Mikao Usui, the founder of the Reiki system, believed that, the 5 precepts-codes of practice, were an important foundation for one's spiritual journey. It is believed, that by following and embracing them into your daily life, will lead one to true healing, balance and harmony. He taught them to guide and support his students on their journey to self-healing and that practicing them daily will make one's journey a swift and triumphant one.
These 5 precepts have become the core foundation of my own personal Reiki practice, and embracing, practicing and reciting them daily has proven to be a true component in my self-healing journey.
There is one precept in particular, that has been one of the most misunderstood; "Do your work honestly", the 4th Reiki Precept.
What does it exactly mean to do your work honestly? Don't we all strive to do our work honestly? Is this insinuating that perhaps we work dishonestly?
Maybe it's telling us to not steal at work or cheat the system?
In my early days of learning Reiki, I interpreted this precept literally. However, as my Reiki practice strengthened and it became a bigger part of my life and my daily practice, I soon came to understand this precept on a much deeper level. Yes, it is important to spend less personal time at work and yes it would serve one well to not walk off with those extra pens or post-its, but this precept, in fact, has a much deeper meaning. So stop right there and do not beat yourself up over the collection of office supplies you may have accumulated over the years, and time spent on personal calls! We are, after all, human, and being human is a challenge in of itself. As long as we are being mindful of these shortcomings going forward, we are on the right path!
Now, let's take the precept of "Do your work honestly", down into a deeper level. It goes without saying that one should strive to work honestly both as an employer, and an employee, on ALL levels; but as I meditate on this precept, one particular word comes to my mind, "authenticity". The way I see it, is that "your work" is your life path and "doing it honestly" has to do with being true to yourself and to your purpose. It means to shine your inner light as bright as you can. It means to come out from the shadows into your true being, your true beautiful self, no matter what that looks like!
It means not falling prey to following the expectations of what your family, friends or society expects of you, but rather to follow your own true calling, and being your truest most colorful self - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I am a big believer that one cannot truly thrive, unless they are living their true authentic self.
Many of us have followed in other people's footsteps, whether they are our parents, or our friends, or members of our community. We do, and did, what was expected of us. We made choices based on approval from family and society. Many of us chose the path of least resistance. I for one, have lived this way. I will never forget that particular day, when I looked down and realized I was wearing someone else's shoes (figuratively speaking that is)! They never quite fit me properly, because they were not mine to wear! That was a big epiphany for me and a close look at who I was and meant to be. I was living un-authentically, hum-drumming through a mundane life as an accountant. Clocking in and clocking out, day after day. Living someone else's dream because that was what they expected of me, because it was safe. But I will tell you this, as I now tell my children, safe, keeps you stuck, and does not allow you to thrive in the way you were created to thrive. Like a flower planted infertile soil, I withered and yearned for something more.
They say that your truest, genuine self can be found when you go back to the young age between 6 and 11. This is the age before society or your parents taint you, for a lack of a better word. This is the age where you dream big and see yourself in the future as your truest self. When I go back to this age, I see myself in two ways, one as a healer and one as an artist. Unfortunately, I chose neither of those paths because everyone filled me with doubt. As I grew older, instead of following my own intuition, I chose to follow the guidance of others. My parents guided me to be safe, secure and stable, and that for me meant choosing to be an accountant. Don't get me wrong, my parents had my best interest at heart, and I am grateful. I want to impress on the fact, that I, ultimately chose this path, not my parents. I could have chosen to resist and they still would have still loved me the same. I chose to listen to their guidance, rather than my own. I take full responsibility of the path I chose, the day I decided to take their safe advice, rather than to take a chance to leap towards my own dream.
"Do your work honestly", is not limited to career or work. "Doing your work honestly" means living your true self, no matter what that looks like. It means that it's Okay to ruffle some feathers or to go against the grain or to not to be afraid of being the odd one out. It means standing up for what you believe in, and standing out to show your courage. It means to speak up and speak out so that you can be heard. It means to walk to your own beat even if that beat is different. It means to love yourself enough, that you don't have to say yes when you really mean no. It means, it is your God given right to choose how you express yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It means, that you can chose the path with the most resistance, because that may be the very one that will deliver you to that place where you will thrive and grow. It means you can chose, who and what you love without judgment.
"Do you work honestly", also means "putting your best foot forward", doing your best and placing your whole heart and soul into what you do.
The truth is, this one Reiki precept, can be interpreted in so many ways. It has a special meaning for one and something entirely different for another.
The beauty of this precept, is that it wakes up something deep inside of you, stops you in your tracks, and allows you to ponder on where you are in life, how you are living it and how you choose to express it. Meditating on this precept can assist you in focusing, and staying true to your path especially during times of distraction. The next time you find yourself in a position of not being certain of where you are, who you are and how you are living it, just simply ask yourself, "Am I doing my work honestly?"
It is in truth where freedom lies. It is in the light, where we are free from the ties that bind us in the shadows. Remembering who you are, where you came from, and where you are going on your true life path, all encompass the true meaning of "Authenticity" and "Doing your work honestly"!