Little actions add up to big achievements - here's one of mine
I crossed a threshold last week that’s been five years in the making*. In a beautiful and simple ceremony by the Yarra River – just me, my teacher, the spirits and the elements – I became a Reiki Master Teacher.
It was a milestone I would never have seen coming before I fortuitously put my toe in the water (purely because I couldn’t get in for a massage!). An achievement I never aspired to but that has become one of my most personally meaningful experiences. A direction I could not have foreseen before I stepped on the path, but that becomes more my true north each day.
* In truth when I look back over the timeline of my life I can actually draw connections back much further – a yoga retreat in 2014, a psychologist in 2009, a breakdown/through in 2006, a trip to Ireland in 2005 and more. We often don’t know the meaning or impact of a time or experience in our lives until we look back across it all and start to see how each choice, action or event have led to others. Take some time to do your timeline and you’ll see what I mean!
Mastership is an 18-month apprenticeship/mentoring experience. It was a deep dive into my own healing, awakening and transformation, as well as experiential learning about what it takes to hold space for people and teach Reiki. As I went back over my journal entries and notes from each of the mentoring sessions, I had a new appreciation of just what and how much had shifted over time. I realized that even though it felt like I was floating gently down a river, it was in fact transporting me to a completely different place through my intentions and actions.
As a lover of analogies, I often come back to them to illustrate how I feel. My Reiki practice over the years has mostly felt like bumper bowling – gentle nudges pushing the ball toward the pins and away from the gutter.
But about halfway through mastership my analogy changed into the cryptex in the DaVinci Code (stay with me!). I could sense – sometimes physically feel – the right combination coming together within and all around me. I knew that landing on that right combination would open the secret compartment and my hidden inner mysteries (wisdom, knowledge, light, purpose, gifts) would be revealed to me and the world.
The cryptex was a reminder that good things take time and experimentation. A reminder to pay attention to the small and subtle messages that you’re on the right track and to enjoy the process of creation and problem solving. A reminder that all things happen in the way they need to, at the time they need to, in alignment with one’s own path.
Reiki is a lifelong spiritual journey. With my Master Teacher attunement last week I felt like that cryptex I had felt and seen was opened. But having sat with it for a few days now, what I think I found inside was another cryptex! The next layer, the next puzzle to work through (where’s Robert and Sophie when you need them!?). While it was a big and important moment, it was also just the next step.
Have you heard the phrase “the days are long but the years are short”? There may be truth to that, but I actually resonate more with it the other way around! Our days often feel short (for many reasons) but our years are long. We do in fact have the ability to make enormous change in the course of a year – whether that’s learning a new skill, losing weight, changing jobs or homes, making a baby (!). The choices you make in each of the 365 days of the coming year can take you in a profoundly new direction. Even if you don’t know what the end point looks like, even if there is no end point! Even if it’s tiny degrees of change, you can take a first step into something that excites you, intrigues you or that just feels right.
Our modern lives are so fast – we often want quick fixes, easy answers, fast fashion. In many ways we have lost our patience; we’ve forgotten that history is actually long and slow. I bet if you looked back to this time last year you’ll find you’ve changed, even if in subtle ways. Try looking back 2, 5 or 10 years and see what’s different for you, and how you made those changes. Was it one big thing or lots of little decisions, actions and course corrections?
As we approach the end of the year, you might like to take stock and look ahead to next year. What do you want? What do you NOT want any more?
Life will march on regardless – so what you do with your days matters because they add up over time. And who knows where you might end up by dipping your toe in the water of something new!?