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The Artichoke Theory of Personal Growth

As we pursue our healing journey with our Reiki self-treats, we progress to heal on a much deeper level than just eradicating aches and pains – we start on the road of self discovery and personal growth.

Have you ever thought ‘Am I there yet?’ with personal growth? And wonder exactly how long does the healing go on?  When the anger wells up because of some external incident, someone not doing what you want, someone pushing your buttons, it seems all that past inner work just goes flying out the window – except it really does not.

A wonderful Byron Katie facilitator we know, Maggie Carter, describes doing inquiry as eating an artichoke.  In the beginning its easy, the leaves are fleshy and easy to hold onto, they are easy to break off and juicy.  As you work into the heart of the choke it becomes harder – the leaves are spiky and smaller, there is less grip and they are difficult to remove, there is less flesh to bite on, less to get a hold of.

Personal growth is very similar.  When you first start this journey it is fairly obvious what your hot buttons are, you can pull them off with ease and you get the feeling that you are progressing, you know what to focus on – your traumas and pain and what causes them are fairly evident.

As you journey deeper; the fears, anger, and hurts become more hidden, they are harder to pinpoint, harder to identify and get a hold of.  You can hit blind spots and at this point it is so helpful to have a teacher or mentor – someone who has tread the journey before you and who can guide you, or at least point out what you are blinkered to.

If the idea of a mentor or teacher does not resonate with you, any of your loved ones will do!  Your loved ones are uniquely positioned, in fact it is their job, to show you what is left. They will poke and pull and push every last button you have. Be thankful when your mother, father, spouse drives you crazy – there it is, that spiky artichoke leaf, don’t ignore it, it is the one to go after – what hidden agenda, belief or thought is creating the reaction or emotion, do self-Reiki, or send Reiki directly to the issue and get it out into the open.

The spiky ones may be harder to dislodge, but they are worth it; getting closer to the heart allows great peace and love to flow in your life.  It makes you clearer and more certain of yourself and your life path.

Your emotions and reactions of fear, anger, frustration shows you there are spiky ones left.  Your negative emotions are friends to be acknowledged.  Don’t feel discouraged or that things are not working – progress means pulling each and every one of those leaves off.  It may feel like you are spinning your wheels or back to square one, but you are not – the big fleshy ones have gone, and you are moving closer to the heart.


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