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

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