Today only

free happinessI recently held a workshop, where my students and I examined the Five Reiki Principles (sometimes called the Reiki Precepts) and discussed how we can find ways to apply them to our daily life and spiritual practice,

During the workshop, I assigned a group exercise for the next 6 weeks. We are mindfully working with a different principle each week, and see how they resonate with what we think, feel and do.

There is no right or wrong way to devote ourselves to this practice. There is no judgment if we struggle with one – or all – of the Principles. It is really about opening our hearts and deepening our connection to the spiritual foundation Mikao Usui intentionally included as part of the healing art and practice of Reiki.

This past week, we’ve been focusing on “Today only” (sometimes translated as “Just for today.”) While it is not a principle per se, it is the underlying guiding imperative to stay present in the midst of our daily life and not get hung up on past or future concerns.

By nature, I am a planner. Always thinking ahead, always assessing, always focusing on – and often feeling overwhelmed about – what needs to be done at some point in time. My mental state at times can resemble a Visio chart, diagramming every possible task and potential issues and outcomes, depending upon how the decision tree lines up. It is a fertile breeding ground for anxiety.

This week, when I felt myself taking a spin on the Hamster Wheel of Worry, I found it helpful to stop, take a few deep breaths and say, “Today only.”

I don’t need to constantly fret about what’s going to happen 5 minutes or 5 hours from now. I don’t need to ruminate on something I should have done differently 5 days or 5 years ago. I just need to be present to what is unfolding right now and give it my attention.

It’s really a much happier way to be.

It’s amazing how returning to the present moment with the reminder “Today only” can make such a difference in my mental and emotional outlook. As one of my students remarked, sometimes it is not today, but this moment, or this second. Attention for those brief moments alone can be enough so we can move forward with more peace of mind.

Image credit: Ignazio Laci

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