THE REIKI PRINCIPLES
Below are the principles that Mikao Usui and Reiki asks us to live by. They ask us to take just one day at a time and do the best that we can. These principles help to support us in positive transformation from the inside out, helping to focus the mind in a positive and empowered direction. The Reiki principles are the first step to understanding what Reiki really is and beginning to purify our mind, intentions and actions to be able to harness the Reiki energy.
1. Just for today I will not worry
In our culture, worry is everywhere. Not only does the media feed the energies of worry and fear but our conditioning around worry has been embedded in us through generations and generations. Most people see worrying about another person and being concerned as an act of love, because we care about them. But actually, when we look a little deeper at this belief, worry might be revealed as the manifestation of our own fears directed at others. With worry comes a lack of trust in the universe, and it's a tricky one because worry is catchy and spreads easily and quickly. Most of us will have experienced an overly worried parent at some point in our lives. When we’re young and learning about our environment, of course some concern and worry from a parent is natural. But what about when we’re older and know the world and ourselves a little better? Maybe worry is not just a lack of trust in the universe but a lack of trust in ourselves, in our abilities, or the lack of trust in another. When we worry we are living in the future, worrying about what may or may not happen and it takes up a lot of our precious energy. Imagine if we spent all of that time and energy on positive and empowering thoughts instead of on worrying. If you only have a certain amount of energy, do you want to spend that on feeding worry or something else?
2. Just for today I will not anger
Can you observe your anger when it comes up? Honour and allow it without reacting to it or acting out from a place of anger. For me, for many years I thought I didn't have any anger, when really, I had just repressed it. For me, anger tells me that a potential violation of my boundaries has occurred and this, as well as some anger around injustices of the world is ok for me to feel. It is important to allow ourselves to feel all of our feelings and to honour each and every one of them as they come up. Putting a smiley face on and pushing everything down does not help anyone, especially ourselves. In our culture, there is a lot of shame around anger and particularly for women we are told from a young age that it’s not pretty or feminine to be angry, that it's not ok to feel anger. When really, it's about watching the emotion, looking a little deeper, allowing what's there but being present and aware enough to not react and take action from a place of anger.
3. Just for today I will be humble
What does being humble actually mean? It doesn't mean being meek, subservient and feeling inferior or insignificant as is sometimes portrayed in the west. I also don’t believe it means being poor or underprivileged, e.g. “He had a humble home”. I see being humble as not putting ourselves above or below anyone else. Dropping any arrogance, realising we don’t know everything and that the world doesn’t revolve around us. Viewing all humans as equal and worthy, and if someone does something less than desirable or that you don’t agree with, seeing it as a poor choice or action instead of the person being “bad” or less worthy. Maybe being humble is about dropping the constant judging of others and ourselves and being a bit more connected to the bigger picture of the universe as a vast system beyond our full understanding and comprehension. When I think of a humble character, I think of the most recent Dalai Lama who said: “If one assumes a humble attitude, one's own good qualities will increase. Whereas if one is proud, one will become jealous of others, one will look down on others, and due to that there will be unhappiness in society.”
4. Just for today I will be grateful for my many blessings
It can be easy to focus on what we don’t have and what we want rather than see all the wonderful things that are already present in our lives. One of the greatest tools I use when I’m feeling down and am ready to refocus my energy is to practice gratitude. Practicing gratitude is an amazing way to refocus one's mind and energy on what’s truly important and all the blessings that are already present in our lives. This is not about pretending to be positive or dishonouring any uncomfortable or hard emotions. But, by nurturing feelings of gratitude we may begin to change our perspective, we may start to feel happier, more abundant and more content. The more you practice gratitude, the more you are rewiring your brain to an attitude of gratitude. And I truly believe gratitude helps to bring happiness and a beautiful sense of abundance, contentment and peace. See if you can make a regular list of things you’re grateful for, think about what your life would be like without those things, what do those things bring to your life? Allow yourself to be filled with a sense of gratitude as you do this. It's amazing at helping to get rid of feelings of being “hard done by”.
5. Just for today I will be honest
Originally this Reiki principle says “Just for today, be honest in your work”, but I see that as meaning being honest and cultivating integrity in every area of our lives. To be honest in yourself and with yourself. To be as authentic as you can be. Honouring all feelings, emotions and sides of yourself, being truly honest with ourselves about what drives us and about what we want, about who we are at our core. Can we be mindful and kind but still cultivate honesty in the way we express ourselves and communicate, in how we show up in the world, in what we do, in our work, relationships and how we live our whole lives. You will know when you are not being honest with yourself, or authentic because it will feel awful, like you’re betraying your soul.
6. Just for today I will be compassionate to myself and others
Most of us feel compassion for others and are able to treat them as such, but we’re not necessarily so great at being compassionate towards ourselves. Cultivating compassion means nurturing a deeper sense of acceptance, unconditional love and empathy. It means accepting all of the parts of ourselves, including the bits that are uncomfortable and that we don't really like. To be able to do this there has to be a level of compassion and forgiveness towards the self and others. Can you treat yourself like you would treat a best friend or someone you love deeply. How would you treat this person? Usually when we ask ourselves this, it turns out better than how we treat ourselves. Can you become your own best friend and cultivate a deep sense of internal support. Watch how you talk about yourself, both to others but also how you talk to yourself in your mind. When you notice its negative and disempowering can you begin to change that with positive affirmations until that becomes habit and your reality. Can you look after yourself and treat yourself as the valuable, worthy, wonderful person that you are, the same as you would treat your best friend.
7. Just for today I will respect all living things
For me, this is about having a connection with nature and the universe to the point where I feel the vastness and wonder of life and the universe itself. When you have that, how can you not respect it. It is the same life force energy or Ki that is in you, me, any animal, plant, the earth, ocean and the stars themselves. Just because an ant is small it doesn't make it any less worthy, think how small we are in comparison to the whole universe. Just because we have decided that we don't like flies for example, it doesn't make them less worthy, our preferences are just that, preferences. Can you respect all life, even if you eat it. Give thanks to the life that you eat! Take just what you need and no more. Respect the earth, the ocean, our trees and each other, everything is connected to everything else through this vast network of energy and the universe itself. Respect yourself, and respect everything that you don't yet know or understand. Respect that people have different views, personalities and life experiences. If people are not harming anyone or anything, respect their choices. You can respect things without understanding them.
Contemplate the Reiki principles. Think about how they relate to your life. Notice which ones you feel in alignment with and which ones you might not. Write them down on a nice piece of paper, make it special somehow to you by decorating it in some way, putting energy into this is important, that could just be with your best handwriting and drawing a little heart in the corner or it could be something else. Place the paper somewhere you'll see it regularly. When you see, let it remind you of the principles and how these can help to support you in everyday life. Retreat the principles in your mind or aloud when you wake up in the morning to set yourself up for the day, do it with as much faith, feeling and conviction as you can, see if you can really mean and intend them, just for today. Of course you can repeat them throughout the day as you need them, knowing and understanding the full meaning and importance of them.
Remember that we're all human and a healthy amount of worry and anger is normal but there might be space to work on these things a little. Sometimes the principles we are less draw to or feel we don't resonate with are the ones that will support positive transformation in us the most.