"Authentic spirituality awakens the soul, reconnects us with the sacred, and fills us with the passion of life. Spiritual development is not about religious rituals and practices; it is about waking up to the wonder of life." -- David N. Elkins
How often do we find ourselves being connected to the wonder of life as it unfolds in each moment in every flower, bird and breeze? Like most people who live on planet earth we are too busy “doing” our lives to have the time to connect to anything but the endless to do list we have in our minds or have written on a piece of paper. It seems as if life by its very nature is speeding up and we are hard pressed to keep up with it all. Taking time to do Reiki on ourselves and others certainly gives us this feeling of connection. But life is busy and we tend to get caught up in it and forget about ourselves; days pass by, even weeks and we loose that connection without even realizing it.
I sometimes found myself sitting at the hairdresser or standing in line at the grocery store hearing conversations about the endless places parents must take their children to and how they jockey time to run children to different schools, after school activities and sports. I often wonder when any Mother, Father and child could have the time to just BE. To have that infinite space to breathe, connect and then go forward…or stop to really smell the roses.
Cell phones make it easier for us to “catch” each other, but honestly do we want to be “Caught” and available no matter where we are and what we may be doing 24/7? Don’t we need to slow down and take time out to recharge our batteries, to even think about what it is we want or need, rather than getting caught up in the endless maze of what we call living.
There is a deep need inside each of us to feel fresh, alive; full of joy and wonder. In order to touch into that essence we also need to slow down enough to connect to it, rather than push so hard that we seem to push this peace and joy away. When was the last time you laid on your back and looked at the clouds in the sky and said what shapes the clouds were taking? Or when was the last time you just watched a butterfly as it flew through the garden touching flowers, drinking the dew from within and flying on? Better yet, when was the last time you simply put your hands on yourself to do Reiki for more than a few minutes? Our intention may be there, but we have a tendency to cut us short…after all there is so much to do…and besides we can take longer or even do “it” tomorrow. For many of us tomorrow just keeps being put off and for very good reasons.
What I realized in my own style of living was that I had not thought to “book” an appointment to do Reiki on myself, much less spend time with just me. I remember my own Reiki Teacher telling me how important it is to give myself a Reiki treatment each day…in fact I have said that to all my students over the years, yet I was not practicing what I preached on a regular basis. My schedule continued to fill up, I had meetings after meetings with folks squeezed in between breakfast and a coffee meeting at 10am. Once I got that I was just as important as all the people I was trying to spend time with. I started making Reiki appointments with myself; I would take an hour here, an hour there always starting with Reiki that soon lead to needing more quality time and ore Reiki time with me. At first it was harder to slow down and enjoy the time I had carved out because I was a human “Doing” and being still was a waste of time…or was it?
The first appointments with me consisted of doing Reiki on myself and then taking walks while looking at nature, I often sat and did nothing else but look and become still giving myself Reiki. It was so refreshing to give myself permission to do this. The end result was that I came away from each encounter with myself refreshed and connected…and I wanted more because I realized the more still and connected I was the better I was not only for myself but others as well. Life worked with me rather than we working against life. Reiki enabled me to come into a better relationship with me and the world around me. Parts of my being that I had been to busy to pay attention to now started to feel open and energetic. I was connected and felt ALIVE. I had reconnected with Reiki on a personal note and myself.
"Sometimes people get the mistaken notion that spirituality is a separate department of life, the penthouse of existence. But rightly understood it is a vital awareness that pervades all realms of our being... Wherever we may come alive, that is the area in which we are spiritual." -- David Steindl-Rast
I realize that it may be hard to just get off the roller coaster called life and sit down for a while with out being busy. It’s a challenge to start putting yourself first even for small blocks of time to do Reiki and also have more quality time as well.
I can give you some pointers, a place or two to start. First open your agenda/schedule, or open it online in your PDA, Phone or what ever program it is stored in. If you are any thing like me I had so many appointments I found myself out even most evenings. So take on evening “this week” and write…time just with my best friend to do Reiki and hang out. And give yourself at east an hour. Then look ahead 2 to 3 days, maybe to a Saturday or Sunday and write in a 2 hour slot time just with my best friend to do Reiki and hang out.
Understand that these two appointments can not be broken or changed. It is a commitment you are making to you, your best friend. This is a time to just be with you, not sleeping in, filling up the hour or two with TV, sports, any activity; it is time to be quiet with you doing Reiki and what ever else you wish to do… Oh I can hear your mind…but, what will I do? You will do nothing at first but sit and be with yourself giving yourself Reiki. In the next section I am giving you some conscious raising activities that can help you.
At first it may seem silly or hard to just slow down but hopefully you will discover like I did that in that time with my best friend, me I realized …”hey this feels good” and I want more Reiki and time for ME.
Obviously once you have started this you will continue to book Reiki and hang out time with yourself on a weekly basis. You may find later that this becomes time to touch in to you, you may wish to journal, meditate, and be still and one with nature. Out of your experiences you will find all sorts of places to experience the deep well spring of Oneness and joy with your Best Friend.
Two Consciousness Raising Exercises
1.) Take a walk only your approach to walking will be different. With each in breathe take a step, with every out breath take another step. Breathe in a slow and deliberate manner. You may feel at first as if it is impossible to move so slow and deliberately. This is only your mind/ego not wanting you to get connected; it may even be saying “This is impossible. I have other more important things to do!’ It is Ok, deliberate walking is a moving meditation and it may take a few minutes to truly slow down and get quiet. Use your breath to guide you.
As you walk slowly begin to look around you and see what you connect to. Take in what you see as slowly and deliberately as your steps. Feel your whole body begin connecting to what you see. Allow yourself to look at things close up and then shift your gaze to things far away always coming back to the awareness of your breath.
Look to each side of you both close and far away breathing in what you see. Now look down as you slowly walk. Be aware that each step makes an imprint on the earth. Now stop and notice how you are feeling. How expanded are you? If you had any problems doing this exercise use your Reiki hands on the areas of your body that may not feel as connected as others. Honor what you have seen and what you are feeling now.
It is surprising how much we can see and take in once we have consciously slowed down. Repeat as often as you like. It is especially helpful when you have had a stressful day or have been feeling disconnected. After you have finished give yourself Reiki for at least 20 minutes. What is happening is that Reiki is helping you to integrate your experience. Taking “Home” your new level on consciousness and internal peace.
2.) To help us return to the Simplicity and wonder of Life let’s focus our attention on a flower. We know that each flower starts life as a seed. Within this seed is contained everything the flower ever needs in order to grow to full bloom, to reach its full potential.
As the flower buds, and grows, putting out one tentative leaf after another and then the first bud, the flower knows that the only purpose of its existence is to bloom and to be the best and most beautiful it can be, just for itself. This celebration of its very being is the flowers joy and the expression of its God Self as Love.
The flower is nourished by the earth, finally reaching maturity. The flower isn’t afraid to share its beauty with the entire world because it knows that this is what it came into existence to do. The flower sounds its own personal musical note joyfully without fear to everything and everyone. In this way, whole gardens sing together, each existence holding their own musical note within the harmony of life and those who pass by to admire also add to this beautiful and harmonious song.
Then, having fully lived its cycle of life, singing its song to the fullest it slows down its reproduction of itself, and starts to degenerate. As life starts up, it must also wind down; this is a natural cycle and a part of Divine Right Order. Often we call this process nature.
Before the flower dies it throws out a seed as its last expression of life. However life continues as each new seed sprouts. Each generation might be slightly different, though, because Life is really a spiral, not a circle. We never return to the same place from which we started. We cannot, because of the experiences or expressions of life cause us to grow in some new way, always, and forever.
Knowing all this about life of this flower Look at the flower and take in the essence of the flower; be at one with it. Take in every detail of the flower and then the surroundings of where it is growing. Finally sit quietly and see how the flower can and does represent all of life, even you.
You might ask yourself…If this is Life, then, and each flower, leaf, tree, animal etc is living life in their own ways, what happened to me in terms of my humanity? What has caused me to be in such dis-chord with myself, with life, with the earth, the universe too? What has caused this within in me?
The answers to this relate to a separation of Self from Spirit, or a denial of that which has always been found within us all; our inherent wisdom, our guidance, our intuition.
Once you have finished sit quietly and give yourself a Reiki treatment…By taking this time you help to deeply integrate your experience. By allowing yourself to slow down and take in nature…a flower, all the magic in the garden or in the forest or perhaps even on the street you live helps to reconnect to all that is and will be, and most of all…our wonderful self. This is the truest essence of...a Human Being. Reiki goes with this process naturally like our breath, deep, true, supporting and loving.
Blessings and Love,