During the summer, we went to Cornwall, to a place called Perranporth. We have been going there as a family for many years – I have photos of Gav and I there when we were young couple, just starting out in life. Photos of me from 10 years ago with a baby bump, then 8 years ago with another baby bump and a toddler on my hip. We continued to go there for years so that we could create memories that the children could apply to their families when they’re older. Gav and I often refer to it as our “spiritual” home as we feel so connected with the place.
Over the years we have also met and become friends with many people who have shared our holiday home at the same time, each year seeing their families grow a little more. And on this particular occasion, a family that was well known to us had brought their parents so that they could experience this Cornish beauty spot.
One particular night, we met this family for a drink and invited them up to watch the sun set over the cliff. Now this has been somewhat a tradition in the family, that on nice evenings we would sit atop the cliff and watch the sun sink down the horizon, while we enjoyed a bottle of wine and a fish and chip supper. It was nice to have company and to share this experience with them.
As we got talking the subject turned to faith, and how we considered Cornwall to be very spiritual for us, for no other reason that we have made lots of memories there. It was at this point that one of the parents of the party said that they were a Reiki Healer, and my Aura shows a very green colour, which indicates a content person, apparently.
I have read about this practice, but have never experienced it first-hand (nor had any inclination to do so), or met someone who was so heavily involved. With my tongue loosed by a glass and a half of wine, I delved deeper and asked them to tell their story – which they did. I won’t elaborate on it here; this was their story to tell me and no one else. But at the end of it, he reached into his shirt and produced his crystal. He then proceeded to ask the crystal questions about my family, and my husbands’ family, and have a conversation with his spiritual guide.
I shall admit, I felt *very* uncomfortable.
From the moment he reached for the crystal I could feel my heart beat very fast and my cheeks became flushed, despite the cooling temperature of the cliff top. I told the healer of this and he explained that because of my faith, I was experiencing a different kind energy and I should embrace it. Again, I blame the wine but I then felt inclined to take the crystal and hold it in my hands for the remainder of our conversation. I can’t explain why, but this calmed me.
I have always considered myself a very open-minded person. I am open to the idea of ghosts, aliens, fate, karma, and even fairies, but having never experienced this kind of feeling before I had no idea what I was feeling or what to believe. For the 2-3 days that followed, I felt strange. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I felt like something was quite right. So I did what felt natural and turned to my faith, or to be more specific, my Parish Priest.
I explained what had happened and asked what he knew about such practices and what they meant. He explained that perhaps it wasn’t something I wanted to get involved with and maybe the compelling need to hold the crystal and be open to this new “faith” on the cliff top was perhaps the workings of something darker. Food for thought, certainly. And something that I have pushed to the back of my mind since.
Since I have experienced this, I felt compelled to ask others if they had any experiences too. When I turned to family and friends about Reiki healing I had a mixed response. Some explained that they felt “cleansed” and happy after. Some were left with a feeling of anxiety and dread. Others felt very sad after their “healing” session, and others felt like a weight had been lifted. And it made me think: Any kind of faith that makes you feel at peace and good is the right thing for you. I bet that if you asked the person who felt cleansed after their session if they went back and still felt the same they would say “yes”. Because this is a positive experience they’ve had and one that they wanted to repeat. The ones who didn’t have a good time would not have gone back, not wanting to go through the process they did and feel bad again.
And this is why I go to church, to continue with the experiences I have come to crave. Love, faithfulness, community, praise, peace, fulfilment, etc. I can get it in one place and feel no need to search for it elsewhere, because I have the tools to tap into that feeling wherever I am using the power of prayer.
I have clients who have been working with me a long time who, from time to time, will come to me with a new fad, or a story that their friend has lost 3 stone on some magic pill diet. I listen and advise of course, but I tell them the same thing. There is no magic pill that will make you feel happy, healthy, fit, and well. The process is the same. You still need to make changes (if it be only eating a coconut bar for 7 days and lose 7 pounds), but the key is to be able to sustain this. So if you are making the changes that incorporate a 10 minute walk every day, which you have never done before, then the results will come. And when you has mastered that habit, you incorporate another one, until you are living a life that encompasses good diet, plenty of exercise, and good quality sleep. Once you have that, then there is no need to look elsewhere – no matter what the temptation may be. You just need to address what you are doing at the moment and ensure that you are doing what you did to get results in the first place.
And this could be the same for our faith. I could easily have waivered up on that cliff top and ventured over to the “other side” because I felt that I was not getting what I wanted from the Catholic faith. Thankfully this wasn’t the case, but I can see how it can happen. I just needed to remind myself of how my faith makes me feel, and not jump to another one that *may* make me feel better.
What do you think?