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November Newsletter: "'Tis the time to Give Thanks"

"Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention."
- John O'Donohue

Reiki has 5 principles, or precepts, called "Gokai". They are a spiritual guidance system which can be used in any situation life offers us. The third principle says, “be grateful.”

Have gratitude.

For everything.

Every thing

... including what you have, don’t have, anything that happens, or doesn’t happen; past, present and future. This means having gratitude for experiences that are more likely to cause anger, disappointment, shame, sadness or grief. In a 2008 newsletter, Caroline Myss told the story of a success-oriented business man known to spend more time with his business associates than with his family. One day, without warning, he had a stroke. The stroke put him in a wheelchair without the use of one side of his body. The stroke changed his life but not in the way you might think. Physically dependent on family to take care of his most basic human needs, he went through a spiritual awakening. The stroke gave him an opportunity to change. With new sight, he saw his loving wife, his independent daughters -he discovered in himself a new found appreciation for his family and his own life. This change in perception was so enlightening, he says, “I was stroked by God.”An enlightened life is seeing the gifts in Divine Chaos.

love & appreciation

For most of us, our first reaction to Divine Chaos often sounds like, “Why me? It’s not fair. I don’t deserve this.” "This shouldn't be happening to me. I'm a good person!" What if it were true that everything in your life is, on some level, allowed by you including physical illness and injuries, and mental and emotional discomfort and trauma. I understand that this is hard to swallow but it is actually an empowering way of seeing the more challenging events in your life. If you commit to finding the gift in the chaos, you give yourself a chance at keeping your power. Every moment we have the power to choose happiness over misery, love over fear, forgiveness over anger. The very fact these experiences are in your life mean that there is something to learn. That’s something to be grateful for, isn’t it? A chance to learn and grow –to fully experience all that life has to offer? Take a moment now to think about people who challenge you, the job you’d like to quit, any physical ailment that you or a loved one has, and ask yourself what are these people, situations, or illnesses teaching me about myself? How does this make me stronger? What am I being called to be or do?

Having true gratitude and appreciation for what you have immediately puts you in the now. Take a minute to go over what you have to be truly thankful for –your family, your friends, your job and the people you work with and for, your home, your pets, your car, your body, your health, your intelligence, your emotional navigation system, your history, your divinity and even allowing yourself to find gratitude in past experiences, difficult or lovely. When you appreciate what you have (including your life experiences that have made you who you are), and feel a movement in your heart and maybe a tear in your eye, you are 1) here in the now, and 2) allowing more of the same in your future by focusing on what is pleasing rather than displeasing, and 3) setting the stage for healing.

Giving and feeling thanks and appreciation is healing. I am reminded of Dr. Masaru Emoto’s work. Using high-speed photography, he takes pictures of frozen water particles. His photographs show how thoughts and emotions affect our body at a most fundamental level. Water that had been prayed over, blessed or had positive words and intentions directed toward it, form perfect fractal snowflake shapes, while water exposed to negative thoughts are distorted, asymmetrical and dull. Understanding that our bodies are 75-80% water should impact you enough to change the relationship you have with your body. Directing love and feelings of gratitude towards illness, or parts of our body that trouble us has a greater beneficial affect than feelings of anger, frustration or fear. As I go through my self-Reiki treatment, at each hand position, I give thanks to each part of my body –physiologically and metaphysically; I thank my brain for transmitting the right information to the rest of my body. I thank my mind for intelligent, creative and intuitive thought. I thank my heart for giving and receiving love and for pumping the oxygen rich blood throughout my body. I continue all the way down to my feet which I thank for keeping me grounded and strong allowing me to stand up for myself and for getting me to where I want to go.

The pictures below are from Dr. Emoto's book, The Hidden Messages in Water.

love & appreciation
love & appreciation

You fool (Japanese)
I hate you. I will kill you.

A common western interpretation of Reiki principle number three says to “express” gratitude –not just to think and feel it, but to say it. Saying “thank you” is as powerful and as healing as saying, “I love you” or, “I forgive you.” When we give thanks we are expressing our love and forgiveness. We are saying, “I love you for doing that for me”, and, “I forgive you –because nothing in this moment from the past matters.” If you have three minutes to spare, click on the image below to watch inspirational speaker and life coach Laura Trice give a concise talk on giving thanks. Laura Trice teaches that it’s ok to ask for thanks too!

Laura Trice speaks for TED

This week and over the next few weeks you will be spending more time with family and friends, so here are some fun things for you to try out:

Practice Blessings! Blessings are offerings of thanks and appreciation. Bless your family and friends, your home, and your food. If blessings are not part of your life, you can make up your own. Blessings often start with, “May…” So think of something now that you would like to bless. I will choose my lunch. Here goes; “May this food nourish and sustain me for my highest good. May everyone involved in bringing this food to me be blessed for the work they do. May the land that grew this food have sustenance returned to it as this food gives sustance to me."
For beautiful blessings covering many of life’s events, get To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Invocations and Blessings by the late Irish poet John O'Donohue

Feel Free to Praise. Everyone needs praise. Sometimes, as Laura Trice says, you think of saying thank you but then you are stopped by your own unwillingness to show your vulnerability. Or, perhaps you feel there's no need to say "thank you" because they're supposed to be doing it -kids cleaning their room, an employee putting together a presentation for you, your spouse preparing dinner or taking out the garbage, your friend calling to see how you're doing. If you don't already, start now by saying "thank you" to all and sundry. When you give thanks, you receive appreciation.

Choose gratitude. Before you begin your day, take stock of all you have in your life to be thankful for. Feel it in your heart. This ricochets you back from the past or future and into the present, and sets you up for allowing more of the same or better.

Wishing you a very love-filled Thanksgiving and leaving you with this final thought:

"Have gratitude for all things -even those that challenge you."



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