Neal Anstis is an IT Professional and Reiki Master living with his partner Karen, on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.
Neal was born in 1959 in a farmhouse in Somerset England, and for his first ten years Neal enjoyed a rather idyllic rural and farm lifestyle. However, the collapse of the rural economy in the UK during the late 1960s caught up with his parents, and with no more to lose, the family emigrated to Australia with the hope of a better life.
With no money, few jobs, and with debts to repay in England, the early years in Australia were very difficult. According to their memories, Neal and his two older brothers seemed to live on tinned spaghetti and baked beans, but in reality they were kept well fed, if not luxuriously. However hiding from the rent collectors was a reality. In Australia, not only did the family contend with little money, they were also confronted by cultural differences and the boys were a target of schoolyard abuse - Australia in the early 1970’s was much less cosmopolitan than nowadays. In the few years from about aged 9 to 13, Neal had acquired a distinct fear of being destitute, and a very effective emotional armour to protect himself from hurts. Although the financial situation did improve for a short while, his father’s return to dairy farming was soon followed by a drought, and then by a car accident that put his father on crutches. By this time, Neal’s brothers had gone off to lead their own lives, and Neal was studying science at Queensland University. Fortunately Australian Government grants and subsidies educated many students who could not have afforded it otherwise. During the last year of his studies, Neal would attend University during the week, and on weekends and holidays return to work the farm. However, despite an improvement in his father’s mobility and the return of rain, debts and physical disability forced Neal’s parents to sell up – another farm was lost. It was not too much later that Neal’s father was diagnosed with cancer and during the following five years, Neal took on many of the financial burdens and role of “rock in a storm”, while his parents struggled with the consequences of cancer. In 1989 his father passed away.
Through an extreme sense of loyalty and duty, and because of fears, Neal had sacrificed his own needs to those of the family. So at aged thirty, it was as though his own life could begin. Neal had acquired from his parents a liberal humanitarian outlook, and an interest in spirituality. He was well educated, hard-working, loyal, resilient, and stoic. He also had fears of failure and destitution, no romantic experience, emotionally repressed, and socially isolated. Safe but unhappy, and unaware of how to find happiness.
So began a twenty year journey of worldly discovery and self-discovery. Without being fully aware of what he was after, how to find it, and what he was battling against (himself), Neal questioned his life, pushed his boundaries, sought answers, learned new skills and practices, explored spirituality, learned lessons about love and a broken heart, pulled down walls of his personality, and looked into emptiness. Neal’s mother was a great support particularly during the dark days – someone who simply loved and listened.
In 1996, Neal discovered Reiki and very importantly, Faye, his Reiki Master. For Neal, Reiki was the perfect experiential counter-balance to an analytical mind. At first, fearful of the experience, he gradually opened up to his emotional and spiritual aspects. And then, almost suddenly, he saw - he felt - that inner self – the self that did not depend upon the world for its existence. With this discovery, came a freedom to grow and push the boundaries of his self-limitation. At this time, his dear friend, Johanna appeared, and proceeded to “rattle his cage”, helping to push those boundaries. Neal began to help others, who may have had challenges in their lives or simply wanted to expand their lives. Wi