I have always wanted to be a meditator. And a yogi. I have seen tons of research about how much better life is when you meditate and/or regularly practice yoga. I love both when I do them. I am fully aware of the benefits of daily practice. But I have a secret. I just can’t do it.
I have apps and mp3s and videos galore. I do some of them sometimes. In an ideal world, I would do all of them every day. I have even tried scheduling the activities. It was at this point when I realized – I’d have to quit my job and stay home all day to accomplish all these goals.
Just as I was beginning my Reiki Master Teacher training, I decided that if I was going to be serious about being a Reiki Master, I needed to develop a daily practice. (Yes – yet another daily obligation!) I have a fantastic app on my phone (Insight Timer) that I have used for years to time my Reiki self-treatments. It allows users to set interval bells, which keep me moving through the hand positions, which frees me from worrying about how long I’ve been doing it and whether I’m late for something else I need to be doing. I set the amount of time in advance, and I know I’ll get a full treatment because I’ve set the interval bells ahead of time.
Adding this additional daily practice initially caused me a good dollop of stress. I was trying to keep up on my Reiki, which was being tracked by my app, and trying to meditate daily, which was being tracked by another app. Yoga wasn’t happening, period. On top of all this, I was injured at work, which made me require more sleep than usual. I finally admitted to myself: this isn’t going to happen.
When I accepted that I will never be a master meditator or yogi, I realized something that was staring me in the face the whole time. I was already in a daily meditation practice. No, I wasn’t sitting in lotus position, chanting “Om”, clearing my mind of the endless chatter. Instead, I was laying on my bed, silently chanting my Reiki symbols, focusing on my hand positions, which blocked out endless mind chatter. I was using a meditation timer app to track this, yet it never really dawned on me. No, I wasn’t meditating, I was healing. Ha! What a fool I’ve been.
I love self-improvement. It is a strong drive in my life, as evidenced by the tremendous amount of expectation I put on myself by demanding three separate daily practices. I also love self-love, so I think the best lesson I got out of this realization is that I was being way too hard on myself. I do think that we should strive to be the best we can be. I do think that it’s good to at least try things that are meant to help us make our days more fulfilling. But I also think we can relax a little bit about how strenuously we execute these activities. It doesn’t have to be hard or painful or full of suffering. Why was I trying to fix something that wasn’t broken? Because I was mislabeling what I was actually doing. I wasn’t giving my personal Reiki practice enough credit to meet the needs I was wanting to be filled. It was, by far, the activity I was most committed to – dare I say my favorite. It was the part of my day I felt the most rejuvenated. It was directly affecting my mood and energy levels throughout my work week. When I stopped seeing it as a separate activity, I was able to allow it to fill my own personal requirements for a daily practice. Now I am free to engage in other types of meditation as activities I enjoy when I have time for them. (I admit, I still want to get into that daily yoga habit!)
If you’re attuned to Reiki and aren’t using it daily, why not give it a try? Take the Insight Timer app for a spin. See if daily self-treatments are well-rounded enough to streamline your spiritual practice. At the very least, don’t automatically discount it as a completely separate activity, needing a completely separate commitment. Maybe a little Reiki can meet all your needs.
Do you practice Reiki self-treatments regularly? What have you noticed since you began? How many daily practices do you have, and how do you fit them all into your day? I’d love to hear how you balance it all!
With much love, light and gratitude,