Adpating the Just for today Reiki Principles to help make significant changes in life
Often when we think about making a change in our life it is daunting. Even change for the better can be hard to make when we decide that “for the rest of my life I want to stop …”. A New Year’s resolution can fall by the wayside by mid-February, if not, in my case, often by the second or third week of January.
What I’ve learnt through regular failure is that change can be made if its manageable. Of course, we can breakdown big commitments such as eating more healthily into smaller actions such as having a meat free Monday or removing sugar from our cups of tea.
All too often, these small steps don’t feel effective enough, or worse still, as we layer more smaller actions one on top of another, we come to a tipping point where it all comes crumbling down. It can take a night out with friends, a hard week at work, a disagreement, a few bad nights’ sleep, and we are back to square one.
I’ve found that I am more easily able to stick to bigger positive changes in my life if I breakdown the timescale to which I commit to the positive change, and this is where the simple, but powerful, words within the Reiki Principles work their magic. The words are “Just for Today”.
Using the Reiki Principles by making a commitment to myself for positive change for just one day is far more achievable than a forever promise. And then next morning when I wake, I make the same commitment all over again, but, “Just for today”. This “Just for Today” daily commitment is a part of the Reiki Principles for living life, and it is also a mindful way of living as it is in the moment and not looking to the past failure or future expectations.
The direct translation of the Reiki Principles from Japanese created by Mikao Usui is:
Kyo dake wa For today only
Okolu na Do not anger
Shinpai suna Do not worry
Kansha shite Be humble
Go wo hage me Be honest in your work
Hito ni shinsetsu ni Be compassionate to yourself and others
Having studied and used the various adaptations of the Reiki Principles, this is one that I put together for my daily mantra:
Just for today I will let go of anger.
Just for today I will let go of worry.
Just for today I will live with humility and gratitude.
Just for today I will do my work honestly.
Just for today I will show love, empathy and compassion to myself and every living thing.
Just for today I … <insert my positive change here e.g., will eat healthily>
The reason for my adaption is simply personal preference based on my life experiences.
“Just for today I will let go …”
Anger and worry are natural emotions that occur in all of us and often are important to warn us of danger. This is why I feel that to not be angry or to not worry may supress these natural fight or flight emotions. In many cases anger and worry are held on to and grow in size and duration.
Therefore, I feel it is best to apply mindfulness principles of being aware of the feelings of anger and worry, receiving and understanding the message that these are conveying and then letting go of them, so they don’t build within and harm us or others.
“Just for today I will live with humility and gratitude”
To live with humility is to live without ego and this is not easy in the world today, which makes a daily reminder all the more important.
Gratitude is too often short lived in the world we live in. We are told that having more will make us feel better, but when does ‘more’ actually end? Instead, I like to have a daily reminder to be happy with what I have today.
“Just for today I will show love, respect and compassion to myself and every living thing”
The word “kind” is used in many Reiki Principles translations, and it is a wonderful word, but one that is vast in its definition. Here I wished to be more concise by including some my personal values of empathy, compassion and universal love for all living things.
I also wanted to call out “self”. Often “self” can be forgotten as we focus on those around us rather than ourselves. I believe we can only give our best possible self to others if we feel our best possible selves inside, and this comes from self-compassion and self-love.
“Just for today … <insert positive change here>
At the end of the Reiki Principles I add my “Just for Today” with the significant positive change that I am looking for in my life, but knowing that I only have to do this today makes it so much more manageable. This change I’d like to make then stays in my daily mantra for weeks or months until I feel that I have changed the behaviour that I have been looking to change.
I hope that you’ll take the step to try this for yourself and please do share how it has worked for you.