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Six things to remember this holiday season

Updated: Feb 16, 2021

How the Reiki precepts can help you stay calm, build resilience and be happy!

In my meditation circle recently, we were guided to feel the presence of an animal – a friend who would bring us a message. For me, that was a big old Giant Turtle ambling into view, an intriguing combination of a benevolent grandfather and cheeky little brother. He reminding me to "chill bro" (literally!) and "remember the Reiki precepts". I laughed, but took him seriously.

If you don’t know them, the Reiki precepts are simple yet profound statements. They’re the teachings or principles that form the foundation of the system of Reiki, and since being taught them all those years ago when I first started learning Reiki they’ve been a guidepost for my life and decisions.

While there are several translations and interpretations of each line of the original Japanese phrases, these are what resonate with me:

Just for today

Do not anger

Do not worry

Be humble and grateful

Be true to your way

Be compassionate to yourself and others.

It was a helpful reminder from that turtle, as I continue to feel the integration of my Master attunement, look toward the end of this transformative year and ahead to whatever the next will bring. Taking it all day by day, piece by piece is what always gets me through - more so now than ever!

In challenging times, we often forget guiding principles such as the Precepts and forego practices that keep us grounded, centred and both physically and mentally healthy.

When we are pulled in multiple directions, feel the pressure to be or do certain things, or if you’re just plain exhausted, it’s easy to forget to give ourselves a break. It’s easy to worry if you’re doing the ‘right’ thing at work, as a parent, as a person. It’s easy to get angry with those you love or strangers on the street.

And then add on the heightened emotion and amplified expectations, commitments and anxieties the Christmas season can generate! So it occurred to me that the Precepts offer us an invitation to approach it differently this year – a year in which so many of us have re-examined what’s important to us and reconsidered how we want our lives to be. Christmas might well be the first or most significant opportunity to actually do things differently.

Here are a few ideas and tips for what you could try over the next few weeks (and beyond!).

You might pick one or two as new habits to build, or as practices to see you through this period. Use them as inspiration for ideas of your own for how the Precepts might play out in your life - I’d love to hear them!

Just for today

  • Take a moment each morning to check in with how you’re feeling – honour where you’re at and what you need

  • Put your phone away when you’re with other people and be fully present in the conversation (in fact, just put your phone down for a while, period!)

  • Spend time in nature

  • Practice mindfulness in the way you eat, move, consume information and communicate.

Do not anger

  • Acknowledge how you’re feeling, without judgement or blame (e.g. “I’m noticing the feeling of …”)

  • Move your body – whether that’s a walk, run, swimming laps, boxing, weights or yoga

  • Keep checking in with your breath and consciously lengthening, deepening and slowing it down

  • Notice what might be triggering anger in you, and what its underlying message is (e.g. is it about boundaries, misalignments, or surfacing of old wounds) .

Do not worry

  • Write lists or journal about what’s on your mind – once it’s out of your head, you can either do something about it or let it go

  • Focus on doing one thing at a time, start to finish, then move on to the next

  • Ask for help – you don’t have to do everything yourself

  • Speak to someone, whether to seek advice or just to get clearer in your own mind by talking through your thoughts (you know who will be most helpful for each).

Be humble and grateful

  • Take a moment each morning or evening to write down what you are grateful for

  • Write letters or cards to people you want to thank, acknowledge or compliment

  • Donate goods, time or money to causes supporting those in need

  • Find a way to honour a higher power, the 'grand plan', God, the Universe, source - however you understand that concept and in what ever way feels authentic for you.

Be true to your way

  • Make time to reflect on this year (your achievements, challenges and learnings) and set some intentions for the year to come

  • Check in with your values - are your days allowing them to flow through your life?

  • Check in with your intuition about the big and small decisions you’re making right now - are you acting from your heart or your head?

  • Consider what practices or helpful habits have you let slip lately and recommit to them.

Be compassionate to yourself and others

  • Say ‘NO’ and rest whenever and as much as you need to

  • Forgive yourself if there are things undone on your to do list

  • Check in on friends or family that may need support or connection

  • Read, watch and listen to things that help you understand the perspective and experiences of others.

Over the coming weeks can you consciously slow down? Can you take it one day, one moment at a time? Can you make authentic and mindful choices about how you spend your time and consciously check in with yourself rather than blindly saying yes or going along with what you think is expected?

And I wonder what would happen if you did that all next year too?

If you're ready and eager for more personalised support, this is available through 1:1 Reiki and Mind Detox or the Humble Phoenix flower essence blends. Get in touch for more information!

Photo credits, all from Unsplash:

Turtle by Dan Maisey

Santa by Lynda Hinton

Lizard by Pierre Bamin

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