Our world is full of stress, we are riddled with anxiety, and our pace is often in a constant state of fast-forward such that quieting our minds at the end of each day seems unattainable. And wrapped up in all of this negative energy, our health and our happiness suffer.
As defined on Reiki.org, “Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.”
Today, I’m pleased to feature Rebecca Syx, RN MSN as my guest blogger. Read below to learn how to change your focus one step at a time and, over time, feel the larger, healthier, happier impact on your life and the lives of those around you.
The 5 principles of Reiki
Just for today, do not be angry
Just for today, do not worry
Just for today, be grateful
Just for today, work hard
Just for today, be kind to others.
I love the snarky Facebook posts from parents about laundry and yoga pants and wine and making it until bedtime. Their irony and sarcasm make me laugh and hit close to home. But if I sit and think about it enough, they also make me feel so sad because these hilarious quotes and memes are many times based in a cynicism which roots deep. This can bring one to wonder how they can survive another day in the hamster wheel of life where you are just struggling to keep your chin above water let alone keep your house clean and survive until bedtime. This became more apparent to me after my first Reiki attunement.
There were several emotions stirred up in me during that weekend which caused me to evaluate several aspects of my life from a new perspective. I especially identified with the 5 principles of Reiki because they were familiar to me from my religious upbringing. When I was considering ways in which I could bring Reiki with me into my everyday life, I realized that I could infuse the 5 principles into my routine and, in turn, reap great results. By focusing on loving myself and loving others, I know great achievements are made.
So what if, instead of focusing on the hamster wheel cynicism of the daily grind, I focused on infusing the 5 principles? Don’t get me wrong, I identify with the snarky posts. But I was open and willing to take an honest look at how I was spending my energy in speaking about my life. Words carry so much more weight than we realize many times.
For example, instead of saying “I can’t wait until the kids go to bed” I would say “I am so grateful for this full day even with its challenges and even though I’m exhausted from living this day so well.”
The change in focus from making it to bedtime (not focusing on the present) to feeling tired from living so well (gratitude for a full life) shifts perspective. It seems so small. But when mindfulness is placed on tone and your words are intentionally focused on gratitude and love and kindness, larger shifts begin to occur.
My husband and I both work, he at a crunching-numbers desk job and me as a night shift ICU nurse. We are also raising three beautiful young children. In the middle of all this we are working to meet all of the usual standards of taking care of each other, taking care of our marriage, making sure our kids are getting the right nutrition from the right things and that they are in the right activities, attending to our faith, working out, eating properly, etc. etc. etc. No pressure, right? Right. This is where the challenge started for me.
“Just for today.” How am I supposed to manage the schedule of a family of five “just for today?” I like to plan. And not only just plan, manage every detail. With that detailed focus, however, comes some other tendencies. Tendencies to rehash things that were said or worry about what could possibly go wrong. This form of anxiety, Type-A, organized—whatever you want to call it to soften the label—feels like it has been a part of me for my entire life. So living just for today, in moments, with gratitude is something that I work on every day. Some days I crush it and some days not so much. Some days it is easy to be present, be slow to anger, let go of worry and control, be grateful, not complain about working hard and be kind to others. And other days I fail miserably.
What I have learned over my first year of being a Reiki practitioner is that we are all learning this process. Many of us want to have these principles come easy to us every day and this is where change occurs. The realization of this desire and the mindfulness to keep the principles in the forefront of our busy, overworked, multitasking minds is where positive change is birthed.
When you tack on the “just for today” at the start of the precept, it does take some pressure off. It doesn’t say “don’t ever worry.” Just start with today. And some days I will change it to “Just for the next hour, do not worry” or “Until lunch, be grateful.” Some days this is all one can do. Take the day in steps. This is the way to change mindset over time. It eventually becomes easier to release old ways of thinking and old habits and patterns. While saying “I’ve always been this way” is certainly a safe reason to justify ways of thinking, it doesn’t mean change is impossible.
Small steps in manipulating and breaking thought patterns will eventually lead to bigger changes. If you can break the cycle of anxious, angry, ungrateful thoughts even just once you become that much stronger than the pattern. Over time, it will become easier and easier to break the cycle and you will gain a better sense of control of the “ways you have always been.” This is certainly possible and I can say that because I have done it in my own life.
So maybe start today. Actually, definitely start today. Choose one little principle and make it your mantra for the day, for the week. Maybe just start with an hour. Wherever you start is perfect because this journey of mindfulness and gratitude and love will sweep you off your feet eventually and before you know it things will appear radically different. The once mundane and seemingly insignificant appear magnificent. No, it will not be a perfect journey. There are days when I lay in bed beating myself up over how I could have done things differently that day. But those times are becoming less and less common. Those thoughts linger for shorter periods of time. And I realize that the implementation and focus on these precepts has brought great positive change for myself and those around me.
The ripple effect of this type of change—based in love—is where major change starts. Begin today by promising to love others and yourself. Sprinkle in some gratitude. Release worry and fear and anger and see beauty in the daily grind. You are worth it, dear one.
Learn more about Rebecca and her work at Greater Good Wellness.
Small, focused steps can lead to big, empowered impact.
Let’s do this together. Comment below and let me know what principle you are going to implement in your life starting now. I am a worry-wart. So I will start with, “Just for today, I will not worry.”