FEATURE - January 2016 - Santa Fe
Cultivating the New Year with Purpose
By Lynne McMahan
"Strange is our situation here upon this earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose." - Albert Einstein
Each year that passes gives us a new opportunity for change and that our new year begins in deep winter, when the nights are longer and the days shorter, is no coincidence. The dark of winter provides an opportunity for slowing down and reflecting on the days, months, and year ahead. You may be one of those people who make wonderful new year's resolutions during this reflective cycle, with good intentions to change and improve over the coming year and you may be one of the lucky ones who set your goals and visions for the year, working them each day, and achieving them as planned. Or you may be like many other people who, as soon as they make their resolutions, the bustle of everyday life takes over and their resolutions are derailed. How can you set those good intentions and support them into everyday reality?
There are a variety of tools one can use and tapping into Reiki (the Universal Energy) may be a consideration for first uncovering your good intentions for change and then empowering those changes to take transformational form. Usui Makao, the founder of Usui Reiki sets the tone for healing through his original Reiki ideals: "The secret art of inviting happiness, the miraculous medicine of all diseases. Just for today do not be angry. Do not worry and be filled with gratitude. Devote yourself to your work and be kind to people. Every morning and evening join your hands in prayer, pray these words to your heart and change these words with your mouth. Usui Reiki Treatment for the improvement of body and mind."
A first step is determining the focus for treatment, whether it be for mind, body or spirit, or a balance of all three. For some who enter into a Reiki treatment, their body and health might be the focus--managing an illness, losing weight, eating healthier, releasing unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking, or adding the habits of consistent, manageable exercise. For many people entering into a new year they may be seeking mind balance, whether it be for career change, going back to school or learning a new skill, getting organized, reducing debt and saving money, or broadening their perspective through travel. And for others the focus may be for creating a spiritual balance, such as finding their purpose, making a difference in the world, meditating, finding someone special, or focusing on important relationships. The following stories are of people of varying ages, who have entered into a Reiki treatment and healing for mind, body, and spirit balance.
"Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart" (Kahlil Gibran). Often, before a person can enter into a healthy healing change, they need to release spirit attachments that are holding them back, such as a judgmental parent, controlling partner, or even their own self judgment. One of my students wanted to set a health plan for the new year, losing weight and better supporting her health. She was able to identify an unhealthy relationship with her mother who had given her many judgmental statements about being overweight, as well as unhealthy eating habits to keep the weight off. Her mother was literally clinging to her back, shoulders and neck. By releasing her mother's spirit into the loving, transformative Universal energy, my student was able to begin her health plan with greater insight and freedom. Who or what do you need to release for greater health and light in your heart?
"There is no planet, sun or star that could hold you if you really knew what you are" (Kit Holmes). Heartstorming is a process my partner envisioned to inspire and build my practice and it has been an effective method for discovery and visioning with clients. A young client came to me with a heavy heart about real and perceived expectations of his future. He was in community college, taking all of the foundational courses, thinking he would move into business courses for his major, but his motivation felt ungrounded. We used the heartstorming process and discovered that he had passions and interests uncovered--creative writing and drama. He felt himself as a shy and introverted young man, unsure of how this authentic self would emerge, but he took the leap and discovered his passions showed him the path to this new focus. What do you need to "heartstorm" this year to discover who you really are?
Fuel Your Intentions with Light
"All that there is of wisdom, truth or light is found intact within each human soul" (Ernest Holmes). A client came to the Reiki healing process unsure of what she needed, but deep in sadness at the loss of her husband after 33 years together. She was in year three of her grief cycle, overweight, with difficulty sleeping and imagining life ahead. She had lost herself in the marriage and now wanted to rediscover who she was, what she wanted and in a firm voice stated, "I get to decide! It's exciting and scary!" Her suggested homework was setting a healthy eating plan, breathing exercises for balance and sleep, exploring the self through scrap booking and sacred shadow box collection, and working outside her perceived geographical boundaries. Several months later and 70 pounds lighter, she was planning a trip outside the country, staying in the center of herself and letting go without expectation. How can you move yourself through the pain and sadness to a joy outside your own perceived boundary or box?
"To change your life, you have to change yourself. To change yourself you have to change your mindset" (KushandWizdom). A colleague from the university where we worked wanted to move outside of the limited income and position she felt she was in. She wanted to work on a PhD, but didn't feel she had the resources financially, mentally or emotionally to take on the commitment. She was operating to some degree from a fixed mindset of not being smart enough or not having enough money to pursue this endeavor. We worked on her growth mindset in our healing work, bringing out the gift of empowerment she already had. She simply needed to bring it out through the creativity and dance exercises she determined, to release her from her self-imposed "not-enoughs." Today she is in an internationally recognized doctorate program, developing an important study that will support a disenfranchised population, as well as help to change oppressive policy. Does your mindset need a change?
Finding Your Mindfulness Practice
"There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls" (Howard Thurman). The Mindfulness movement is one that has the potential to change the world, one person at a time, as they find the practice that works for them: whether it be "mindful minutes" of breath and relaxation, walking in nature to connect to Mother Earth, focusing on the good in the world and supporting the good with energy, being kind to all living things, and being in and sharing, gratitude. When we are mindful, rather than letting our mind be pulled away into a million fragmented pieces, we are able to express more of our genuine self, guiding us to a life full of potential. What mindful practice will you develop this year?
Natalia Pisetskaya stated well the path one takes when opening up to the Universal energy of Reiki. It "brings us home to ourselves, bypassing our own fixed and limiting ideas, preconceived notions, our resistance and our doubts. It provides us with a glimpse into our own nature...it washes us from within. When the residue of daily life goes, the purity of one's own being is revealed." May you discover, deepen and empower the "life force energy" available for transformation as you enter into this new year!
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Lynne McMahan, Ed.D., En-Light-En Reiki, is a Usui/Holy Fire Karuna Reiki® Master and Mind-Body-Spirit Mentor, supporting the healing of each person or animal on their journey of transformation. For more information: enlightenreiki.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 505.400.3168. Santa Fe office: 110 Delgado St.