I Will Be Grateful for My Many Blessings

“I will be grateful for my many blessing…”

There is a difference between what we want and what we need.  Separating these in your mind and your life can help you live a  much more balanced lifestyle.

Taking comfort in knowing you have a roof over your head, clothing, family, friends, a way to make an income and your health, are basically all we need to be happy.  Sadness tends to happen when we start comparing our lives to the lives of others. There will always be someone who has more … and someone who has less…  Being grateful for what you have helps put things into perspective.

As I go through my spiritual journey, I have started to appreciate things that I took for granted and as I say the mantra ” I will be grateful for my blessings”, and I think of three things I am grateful for.  When I first started thinking about things I am grateful for, I started with the obvious, my health, family, home etc., and as time pasted I started thinking about bigger and smaller things, such as, I am grateful to live in a country where I can express myself as a woman without fear of repercussions, to the birds I see when I am walking my dog.

I look into the sky and take a deep breath and I am grateful to be alive to experience another day… another opportunity to try a new food …meet a new person … laugh at a new joke…

Being grateful for  simplicity made me realize that ‘things’ are not what make me happy, rather memories, feeling, sensation.  Being grateful for what is around me, makes me happy… learning to accept myself and letting go of the need to please others, makes me happy…realizing this before it was too late, makes me grateful.

Namaste

Be yourself.  No one can ever tell you you're doing it wrong.
Be yourself. No one can ever tell you you’re doing it wrong.

Just for Today, I Will Let Go of Worry

‘Just for today, I will let go of worry’… probably the most difficult of the 5 reiki mantras.  For me, worry can affect every aspect of my life, from sleep, to work to relationships.  With this mantra, there are times I have to take it a minute/hour at a time.  One of the ways my Reiki Master suggested I work with this mantra is to understand that I am going through the worry for a reason and that I need to go through it -trust in the universe- and try to let it go.

Hardships and how we deal with hardships are what define us as human beings.  Hardships and worries, at the time can seem like an impossible mountain to climb, but by taking it one step at a time, eventually the summit is reached.  Looking back at hardships and worry, I have found that there were lessons I learned.

For example, a recent struggle for my family occurred when a contractor walked away with a huge amount of money and left us with a mess that needed more money to clean-up.  The financial stress which almost resulted in us losing the house was almost unbearable.  As people found out what had happened, we were inundated with help and support.  We met some wonderful people during our struggle.  Now that things have settled, I have learned how to properly deal with contractors, who my friends really are, and this has strengthen the bond with my husband and kids.  We have a better appreciation for the things we have.

There are many worries that people struggle with that are far worse, and many do not have the happy ending my struggle had.  But as with anything, the storm will pass and you will come out of it a changed person.  Try to learn from the situation and turn to the light.

Just like  letting go of anger, giving yourself one day to not worry about an issue giving you anxiety, may bring a little peace to you.  If one day is too much, then try an hour, mediation can also help.

I feel that a life with some storm in it, makes you fully appreciate the calm after.

Namaste

"After a storm comes a calm" ...Matthew Henry

“After a storm comes a calm” …Matthew Henry

Just for Today, I Will Let Go of Anger

There are five Reiki principles that I say to myself every morning when I wake up.  These principles help guide me thoughts and actions throughout the day.

All five principles start with the words ‘Just for today…  What is powerful about those three words, is the freedom from anxiety you get about trying to live them everyday, but by saying them everyday, you actually start to live them daily.

Just for today…

  1.  I will let go of anger
  2.  I will let go of worry
  3. I will be grateful for all my blessings
  4. I will do my work honestly
  5. I will be kind to all living beings

When I first started practicing Reiki, I would say the five principles but, like most things, it took time for me to bring these principles into my daily life. But as the days progress, I found myself saying these mantras throughout the day.

The next 5 postings, I will discuss one of the five principles.

Just for today, I will let go of anger

This principle is very difficult in practice, and I still struggle with it to this day.  I am human, and I must forgive myself when I find myself not letting go of anger.  But this principle is not only about ‘quick to rise’ anger, but about anger we hold with us day after day.  By allowing yourself one day to let go old resentments, pain and feelings of betrayal, you feel a little bit lighter.  As you say this day after day, you find the cords holding you to this anger get looser and looser and eventually and become non existent.  This doesn’t mean that something can’t trigger your anger, allow yourself the time you need to go through your feelings and start the mantra again the next day -be kind to yourself.

Anger is a poison that eventually makes you toxic -from health issues, to relationships, holding on to anger will eventually seep into every aspect of your life.  The interesting thing is, anger does not necessarily affect the person or situation you are angry with -much of the baggage we carry with us happened so long ago that the situation is over or the person has long forgotten what happened.

I challenge all of you, who read this blog, to try it out.  What do you have to lose… you might find your heart and soul lighter and clearer.

Namaste,

Cristina

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Just Bloom

“A flower does not think of competing with the next flower, it just blooms”… author unknown

I read this quote at a dance competition I was at with my daughter.  Dance competitions can be a difficult especially when you have a child or dance group that work hard and do not meet the judges expectations.  It was during this particular competition, our groups were not doing well even though, us parents thought they were amazing, that this quote showed up on my feed for the first time.  I stopped to really think about it and realized that this was what these dancers were doing, they were blooming.  The groups competing with them were also blooming and this made me forget about the adjudication and I just enjoyed the show.  The anxiety I was feeling was gone…  What a great relief.

I started thinking about this quote and applied it to situations in my life.  I realized that we compete with others everyday, every hour…   competing with other peers, chasing after the closest parking spot, wanting our kids to be better than the rest… the list goes on and on.  If you think about it, our lives seem to revolve around competing with one another.

Let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture.  There will always be people better than us, prettier, smarter etc.  Does it really matter that they are?  Letting go of our need to compete with each other, though not an easy task, can be liberating.  It can reduce stress and anxiety.  It opens us up to self-love and acceptance of who we are, flaws and all.  By ‘just blooming’  you also learn to enjoy other people’s accomplishments and rejoice in their success.  It is no longer a burden to hide feelings of inadequacy because you are ‘just blooming’… just being yourself.

Namaste

Cristina

Just bloom...
Just bloom…

Meditation -Time for Me and Only Me

Trying to manage a family and full-time job is very stressful and requires a lot of patience and re-prioritizing throughout the day.  I was finding myself loosing my temper at home, not managing stress properly at work and making mountains out of mole hills when faced with roadblocks.

During my reiki journey I was introduced to meditation. This was not something that I just started and went ‘hey, meditation is awesome and so easy” rather I found it very frustrating as it was difficult to turn-off the day-to-day worries.  I was determined to teach myself how to meditate because I needed to do something to manage my stress.

After some trial and error, I found, for myself at least, the best way to start is by doing little guided meditations.  Youtube has some wonderful guided meditations, just start with a 5 minute one and try to do it daily -don’t fret if you miss a day or two, life is busy, but also remember it is only 5 minutes, so don’t procrastinate.  I also found having some Tibetan Healing Bowling in the background while cleaning my house also helped quiet my mind, but it is up to you to try out.

So if you do find yourself having trouble staying quiet for 5 minutes whilst being guided through the mediation, that is OK, acknowledge the thought then let it pass and focus again on your breathing and the words guiding you. Breath deep and focus on the inhale and exhale, it is a good way to get back into the groove of the meditation.  Be kind to yourself if you struggle, just don’t give up.  This may take some people days and others weeks or months to get through the 5 minutes of peace.

Afterwards, build yourself up to 10 minutes.  A beautiful meditation I love to do is this wonderful guided one to easy worries and anxiety (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoYnqvadurg).  There is a lovely part of the meditation that says ‘you only have time for this’ -I find that line just what I need to get deeper in the mediation.

Once you get through 10 minutes, try a non-guided meditation.  Find music that resonates with you -I like Tibetan healing bowls, search youtube also Oprah and Deepak Chopra do 21 day meditations for free, you just need to sign-up http://www.hopracentermeditation.com.

I see and speak to so many people who are in the same place I was in 2013… stressed fed-up and just going through the motions of life.  Mediation is a great way to start on your path to loving yourself and life again -you may start finding your self stopping and smelling flowers again.   It is a time you have put away for you and ONLY you.  Try this out and invest 5 to 10 minutes on yourself.

Namaste

It is time to start enjoying the things around you again.
It is time to start enjoying the things around you again.

My Spiritual Awakening

I was raised Roman Catholic and raised my children Roman Catholic.  I had always found many parts of the catholic dogma difficult to swallow.  Its treatment of women -not giving them any real power in the church- and the arrogance of many of its leaders, were two main issues.  Because I was taught that faith asks no questions and this is the way it is, I went about my life OK with all of this.  I had finally had enough when I met a woman who was head of the religious education program at my parish.  She was extremely judgmental and critical of others and how they lived their lives -if Jesus wasn’t put first and foremost, then you did not belong and were not a good catholic.

My kids and I had attended regularly for years, and both kids help in the parish.  The year my daughter was to do her Confirmation, I made sure that nothing conflicted with the activities the church had planned for the students.  The Prep coordinator then changed the time of the final rehearsal -well my daughter dances and this change conflicted with her dance recital and I quickly emailed the church.  The Prep coordinator decided to make an example of my daughter and told the class that some kids should not be receiving their Confirmation because they are not putting Jesus first.   I was done.

I started to really think about myself, about God and about the world around me.  I realized that we are born knowing good from bad -light from dark- this is ingrained in our DNA.  God is ingrained in our DNA and he/she is constantly speaking to us, we have just chosen not to listen, rather we have been lead to believe that the church, bible, priest, are the only ones who hear God.  We hear God in the wind, we see God in nature we feel God in our soul.  My spiritual journey is just beginning and I have jumped in with both feet and I am not looking back.

What is Reiki

Reiki is an ancient healing technique dating back several thousand years. It was rediscovered by Dr. Mikao Usui in the late 1800.

Reiki is an ancient holistic, light touch, energy-based modality. It re-establishes a normal flow of ki (life force energy, pronounced CHEE), this enhances and accelerates the body’s innate healing ability. Treatments focus on balancing energy in he energy centers -or chakras- of the body.