By Jeff Baird, Sunrise Reiki Colorado
It can be so challenging not to get caught up in the news of the day when we are bombarded with images and stories that incite fear and worry. Things like nuclear bombs, death, destruction, pandemics, food and water shortages, wildfires, poverty, wars, rumors of wars and man’s vicious inhumanity to his fellow man were front and center this morning as I started my day. I turned off the news and whispered to myself, “Just for today…I will not worry, and I will not anger.” Dr. Mikao Usui, the Founder of Reiki, shared these words with us many years ago, and their eternal wisdom is just as timely today as they ever were.
In January 2012, I was first attuned to Reiki, and heard those words for the first time. At that moment, I still didn’t know what I didn’t know yet. I had no idea how Reiki was going to change my life. But I was so intrigued by the power of those words and wondered how they were even possible. I had spent most of my life consumed with worry and anger and was a master at stirring things up and taking everything, including worry and anger, to a whole new level. Let’s just see how worried and angry you can get Jeff! I wore my high blood pressure readings like a badge of honor.
This way of thinking led me to alcohol abuse and to a place where inner peace and happiness really weren’t welcome at all. With all that worry and anger bubbling up inside of me, things like self-care were foreign to me. For years I numbed my pain with alcohol and pain pills. Then years later, I met my first Reiki Master in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. He had retired from conducting Reiki classes, but I was fortunate enough to have him as my first spiritual teacher. I took my Reiki Level I & II class from him and loved to sit next to him during AA meetings. He helped me learn and to embrace the parallels of the healing words of A.A. and Reiki. One Day at a Time and Just for Today were the new words that I was striving to live by, and an inner peace and happiness began to grow inside of me. This new way of being made me realize how much time and energy I had wasted thinking about things that never happened anyway – just like Tom Petty said in his song, “Crawling Back to You.”
My A.A. sponsor once said to me that alcoholics could mentally turn a broken shoelace into visions of being homeless and living under a viaduct in a matter of seconds. He seemed to know me too well. He also taught me a new word – “Catastrophize.” Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines catastrophize as, “to imagine the worst possible outcome of an action or event.” Old habits can be hard to break, but with Reiki’s help we learn to leave behind all things that no longer serve our highest good, and that certainly includes catastrophizing.
So, just for today, despite the terrifying headlines, I choose not to worry or get angry. This choice brings me a feeling of gratitude and contentment that will make this God-given day a blessing for me and everyone who I encounter. There is plenty of worry and anger out there to go around. And I don’t want to be part of the problem by throwing gasoline on a raging fire that is engulfing our world’s collective consciousness.
Gratitude and worry do not mix. They are like oil and water. Love and anger also do not mix, and I believe love is still the most powerful force in the world today, tomorrow, and forever. I call Reiki “love from above,” and have seen firsthand how it helps to heal us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Thank God for Reiki and Dr. Mikao Usui.
I have been involved with countless healings both in-person and from a distance for over ten years now. The pandemic and the latest breaking news have given me the opportunity to rediscover the importance of self-Reiki. I’m so used to sharing the healing energy with others that sometimes I forget to take the time for self-care. But that is not the case as I type these words. Today, and every day during these unprecedented times, I give myself Reiki first thing in the morning before I get out of bed to set the tone for the day. Then, around lunchtime, I spend roughly 10-15 minutes for self-Reiki to keep that positive energy flowing. I also take quick Reiki breaks when I am on hold or waiting for my next task to begin. Then, at night, as I pray, I give myself Reiki before sharing it with the world to remain true to my purpose of healing the world – one soul at a time. Reiki always delivers and for that I am eternally grateful.