Until August 2019, my career was almost everything to me. I was highly driven to succeed in a professional white-collar job and rise to the mid-to-executive level, and collect multiple academic degrees or diplomas to gain status in society. I was juggling a full-time job, which I strongly disliked but maintained because it looked good on my resume, graduate school, plus my home Reiki practice. I thought I was doing it all to pay off bills, and a mortgage but was oblivious to the deeper reasons I was driving myself so hard.
I theorized it could be because I had immigrated to Canada in my mid-40’s and wanted to compete with those born and raised in Canada who had been building careers since they were young. I had left a lucrative career in Asia behind me when I arrived in Ottawa, Canada. I was confident I would ace it. However, in my first couple of years here, I became aghast at the vastly different job landscape and its extremely different requirements. The policy was for immigrants to first get “Canadian experience.”
Canadian experience turned out to be jobs for people who recently graduated from high school, such as retail or manual labor. I wondered how I could go from being a senior journalist in Singapore to selling clothes at a retail shop or answering calls at a call center in Ottawa? A new immigrant, my salary also took a precipitous drop from my earnings in Asia when working for a multinational news organization. My ego was shattered and left me deeply ashamed. I recall my parents’ last words before I left Asia: “Make us proud.”
After a decade of slaving my way up the career ladder in Ottawa to a mid-level job in a professional field and three post-graduate degrees later, the end was not good. By summer 2019, I felt my body getting weaker and weaker, my mind no longer able to absorb information at either work or school, and my productivity levels were dropping. My doctors ordered blood tests, and the results were abnormal. However, they could not pinpoint what exactly was wrong.
In September 2019, despite my mounting physical weakness and friends advising me to cancel my Reiki class, I went ahead anyway and taught an Usui Holy Fire® III Reiki Master class. But the Universe began its onslaught of messages, which I did not comprehend immediately.
Exactly a day before teaching a Reiki Master class, I received shocking news from Asia. My brother, a successful investment banker, had died suddenly of kidney and heart failure. He was only 50 years old.
I was devastated but taught the class anyway. I shared with my students what happened, and thankfully they helped me get through the class. I did not shed a tear during it, but after my students left, I broke down. I did HSZSN and CKR to my deceased brother, and he said, “Germaine, it’s not worth it to work so hard to achieve so much, then die early. You’ve got to slow down.”
In the next two weeks, I still taught a scheduled Holy Fire® III Karuna Reiki® Master class, followed by an Usui/ Holy Fire® III Reiki Master class. Afterward, I found I was bleeding profusely from my bladder. I landed in the emergency room at Ottawa’s Civic Hospital, and a CT scan revealed I had kidney stones in a sensitive area—just like my deceased brother. What a bizarre coincidence! I had no history of kidney issues, and here I was on the tail of my brother’s death with almost the same illness.
But that was not all. My first surgery was scheduled on the day I was supposed to leave Ottawa for a two-month work and leisure trip to China and Southeast Asia. I canceled all trips. Was the Universe telling me to slam the brakes on my entire life?
I had three surgeries six weeks apart and was bedridden for the rest of Fall 2019. The doctors also diagnosed me with burnout. I had to stop everything: work, school, Reiki practice, travel, and other things I normally did. To heal physically and gain insight into my situation, I began daily self-Reiki sessions and regular self-Ignitions for strength and clearing. I began a practice of three two-hour reflection periods while giving myself Reiki for a deeper understanding of why all this was happening. I wrote my insights in a notebook.
Soon the answer became clear: I had been living my parents’ and relatives’ agendas and not my own. My family of origin was composed of high-achieving professionals, such as diplomats, professors, lawyers, bankers, and engineers. I had been laboring to fulfill their ideas of what comprised success. Since childhood, they had programmed me to walk their path, so much so I became deaf and dumb to my body, mind, and heart. The realization was unnerving.
As William Rand wrote, “Many people base success in gaining the admiration of others through the accomplishment of goals that the others have decided are important. The others are one’s parents, relatives and friends, and society.”1 Letting go of my parents’ agenda felt like a huge load had been lifted off my back. In the ensuing weeks, I threw out my family’s dreams to succeed in professions of their choice. I tossed out their ambitions that I achieve high status in society and become wealthy and well-known for the sake of it. I got rid of their mantra, “Make the family proud,” and replaced it with “Make me proud.”
William Rand wrote, “If we are to follow our chosen path of personal growth, we must let go of the connections and influences of those who do not support and encourage us and center ourselves within our developing self-worth; then we can focus on our goals and make them our destiny.”2
So, in 2020, I started from scratch. All I wanted was to be happy by living an authentic life aligned with my heart’s desires and aligned with what God had designed for me. Because I had been functioning on autopilot for so long, I drew a big blank when I tried to figure out what my heart truly desired. I took a full year off to explore and regain my health.
My kidney issues and burnout were cured in about six months, around the time COVID-19 hit. Taking the year off seemed to fit the lockdown. I drew up a daily schedule of dedicated self-Reiki sessions followed by breathing meditation. My breathing meditation comprised choosing one Karuna Reiki® symbol and, for half-an-hour, breathing it in from the top of my crown and exhaling it out. I found this very healing, and it helped me get to know each Karuna Reiki® symbol energy more deeply. William Rand taught me this technique years ago when I asked him how to meditate with symbols.
Long and mindful walks through nature also became part of my weekly routine. In search of my authentic path, I also read on topics I had been interested in but never found the time for before—quality literature, environmental issues, indigenous wisdom, and related topics. The more I immersed myself in these practices, the more I received insights from Spirit.
I knew I wanted to keep Reiki as a lifelong practice and longed for the day I would teach Reiki in person again. But something told me more was in the pipeline. My intuition guided me. Near the end of my year off, I learned about a long-term mentorship program for creative non-fiction writing with a reputable organization. The program was offered online for the first time, and I jumped at the chance to apply. My application was a shot in the dark, but I left it to Reiki to say either yea or nay. To my surprise, a month later, not only was I accepted, but I also received funding for the program.
I have been in the program four months as of December 2020, and am receiving one-on-one mentorship from an expert. I feel fulfilled and deeply happy. I thank God and Reiki for reminding me this is what I had wanted to do for a long time but had forgotten about it because I was in the rat race. This step is just the beginning. But I am feeling more self-integrity and its resulting selfworth, and more open-heartedness. Thanks to Holy Fire® Reiki, I am discovering more of my authentic self. I am certain Reiki will reveal more if I stay true to my journey and Reiki practice.
So how does one know if they are following an authentic path or not? I have found it is essential to first ground yourself in spiritual practices such as Reiki, meditation, and reflection. These would open you to messages from Source, God, the Universe. It is important to ask ourselves, where does my heart want to go? We need to be brutally honest with ourselves before the Universe hits us with a two-byfour. When we are on our authentic path, we usually feel more energy, excitement, joy, happiness, and a sense of
deep fulfillment. Reiki on!’
Holy Fire® and Karuna Reiki® are registered service marks of William Lee Rand. Germaine De Peralta is an Usui/Holy Fire® III Reiki Master and a Holy Fire® III Karuna Reiki® Master and owns Reiki Wanderlust in Ottawa, Canada. Germaine was a journalist based in Singapore and the Philippines for over 20 years. In Ottawa, she has worked as a technical writer and instructional designer and is pursuing a creative writing career. You may contact her at email@example.com or 1 (613) 697- 3105. Website: reikiwanderlust.com
1 William Lee Rand, “What Is Success,” Reiki News Magazine, Summer 2019, p. 9.
2 William Lee Rand, “How to Know What You Need to Heal,” Reiki News Magazine, Fall 2019, p. 9.