Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Exploring the Reiki Principle of Kindness & Mindful Self-Compassion

November 26, 2019 by  
Filed under Newsletter, Reiki

November 2019 Newsletter – Kindness & Mindful Self-Compassion and the Principles of Reiki by Lisa Guyman

The University of California, Los Angeles, announced in September the receipt of $20M for research on kindness and good will! The monies for this endeavor were a gift from philanthropists Jennifer and Matthew Harris. The mission is to “dive deep into the effects and applications of kindness in society, but Harris says that in his experience, kindness starts with the self.”(Matthew Harris).

    Chalk art and nature photos from Rochester, MI this Spring. 

In a world where you can be anything be kind.

“Whether it’s being judgmental, holding yourself to a higher standard or insisting on perfection-all the ways I lived my life-it became my experience that if you’re not kind and compassionate to yourself, it’s hard to do the same for others,” Harris told the Washington Post.” I simply didn’t want to live my life like that anymore.” (Would you help a stranger? UCLA to study why people are kind or not).

This remarkable news on the founding of the Kindness Institute at UCLA inspired me to circle back to the Reiki principle on kindness: “today, I choose to be kind and compassionate toward myself and others.” Contemplating this Reiki principle helps create a positive, life-affirming, and loving mindset. The way we look at life can either bolster or detract from the way we treat ourselves and others.

Last year, I took a life-enhancing mindset course called Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). In Mindful Self-Compassion there are three primary components: mindfulness, self-kindness and common humanity. Briefly, mindfulness means being aware of how we feel and noticing the inner dialogue we are having. Self-kindness has to do with being warm, compassionate and understanding with ourselves as we navigate difficult emotions or as we experience life challenges. It also involves saying kind and encouraging things to ourselves. And common humanity means recognizing the universality of human suffering.

The common humanity component really struck me. It’s all too easy to worsen what we are struggling with by thinking that our personal struggles are just that “personal” instead of part of the complex/intimate universal web of human experience.

When I remind myself to look at my struggles through the lens of “common humanity” I find comfort knowing that what I’m experiencing isn’t isolated to me, but instead is part of the fabric of being human. This allows me to more quickly reengage life from a more positive mindset.

Additionally, when we regularly focus on “common humanity” not only does “self-kindness” come more easily, we are more kind to others. We learn to extend greater compassion and love to others, too. For starters, notice when you are judging or criticizing someone (internally or out loud) and see if you can find a more compassionate perspective. Each time we observe and shift our judgements we rewire our brains to a more elevated state.

Keep in mind that none of us are perfect. We all have off days. And when we are “off” we can take it as a signal to take stock of what we need to do to get re-centered.

To help with this, focus your awareness into the moment. When we are centered in the present moment (not in the future or the past) we more readily smile, laugh, appreciate others (including ourselves), act in kinder ways and find it easier to go with the flow.

In addition to our mindset, a practice of meditation or Reiki benefits us by rewiring the nervous system to a calmer, more integrated and less reactive state — thereby supporting us in spontaneously acting in loving and kind ways (both to others and to ourselves). Being kind and compassionate to your beautiful amazing self will in turn enhance your relationship with all the souls around you!

May you be peaceful and well.

May you live with ease.

May you be filled with kindness.

May you be filled with gratitude.

Lisa

 

Quotes from my Newsletter

 

“Multiple studies have confirmed the life-changing magic of uttering a few kind words to the person you see in the mirror. Research conducted by the universities of Exeter and Oxford in 2019 found that the very simple step of thinking kind thoughts about yourself can lower your heart rate and increase levels of self-compassion. Self-oriented kindness has also been linked to higher levels of emotional intelligence-the superpower for empathizing with those around you.” (UCLA dedicated $20 million to the study of kindness – here’s what researches want you to know).

 

“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” Christopher K. Germer

 

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” Audrey Hepburn

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