Sunday, October 23, 2011

Give Thanks

"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."
~G.K. Chesterton
    Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings. This is the next Reiki Precept that we will examine. When I wrote the article, Principles to Live By, I tied each precept to the Jin Shin Jyutsu practice of holding fingers to harmonize limiting beliefs and bring balance to BE-ing. Read more about each of the previous Precepts,  "I will let go of Worry" , "I will let go of Anger"  and "I will do my work honestly".

   Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings.
I have always known that cultivating an attitude of gratitude would bring good things into my life but in doing research for this article I found that while many emotions and personality traits are important to well-being, there is evidence that gratitude may be uniquely important.

    According to Wikipedia, "A large body of recent work has suggested that people who are more grateful have higher levels of well-being. Grateful people are happier, less depressed, less stressed, and more satisfied with their lives and social relationships. Grateful people also have higher levels of control of their environments, personal growth, purpose in life and self acceptance. Grateful people have more positive ways of coping with the difficulties they experience in life, being more likely to seek support from other people, reinterpret and grow from the experience, and spend more time planning how to deal with the problem. Grateful people also have less negative coping strategies, being less likely to try to avoid the problem, deny there is a problem, blame themselves, or cope through substance use. Grateful people sleep better, and this seems to be because they think more positive thoughts just before going to sleep."

    Gratitude enhances our sense of satisfaction while balancing the attitudes of greed and entitlement. Practicing gratitude is a workout for the soul: repeated awareness of the blessings in our lives helps us to dwell on the positive and wonderful in our lives. Our positive attitude helps us to master the change instead of being controlled by it.  When we choose to focus our attitudes on the good stuff we find that we indeed have more.

    In the initial article I said that holding your Ring Finger would support this precept. To my way of thinking, this precept relates to the attitude of Sadness and Grief. It is easy to see that adopting an attitude of gratitude will counteract Sadness which corresponds with attitudes of negativity, fear of rejection and grief. These limiting attitudes disrupt the flow of life energy to lung and large intestine functions. It is mucous producing and causes us respiratory distress. When the lungs are overcome by sadness and grief, they are weakened, and this leads to tiredness, breathlessness, depression and dry skin. When we grieve, our ability to release and let go is significantly restricted. Sadness often manifests a smoking addiction which further depletes the lungs.

    The opposite of sadness is the all encompassing feeling of joy and laughter.  When we are in balance, we experience deep trust and the ability to let go of emotions and experiences that are holding us back. It is indeed up to you how you choose to look at life. My hero, Joseph Campbell, reminds us to "Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy."  Yes, the choice is up to you. Happiness isn't something that just happens to you, but rather, something you can choose at any time, in any situation. Our happiness is dependent on our ability to feel gratitude for our many blessings.

    To balance sadness, HOLD the RING FINGER for about 5 minutes or until you can feel a gentle rhythmic pulsing. Even and clear. Breath easily. Relax the shoulders and smile from the very heart of you.  As you hold the RING FINGER, sadness begins to melt away, mucous conditions are eased, breathing distress is reduced and you facilitate the vital flow of life energy and joy throughout the body. With the restoration of harmony, it becomes easier to trust, to let go and to appreciate. Smile. Breath easy and revel in your many blessings.
"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts
are conscious of our treasures."
~Thornton Wilder

I Will Work Honestly

"Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts.
This is the secret of success."
~Swami Sivananda
    Just for today, I will do my work honestly. This is the next Reiki Precept that we will examine. As I was thinking about the precepts as Principles to Live By, I wanted to tie each precept in to the Jin Shin Jyutsu practice of holding fingers to harmonize limiting beliefs and bring balance to BE-ing. The Precepts of  "I will let go of Worry" and "I will let go of Anger" were easy to connect to the corresponding finger. Work Honestly, does not on the surface, talk about a limiting attitude, but with a little thought it was easy!

    Just for today, I will do my work honestly. Look at the definition of Honesty:  1. uprightness and fairness. 2. truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness. 3. freedom from deceit or fraud. TO my way of thinking this precept is about what Mary Burmeister refers to as Pretense, Laughing on the outside while crying on the inside, Try-to's. This attitude was a hard one for me until I realized that its positive attribute is "Speak your truth, be honest with yourself and all others". So it becomes easy to see how this precept relates to the attitude of Pretense!  Honesty is to face the truth in all things starting with your self and the things that you choose to do with your time and energy. It about our potenial to live an effortless reality, to do our work with honesty and  integrity, to speak our truth in all things.

    The attitude of PRETENSE is destabilizing to our skeletal structure, heart and small intestine functions. Pretense includes feelings of insecurity, effort, selfishness, overdoing it, and cover-up (crying on the inside while laughing on the outside). This attitude speaks to our effort, our "trying to" do whatever. The effort that it takes just to get through the day. This attitude tells us that there is a conflict of desire that is incompatible with who we really are.

    Pretense can manifest in a work addiction. The opposite of Pretense is BEING. It means being true to who you really are, not who you think others need you to be. It means speaking your own truth, speaking out. To balance PRETENSE, HOLD the LITTLE FINGER for about 5 minutes or until you can feel a gentle rhythmic pulsing. Even and clear. Breath easily. Relax the shoulders and smile from the very heart of you.

    As you hold the LITTLE FINGER, nerves are settled and the need for pretense is diminished. Stress is eased, bloating reduced, and sore throats are relieved. Remind yourself that we are Human BEINGS not Human TRYINGS. Let go of effort. Allow the universe to unfold spontaneously before you. Revel in the effortless reality that is your life.  

"To live in truth is to be aligned with your inner knowingness and is the simplest,
least complex way to live."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Take up Yoga!

  "Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are."
~Jason Crandell
     I love my yoga classes! Practicing yoga along with Jin Shin Jyutsu is a perfect combination for keeping a sense of balance in my life. In many of the restorative poses, I can do some simple self-help holds or mudras at the same time clearing blockages and restoring balance and well-being. I often suggest yoga to my clients as a support for the healing work that we do together. The practice of yoga brings with it a blissful peace in body, mind and spirit.

"Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity.  This evolution includes all aspects of one's being, from bodily health to self-realization.  Yoga means union - the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul.  Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one's actions."  ~B.K.S. Iyengar

     In his writing, 'The Meaning and Purpose of Yoga', Bhole Prabhu says that "Yoga defines itself as a science--that is, as a practical, methodical, and systematic discipline or set of techniques that have the lofty goal of helping human beings to become aware of their deepest nature. The goal of seeking to experience this deepest potential is not part of a religious process, but an experiential science of self-study. Religions seek to define what we should believe, while a practical science such as meditation is based on the concrete experience of those teachers and yogis who have previously used these techniques to experience the deepest Self. Yoga does not contradict or interfere with any religion, and may be practiced by everyone, whether they regard themselves as agnostics or members of a particular faith."

     There are many forms of yoga, so I suggest trying several until you find one that works for you. Many yoga studios have special deals for new students to try out different classes and instructors. Add yoga to your daily self-care routine and you will be surprised by a new peace of mind, sense of graceful movement and ease of breath!
"Blessed are the flexible,
for they shall not be bent out of shape."
~Author Unknown

Let Go of Anger

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else;
you are the one who gets burned.”

    The graphic image that I used last week about Worry was so powerful for so many of you that I searched out this Flow Chart of Anger to go with today's article. I love how the chart brings us from the feelings of powerlessness that leads us into Anger to the "situation changes" and back to Powerful and Healed! It also indicates that if we do not change our strategy, we recycle the anger and so the vicious cycle continues. Which just goes to show you that Letting go of Anger is the path to Healing. Here are some statistics about ANGER for you from the Web. When it comes to anger, studies have shown that:
  • Almost a third of people polled (32%) say they have a close friend or family member who has trouble controlling their anger
  • More than one in ten (12%) say that they have trouble controlling their own anger
  • More than one in four people (28%) say that they worry about how angry they sometimes feel
  • One in five of people (20%) say that they have ended a relationship or friendship with someone because of how they behaved when they were angry
  • 64% either strongly agree or agree that people in general are getting angrier
     Wow! While anger is unpleasant, we must remember that it is a completely normal emotion. As a normal emotion that you simply pass through, letting the feelings flow through and away from you, anger is not particularly harmful. It is when we allow ourselves to fill with anger that it becomes harmful to our being and our relationships.
     The attitude of ANGER is destructive to balance and harmony in the body. IT is the feeling of "I'm not getting my way and I don't like it!" ANGER is a force that can separate the soul from the body as it creates such an intense, destabilizing energy within.
     According to a study of more than 1,000 people at a Western Electric factory in Chicago, over a 25-year period, those with anger management problems were at a high risk of dying from coronary problems, as well as cancer. Chronic anger is also linked with weakening of the immune system, leading to life-threatening illnesses.
    Anger affects the function of Liver and Gall Bladder Energy in the body as well as Blood Essence and can manifest in alcohol addiction.
    The opposite of ANGER is Harmony & Balance.
To balance anger, HOLD the MIDDLE FINGER for about 5 minutes or until you can feel a gentle rhythmic pulsing. Even and clear. Breath easily. Relax the shoulders and smile from the very heart of you.
    As you hold the MIDDLE FINGER, the destructive feelings of anger begin to dissipate. The Middle Finger is the General Harmonizer of the body. It is powerful for the respiratory system and promotes good digestive function while releasing tension from the knees. As we come into balance, we increase our capacity for compassion and reinstate harmony.
    Hold your middle finger whenever you feel "out of balance." As Tomas Merton once wrote, "Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony." Holding the middle finger will remind you that balance is where you really want to live. Funny, isn't it, that often the middle finger is used to express Anger!  Why not use it to balance and clear anger?
"Two things a man should never be angry at:
What he can help, and what he cannot help."
~Thomas Fuller

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Then Don't Worry

"Worrying is like a rocking chair,
it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere."
~Glenn Turner

    The graphic image above has been floating around on Facebook recently, and I just had to share it with you as a follow-up on last week's article. I love how all paths lead to "Then don't worry." Here are some statistics about Worry for you from the Web. When it comes to worry, studies have shown that:
   *40% of what we worry about never happens – so in essence we are wasting our time by worrying.
   *30% of what we worry about has already happened. Learn to “let go” and forgive yourself and others.
   *12% are needless worries, such as what someone else thinks about us.
   *10% are petty and unimportant such as we worry about what’s for dinner, we worry about being late, we worry about what to wear.
   *8% of what we worry about actually happens. Of this percentage:
   *4% of our worries that happen are beyond our control. These worries may include our health, the death of a loved one or an impending natural disaster. Often times the reality of these events are more bearable than the worry.
   *4% of what we worry about we have some if not all control over the results and are the consequences of our actions or inaction on the problems and challenges we face.
    Worry is engaging in chains of thoughts and images of a negative and uncontrollable nature in which mental attempts are made to avoid anticipated potential threats. It is a preoccupation with past or future bad events. It makes you feel as if you were reliving a past event or living out a future one, and you cannot seem to stop those thoughts from happening.
    Worry encompasses depression, hate, obsession, anxiety and self-protection. Worry is the attitude that affects the function of the Spleen, Stomach, and Skin Surface. It inhibits our ability to obtain sustenance. It is associated with an addiction to sweets.
    The opposite of worry is Happiness, the feeling of security in our capacity to be nourished and loved, a confidence in our ability to be sustained in our life. Sustained body, mind and spirit. 
     To balance worry, HOLD the THUMB for about 5 minutes or until you can feel a gentle rhythmic pulsing. Even and clear. Breath easily. Relax the shoulders and smile from the very heart of you.
     As you hold the THUMB, all worries begin to melt away, daily fatigue is unloaded, digestive discomfort, bloating and weight problems are released and you facilitate the flow of life energy throughout the body. Headaches are relieved by holding the THUMB as well as stress in the shoulders and lungs.  Smile. De-stress. Have a great day!
"I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety in order to be light and free."
~Thich Nhat Hanh