What is Reiki?

This past week I completed my Reiki Level 1 course at The Reiki School in Philadelphia. For the past 12 weeks I made heartfelt connections with my classmates, I have developed more of a loving relationship with myself, and now have another self-care tool in my wellness tool-belt. However, Reiki is relatively new and is not as well known as other self-care practices such as yoga or meditation. So, what exactly is reiki?

A quick google search could give you the answer, but I though I would offer my own definition, what reiki means to me. For me, reiki is a form of meditation. Reiki is administered through touch. I start by resting my hands on my head and then make my way down to my legs, stopping for a couple of minutes at each body part. I place extra intentions when I am at the parts of the body which correspond with chakras . Sometimes I’d have physical releases- headaches would subside during a self-reiki treatment, or emotional releases- thoughts arising that despite uncertainty and life transitions ahead of me “everything will be okay”, but most of the time reiki was a time for me to relax. Relaxing is revolutionary in our day of age. When there’s always a screen to consume or money to be made, doing nothing can be very challenging. I admit that some mornings I didn’t want to practice reiki, I thought, “I should get my day started instead,” but by prioritizing reiki I prioritized being instead of doing.

In addition to developing a reiki self practice, I also got to practice reiki on others. Towards the end of our training we had clinics, in which we practiced on clients for 60 minutes. I won’t go into too much detail for the sake of privacy of the clients I saw, but all of the clients I saw were visibly more relaxed after the reiki session, and they told me so to boot! At the very least the clients were able to be in a space where nothing was expected from them, where they could be in a space of non-doing.

I am looking forward to doing reiki level training 2 so I am qualified to have regular clients (after completing reiki level 1 it’s recommended to only practice on friends and family) and volunteer at hospitals that offer reiki services.

Comment below if you have any questions are would like to share what reiki means to you!

Blending Wellness & Tech

When I socialized my decision to attend a coding bootcamp, colleagues, friends and family alike asked me, “So, what’s the similarity between yoga and tech?” To the external world these were two evident interests of mine, however, personally, I couldn’t articulate what those similarities were. So I began asking myself, what are the similarities between wellness and tech? Over the past few months as I have been maintaining a coding, yoga, meditation and reiki practice, I have come to find some common threads amongst these seemingly different topics.

Let Curiosity Lead the Way

Often times I find myself following my curiosity, not trying to force anything out of a given interest. For example, while I was going through my yoga teacher training, I didn’t put the pressure on myself to become a yoga teacher. Instead, my yoga teacher training served as a catalyst of exploration into other wellness practices which were exposed to me during the training, such as mediation, reiki, and journaling. If I had been fixated on becoming a yoga teacher, I may have been all consumed and not given space to deeply explore related and complementary interests.

Similarly, I often get asked what my plans are after Flatiron’s coding bootcamp.I am keeping an open mind. Right now, I am fixated on learning the art of code, building projects, and having fun with being a beginner. I am keeping myself open as to what can come along the way.

Discipline

Every morning before I leave my apartment, I meditate for 15 minutes. This has been a daily routine of mine for a year and a half, and honestly, I meet resistance most days. “I’m too tired”, “My mind is too scattered”, or “I have to get going, I don’t have time”. I feed myself excuses, yet I still sit in order to show up for myself. Daily practice is so important because the benefits of meditation cumulate after many sessions.

Similarly, with coding, on days I don’t feel sharp it’s easy to try and procrastinate and think, “Oh, I’ll do it tomorrow when I feel better.” But the truth is, we can’t control the ebbs and flows of how we feel, we have to work towards our goals even when we aren’t feeling our best. One day I was lamenting to my friend Mary about how I didn’t complete all of the coding lessons I had set out to do that day. In response, she quoted Morgan Harper Nichols, “If today was one of those days, that’s okay. Whether you accomplished everything or not, you are well on your way.” I go back to his quote when I come up short on my learning goals, or if I had a scattered meditation session, to remind myself that I did make progress.

They Depend on One Another

Why wellness needs tech…

For yoga, specifically, I’ve thought of several projects to build that would make my life as a yoga teacher easier. For example, a web application that has all of my yoga class plans which I can refer back to for inspiration. Because currently, all of my class plans are in various journals stacked in my closet which is very inefficient and takes me 15 minutes to find a specific class plan, if I’m lucky.

Why tech needs wellness…

In tech the term ‘burnout’ pops up a lot. I believe wellness practices offsets stress, and improves the overall quality of one’s life. My personal wellness practices ‘fills my cup’ and allows me to show up in the world to be my best self. In the context of Flatiron’s full-time bootcamp, I’ve had to prioritize my wellness practice in order to handle the load of the program.

In all, I don’t think I’ll ever have a concise answer to “What are the similarities between wellness and tech?” , because the answer will continue to evolve as I move through my coding and wellness journeys. I’m looking forward to asking myself this question in a few months or in a few years, to see how my answers have changed.

Let me know your thoughts on the overlap of wellness and tech, I would love to hear from you!