Fix me. Fix them. Fix it. Whatever the problem is, just fix it as soon and as quickly as possible. I don’t know exactly when or where that seed was planted in my own psyche but it runs deep and has been fed and watered and fertilized for a lot of years. The roots are strong and wide, the foliage downright magnificent. If it were in my garden, it would either be “the” prized plant or that noxious weed the entire state of Idaho is trying to eradicate.

Case in point: I went to a weeklong conference at the end of April. One hundred eighty-five Reiki Masters from all over the world, many long time friends, spending seven days together, sharing Reiki every day. Sounds pretty ideal, doesn’t it? But the description omits a small detail: I spent eleven years as director of this group and played Miss Fix-It more times than I want to recall.

After eight years away from the job, I thought I had cultivated a fine detachment. But after three days, every fix-it cell in my body was screaming. I was in physical pain, and my mind and emotions were in a total cramp.

When Friday evening rolled around (day three), I couldn’t get away fast enough. I was a wreck. My not-so-conscious need to have the group reflect my vision of our potential, of “how we could be together,” was not materializing. The more I compared my fantasy of what could be with what was, the more I suffered. I judged the situation to be broken and in need of a good fix. And the more I criticized and vented, the more I added to the unhappiness. This was certainly not leading to a better week or a better world.

As I treated myself with Reiki that Friday night and the following morning, a little light dawned. I realized nothing here really needed fixing. What was true was that some people were having a great time; others were struggling. For sure, we all needed and wanted love. The people who were struggling definitely needed compassion for themselves and everyone else. We all longed for and were dedicated to creating a community of kindness and a better world. Our motivations were sincere. Our collective skills manifesting in the moment were a little underdeveloped.

Duh, I know this . . . and sometimes I forget.

When we give a Reiki treatment, we don’t have a laundry list of expectations that we want Reiki to fix. If we’ve practiced a little while, we know that it’s enough just to put our hands on and let Reiki flow. What’s needed happens. Physical aches and pains are often relieved but not because we make it happen-in Reiki the healing doesn’t happen because of my willing it. This is something we don’t control. And the internal healing that comes is more profound and nuanced than any plan of our own making.

My conference experience was a humbling reminder of the first Reiki principle, Just for today, do not worry. My worry comes out of such a small perspective. Even when I’m trying to save the world, I’m really putting forward my ideas, my opinions, and what makes me happy. “Just for today, do not worry” and my own treatment experience are gentle reminders to use a larger lens. What rises out of the vastness of universal life energy-the glue that holds the world together-offers more spacious, inclusive, and creative possibilities than any of our efforts to “fix it.”

So the next time you find yourself doing the fix-it two-step—”Judged and found wanting. Fix needed”—I suggest expanding the dance.

  • Stop.
  • Put your hands on yourself.
  • Look at the sincere motivation and the longing at the heart of that old fix-it urge.
  • Give those pure feelings the time and space to rise and expand, knowing that the purity of your longing is enough.
  • Realize you don’t need to fix anything.
  • Just bring it into the light of Reiki.