Recently I woke up with the principles of Reiki on my mind. Reiki is a practice I was introduced to more than two decades ago, when I used it in my massage therapy practice at the time. While it is not clear why, after so long, the principles rose in my spirit, I immediately reflected on them in terms of this year in review. So here are some thoughts. “Just for today do not worry. Just for today do not fear.” 2020 has been turbulent for most, espousing much worry and fear. For the first time in many of our lifetime’s death has confronted us at unprecedented levels. Individuals have lost jobs, experienced food scarcity and racial and ethnic dis-ease that rewind the tapes back to times when we felt long gone. As I reflect on what it means not to worry or fear, honestly, I do not know how realistic it was for 2020, yet I also can say, by taking it one day at a time, particularly by breaking the “day” down into smaller parts... hours, minutes, seconds even, it makes things more manageable. This is a tool I teach my clients with anxiety. Slowing down allows our bodies to evaluate what we are experiencing, not from a place of panic, but from a place of awareness. Awareness helps us discern the next step with greater clarity as we approach it.
“Honor your parents, teachers and elders.” 2020 has forced us to focus on relationships. At the top of the pandemic when we were in strict quarantine, many families went without seeing one another for months. Parents were charged to teach their children at home as teachers struggled to live out their calling to teach via platforms like Google classroom, Zoom and the like. Everyone was stretched, proving it does take a village. We work best in community and the most positive outcomes are reached together. As for our elders, sadly we heard report after report about them being the most vulnerable in succumbing to this pandemic.
And we all came to realize how essential the hourly worker is, as important as those given elevated prestige like doctors and nurses. Fighting this pandemic and the pain it leaves behind has been, and continues to be, a tireless effort.
“Show gratitude to every living thing.” This has led me to be more grateful for the charge presented to me both as clinician and minister. Never has partnering with individuals toward wellness felt so overwhelming. I do not speak for every clinician, yet I do attest in speaking with many of my colleagues at some point or another... feeling overwhelmed was what came up for us. 2020 taught me to be grateful for the small triumphs. This is also what I taught my clients. 2020 invited us to redefine what was valued, to notice and be more grateful for the “everyday” comforts. 2020 showed the beauty of being able to smell the air without restriction, walk or play in a park, grooming in hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, enjoying the luxury of entertainment, movie theaters, concerts. The list goes on. It proves gratitude could be found in the smallest of things.
The storms of life don’t always last, even though the effects can linger. We will never forget 2020, yet I challenge us all to not merely focus on what went wrong, but to revere the times you were not consumed with COVID fear or worry. Perhaps it came through in a phone call or when you reconnected with someone from your past. I charge you to evaluate where your relationships and partnerships strengthened from being able to be more still, more intentional in your interactions. I invite you to be more grateful for the everyday occurrences that were revealed to foster comfort, joy and hope at a level you may not have realized possible until the pandemic.
Wishing you a very Happy Holiday and a Transformative New Year, imbued with health and safety.
“May Your Hope Be Full!”