REIKI is a Japanese word meaning “universal life energy”. The syllable REI reflects the cosmic dimension, the unlimited nature of this potential while the syllable KI means life energy. Reiki therefore means universal life force. This force is inexhaustible, it is an uninterrupted flow. It is the energy of the cosmos, the force that provides life and sustains everything that lives in our world: men, animals, plants. Maybe you heard of tai chi or aikido? Syllables ki or chi energy are synonymous as in the word Reiki. In other cultures using different concepts such as light
or the Holy Spirit (Christianity) we talk about bioplasma bioenergy (Russian research) or Prana (Hinduism and Buddhism). Reiki is a natural therapeutic method that was rediscovered in the mid-nineteenth century by Mikao Usui, hence the name given to medical knowledge: Usui system,a healing process based on the laws of nature. The most simple and concrete to describe
Reiki is the art of channeling the life energy of the cosmos by the laying on of hands. When Reiki is activated and applied for medical purposes, it communicates with the body, mind and spirit. It increases the body’s ability to relieve symptoms, physical manifestations of the disease and reveal the soul and spirit of the causes of a medical condition, suffering, an existential malaise, inhibitions. It is necessary that you update the underlying causes of a psychological problem or physical condition to take your life fully, and thus be able to taste the joy and happiness that comes from a healthy balanced diet. Reiki is also a way to guide you in your spiritual journey ….Reiki is a method that is both gentle and effective which will allow you to discover your spiritual vocation and the meaning of your life. Reiki creates in you a feeling of unity, a sense of merging with others, with all humanity and Mother Earth.
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How many times have you thought…I wish I had better posture? Maybe at one time you did have good posture, but with years of being slumped over a computer, gravity has pulled you forward. Maybe you noticed your reflection accidentally and gasped ” What happened to me!”…Or like me you may have suffered from scoliosis since birth and always had difficulty feeling comfortable and aligned. We feel guarded and are protecting our hearts when we roll our shoulders forward. Life’s trials and tribulations understandably can do this to all of us. This makes us give-in to low self-esteem, leading our physicality to display any anxiousness we may feel inside.
Well, after many years of searching I can honestly say I have solved a good deal of my discomfort and found ways to sort out my posture. I’d like to share with you one simple seated technique you can do in a chair that will help. You can practice this even at work-no one has to know what you’re up to!
Good posture should feel Good! Not stiff or uncomfortable. Dismiss the saying you may have heard in grade school: “SIT UP STRAIGHT!.” It is incorrect. The truth is the spine has curves (Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar and Sacral) Therefore, it only makes sense that we should align our posture in accordance with those curves.
Here’s the technique, which I call seated posture with coccyx bones pointed backward. (catchy title-I know). If you have Lordosis (sway back) posture this may not be the most effective technique for you. Feel your coccyx bones on the chair-they are the two bony parts under your bum! Most of us will sit on them pointing forward. Try arching your lower back a bit and have your coccyx bones pointing diagonally towards the back. Now feel how your spine stacks itself up on top of itself. Do you feel how your neck is in a better position? Try the old way with the coccyx pointing forward-you feel how your whole torso collapses onto itself and your neck jets forward? It is also more difficult to breath. Now try the new way-pointing those bones towards the back. There should not be too exaggerated of an arch of the spine. Feel your muscles support the spine. Now gently raise your chest up about an inch. This is referred to as “Heart to the sky.” Try it. Lift your heart to the sky. Now your chest is open and you have a better ability to breath. This position also feels great for the spirit! Gently look up to the ceiling, move your neck around a bit. This looking up will counterbalance constantly looking down.
Try this discretely next time you are in a meeting or an interview- you will feel so grounded and present because you are! It is very pleasant to be around someone in this state and you will probably get the job or the loan because you are solidly in your body not pretending to be confident. To pretend confidence is generally a turn off and a sure sign that you’re not secure. True confidence is presence and awareness-ability to roll with the punches/take what comes your way with dignity.
The position should feel relaxed and natural. This will probably happen more as you get used to it. Eventually you will be able to use it in standing and than in walking. Remember, Heart to the sky (and feet on the ground). Most importantly, this technique can greatly improve your posture.
It is important to be in tune with our bodies. They send us important messages constantly that let us know our inner truth and can also help prevent illnesses. Ever feel “butterflies” in your belly? Perhaps you feel a “lump in your throat” at certain times. You may think of a particular person as a real “pain in your neck.” These sensations are real and when listened to can help us tune into our true wisdom and instincts about many situations. These physical sensations can help in listening to your inner voice.
A great way to really be present with ourselves and others is simply to be grateful. Gratitude helps us acknowledge what we have instead of constantly focusing on what we want. Being grateful can feel incredibly full and truly content. It is one of our most blessed feelings and is often overlooked. How can we ever enjoy what we achieve and have if we cannot know what it is to feel grateful? Without gratitude there is greed. Feeling gratitude helps us connect to the present moment and this in turn helps in listening to your inner voice.
Here is an exercise in acknowledging your feet! Why should we acknowledge our feet? There are a multitude of reasons: our feet have been with us since before we are born and so has the rest of our body including our organs, our circulatory systems and every other system of our body (all the reflex points for the body are on the feet). They have been your comrades since before birth through grade school until now. Hold one of your feet and say, “Hello foot and thank you.” Try it! It sounds very silly- I know. I mean it…look down and say, “Hello feet-thank you for carrying me around all these years!”* “Hello feet and thank you!” Now, don’t you feel more present with them and in general? The simple silliness of it helps us feel good. Even if you felt uncomfortable with your body-it has been there with you. By thanking it you are acknowledging your body and yourself, flaws and all. Forgiving our bodies imperfections and cradling it by sending it positive messages goes a long way in strengthening the body-mind connection. How can we truly feel connected in body-mind and spirit without love and acknowledgment of all three? They are all a part of listening to your inner voice.
Practicing gratitude on a regular basis will strengthen one’s connection to one’s inner wisdom. A great meditation to practice as you are falling asleep (or anytime) is to go through the whole body from feet to your scalp, acknowledge and thank it for helping you. If there is a place that needs extra attention say for example lower back or neck and shoulders ask if they need something. Using your imagination you can help facilitate your bodies own healing wisdom. Our bodies are sending us messages all the time. We need to listen and then take action. Please see my article, Dynamic Stillness for more information on how to achieve this.
So, go ahead, say “hello” to your feet and thank them! Sometimes silly things are the most sensible of all.
*If one does not have the use of one’s feet this is a positive tool for connecting to the feet or any part of the body.
These meditations above will help in listening to your inner voice.
Most of us feel overwhelmed and overtired during the holiday season. It can be a pressurized time with work deadlines, social obligations and family dynamics. A key at this time is to prioritize and to simplify.
Remember your mental and physical well being are always the priority. Without these you cannot meet those deadlines at work efficiently, enjoy the holiday festivities or any family responsibilities.
A sensible approach is to simplify. Maybe you just can’t make every party. After all, it is a spiritual time as well, so make some time for yourself-it’s Ok to withdraw and enjoy the quietness this season has to offer. A walk in the park or a get together over a cup of coffee may be better for your sanity than a day at the mall.
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