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by Colleen Benelli
First Published – Reiki News Magazine, Spring 2009.
Artwork by Gaia Orion.
My own story has been similar to others. My life has felt very challenging and emotional over the past year. It took a lot of effort to stay optimistic and creative. I spent a lot of time with Reiki during this time. I did self-Reiki, prayed, meditated, asked for enlightened guidance, and listened for answers on how to manage my intense feelings and emotions. Sometimes my emo- tions were so loud, I could barely hear, and there were some days I didn’t want to do Reiki at all. In spite of my resistance, my Reiki guides answered my prayers and gave me wise advice that restored my optimism about the future. I know in my heart that it is easier to live life with optimism than with pessimism, and that I feel healthy, strong, and creative when I am optimistic.
Scientific studies indicate that it is better to be optimistic than pessimistic. Dr. Martin Seligman of the University of Penn- sylvania has conducted extensive research in the area of positive psychological states and has discovered that optimistic people are healthier physically and emotionally, live longer, are more successful, are more persistent, and experience less stress than pessimists. Therefore, when it comes to dealing with challenging situations in life, it is advantageous to be in an optimistic state of mind. Most know this from experience, but having science vali- date this idea gives additional incentive to always maintain an optimistic state of mind.
Most of the Reiki people I meet are generally optimistic peo- ple by nature as well as through intentional practice. Many of us consciously choose optimism as a way of life. Optimism is part of our spiritual practice and activism. We spend time training ourselves to think positively as a way to contribute to the health of the world. We read and write about it and create and follow techniques that help us manage our minds so we can think and act positively. We talk about optimism amongst ourselves. We place a high value on the importance of an optimistic attitude. We know from experience that life is easier when we are optimistic.
However, like everyone else, it’s possible for Reiki practition- ers to experience very difficult life circumstances at times, and it can be challenging to remain positive. Illness, financial difficul- ties, relationship issues, pain, and loss are very real and can cause intense reactions and emotions within us. Sometimes optimism can feel very far away and seem like an additional responsibility in the face of our challenges. At times like these, Reiki can help to bring optimism back. In fact, this past year was so difficult for me, and for so many others, that my Reiki guides continually taught me about remaining optimistic so I could write this arti- cle. They hear our thoughts and listen to our struggles and want to offer healing solutions from a Divine perspective. They know that many Reiki practitioners are having a hard time living up to their own standards of optimism, and they have the following advice for us. It seems simple, but it has been amazingly effective for my clients, friends and me. They suggest:
That we be gentle with ourselves. It is ok if we are not perfectly spiritual and optimistic all the time. We are human beings, having human experiences, living in an imperfect world. We are often too hard on ourselves when we don’t live up to our own expectations.
When life gets tough, just do Reiki. We place far too much pressure on ourselves to do Reiki in a particular way. We do not have to stop doing what we are doing in order to do Reiki. We can activate Reiki while doing anything else we do. We can activate it at work, while cleaning house, or watching TV. We can activate it any way that is convenient and appropriate for the moment. We can draw the symbols, use intention, or simply say “Reiki on.” All too often we think that we either have to do Reiki or our other life activities, that we don’t have time to do both. So we don’t do Reiki at all. But Reiki isn’t limited in that way. It works at any time, in any place, regardless of our activities, or the method we use to turn it on.
Reiki works by invitation. It does not judge or evaluate how we invite it; however, it does need our permission. It will never impose its assistance; that would violate our free will to live the way we choose. All Reiki needs is a simple sentence, thought or intention, and it is immediately available. Our spiritual practices, mediation, and self-Reiki are all important, and they truly enrich our lives. They fill us up, center us, and help us stay connected to our hearts and spirit around us. But they are not required for Reiki to work.
As soon as Reiki is activated, its high frequencies of energy immediately begin to raise our vibration, activate our spiritual guidance, and increase our life force energy. Reiki boosts vitality and calms the mind. Solutions to our issues become easier to see, and the actions we need to take become clearer. Reiki strengthens the light inside and around us so that we are not impacted by the emotions around us. It is easier to feel optimistic when our life force energy is strong and our spiritual guidance system is turned on.
It is possible to live in joy and be optimistic even when we have difficult times or experience negative emotions. Joy and optimism are more than an external feeling affected by personal events. Joy and optimism are very high light vibrations. Joy is our internal belief in beauty, grace, love and truth. Joy is faith, cre- ativity, kindness, optimism, and the compassion we have in our hearts. We can also express joy through our beliefs, our internal character, behaviors, and actions. In spite of our feelings, we can practice kindness, love, and receptivity and see beauty and the endless potential of good in others as well as ourselves. We can still hold that internal belief in optimism and be happy, even though some days we don’t “feel” happy. True joy and optimism are felt and sustained inside over long periods of time, regardless of our emotions in any given moment.
We have spiritual, mental, emotional and physical bodies. When our optimism is depleted and our emotional body is weak, we need to empower our spiritual, mental and physical bodies until our emotional body is stronger. It is difficult to suppress our emotions, so the easiest way to heal our emotions is through the support provided by a strong internal spirit, mind and body.
The Reiki symbols can provide strengthening support on all levels. They have high vibrational frequencies that can help empower the spirit, mind, and body. The Power Symbol is a very physical and tangible energy. It can assist in healing the physical body and also help us discern which actions are appropriate for the highest good of all. The Mental/Emotional symbol heals and empowers the mind. It helps us think of positive solutions and creative ideas, and it helps us create the habits we need in order to manifest our ideas. The Distant Healing symbol enlightens our spirits and connects us to the Divine spirit in all things. When our spirits are awake, we can hear our own hearts and advice from the enlightened beings that assist us in our daily lives.
In spite of the individual and collective stress of the past year, many people feel great optimism for 2009. Even though I still have many of the same challenging life issues I had last year, I fall into the category of genuine hope in the future. I believe that humanity has an incredible opportunity to create an ever-higher level of consciousness in our world. Perhaps all the changes we are experiencing are an answer to our collective prayers for a new future and we just cannot see that far ahead yet.
Mahatma Gandhi taught us that we are able to create the future by being the change we want to see in the world. If we are to look to success and believe in our ability to make a difference, we can look at him as our model. His form of activism was a pure belief in peaceful action. He inspired an entire people to believe with one mind that a higher way was possible. He taught them how to take positive action while holding the principles of their beliefs in every action they took. Their higher collective consciousness empowered a nation to freedom. Their peaceful rebellion was a success. We see from their example that it can be done.
At this moment in time, we have an opportunity to create a tipping point in our collective consciousness that will usher in another age in human history. Enough people in the world desire this outcome that it is a real possibility. I hold the optimistic belief in humankind’s ability to grow into a higher state of grace in the way we live here on this planet. We are brilliant beings, and we absolutely have the intelligence and will to invent tools and technology that support our needs in a way that is sustainable and compatible with the earth. We are re-awakening to our living planet and our spiritual connection to it. People are seeking ways to heal themselves, each other, and the planet. We are ready to create a future filled with possibility.
The spread of Reiki is a great example of how many people are seeking spiritual and physical healing for themselves, others and the planet. In 1980, only Mrs. Takata’s twenty-two Reiki Masters were known in the western world. Today, there are millions of Reiki Masters and Reiki practitioners all over the world. Reiki reaches out even in the most remote areas and countries. As each person in the world activates Reiki, the presence of Divine light is increased and gets brighter. Together, we create a collective web of Divine light that surrounds the earth and is empowered with spiritually guided life force energy. Divine radiance gets stronger and God consciousness is present. A higher vibration illuminates shadows and replaces lower frequency vibrations such as hate, judgment, anger, and fear with joy, miracles, peace, love and optimism.
Adding Reiki light to the web of Divine light is my form of activism. I actively choose to have an optimistic viewpoint of the world, because I believe that as we each empower the light with optimism and joy, the collective consciousness is created with a higher frequency and a critical mass of positive thought is possible. We can be the change we want to see in the world.
Dr. David Hawkins’ 29 years of research supports this view. In Power vs. Force he writes, “…in this interconnected universe, every improvement we make in our private world improves the world at large for everyone.” Dr. Hawkins concludes that 87 per- cent of humanity lives in lower weakening frequencies. However, his research also concludes that, “High-energy people counter- balance the negative effect of low-energy people. One individual who lives and vibrates to the energy of optimism and a willing- ness to be nonjudgmental of others will counterbalance the neg- ativity of 90,000 individuals who calibrate at the lower weaken- ing levels.”
In his book The Power of Intention, Dr. Wayne Dyer says this of Dr. Hawkins’ research: “The implications of these figures are immense for discovering ways of improving human conscious- ness… By raising your own frequency of vibration only slightly to a place where you regularly practice kindness, love, and receptiv- ity, and where you see beauty and the endless potential of good in others as well as yourself, you counter-balance 90,000 people somewhere on this planet who are living low-energy levels of shame, anger, hatred, guilt, despair, depression, and so on.”
As Reiki practitioners we have the tools available to us to heal ourselves when life gets tough and we can’t find the optimism in the moment. Reiki advises us to be gentle with ourselves, to know that we still hold joy in our hearts even though we may have other external emotions, to empower all parts of us in order to heal the weakened part, and to just do Reiki at any time, in any place.
Optimism for the future is a beautiful energy to hold and carry on behalf of the world. Our own beliefs and actions have the ability to change the negative lower vibrations of others. Reiki can help us find the optimism we hold within, and it can heal our hearts so that we can be the change that we want to see in the world.
Colleen Benelli can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 503.912.0664, on her website at www.reikilifestyle.wpengine.com, or on her Facebook page, Reiki Lifestyle-Colleen Benelli. Join Colleen’s monthly ReikiChat™ conversation, www.reikichat.com.