Challenges and obstacles are part of life school. If we choose to focus only on this aspect of life, it can become overwhelming. A gratitude practice in which we take time to acknowledge the blessings in our lives can help minimize that.
Gratitude and the Reiki Principles
My Reiki training introduced me to the concept of a gratitude practice. Now, as a Reiki master teacher, I regularly share the Reiki Principles, or precepts as they are also known. This is a set of 5 principles communicated by the founder of Reiki, Dr. Mikao Usui. Dr. Usui shared that incorporating these principles into each day would lead to a lifetime of health and happiness.
The Reiki principles start with Just for today, or some translations say Today only. This reminds us of the importance of living in the moment, of being present with what is happening now.
The 5 Reiki principles are:
- Just for today, I will not worry.
- Just for today, I will not anger.
- Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
- Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings.
- Just for today, I will be kind to my neighbor and all living things.
The Benefits of Gratitude
There are many studies sharing the benefits for gratitude that include:
- increased mental, physical and psychological health
- enhanced empathy
- reduced aggression
- increased happiness
- increased optimism
- improved sleep
- increased and improved relationships.
How to Create Your Gratitude Practice
A gratitude practice can take many forms. For some, a personal journaling pratice works well. This may include literally counting your blessings at the end of the day. It may also be recalling a set amount of blessings at the end of each day. Three seems to be a number that I see suggested often.
Writing thank you notes allows you to share your practice with others. Even just making a mental note of your appriciation for those around you can offer a benefit.
Prayer and meditation allow for gratitude to rest in your mind and on your heart in a unique way.
The important thing about creating your gratitude practice is that it is personal. Any way that you choose to do it is correct.
A gratitude practice is not meant to be spiritual bypassing or ignoring the realities of life. This is not the purpose, nor is that a realistic practice. The purpose of a gratitude practice is to remind us that, in spite of challenges and set backs, there are always opportunities for gratitude.
Even though I have ongoing physical issues from an injury that I received many years ago, I am grateful for the benefits that came from it. I was able to spend soem quality time with a family member before they passed, I deepend my meditation practice and became a certified meditation teacher, and I expanded my herbal eduction as I learned ways to support myself and others.
I have experienced the dark in many ways in my life. My gratitude practice is in place to remind me that there is a balance between dark and light. I am grateful for the incredible people in my life, the benefits of my personal wellness practices, and the ability to share them with you.
I would love to hear about your gratitude practice! Post a message on my Facebook page.
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