I will start off by saying I have always been a spiritual person, even as a young child. Most of that came from religious tradition. I went to Catholic school from the time I was in Pre-K and throughout college. I always prayed to God, to saints, and to my guardian angels. I didn't know exactly who my guardian angels were as a kid, but I believed in them, and pictured them in white gowns, surrounded by beams of light, and large wings made of feathers, as they swooped through the clouds. One angel that I prayed to in particular was my Grandma Rosalie, who passed before I was born. My mom told me she was always with us, so I prayed to her to talk to her as if she was there.
I prayed a lot as a kid. We prayed every morning at school. We prayed at mealtimes. I'd pray before I'd go to bed. I was told to always pray for others, and to always pray for myself. So I did. And I liked it. It gave me hope. It helped me feel courageous when I was scared. I put faith in the belief that a higher power was always guiding me.
As I got older, I prayed less. I couldn't tell you exactly why back then. Looking back, it was a number of factors: anxiety, stress, my hectic schedule, my addictive need to multitask and stay busy. Making "time for myself" became a hurried 30 minutes on the elliptical at 5:30 am at the age of 23. Eventually, a lack of self-care led to a series of burn-outs and black-outs. I was angry, I was sick, I wasn't kind to myself or others. I refer to that version of myself as "Hurricane Gabby."
Eventually, Hurricane Gabby had enough of the storms, and she hit her emotional rock bottom at 28 years old (I had hit several rock bottoms in my 20s, but this was the one that reconnected me with my spirituality). When I was 27, one of my best friends got me into "manifesting" money and the Law of Attraction. How cool, that the more I created a feelings of financial security in my mind, the more wealth and abundance I attracted? During that 28th year rock bottom, I thought, "what if I apply these new feelings I have about money, to all the other aspects of my life?" and then the shift began.
The more I practiced gratitude and set positive intentions around situations, the happier I was with the outcomes. I began to believe, whatever the outcome was, was all part of the Universe's plan to bring me closer to my Highest Self. Even if it didn't go "my way."
Cue my interest in Reiki. I had heard from a handful of friends that Reiki was a powerful treatment for their anxiety and reconnecting with self-confidence. I didn't understand what it was exactly, but as a person who favors holistic treatment, I was eager to try. I will never forget walking into the reiki healer's home (my now mentor), her looking me in the eyes, and saying, "you're like me!" She immediately recognized a power I possessed, but was afraid to tap into. After my first session, I immediately felt more grounded, confident, and open to receiving whatever was for the greatest good. I knew helping other women who have been in my shoes was part of my life path.
The more I went to Reiki, the more I felt connected to the practice, and knew this would be one way I can help other's find their inner strength. Let me be clear: I do not "heal" you. I help you find the power within you to heal yourself. I became attuned and Reiki certified in March 2020, just days before everything closed due to COVID-19. I was so excited that I was finally able to practice Reiki on friends and family, and then immediately saddened when I realized I would not be able to see them for quite some time. But then the texts came in, "Hey Gab, I know I can't see you in person, but is there a way we can try Reiki on the phone or video chat? My anxiety has been terrible with everything going on." Within a week I gave 11 friends their first Reiki sessions via Zoom. Their positive feedback overjoyed and astounded me. I giggled over the Universe's timing: I became Reiki certified when I did so I could help people I love find ways to work through their anxieties during a major crisis.
So here I am. I know not everyone in my life is open to these sorts of things, and that's okay. I'm not here to please. I'm here to help those who ask for help. I want you to see and feel how strong and capable you are. It is not about how much you pray, or if you believe in "God" or "the Universe." I don't care if you carry crystals in your pockets. Or if you smudge a room with sage to clear negative energy (if anything- it smells great). I care about how much you believe in yourself. How much work you are willing to do to improve your life for the greater good. It's time to start showing up for your highest self.