Thursday, 3 December 2015

Peace at Christmas

Christmas is a time when many people in the world pray for peace.  With all the violence happening in the world, this can seem like a prayer that can never be answered.  And yet...

A comment Caroline Myss made some years ago resonated with me: "The gods work in divine paradox: what you think is a small choice is always a big one, what you think is a big one is always a small one".  She went on to illustrate this with the way Jesus came into the world: not in a palace, or with a fanfare, but in a humble stable, among the animals without even a proper bed.  

This particular comment resonates with me because I have seen the truth of it in my Reiki
practice.  Treatments and initiations, given in silence and mostly in stillness, can look as if nothing is happening.  However I've seen amazing transformation as a result of some-one's simple choice to receive Reiki.  In the stillness and calm insights arise, understanding deepens, change and healing takes place.  Peace of mind is a very commonly reported outcome of Reiki treatments, but there are no clever tricks or great effort that bring this about: just the simple fact of one human being acting as a connection for another human being with the greater whole.

Making a choice to become more peaceful does make a difference to other people.  The recent attacks in Paris and elsewhere invite anger, hatred and violence in response.  There are often situations in our own lives that are the same and Christmas can often be a time when conflicts arise.  To react with anger or resentment only continues the disharmony and pushes peace and happiness away.  To respond in a different way may seem like a small choice and can be difficult, but can bring about a transformation that improves the situation for everyone.  When I encounter someone in my life who is angry and unkind towards me  I have a choice: fight back or forgive and move on.  The message of the great teacher Jesus was that we should do just this.  

The Reiki Principles encourage us to live in peace: not worrying (letting go of fear), not being in a state of anger (letting go of hurt feelings), honouring our elders (those we often want to dismiss), being honest in how we live our lives and being grateful for all the blessings we receive.  

You may say how can this make a difference to terrorists?  How can I change their minds to see that the violence they create is bad for humanity?  I think the only way to change the world to make it a more peaceful place is to follow Gandhi's advice: "Be the change you want to see".   I know there is only person whose mind and actions I can change: mine.  I also know that when I feel calm and peaceful it affects other people.  I would rather make that small choice and change what I can than worry about what I cannot alter.  It reminds me of the Chinese saying: "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness". 
May you be a candle and shine your light, no matter what.  A small choice that can have big consequences! 

Wishing you Peace at Christmas and for the year ahead.  
What small choices are you making?