Driving home from the Connecticut Emergency Medical Service Expo. I started listening to an audiobook. I believe everything happens for a reason and on this occasion, the reason seemed pretty obvious. I was an exhibitor at the expo, excited to introduce my newly approved Reiki for the Emergency Worker course to the community. The feedback was not as stellar as I had hoped. I was exhausted and drained. I worked hard to get a Reiki class I had tailored to emergency workers approved for 7 hours of National EMT continuing education units by the national board for this class. To get the CEU's, it was easily 40 hours of paperwork, the support in the form of a letter from a medical doctor who believed in the class, and a good chunk of change. I naively admit, I believed once the course was approved people would be knocking down my door to take it. It's new and innovative; a doctor saw the benefit of it, so did two doctors on the board who approved it. My disappointment was similar to the realization that they don't just hand out fantastic jobs upon the completion of a bachelor's degree. Getting the CEU's was apparently just the beginning of this journey.
I enjoy her work, and the title jumped out at me. Brene Brown is a shame and vulnerability researcher. She built this book on her research and a motivating quote by Teddy Roosevelt:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasm, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."
I was tired and was certainly feeling vulnerable. I met a lot of great people at the expo, and I had a few leads to follow up with when I got home, but it wasn't as fruitful as I was hoping. I was looking to partner with EMS schools to offer the Reiki training class, and while most of the people I spoke with were polite, I didn't get the vibe that they wanted anything to do with Reiki. It's too taboo. It's too unknown. It involves spirituality; everybody knows work and spirituality don't mix (sarcasm). My excitement had vanished, and a feeling of vulnerability and disappointment had taken over. I needed to hear Brene Brown, tell me about all the mistakes she has made and the research that shows that allowing yourself to be vulnerable is strength. I didn’t feel strong at the moment.
A concept that Brene Brown discusses in her book Daring Greatly is “minding the gap”. Minding the gap is realizing where you are, knowing where you want to go and understanding the fact that you are not there yet. There is a gap in understanding between what Reiki is/does in the general population, at least here in the west. My job right now is to mind the gap. I need to be able to explain Reiki in a way that others can understand. I also need to make them aware of the importance of a self-care practice. I need to meet them where they are.
Brene Brown found in her research that women are expected to stay small, cute, sweet and honest. I'm okay with the honest part. Society is going to have to deal with the fact I'm not conforming to the rest of it. I have a long history of non-conformity. In Reiki terms, I’m true to my way, and my being.
Reiki for the Emergency Worker course can improve and save lives of emergency workers. I wouldn't say it if I didn't believe it. That is why I'm willing to fall and get back up. Learn from my mistakes, make improvements and deal with the critics. I practice what I preach and practice Reiki daily. I make self-care a priority. I am grateful to Brene Brown for her work and for Reiki’s ability to provide clarity and recharge my batteries while I'm Daring Greatly Reiki style.