Inspired by Reiki Practice: 7 Real-Life Hacks To Create Space And Make Things Happen

Do you spend your day doing a million things just to realize you achieved very little? That your day feels like being on a treadmill: all day running without advancing one inch?

In society, we are trained to do. We believe that doing will make things happen. What they forget to tell us is that—for things to happen in life—you need to create the space and time for it to happen.

In Reiki we have a technique called “holding the healing space,” which means creating the space and holding it, so healing can take place. A concept I believe you can apply to your life as well: creating a “space” with more thoughtful doing and less busyness so magic can happen.

How? Here are 7 life-hacks that can help. But don’t stick to them. Like guidelines in Reiki practice, use them as a springboard to discover what works for your lifestyle. 

1)   LOOK AT YOUR TO DO LIST WITH FRESH EYES
A friend of mine gave me this fantastic tip:  divide your list in “TO DOs” (chores/work) and your “WANT TO” list (i.e. new paint for the bedroom, shopping, etc).
Keep them separate. The beauty of the WANT LIST is that you can do them whenever. No time pressure. Putting them into the TO DO list transforms enjoyment into duty.
One watch out: resist the temptation to fill your now lighter TO DO list with new chores in order to feel more productive, which takes us to…

2)   YOU CAN’T BE PRODUCTIVE 100% OF THE TIME.
You may want to, people may pressure you, but the reality is that not even computers can do it: they need time to render and process or they spin their wheels. Taking breaks to eat, relax and refresh is not irresponsible. It will actually make you more productive. Your brain will process better and a break of 5 minutes may allow you to do a report in one hour instead of struggling for three.

3)  ADOPT A LAZY SUNDAY AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH.
No plans, no playdates, no planned brunches. Wake up whenever your body (or children) tells you, order take out and decide what you feel like doing. For once, do things according to your mood and physical needs. Feel the difference. Enjoy it. Your brain will really appreciate one day with less adrenaline.

4)  ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION: DO I REALLY WANT TO DO THIS OR AM I DOING IT OUT OF GUILT/OBLIGATION.
We always feel like we can’t cancel or not go somewhere. But going out of obligation is not energetically empowering for you, your family or the people you are committed to see. If you are not feeling up to it or have already too many engagement that week, a nice “I would love to but…” note is the kindest move towards all!

5) NO COMPUTER/SMART PHONE GAMES.
You may think they help you disconnect from work, but one hour of Candy Crush or Whatever Popular Saga will only get more adrenaline coursing through your body. You’re bored in the subway? Try meditating a little bit, doing some pre-thinking on work or going through your TO DO List (to make it smaller not bigger).

6) ASK YOURSELF WHAT AM I TRYING TO PROVE…
with the perfect household, the perfect kids and the perfect job. Not an easy question but one that may lead you to relax a little your own expectations and realize that—some days—an sort of clean bathroom is good enough.

7) LEAVE BLANKS IN YOUR SCHEDULE.
Filling your calendar 100% means leaving no space for the unpredictable, the surprises, the new friendship, the new client, the new business idea, the casual coffee that gives you a new insight into your life...

Because at the end, the best part of life happens in those few moments when we are not expecting or trying to control it.

 

Nathalie Jaspar is the co-founder at Natky927 Wellness Collective, and a Reiki Master/Practitioner based in New York City. You can reach her at natjaspar@mac.com

 

Photo credit: Painting "Sky Above the Clouds" by American painter Georgia O'Keeffe.

Feeling overwhelmed? Try these 3 simple herbal life-savers.

We've all been there.  Over extending ourselves with work, school, family, friends...  we stop and think long enough to say to ourselves, “next week I'll have more quiet time,” and next week arrives and our boss needs our help on an important project and the cycle starts again. 

Humans are the most adaptable animals, that means we can adapt ourselves to almost any situation, no matter how unhealthy.  Before we know it, we're fatigued, can't concentrate, feel depressed and lethargic. 

If you've been following Nathalie's previous posts, you learned about the symptoms of burnout. Below you'll find 3 herbs that are safe for long-term use that you could use when experiencing these symptoms:

  • OATS are one of my favorite foods to turn to when I have anxiety, stress and experience complete exhaustion. Oats are restorative to the nervous system and are specific for people who are too busy doing, rather than being. I have also used oats successfully to help with ADD/ADHD symptoms. You can take milky oats in tincture or glycerite form or fresh oat tincture.  Dried oats are not as effective as a nervine.
     
  • HOLY BASIL is another of my favorite herbs/foods for burnout.  I drink 3 cups of tea per day when I cannot focus, have trouble remembering simple things or other “brain fog” symptoms.  Not only does it taste great as a tea, but I also add it as a garnish to soups and food.  Many Asian recipes use Holy Basil in case you'd like to get new ideas on how to make it.  You can also use Holy Basil tincture. 
     
  • PASSIONFLOWER is another excellent nervine specific for those who experience insomnia with circular thinking or worry.   When you can't shut your brain off or are easily irritated by the slightest imbalance, Passionflower is your ally.  I've also used Passionflower for those who suffer from stress-induced headaches. A tea can be made of the leaves or vines.  Drink 2-3 cups per day.  You can also find the tincture at your local health food store.


Lauraine Velez is an experienced clinical herbalist who trained at the David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies. She uses Traditional Chinese Medicine along with Western, Ayurvedic, Middle Eastern and Cherokee herbal traditions. She's the founder of Apothecratic Oath.