you live.

— Dani Sutliff

As I set out on this path toward mastery, I find myself grateful that even when I cannot be consciously striving toward those ideals, the Universe provides me with opportunities for growth (even if I end up with a dirty face) and the people to support me in that growth (even if they must be learning great big lessons about forbearance and patience).

Eagerly, I look forward to tomorrow when I might encounter a new bend on this path, a new lesson, a new trial. A new opportunity to exercise what I do know about mastery – which is to encounter the same situation, but to choose differently.

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Come have a look through my kaleidoscope eyes. Come walk with me, as I make my way down the Path of Mastery (complete with fits and starts and pitstops and potholes). Our very impermanence is what makes us burn so brightly, and struggle so valiantly, and feel so deeply – it’s what makes us seize the day, and the moment. Come in, settle in, share a moment with me.

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"Who are YOU?" said the Caterpillar. This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, "I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then." (Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 5)