Sometimes, in our busy lives, we get caught up.
We may even get so caught up that we forget to “smell the roses” and embody an “attitude of gratitude” toward the beauty all around us.
Our busyness has our eyes fixated on the horizon — we are always looking for the “next best thing.” What happens when we get to the “next best thing”?
We begin searching for the next.
Then the next. Then the next. Then, someday, our lives come to an end.
If we never stopped to smell the roses, literally and figuratively, what was it really all about?
Perhaps this ability to stop and smell roses isn’t just a sweepingly positive component of life, it’s the point.
We have forgotten how easy it all is; how easily we can open ourselves up to, not only the omnipresent beauty that exists everywhere but to the infinite energy the world is wanting so badly to share with us. We forget that just by appreciating our surroundings and choosing to harness this free, unlimited energy, we can truly and fully live.
In this article, we will discuss how to regain this valuable connection to this Universal, infinite energy, and learn how to develop the strongest sense of smell for all of life’s sweet, sweet roses. We will do this by:
- Discussing the magical art of Reiki Energy Healing, which teaches us how to harmonize with this life force energy for self healing and optimal living.
- Discussing why cultivating “an attitude of gratitude” is so essential to living an optimal life, and how to start doing so immediately.
This article will answer the following questions:
- What is Reiki?
- What are the 5 Reiki Principles?
- Why is an Attitude of Gratitude so important?
- What are some added benefits of having an Attitude of Gratitude?
- What are 5 easy ways to begin enjoying an Attitude of Gratitude?
What is Reiki?
Although it’s formal practice was established in 1922 by Japanese seeker-of-truths, Dr. Mikao Usui, it’s essence has always existed alongside life itself — now that’s old.
Dr. Usui discovered that the invisible energy that brings to life, and exists in, every living thing can be positively manipulated by means of awareness and channeling. With intent, this life energy can be shifted, revitalized, rejuvenated, restored, and balanced. He quickly realized that by optimizing our life force energy in such a way, profound healing can take place; and thus, the practice of Reiki healing was born. It was after an intense earthquake hit Japan that Dr. Usui sought to share this knowledge with the world.
The term Reiki is a combination of the words, “Rei,” and “Ki.”
From a spiritual perspective, Rei can be defined as a Higher Power, or Higher Intelligence: a wise, all-powerful, and creative force that governs and permeates all space and time, and all things both animate and inanimate. It is the all-knowing force behind nature and provides guidance to us throughout our lives. This Higher Power is often to referred to as “God.”
Ki is the invisible — yet oh so powerful — energy that animates, flows throughout, and brings to life all living things. If Ki within a person is high, they will feel energetic, strong, motivated, powerful, confident and, ultimately, thrilled. On the contrary, if Ki within a person is low, they will feel weak, lifeless, and susceptible to illness and mental/emotional/spiritual dis-ease. While Ki is most commonly obtained from food, sunshine, air, and sleep, it is also possible to increase Ki via focused breath and meditation. In other cultures, Ki is referred to as Prana (India), Chi (China), or Life Force Energy (which will be the term used in this article).
So, with these two ideas married, Reiki can be defined as an invisible life force energy that is guided by a Higher Power. Since it is guided by this Higher Power, Reiki energy has an essence and intelligence all of its own and is simply channeled through a practitioner to flow precisely where it is needed in an individual for optimal healing and energy balance.
A Reiki healing session offers a glowing radiance to the client, as well as deep relaxation, pain reduction, feelings of peace and harmony, security, well-being, creative freedom, and many, many others. As all illness (mental, emotional, physical) is said to be caused energetically, Reiki is an effective remedy for nearly every known malady. It is an all-natural, safe, and simple method of self-improvement, aligning with Source, and personal healing.
As unlimited access to life force energy is available to all living things, Reiki healing is a wonderfully simple skill to learn that can be attained by anyone. The ability to channel Reiki energy can be transferred from Reiki Master to student during a Reiki Healing class.
Over time, various methods of Reiki have risen from cultures around the world, but the most popular method still remains Dr. Mikao Usui’s, which is commonly known as The Usui System of Reiki.
What are the 5 Reiki Principles?
Several years after developing The Usui System of Reiki, Dr. Usui had yet another profound realization… He realized that Reiki alone was not complete: energy work could never fully heal a person — in order for Reiki energy to have long-lasting effects, a person must also put forth the effort to heal themselves.
From then on, he knew that consciously deciding to improve oneself was an absolutely necessary component of Reiki healing. To complete the system, he developed The Five Principles of Reiki: a daily guideline for anyone who wishes to live a full, healthy, and loving life.
Dr. Mikao Usui’s Original Text:
“The secret art of inviting happiness
The miraculous medicine of all diseases
Just for today, do not anger
Do not worry and be filled with gratitude
Devote yourself to your work. Be kind to people.”
Over the years, these principles have been valued, dissected, and translated into a multitude of slightly differing versions. However, there is one version that seems to out-rule and over-populate all the others, and it is this:
“Just for today, do not be angry
Just for today, do not worry
Just for today, have an attitude of gratitude
Just for today, work honestly
Just for today, be kind to others”
A breakdown of the Reiki Principles goes as follows:
1. Just for today, do not be angry.
Anger is a very destructive emotion. It blocks our energy and closes us off from the love, compassion, and understanding that is all around us.
We have all felt it. The important thing to remember is that we create anger, it doesn’t just happen to us. Generally, after the anger has been created, we do one of two things with it: 1) swallow it, or 2) attempt to give it to someone else.
Swallowing anger is a dangerous move, for when it is put away, it grows, and is bound to return with more ferocity. Throwing anger at someone else is also a dangerous move, for it only produces more anger (on both ends).
So, the best way to deal with anger, is to not be angry. As things naturally do occur, we must remember that it is not our true nature to be angry. We must try and acknowledge any feelings that arise, breathe deeply, relax, forgive, and let it go.
The opposite of anger is calmness, peace, and openness. . .
2. Just for today, do not worry.
As anger deals with past and present circumstances, worry deals with future ones. Although worrying is not always a bad thing (for instance, worrying about your children being out too late is instinctual), we can usually feel when it is excessive and unnecessary. This unneeded worrying causes our bodies a lot of stress and, just like fear, creates many energetic blockages that can be detrimental to our overall health.
So we must again learn to breathe. We must stop stressing about things that are not in our control, as this will do us absolutely no good — it will only cause disharmony. We must learn to trust in Source/God/Spirit and know that everything will work itself out.
3. Just for today, have an “Attitude of Gratitude.”
By fully embodying gratitude, we can eliminate both worry and anger.
With gratitude, we can be instantaneously transported to a place of openness and well being.
When there seems to be little to be grateful for, extra gratitude is needed — gratitude has the ability to transform any negative emotion, attitude, and thought into one of positivity.
We must be grateful for the many blessings that already fill our everyday lives; that gratitude will attract to us even more things to be grateful for.
Be grateful for your eyes for giving you the gift of sight, the trees for birthing the oxygen you breathe, and the birds for the glorious melodies they sing.
If you are having a difficult time finding things to be grateful for, check out this enlightening video by Gelong Thubten:
Gratitude energizes, revitalizes, and boosts our life force energy tremendously.
4. Just for today, work honestly.
The work we do gives us endless opportunity to learn and grow — this “work” does not refer to being clocked in at the office, but rather, how we spend our energy all throughout the day. We must thrive in our effort to do our very best and live a full and honest life. Working hard and honestly brings purpose, fulfillment, and meaning to our lives, and abundance to our life force energy.
5. Just for today, be kind to others
Kindness allows love to flow swiftly into one’s soul.
It is so important that we be kind, caring, and loving toward others and all living things — including, first and foremost, ourselves. Love and kindness are always intermingled, and nothing will open your energy centers more willingly and widely than love and kindness.
So there you have them, all five. If you are interested in trying to incorporate these principles into your everyday life, just know that for some people, it is at first a bit overwhelming. Fret not, however, because by simply putting forth daily effort (and perhaps just starting with one at a time), these principles will become a habit and part of your inherent personality.
Why is an Attitude of Gratitude so important to Reiki?
So, now that we have discussed what the 5 Reiki Principles are, we will now switch our focus back to the shining star of this article, Principle #3: Just for today, have an “Attitude of Gratitude”: We will mention why it is one of the most important principles, and how adopting an “attitude of gratitude” will not only greatly enhance your Reiki practice, but your entire life.
As mentioned before, gratitude is like a free, all-inclusive, teleportation device that can — anywhere, at anytime, and in any situation — teleport you to a place of calmness and bliss.
It is one of the most important Reiki Principles — if not the most important — because, when we feel gratitude, our energetic doors fling wide open. Immediately, life force energy lovingly weaves itself in and out of all the inner (and outer) workings of our being; healing our mental, emotional, and physical bodies and perfectly optimizing our lives. For this, with gratitude alone, true Reiki healing can take place.
If we can first and foremost fill our hearts with gratitude, then embodying the other 4 principles will become nearly effortless. With gratitude, there is no anger, and there is little reason to worry. Without gratitude, motivation and inspiration to be kind and to work honestly hardly exist.
Gratitude is the smelling of the roses, the point of life.
Reiki practitioners, as well as clients, are highly encouraged (if not required) to practice gratitude as often as they can, for it is the most effective principal at so brilliantly stretching our energy centers open and welcoming life force energy to flow exactly where it needs to.
Unlike occasionally picking and choosing things to be grateful for, a person with an attitude of gratitude will always find (and create) reasons to be appreciative and thus, will constantly be thrilled about life. They will easily be able to tackle any of life’s circumstances with calmness and ease, and their Ki (life force energy) will always be strong and powerful.
What are some added benefits of having
an Attitude of Gratitude?
To get you even more pumped about your future attitude, here are some quick, yet completely scientific and legitimate, added benefits of embodying an attitude of gratitude:
Physical Health Benefits —
- Better sleep
- Less stress
- Fewer doctor visits
- Internal brain chemistry (your thoughts) directly affect your physical well-being
- More energy and increased longevity
- Excitement to exercise
Emotional Benefits —
- More gracious toward others
- More optimistic
- Higher self-esteem
- Less materialistic
- Heightened spirituality
- Greater resilience
- More happiness and calmness
- Less envy
- Increased productivity
Social Benefits —
- More friendly
- Nicer to be around, greater likeability
- Stronger, healthier, and deeper relationships
- Better management
- Increased networking
What are 5 easy ways to begin enjoying
an Attitude of Gratitude?
Sometimes, though not always, it is difficult to automatically and immediately “flip the switch” and “turn on” an attitude of gratitude. That’s okay, the brain just has to start rewiring itself to think differently (it is much better at this rewiring than we expect).
There are many practices that we can being right now to integrate it into our daily routines. It is said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit; this is important to keep in mind when beginning these exercises — if at first they don’t stick, fret not, time is a wonderful glue.
The longer we maintain these practices, the more easily we will be able to “flip on” that gratitude switch. Then, after a while, flipping the switch will no longer be necessary, because an attitude of gratitude will always be turned on.
Alongside habit, however, must be feeling; if you are doing these exercises but not feeling the uplifting, powerful feeling that accompanies them, perhaps you may need to re-focus your intentions.
That being said, here are 5 popularly praised methods of cultivating an attitude of gratitude:
1. Chose a better feeling thought.
The opposite of expressing gratefulness is complaining. When we complain, we completely block our could-be radiating energy centers, and our glorious life force energy is subsequently cut off.
Now, sometimes it can be difficult to jump straight from frustration to floating on pink clouds with sunshine and rainbows. However, it isn’t that difficult to choose a thought that simply feels better.
It doesn’t have to be the best feeling thought, just a better one.
By choosing a better feeling thought, we instantly feel lighter. The more often you can remember to do this (perhaps leave yourself notes), the better you will train your mind to choose positive, grateful thoughts — thoughts that simply feel better.
2. Scan your friends list.
Expressing gratitude to loved ones can give your life force energy an unimaginable boost.
Everyday, scroll through your phone contacts/friends list and chose someone to acknowledge and appreciate. Then, either give them a call, or even just send a text message, and express to them how much they are appreciated. Whether you appreciate specific qualities, or just them as a whole, let me know how great they are.
It is too uncommon for people to receive spontaneous praise, but oh how great it makes both sides feel.
3. Keep a Book of Positive Aspects.
Countless studies have been done to demonstrate the immense benefits of keeping a gratitude journal. Every morning when you wake up, and perhaps even every night before you go to bed, write down a list of at least 10 things you are genuinely grateful for.
Write down the positive aspects of your partner, your job, your house, everything! At first you may have a difficult time coming up with things to write, but by the time you get to number 10, your mind will be flooded with gratitude and life force energy will be excitedly flowing throughout you.
4. Repeat daily affirmations.
In Reiki energy courses, prospective Reiki healers are taught the 5 Reiki Principles. Since an attitude of gratitude is such an important principle to follow, they are oftentimes taught to recite this affirmation throughout the day:
With affirmations, it is of great importance to remember that just repeating the words, alone, won’t change anything. You must feel the gratitude when you say them. And only then will real change begin to manifest every time it is recited.
5. If necessary, make new friends.
A motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, often says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, including yourself.”
Energy is a very contagious thing. Even if you put up your “emotional hamster ball,” being constantly surrounded by unappreciative and negative people will wear on you.
Instead, during this transition, seek out positive people: people who are appreciative, and always finding reasons to smile and be in love with life. This will greatly enhance your ability to remain positive, and being around these bright-lighted people will leave you little room to complain about anything.
If you want to start living your life to the fullest, it is of great recommendation to practice Reiki and finally allow that vital, life force energy to be so intelligently and effortlessly guided into your being. Embracing and fully embody an attitude of gratitude will keep your energy centers wide open and unlimited zest flowing through you.
Your soul will feel lighter, your days will be brighter, and the waves of awestruck ecstasy will soon wash over you as you realize the utter simplicity of it all.
Now, it’s time that we stop getting caught up in life and start living it to the fullest — breathe deep, open up, and smell the roses.
Have you started incorporating an attitude of gratitude into your life?
What kind of results have you had?
Share with us in the comment section below!
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