The fifth Reiki Ideal is “Be kind to your neighbour and every living thing“. Often I find that people in my classes do not need any help in being kind and compassionate to others. They offer their love and support and time to anyone and everyone. Except one. Themselves.

There is something about being kind to ourselves where we stumble and fall short. Our kind and loving nature is externally focused. By focusing outside of the self, it is far more likely that we come to expect that external conditions will satisfy our inner needs. We vacate our own emotional house, so to speak, and leave its care and maintenance to others.

Compassion for the self is critical for well being and healing. I would even go so far as to say that true compassion and kindness can only occur if you are kind to yourself, first. Learning to say a kind no to others and a gentle yes to yourself is a great start.

So what does kindness towards the self look like? What does it feel like?

Start with treating yourself at least as well as you do for your loved ones. If this is new territory, then just commit to 5 minutes a day where you do something kind for yourself.

Choose something nourishing, fulfilling, and all your own. Writing, journaling, crafts, art, going for a walk, having a bubble bath, whatever it is for you that will fill your gas tank up.

Even more, strive for a positive inner dialogue. Say kind things to yourself. Give yourself permission to be happy. I do.