Karen Harrison

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Sunday, Jun. 21st 2020

21 Day Self-Reiki Challenge

21-Day Self-Reiki Challenge

by Karen Harrison, Ed.S., LCPC, LCMFT

First published in Reiki News Magazine Summer 2020

21DayChallenge – click to download the article

Are you a Reiki teacher? Do your students give themselves Reiki daily? Do you know if they do? I have taught hundreds of students since 1998, and I know some of my students give themselves Reiki regularly, but many don’t, and they only admit it to me after they start a daily Reiki practice. Would you like to have an awesome way to support them in getting into the self-Reiki habit? If so, consider running a 21-Day Self-Reiki Challenge for your students on Facebook or some other platform.

Giving oneself daily Reiki is the cornerstone of our Reiki practice. I find that many of my students are givers and give to others before giving to themselves. Joan Breckler posted in my challenge group, “The 21-Day Challenge helped me get over only helping others and ignoring my own needs! Woo-hoo!”

I asked the other ICRT Licensed Reiki Master Teachers (LRMTs) how much Reiki they give to themselves daily. They reported anywhere from a few minutes a day to an hour or more a day. Some give themselves Reiki twice a day, some do it “on the fly” during their day, and others do it once a day. Some report they Reiki everything. Overall, I found in our LRMT group that the average time spent for daily Reiki by these experienced Reiki teachers is 30 minutes a day. I think that is a worthy goal. When I teach a Reiki I & II class, I want to make daily self-Reiki seem doable for anyone. I suggest students start by committing to give themselves Reiki for 10 minutes a day at about the same time every day. And I suggest they commit to this practice for 21 days, which is a reasonable amount of time to create a new habit.

After class, I provide various ways to support students in using Reiki, such as Reiki Circle, online Reiki Call, a student Facebook group, a monthly newsletter, and, more recently, a Reiki texting platform. The Self-Reiki Challenge is another great way to support students after class. I learned about this challenge idea from another ICRT LRMT, Toni Dafeldecker, and have been running one per year since 2016.


How a Self-Reiki Challenge Works

I created a separate, private Facebook group for the challenge and announced it in my regular student Facebook group. If students wanted to participate, they needed to join the new group. In the 21-Day Challenge group, the participants state their intention for the challenge and how long they will give themselves Reiki. I usually run the challenge starting in early January. The day before the challenge starts, I see who is in the group, and I pair each one up with a buddy. I post the buddy pairs in the group. Here is what I posted:


“It’s time for another 21-Day Self-Reiki Challenge! Go to (name of the Facebook group) to get into the group. Post in that group ONLY for the challenge. Here is the information on it. The 21-Day Self-Reiki Challenge runs from January 4 to January 24. We have had so many amazing results from this challenge that you won’t want to miss this one!

Create a post in this group about your commitment for how long you will give yourself Reiki daily, with the minimum being only 10 minutes. State your intention for the challenge. For example, you might want to sleep better, be more abundant, heal pain issues, get a new job, and so forth.

I will pair you up with a buddy, and you will watch out for each other’s post and like your buddy’s post or comment and say something encouraging. If your buddy doesn’t post for a few days, message your buddy to check-in.”

 Each day I go through all the posts, “love” their posts, reply to any comments, and post about my self-Reiki practice.


The results of the 21-Day Self-Reiki Challenge always blow me away, and I receive such a wave of gratitude that I wonder why I don’t offer it twice a year or even quarterly! Comments range from the delightful to the profound. One of my favorite posts is “Wakey-wakey, let’s do Reiki!” by LK Norman. Below are the students’ comments about the challenge. Comments that begin with “AND” are recent posts that the student made.

Student Comments

Cathy Powers—Daily Reiki discipline in the morning and evening is paramount to my health. Staying the journey…every day new!

Connie Hensley—When I didn’t do Reiki for a few days, I did not feel good emotionally. I had a hard time of it lately in my feelings. I can tell the differences in the days I do it, and the days I don’t. Life is much better with Reiki. AND—I gave myself Reiki last night for at least 40 minutes. I was so relaxed I fell asleep right after. I gave a list of intentions, but what happened recently is better finances are starting to happen. My bronchitis is getting better, and the overall energy is better at my house. AND—I just gave myself an hour of Reiki. As the timer started beeping after 40 minutes, I thought, I’m just getting started, so I gave myself another 20 minutes. I don’t know why I haven’t been doing this every day. This practice will change my life.

Loretta Butler—This self-Reiki challenge has calmed my emotions down so I can look beyond the events and see a bigger picture. Twenty minutes of Reiki early in the evening leaves me relaxed and clear. Thank you for this challenge!

Charu Maheshwari—Giving self-Reiki for 15 minutes each day is helping me to deal with stressful events that came unexpectedly in my life.

Carol Parham—I don’t know what it is about doing Holy Fire® Reiki daily, but so many things are becoming more apparent now and being brought to my attention. Some I must deal with; some are confirmations, and others are just truths. I wasn’t expecting all this. AND—I have been giving myself Reiki every evening and have slept better and wake up with more clarity. AND—Taking the time out to do Reiki on myself each day helped me sleep well, have more clarity, and solve problems easier. I wasn’t as tired and more alert at work. This was a good challenge.

Susan Florentino—Been doing 15 to 30-minute full sessions for nine days now. Last time I did full-on self-Reiki treatments for consecutive days was in 2004, after my first Reiki I class. I have been giving some extra attention to my joints. I feel pain-free and very relaxed.

Joan Breckler—This is changing me. AND—I really thought this would be super challenging for me, but I am becoming consumed in the Holy Fire® III energy. Woo-hoo!

LK Norman—Something I just realized since starting this challenge. I have not been getting up at night. I usually get up once or twice. I’ve been looking for the common factor and just realized it’s the Reiki. Nice! AND—Through the challenge, I realized the importance of mentally and physically waking up mind, body, and spirit for the day. I felt more prepared, more positive, and more present. Thank you for doing this, and I will continue the practice.

Michaela Cole—I woke up in the middle of the night as I usually do, and I gave myself Reiki to help me fall back to sleep. I woke up with more energy and clarity this morning!

Melanie Lehman—I loved hearing how much Reiki was a part of my partner’s everyday life. The challenge was a gentle reminder that this is a powerful self-care tool I need to be using daily!


As you can see, students gained a lot from the challenge. Each time I have run the challenge, around 40 to 60 have participated. I also experienced a lot of benefits from running the challenge. First was the energetics of it in the form of daily waves of gratitude from my students for running the challenge. It was immense and palpable, like energy streaming off the Facebook page to me.

Second, I received verbal appreciation. One student said it succinctly, “Filled with gratitude for this 21-day challenge of Reiki!” And most importantly, a teacher wants to know that the gift of time investment in the student has paid off, and the student is using the skill in her daily life to help herself and bless the world.

Teaching Reiki is truly a “pay it forward” profession. The teacher hands off a ball of light, Reiki, to the student, and the student shares the light with others. Learning Reiki is only a gift and a valuable life tool if we use it. Students’ comments validated for me that they are using Reiki and receiving the benefits. And most importantly, they realize how valuable a tool Reiki is for their lives, and they committed to continuing their practice beyond the challenge. For me, that is the true purpose of the challenge; to develop the use of daily Reiki in one’s life.

Imagine if all who have ever learned Reiki were using this tool daily, what an immense impact for good that would have on the planet? Towards the end of the challenge, Michelle Harrison-Rawls posted, “Two hours of fabulous Reiki for expanding consciousness.” Yes, we can raise the consciousness of the planet through Reiki, by beginning with ourselves. Cindy Smith shared, “Daily Reiki is such a gift to oneself and resulted in many blessings for everyday activities. Reiki is like having a great friend who knows you well and is there to meet your needs, some of which you may not know you needed. The Universe aligns with our endeavors to be our true authentic selves, the best version of ourselves.”

I encourage you to run a 21-Day Self-Reiki Challenge and then drop me an email at karen@karenharrison.net to let me know about your results!

Holy Fire® is the registered service mark of William Lee Rand.


Karen Harrison is a co-director of the ICRT Licensed Teacher Training Program and practices and teaches Reiki as a Holy Fire® III Licensed Reiki Master Teacher for the ICRT in Leawood, Kansas. She is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor. Karen can be contacted by email at Karen@karenharrison.net or through her website at www.karenharrison.net.

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