Friday, 18 January 2019

The Joy of Small Things

singing goldcrestLife can often be challenging and confusing.  Currently there is a lot of uncertainty and upheaval in the UK as decisions are made about our relationship with Europe.  These national affairs can feel insignificant, however, when there are personal upheavals such as births and deaths.

At times like these I find a spiritual practice such as Reiki very helpful.  It offers a daily practice of coming into the present moment, noticing what is actually here and now, instead of the dramas my mind is so fond of creating.  It reminds me of the joy in small things.  Once my mind is calmer I find I notice these small things, such as the snowdrops just coming into flower in my garden or the goldcrest I saw from my office window the other day.  It's a tiny bird and could easily have gone unnoticed as I wrestled with my tax return!  The practice of Reiki has given me the habit of taking pauses and it was in one of those pauses that I saw this beautiful little bird, pecking around in the hedge and singing at the same time.  It lifted my spirits and added some sparkle to a dull January afternoon.  The memory of that moment also brought joy to subsequent hours.

My Reiki practice helps to make life more comfortable and enable me to ride the ups and downs of life with more equanimity.  I'm not sure I have quite reached the level of enlightenment described below, but I'm working on it!

"If you can sit quietly after difficult news
If in financial downturns you remain perfectly calm
If you can see your neighbours travel to fantastic places without a twinge of jealousy
If you can happily eat whatever is put on your plate
If you can offer yourself in a generous way to whoever comes through the door
If you can fall asleep after a day of running around without a drink or a pill
If you can always find contentment just where you are
You are probably
A dog."

(Read by Jack Kornfield at a Ram Dass retreat I attended online before Christmas)

Paying attention to my dog - including giving her Reiki - is a source of learning too!  A few days ago she tumbled down the stairs (she's getting old and stiff and lost her footing).  She was unhurt and just got up, wagged her tail and got on with the next thing.  If it had been me there would have been embarrassment, worry and all sorts of other issues attached to a simple tumble.  I might have gone into a whole story about "what if..."  My dog reminded me about the 'just so' nature of life, something my Reiki practice has also brought me to an understanding of.

May your year be filled with pauses, moments of the joy of small things and may you always find contentment just where you are.