A few months ago I was chatting with Ennis Carter, one of of my inspiring colleagues, and founder of Design For Social Impact. We were talking about our respective spiritual practices- yoga, Reiki, meditation, and discussing the impact they’ve had on our lives. The conversation quickly turned to a discussion on the value of practice, and the benefits that arise from engaging in a practice over a committed length of time.

We talked about how these endeavors really are practice for ‘real’ life. When I am on the mat, or on the cushion, the discipline, activity, and letting go remind me of the qualities I want to exercise in the rest of my life.

When I practice yoga asanas, I learn about staying in the present moment. I exercise control of the breath, and uniting my mind and body movements with my breath’s natural cycle. I practice using simultaneous control and letting go to move through difficult moments; I practice being efficient with my actions. As far as I can tell, these are all excellent tools to carry over to the rest of my life, and to my interactions with others. Why wouldn’t I want to practice, in preparation for bringing these qualities over to my relationships with my family and friends, or into my business doings?

When I practice Reiki self treatment I give myself space to just ‘be.’ I allow my body to relax, and my breathing to deepen. I create a space where I can feel all of my feelings without suppressing, judging or reacting to them. Most importantly, during my Reiki treatments I often feel myself return to myself, and I experience a sense of connection to my heart, and to all that surrounds me. The world feels right, my defenses soften, and my compassion and understanding increase. Sometimes it feels like finding my true north. I remember the place that I want to come from when I am in the rest of my life, and the feelings carry over. The more I am able to experience (practice) being in this space during my Reiki self treatment, the more this space is easily accessed when I’m with others, or at work, or on the phone with my mom.

Words can be tricky. I’m not sure how these spiritual endeavors were translated from eastern language to be called ‘practices’ in English. I’m am sure glad they were. This concept works well for me. How about you?

-By Kim Fleisher, RMT, M.Ed, Director of The Reiki School + Clinic