Saturday, April 18, 2009

...But It's Going to Get Cold Again

Over the last several weeks here in Asheville, NC we have been bouncing back and forth between spring-like weather and what feels like dreary winter again. Each magical sunny day that is brought to us is a reminder of the cycles of growth and renewal that are a natural order of the universe. We can use these to energize our own personal growth as well, which is probably why so many people engage in "spring cleaning" feels right and natural to open up and let the light and sunshine come into our lives as the universe does the same.

But what I have noticed with these glimpses of spring is how very few people can enjoy them for the moment, but will instead focus on the possibility that it may not be here to stay for very long. On these perfect days that have transpired, I've noticed that most people I have commented to about what a lovely day it is, have responded with a declaration like, "Yes, but don't enjoy it too much because it is supposed to get cold again in a few days." These are not perpetually pessimistic people I am talking about, these comments are from almost everyone I mention it to, even those I know as generally positive individuals. And while it is understandable to want the perfection to stay, or be disappointed if it doesn't linger, it is such a waste not to fully enjoy it while it is here.

Why is our nature to not enjoy things simply because they may not be here forever...and what do we miss along the way? I distinctly recall times in my life where I felt like celebrating an accomplishment, not in a gloating way, but in a moment of joy and a feeling of gratitude, when someone around me would temper it with comments like, "Don't get too cocky", "Don't celebrate too much, it may not be so good next month". I don't understand that logic. Of course, life will have its ups and downs, its sunny days and its rainy days. That is part of the natural ebb and flow, and provides us many opportunities to experience all there is, but where does it leave us if we cannot appreciate the good when it is here? Who have we become if we only look toward the negative possibilities that may come our way rather than enjoying the positive moments? And, even more importantly, does our lack of joyful gratitude and celebration keep us from receiving even more things to celebrate?

In sports, it is now commonplace to give penalties for excessive celebration, and while I agree that some celebrations may go a little far and border on taunting, I have watched penalties be given for even the slightest display of excitement over a big game-changing play, no matter what the circumstance or surrounding emotion. I disagree with rules that say a player cannot celebrate distinguished accomplishment or should squelch all emotion in that moment. I think it is inhuman to contain overwhelming joy, and not the least bit good for us. Those moments in life can be rare, whether on a sports field or in everyday life, and we should celebrate them rather than diminish or scorn them.

We should retrain ourselves to enjoy the moment more, to celebrate the beautiful day without regard for the returning cold, rejoice in our successes rather than worry that they will be fleeting, and live in a space that recognizes goodness so as to attract more of it. Are you living your life in such a way as to fully appreciate the good, or are you bracing for the cold that you are certain will find its way back to you? Perhaps if we brace and prepare ourselves for all of the good and blessings that are coming our way, then we will be in place of gratitude that will encourage them to appear more frequently. Make a conscious effort to expect good things, and to enjoy the moment when they are there. Your joy is a celebration that shows gratitude. Be thankful rather than regretful, hopeful rather than doubtful, and see if it makes a difference in your outlook and your ability to deal with life's day to day challenges, which we all are certain to encounter. At the very least, you will have the joy of the moment, and that in itself is a great reward.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Going Out On A Limb

A few days ago, I wrote a post about an article that I had read in which a governing body of Catholic Bishops had basically denounced the practice of Reiki and called it "dangerous". That article escalated a frustration that I have had for some time about how the leaders of Christianity (and many Christian individuals) block and condemn anything that might get in the way of their power base.

Since that posting, I have thought more about devoutly Christian people that I have provided Reiki services for who have been positively blessed and even overwhelmed by the loving energy of Reiki. Many have told me that it was the closest to God that they had ever felt, and that they could see in that moment of "knowing" that it did not contradict their belief and faith in God or Jesus at all, but actually made it stronger and more real than it had ever been. Some have said that although they may have felt God's presence strongly at other significant times in their lives,the experience during their Reiki session with me (or others) was more powerful than any other experience they had ever had. Some had tears of joy and a feeling of love and perfection that had previously been unknown to them, even in a church setting.

The interesting thing is that some of these same people were still reluctant to share the experience with their ministers or others in their church, for fear that it would not be accepted as God, even though they had no doubts of their own experience. Some felt that those at church "just wouldn't get it", even while wishing that the others could experience the peace and love that they felt. I have had many religious discussions with those that I have provided Reiki for, and most of those discussions were in sadness that Christianity or other organized religions approached such subjects with closed minds, even if many of their followers have received powerful benefits from it. Many individuals still feel that they need to keep quiet about it at church.

My wish is that more people will speak up in their churches, synagogues, or other houses of worship. Removing some of the religious roadblocks could prove to be tremendous in the lives of many. If we, one by one, stand up and share our belief that God has given us each the power to heal ourselves and one another through many avenues, we can make a difference. If we simply have the courage to share our experiences with many, to explain how God resides within each of us and is waiting to be set free, then I believe we will change the world. The sooner we step outside of our fears, the sooner we will achieve this, the less we will suffer individually, and the less we will suffer collectively.

Have the courage to look beyond the constraints that our religions and our society have placed upon us...Ask God for more...Tell God that you are ready and willing to have a more real experience and be part of a better world, then look for ways to do so...Surrender to a Higher Self and a more Divine experience, and be free to be all that you can be. Somewhere inside, I believe that each of us knows there is more, and it is time to embrace that experience regardless of what others might say to hold us back. Have courage to be different, the courage to go out on a limb and share ideas that may be different. Jesus did, and if you lack that courage, Jesus and Angels can help you find it...just ask.