Ever notice that when we feel bad, no matter how sure we are that we want to feel better, what we really want to do in that moment are things that would most assuredly make us feel worse, if not immediately, then not too soon after?
It’s the Snowball Effect. The mind has momentum to keep making choices in the direction in which we are already headed.
Enter Chinese wisdom. A Chinese folk saying reminds us that if we don’t change course, we will end up where we are heading.
It’s clear that when we feel badly in ourselves, if we want to heal, we need to choose a different direction.
Pivot in place. About face. Resist the instinct-of-the-moment. Do precisely what you do not in that moment want to do: Practice.
Practice whatever practice you practice. Watch your breath. Place your Reiki hands. Repeat your mantra. Roll out the yoga mat (and use it). Take an action that brings you back to yourself.
A Taoist proverb advises: When you have a disease, do not try to cure. Find your center and you will be healed.
Practice. Then be bad if you want to.
But of course then you won’t want to be bad. Once you feel good, momentum starts working for you. You want to do good things to protect that good feeling, that I’m-having-a-good-time-being-myself-just-the-way-I-am feeling.
Even when when no one else is looking.
And even when they are.
Please tell us about a time when inserting even a brief practice — meditation, Reiki, yoga, mindfulness, your choice — turned your state around and headed you back in the direction of health and happiness. It could be something as simple as placing a Reiki hand on your heart before you eat, or before you hit “send.”
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10 thoughts on “Headed toward Healing”
Rosie, what a great idea to turn lunch into a midday mini-retreat. We can always find time to practice gratitude, and it transforms our state and our day.
You are not alone, Michelle, and it is always possible to change our state, and if we are consistent in our practice, we can change our lives. Practice is essential, and it can be any practice you choose. The consistency and dedication with which we practice is most important.
So glad to find you today! I picked up a magazine from my bedside table and took it outside to read with a cuppa. Leafed through the pages and found your article on Reiki teaching and research in medical settings. I’m reminded that when you ask for inspiration – as I did last night, it comes! First thing this morning, a dear Reiki friend had sent me an invitation to a gathering, and then I was drawn to your story. Always there, waiting for us, this stuff!
For me, as people said above, the use of a stop-breathe-check in is helpful. In a course I did recently, we were encouraged to use them when we’re in a relaxed space too, so it becomes easier to reach for, at harder times…
When I was about to have lunch one day, I thought to tune into each of the parts of the meal in front of me, and say thanks to them – eg thanks for this bread – the grain, the oil, the salt, thanks for the avocado, grown on its tree, the cheese; the lettuce and mint from my garden here, even the peppercorns I’d ground. So that I felt, and appreciated what I was about to eat… completely changed my feeling towards a simple sandwich, and made a mini retreat out of lunchtime.
Thanks for the ideas and inspiration
I felt like you were talking to me. It makes me feel better to know that there are others in the same situation and that is possible to change direction through practice. I cannot wait for Sally Kempton’s webinar. I wish everyone blessings, guidance and practice on their journey.
Ilana, thank you so much for pointing that out. I hadn’t thought about how taiji movements change direction so frequently. It’s so important to stay poised and able to approach from any direction, according to what is balancing in the moment.
Bonnie, I’m so happy that you also feel so supported by that particular piece of Taoist wisdom. It has long been a favorite of mine, and it highlights the difference between cure and healing. Cure, at least from a conventional medical perspective, involves opposition, but healing happens from that center place where opposition dissolves. This is part of what we will discuss in Monday’s webinar on non-duality with Sally Kempton.
Melinda, dealing with chronic pain is deeply challenging. Is it possible to not see taking the pain meds and practicing Reiki as battling with one another (with you in the middle)?
What if you were to practice daily self-treatment for a while and take your pain meds as you need to in order to be comfortable? You may be able to go off the pain meds eventually, but reducing the amount or frequency might be a goal that you could reach sooner. Then you would feel better and steadier, and that often improves pain.
I hope you will be patient with yourself, although I know it is difficult to be patient when you are in pain. That’s when the Precepts can be especially helpful, “Today only,” or more realistically, “Right now…”
You might find this beautifully written guest blog supportive https://reikiinmedicine.org/healthful-lifestyle/reiki-pain-one-womans-story/
I have spinal stenosis that the Dr’s say requires surgery. I recently had my Reiki level one attunement. I want to get off the pain meds and sometimes it’s a challenge between taking the pain meds or doing a reiki session. Today reiki is winning. Yesterday I’m afraid the pain meds won.
Pamela, this Taoist proverb: When you have a disease, do not try to cure. Find your center and you will be healed is so true. Last night I was so overwhelmed, I couldn’t even sit down to mediate. My mind was on overtime. I placed my hands over my heart and did some Reiki. Within about 5 minutes, I was calm. I then proceeded to my mediation and I was fine. This proverb is a great reminder to me of the power we have to heal ourselves on any level. I really love this proverb. Thanks.
Beautiful post! It brings to mind so much. Pivoting makes me think about Tai Chi and how the movements are subtle and slow but change direction often. When you talk about not trying to cure but finding your center, I think about what Deepak Chopra says about how you should look around the room and then ask yourself “who is looking?” The observer is the real you. When you talk about practicing, I think about yoga. That’s what always brings me back to myself by bringing me back to my body and out of my mind.
Thank you, Jonna Rae and Susan. Isn’t it amazing how effectively, and how quickly, breathing with awareness can change our state? There is a powerful connection between mind and breath, one that we exploit to great benefit in yoga practice and pranayama.
If anyone needs help creating a healthy relationship with your breath, know that it is very easy. There is a 3 minute track on my Meditate cd that will help. Go to https://reikiinmedicine.org, scroll down to the cd, and download “Finding the Natural Breath.”
When I feel really stressed out, I take a few minutes to go within & place my hands on myself & breathe. This brings me back to the moment & I feel refreshed & able to cope.
Thank you for these thoughts — and reminding us that the biggest change starts from the simplest step.
I personally find that just taking three deep breaths can immediately shift me from confusion to clarity. When I interviewed Arianna Huffington for a magazine cover story years ago, I asked her how she maintained her spiritual balance in a challenging place like Washington, D.C. She laughed, and said, “Darling, I just BREATHE!” Never underestimate the power of mindful breathing!