#BeingReiki #1000DayChallenge—Day 160: The Tapestry of Life

When I started my Reiki practice, the main benefit I was looking for was to make my life easy.

Yep, that simple, that lazy.

I wanted things to flow and “manifest” without effort, just a half-hearted intention. I wanted to see life from a lofty point of view and feel 100% peaceful 100% of the time.

Are you laughing yet? I am.

On Day 160 of my challenge, things have not become easier. In part because my mind is not used to the concept of ease—struggle has been in my DNA since early childhood and letting go of this concept requires a few more years of ommms.

Instead, life has become… richer.

You see, before I would BE angry. Or happy. Or anxious. Or content.

I would see red, white, grey or gold.

Now I FELL angry. Or happy. Or anxious. Or content.

It’s a subtle play on words but a humongous difference in being.

And when I feel anger vs. becoming angry, I can still be aware of other feelings like happiness, peacefulness, sadness or compassion.

I can see the red threads of angers mixing with the blue threads of peacefulness or the light green threads of love—something I could not when I was BEING angry.

OK, sometimes I AM still angry: this is New York City after all. But less than before. A lot less.

Life has become like a rich tapestry where threads mingle and create beautiful patterns that form and dissolve. All of them are me. None of them are me.

It’s kind of cool.

How has Reiki practice change the way you feel during your day to day?

 

Photo credit: Hunt of the Unicorn, Medieval tapestry hosted at the Cloisters Museum, New York City. 

Inspired by Reiki Practice: Letting Negative Feelings Fall Away

Anger, fear, anxiety, sadness and jealousy… As "good people," we are not supposed to feel these emotions. So we read, go shopping or indulge in food and drink to try and escape them.
Or we try to self-improve and ommmm our way out of them, with a “fix it now” attitude.

Why? In my case, I have this fixation that to be a a really spiritual person, I can’t feel negative things. Childish I know, but this thought is actually quite common.

After a few years of Reiki practice where non-judgment and non-labeling are paramount, I’ve become more accepting... and more real. It is not—after all—about having or not having these feelings; it’s about how we react to them. They are a source of energy and if accessed and harnessed correctly, they can actually work in our favor. 

How can we do that? Here are a few suggestions that worked for me:

  • FACE IT: The more we fight or run away from our negative feelings, the more power they have over us. Facing them is a scary thought, but once you do and see how short lived they are, it gets easier.
    Are you angry, scared or very sad? Sit on a chair, feet on the ground, with a straight back. Connect with the feeling. Observe where it’s located in your body. Breathe through it. Don’t try to reason it away, justify it or make it better. Feel the pain going through your body, feel how it peaks, cry if you need and then observe how… it fades away. Observe how your body feels lighter, how your thinking feels clearer. Celebrate with a warm cup of herbal tea!
     
  • GROUND IT: When we feel fear or anger, it’s almost like the feeling takes over our head: our thoughts spiral away, we become hyper excited and do things we may not be proud of afterwards.
    Time to get grounded. Whenever negative feelings take over your thinking, sit down in a chair, feet firmly planted on the ground with a straight back. Locate the feeling in your body (probably in your upper torso, neck or head area). Imagine it has a color and a word that describes it. Stay with it for just a few seconds. Then start dragging it down. If it’s in your head, lower it to your heart and observe how it feels there. Then lower it to your solar plexus. Observe the difference. Lower it once more, this time to a couple inches below the navel. Observe how it has lost most of its high, crazy vibration and it’s settling down. Keep your attention to the navel area, inhale and then exhale the feeling (with its color and name) to the earth through your root chakra. Breathe deeply and freely. And voilá!
    *During this exercise it’s important not to react to your feelings and leave the chair. Stay with it, no matter what.
     
  • SHAKE IT OUT: This one is pretty easy and pretty effective. The idea is to release the excess energy caused by stress and anxiety to regain your balance. Stand up, feet hip distance apart. Shake your right leg, then your left leg. Now shake your right arm, your left arm and then both arms together. Shake your head at the same time. Fold down, letting your torso swing while you shake your arms, shoulders and hands. Then stop, breathe deeply in and out. On the second inhale, come up to a standing position. How does that feel? A lot better, right?

I'm always experimenting on ways to connect and process feelings and ideas. If you have any modality or tip on how to do it, I would love to hear about it in the comment section :-)

Nathalie Jaspar is the co-founder at Natky927 Wellness Collective, and a Reiki Master/Practitioner based in New York City. You can reach her at natjaspar@mac.com

 

Photo credit: "Outre Songer" by Argentine surrealist painter Leonor Fini (1907-1996).

 

What if just one word could change the future?

I’ve never felt very optimistic about the world’s future.

Most of my friends in meditation and energy work believe that the world will become a better place.

I only saw increased violence, wars and greed.

Until today.

I was listening to a text read by #ThichNhatHanh. I don’t even remember what the words were, but suddenly I thought, “Yes, it can be better. It all depends on a few words.”
Think about it. Most totalitarian leaders are born out of a few words of rejection. Most economic predators are born of a word that hurt their ego.   

Words can be like pebbles that go down a slope, creating a huge avalanche.
It sounds dramatic but just the other day I witnessed it happening in a small scale.
I was at the Miami airport on my way home. Every body looked happy until an angry voice screamed a change of gate. People stopped smiling and rushed to the new gate only to be told, again angrily, the gate had changed once more. In a bad mood people rushed to the new gate where they were herded like cows into the plane. 

The airline employees, under pressure—we were already slightly delayed—started behaving a little erratically and people started fretting and complaining—not always in the most polite manner. The employees became even more stressed out and decided to check in all carry-ons for group 4. Passengers complied but were not happy. They were even less happy when they reached their seats to find all storage space empty.

Frustration escalated and passengers started to fight with one another until a supervisor totally out of control started screaming about terrorism. It was surreal. He decided a woman who complained about luggage was a treat to the flight (don't ask me why, I still don't get it) and she—plus another passenger who questioned the supervisor's judgement—were taken off the plane almost at gunpoint.

By that time we are all freaking out, but thinking it can't get worse, until the pilot, frustrated and tired, had to speed up our landing to be able to make it to New York and we almost slid off the runway. Twice.
A lovely ride home.
But where did all the madness start?

With a few angry words about a gate change.

How did it stop? At the baggage claim when my dog jumped on me and made me fall to the floor so he could lick me better, making everyone laugh.

Every word we say may have consequences we never dream of.
For bad.
But also for good.

And like this I became an optimist.
If a few words can destroy something.
A few words (or dog's loving sloppy kisses) also have the power to heal it.

It’s up to each of us to decide.

 

Nathalie Jaspar is the co-founder at Natky927 Wellness Collective, a group of professional Reiki practitioners supported by life coaches, clinical herbalists and yoga teachers in New York City and Miami. 

Photo credit: Screen shot from Almodovar's I'm So Excited.