a community of practitioners
I enjoyed reading (and alas, re-living) the stories you shared about clients who have interesting religious views. I do have a couple of my own stories, but I don't want to bore you with them. These individuals turned into "converts" once they realized I wasn't trying to control them or some other kind of "oogah-buggah" stuff. Reiki is reiki.
No my instance here is much different. Growing up, I suffered through some very strict Christian indoctrination. I couldn't understand that no matter how hard I tried or how much I read the Bible, I was still considered "bad" by my pastor and elders of the church...in a nutshell, I spent much of my 20's and my 30's studying different religions and teachings...went to several Christian and non-Christian functions...and after nothing "took," declared myself a pagan and have been at peace with it for years. Like a famous Christian singer crooned, "I don't care what they say...I'm gonna live what I believe." You believe what you believe and I believe what I believe and that's okay. We are entitled to believe in god/goddess or God/Goddess as we wish.
I don't go around bragging or prostelytizing or publishing (other than here) that while I may be able to sing the kyrie and recite the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds from the Lutheran Hymnal, I no longer follow that dogma. It's part of my past. This seems to be the hardest for others to grasp. Especially Christians.
And my views have come back to bite me, so to speak. Just this past week, one of my friend/colleagues invited me to visit a spa she was hired at a month previous. I inspected the facility and found it very relaxed and very much a place I could see myself working. Upon telling her that I was interested and that I would get my resume ready and contact the owner, she told me that the owners were very conservative and my "views" probably wouldn't be tolerated.
My answer to her was, "oh...so that means I have to leave my Buddah statue and my crystals at home...and probably my native american CDs."
She got very embarassed and replied, "Well your crystals and your music should be okay. But no statues...it would be too hard for me to explain if they asked questions."
My reply back was,"If they really are curious, tell them I like art. If they want to know more, have them ask me."
That was the weirdest exchange that I have ever had with her. And never on this subject. She told me she isn't sayng that she has Reiki training. She said that she had been getting flack from her congregation. Hell and brimstone comments, even as these same people sought her out for energy healing between church services. Is this about me or about her? (I just finished Reiki Master/Teacher training and am in the midst of my 21-day cleanse, she ended her Reiki training at level 2).
Have any of you had similar experiences? Are any of you like me, so "out there" that you could be a danger in driving away prospective clients? Or prospective jobs?