A Reiki colleague, Lisa Cefalu, approached me about working with her at a cancer support group in Los Angeles, WeSpark. Last night, the last months of planning resulted in a successful outreach to 11 participants. 25 had RSVP’d, but this being Southern CA, a little bit of rain deterred most.
In my career I’ve facilitated and co-facilitated hundreds of outreach groups, each one is a new experience and brings with it insights and reflections unique to the population that was served.
Working with cancer patients is a precious experience. Most, if not all, of the women who attended last night had their bodies ravaged by the disease or the subsequent treatments. A mist of grief, apathy and anger seemed to come in the door when everyone sat down, waiting for the Reiki circle to begin.
Working with individuals who aren’t dealing with a life-threatening disease, they usually assemble and easily begin to relax into the evening.
Those who’s minds and bodies have been devastated by a disease or treatment find it a challenge to settle in. In some patients we worked on, they actually ‘disassociated’ as we gave them Reiki. ‘Disassociating’ is leaving the body temporarily because the current state of it is too much to deal with. It’s a phenomena that happens with trauma (or disease) patients/survivors.
Lisa made it clear that the Reiki we were offering was not a ‘cure’, but a form of relaxation so that the body’s healing potential could be increased.
At the end of the evening, the initial emotions we had sensed at the beginning of the circle had become transformed into a greater bandwidth of peace and excitement. Patients actually started smiling and asking many questions about Reiki, it’s Japanese heritage and wanting all the business cards I had taken with me.
After each group, I’m always grateful for being healthy and able to offer healing energy to those that are not in the same physical state of well-being.
For Lisa, it was her first successful Reiki outreach, and I was proud to be a part of it.
We are talking about doing more work at the center throughout the next month. What I’ve learned from being on the Reiki path is that it just starts with an idea, and from there, the spirit of healing energy takes the work where it needs to go. I look forward to seeing where this new path takes me.