Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Why Self Care is Important for World Peace!

One of the most important gifts I've received from Reiki is learning about self care. 

My favourite quote from the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh is "If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society will benefit from our peace."

Many of us long for greater peace, especially when there is violence like the recent attack in Tunisia.  In my experience the best way to achive this peace is through better self care.

When I'm not taking care of myself I'm more irritable and less tolerant, due to stress and tiredness.  Most of all I judge myself.  This has a negative impact on those around me and I then react to their negativity, creating a downward spiral that is far from peaceful.  If you have small children exhaustion may be unavoidable, but many of us tolerate a level of stress and ill health that simply isn't good for us or our community.  The Reiki Principles advise "Just for today do not anger" which could be interpreted to point towards self care, so that irritation and anger are less likely to arise.  Could there be a link between the amount of anger in the world and the lack of self care - the terrorist suicide bombers being the extreme example? 
Feeling more positive!

Over the years Reiki practice has helped me to judge myself less harshly, achieve better health and greater happiness.   I'm aware that being more peaceful benefits others, because I have seen the results in my family, friends and others I'm connected with.   Instead of being fearful, angry and resentful I bring more positive feelings of kindness and tolerance (not all the time, I'm still human!) which encourages more positive feelings in others.

So how does Reiki help with this? While filming the Reiki Council film introducing Reiki, I was fortunate to meet Dr Rosie Daniel of the Bristol Cancer Centre.  In her interview about Reiki she talked about how when your energy is low, your thoughts are often more negative and you can be less good at caring for yourself.  If you then judge yourself for not doing what you know you ought to, such as taking more exercise, this further depletes your energy. By receiving the energy of Reiki, your energy levels can be raised enough to begin to make some better self care decisions.  I'd also say that the effect of Reiki that many people experience (myself included) is a reduction in stress levels, better sleep and peace of mind, resulting in more positive thoughts and better self care decisions.

Self care also means having greater awareness and taking action, which isn't easy when you're exhausted and stressed.  However when you have a little more energy, or space in your head, it can be easier.  Making one small decision - to receive Reiki - can be a catalyst for improved self care in many forms.

The ability to serve others is greater when you have more vitality.  Taking care of yourself can therefore bring greater peace and well being to your family and community.  So instead of blaming yourself for a lack of self care, do something to improve the situation: get more sleep, change your diet or simply receive Reiki!