Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Letting Kindness In

Before I learned Reiki I was not good at letting kindness in.  I had developed a belief that I needed to be totally self reliant and didn't deserve compassion from others.  On the other hand I craved support and this neediness turned into negative thoughts. I was unkind to myself, deaf to positive comments and heard only heard criticism, which supported my pessimistic beliefs about myself and the world.  This caused me to be unable to notice any kindness that was offered to me.

However practicing Reiki invited me to consider an alternative way of being from the start.  Walking to my 1st degree class I found a wallet on the path and took it to the nearby police station.
 The next day there was a knock at my door.  I opened it to find an elderly man - he was the owner of the wallet and had come to thank me.  He gave me some money and said: "Buy yourself some flowers".  As I had little money at the time I didn't normally buy flowers for myself, but perhaps because I was in the middle of my Reiki course I decided that's exactly what I would do.  So I allowed myself to receive his kindness and the flowers gave me much joy over the next weeks.

I found that Reiki gave me a way to offer kindness that I found enjoyable - giving Reiki treatments.  I had learned that part of Usui Shiki Ryoho tradition is that when Reiki is given, some energetic exchange needs to be received.  So I began to practice receiving kindness in return for the Reiki I gave.  The first thing I received in return for a Reiki treatment was "The Sun In My Heart" by Thich Nath Hanh - a spiritual teacher I have come to admire greatly and who has helped me on my spiritual path.

It was only once I embraced another of Reiki's practices - regular self treatment - that I achieved the next step of releasing the old negative beliefs.  I found that self treating is a way to offer kindness to myself and that as a result of daily self Reiki I've become more balanced mentally, emotionally and physically.  This, I discovered,  benefits those around me too as I felt more kindly towards the world.

Initially I also resisted receiving treatment from others: I can see myself at Reiki Association gatherings saying I had far too much to do as administrator to take part in the Reiki exchanges.  I now see that people wanted to offer the kindness of Reiki to help my stressfulness, but I would not allow it!

Being kinder to myself has resulted in putting less pressure on myself, slowing down and allowing time to listen more.  This enabled me to hear the positive messages and to notice the kindness I was being offered.  I learned to be more appreciative of these gifts of kindness and that gratitude is a key to greater contentment.  I now see that people enjoy offering kindness, especially when it is gratefully received, so I have even learned how to let people know what I need!

I'm grateful to Reiki for teaching me about the balance of giving and receiving so that I now find it easier to let kindness in.   I'm also grateful to everyone who has offered me kindness, whether I was aware of it or not!