ST. DAVID’S DAY

Each year on the 1st March I am taken back in thought to St. David’s Day when I was growing up in Wales. One of my favourite memories was of my Mum making Welsh Cakes on my Grandma’s old bake-stone the evening before, ready for the following day. The smell through the house as I drifted off to sleep was wonderful.

When I started school, things really got exciting. Mum had always dressed us up on St. David’s Day for as long as I can remember, pinning daffodils to our clothing and taking us out for the day, but school was something-else!

Boys didn’t do much in the way of dressing-up, other than wearing daffodils and leeks, but the girls wore the full Welsh costume – hats, pinnies and all – we felt very special. The best thing was that the school gave us half a day off! The mornings were spent putting on a school Eisteddfod (rehearsed for for months with much excitement and often nerves!), and we went home at lunchtime – great! There were four ‘houses’ at school – red (Coch), yellow (Melyn), White (Gwyn), and blue (Glas). Each class divided the pupils into these houses – I was in Melyn. Every class put pupils forward to perform. Piano playing was popular, as was singing. Each house had a choir which competed against each other. There was also dancing, poetry various sports – you name it, we did it. The winners of each event (1st, 2nd and 3rd) were given ribbons in the colour of their house and the points for these were added up at the end of the Eisteddfod and ‘The Cup’ ( an impressive silver beast) was awarded to the house that won the most events and later engraved with the name of that house for posterity! It was a very exciting day all round – the afternoon off being the cherry on the cake.

All this was steeped in tradition going back centuries and I hope that that part of the fun and games will never be lost. It connects us with our past and shows the importance of handing things down so they won’t be forgotten and lost in the mists of time. It is important to know what was, why it was and where it came from to shape what can be in the future. These things were done for a reason in the past, not only for show and enjoyment and in all cultures. It would be a shame to lose sight of that and get lumped all together. We are all different and our differences and traditions make the world work, making it an interesting place to explore. We all have something unique to offer and that is something to be celebrated. We can all bring something to the table.

I practice and teach Reiki The Usui System of Natural Healing for that very reason – not to lose sight of how it all began and what it meant to Dr. Mikao Usui. It changed his life and he changed the lives of others, treating and teaching them his Natural Healing System of Reiki to enable them to help and heal others and pass this teaching on for future generations to benefit, heal and care for others and to pass this teaching down through the centuries in a loving, caring tradition.

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A REIKI TREATMENT

When people mention that they have various aches and pains, I suggest they try a Reiki treatment. A response I often get to this is ‘oh, it won’t work for me – I don’t believe in it’. As I have said in my previous post, ‘Reiki Treatments in Difficult Times’, Reiki is not a belief system, it is a complimentary treatment and all that is required is acceptance.

You don’t have to have aches, pains or feel unwell to benefit from a Reiki treatment. Reiki is a lovely way to be kind to yourself. Not only does it heal if you do have ailments, but it relaxes you and generally boosts your well-being in mind, body and spirit. Who doesn’t like a few minutes to themselves to just relax and ‘be’? That’s what Reiki offers, a ‘be good to yourself for a moment’ treatment. Try it sometime, you’re worth it – we all are!

IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE – PLAY ON!

Very apt, given that we have just celebrated St. Valentine’s Day! Most people like music, even love music. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who doesn’t. It’s not that strange actually when you think that music is truly in us. From our first senses in the womb, our mother’s heartbeat is the first thing we hear. There’s the clue – heartBEAT! It has an unmistakable rhythm – boom boom, boom boom, boom boom – one of the first rhythms often beaten out when one first plays a drum.

Music is found everywhere- birdsong, whale song, the wind in the trees at times. Even the planets sing! Scientists have recorded it and each planet has a different tone – a different song to sing.

Music can make us feel all the emotions – happy, sad, thoughtful, relaxed, inspired sometimes even angry. It can help us convey things and feelings to others when we can’t quite find the words ourselves. Yes, music probably is the food of love, what a joyous thought. Even if we can’t play an instrument, we can always use our voice, or tap out a rhythm. Start each day with a song and note (oops, sorry!) the difference it can make to your day. You may even make a difference to someone-else’s day if they hear you – like a yawn, it can be catching!

The Reiki Principle of ‘ Just for Today I will Not Worry.’ may be easier to follow if your day is full of song. Give it a try, ‘Don’t worry, be Happy’ and ‘teach the world to sing’ too, we may even achieve harmony!

ST. VALENTINE’S DAY.

St. Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, but how many of us think about it beyond the giving and receiving of cards and gifts? The origins of this celebration are fairly sketchy and there are a few theories put forward. The one I favour is that this day has its origin in the Roman festival of Lupercalia. This was held in mid-February and celebrated the on-set of Spring and fertility. Apparently, men and women were paired off by lottery! This festival was replaced at the end of the 5th century by Pope Galasius I with St Valentine’s Day.

There were several Christian martyrs with the name Valentine, but St. Valentine’s Day may have been named after a priest martyred by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus. Legend has it that the priest signed a letter ‘from your Valentine’ to a lady he had befriended – the daughter of his jailer it is said. Some accounts say that he had healed her of blindness.

Others say that this day was named after a bishops – St. Valentine of Terni – although it is believed by some that these two saints could have been the same person.

Another account records that St. Valentine undermined the emperor’s orders by secretly marrying couples in order to prevent the husbands being sent off to war. It is thought that this is the reason his feast day is associated with love.

The first link of St. Valentine’s Day with love and the term ‘love birds’ comes from Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘Parliament of Fowls’ ,1382, in which he celebrated the engagement of the young 15 year old King Richard II to Anne of Bohemia. Although the earliest surviving Valentine’s note was sent by a Frenchman (surprise, surprise!) to his sweetheart. That gentleman was Charles, Duke of Orleans. He sent it from his prison cell in the Tower of London, having been captured in 1415 at the Battle of Agincourt. He refers to his wife as ‘my very sweet Valentine’.

William Shakespeare mentions St Valentine’s Day in Hamlet in Ophelia’s lament – ‘Tomorrow is St. Valentine’s Day, All in the morning bedtime, And I a maid at your window, To be your Valentine.’

Love really does make the world go around. All over the world people are showing love to others, not just romantically, but in so many other ways. Love is like a diamond – many faceted – and Reiki is one of many ways to show love and respect to others.

Diamonds are forever, they are beautiful and strong – as is love -it will be around forever and we can find beauty and strength in the giving and receiving of love.

By giving love to others you will receive love – not just on St. Valentine’s Day, but every day.

DREAMS

It is said that dreams are a way of the brain processing events of the day, or previous days and times. Things we have seen, heard, talked and thought about etc: They can bring up things we may not have retained or even noticed happening during our waking hours and weave them into our sleep consciousness.

Dreams can be a way of releasing and/or facing anxieties, but they can also drive and inspire us – and they CAN be achieved (with work and determination on our part!). Many of my school essays were drawn from my dreams and added to – they got good marks too! So, as you may guess, I set a lot of store by my dreams. Some are rubbish and make no sense of course, but I always look for meanings in everything I dream and find it irritating when I know I have had a ‘busy’ dream, but can’t remember it when I awake.

Some people hang dream catchers above their beds to ward off nightmares. They are wonderful works of art and each component has a meaning – they are not just woven to look pretty. The basis of the dream catcher is a circle of pliable material – representing the circle of life. This was traditionally made of red willow by the indigenous people of Canada. The woven ‘web’ represents a spider’s web and catches the bad dreams, nightmares, but allows good dreams to filter through. Gems, stones and beads are woven into the web to achieve this. I believe the ‘spider’ then eats the bad dreams, but that might just be me!

Feathers hang at the bottom of the circle and often to the side as well, allowing the good dreams to filter down through to the person sleeping underneath. Dream catchers may be hung anywhere, not just over your bed, presumably to ward off negative vibes in the same way as warding off bad dreams. Jewellery is made in these forms too.

I have been lucky enough to achieve many of my dreams throughout my life (I’ve had a few nightmares too – who hasn’t?!). My last ‘dream’ achieved was to become a Reiki Master – a long wished for dream!

Just for Today I will do my work honestly

(Reiki Principle)

Working honestly and to the best of your ability can bring you the results you want. If it’s worth having, you have to put the work in. Reiki has opened up many things to me – I wonder what my next dream will be?!

What will yours be?

WE DON’T ALWAYS CHOOSE THE THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO US.

…. but we can choose how we re-act to them. This I think is so true, although not always easy. Fundamentally, we have two choices in such situations:-

  1. Feel sorry for ourselves, feel hard done by, angry and complain about it.

OR

2. Accept we cannot change what has or is happening to us and look for a way to get through it, lift our spirits and get on with life as it is now, as best we can.

To me, there seems no real choice. If you accept No:1, it only leads to more misery, anger, possibly depression and ill-health. Whereas No:2 offers positivity, hope, acceptance and new beginnings. A new approach to life and the satisfaction of coping.

I feel life is a straight path from our beginning to our end, but along that path there are off-shoots, or detours and these are where our lives differ from one another. Each off-shoot offers us choices and our lives and experiences are shaped by the choices we make at those times.

Very few people sail through life without travelling through troubled waters, however small the problems and obstacles they face in comparison to those faced by other people. Looking back through my life, I realise that those troubles, however painful at the time, have brought me to where I am now in my life and have made me the person I am at this point in time. Although basically we are who we are, life experiences do change us. Some say we change with age – which is true – but I don’t think age changes our opinions and feelings – I think it is the choices and experiences we go through during ageing that do that. We may feel that we don’t have a choice, and this is true for us all at some point in our lives, but how we deal with it at those times really can shape our lives and therefore ourselves.

No, we don’t always choose the things that happen to us – but we can choose what happens to us because of them. Be determined to make some good come out of anything negative that happens in life – don’t let the negative define who you are. You are the person you were meant to be, you are unique and have something to offer to the world that no other person has. That’s a journey worth the trouble! Take the time to discover what it is YOU have to offer, however big or small, and let THAT define you. I think the twists and turns (the off-shoots) in life’s path will always lead us back to the path we were given in the beginning. We take them and eventually come back to the main path of our journey, having learnt something from each detour.

Reiki teaches us five principles in life:-

Just for today I will live the attitude of gratitude.

Just for today I will not worry.

Just for today I will not anger.

Just for today I will do my work honestly.

Just for today I will show love and respect to every living thing.

Following these five principles on our journey along life’s path, with all its off-shoots, twists and turns, will lead us in the right direction – always.

There is no other person in the world like you, you are unique. How amazing is that – how amazing are you!

WEAVING

I remember how, at seven years of age, we were taught, in school, how to weave. We made our own ‘loom’ out of a piece of a cereal box, cutting ‘teeth’ top and bottom, then securing wool to form the bases of weft and warp. I took to this like a duck to water – quite the opposite of when we were told the year before that we were going to knit with string to make dishcloths for our mothers for Mothers Day (great present eh??) – that freaked me out to the point of tears! My Mum had taught me to knit when I was four years old but that was with wool! Six year old me didn’t even think of it as being the same process, so nothing to worry about, I only heard string instead of wool and envisaged catastrophe!

image from instructables

Anyway, back to weaving! I loved this and have recently felt the urge to give it a go again. It has set me thinking though about the word and, indeed, the process of weaving. Immediately one thinks of creating fabrics and clothes but, thinking deeper, it encompasses so much more.

Weaving runs through all of life – through the cosmos too. Insects weave, plants weave their roots through soil and whatever lies in their way, as do trees with their roots and sometimes branches and birds weave nests ( often with materials, like wool, previously woven by us!). Time is woven through space and the ‘matrix’ is a net of weaving. We weave thoughts that sometimes come to fruition in words, actions and/or inspiration – even at times to others. I’m sure there is more than I have listed here too.

When we start to weave, on any level, we produce. Look at the clothes and materials we have now due to weaving all those centuries ago. The ‘basic’ weaving as we think of it has given us so much, but weaving thoughts have done the same. Each thought from many people all over the world for centuries have been linked and woven together and have enhanced our present day thinking and living. A thought taken up from one person to another can result in amazing technology, medicines and other things.

In Reiki Distant Healing thought plays an integral part. Woven together with love, light and caring for others, we can send and feel the benefit of healing, not just physical but mental and spiritual too and weave the fabric of a better more caring life.

Working together we can weave a wonderful, healthier, happier world. Let’s give it a go!

FROST

Looking out of my window the other morning I was taken aback at the beauty of what I saw. At first I wasn’t sure whether it was a very heavy frost, or a light fall of snow, but it was utterly breathtaking. It was a heavy frost, everything was so very white and glistening – and so very quite! Even the air was a white mist, the air was actually frozen, it was magical.

Stepping outside was like stepping into a cotton wool world. Not a sound, not even a bird, everything was so still, quiet and so very, very white. I have never in my life seen white air before! It lasted all day. So very cold, but wonderful to view from the warmth of the fireside I have to say.

The following day, although frosty and cold was not as magical, but still very pretty, and started to thaw a little later in the day. Walking through the garden when it had thawed a bit, I noticed little shoots in some of the flower pots on the patio. Under all that frost and frozen air of the previous day, life was going on underneath and reaching for the light, in spite of the odds against it. Amazing. It made me think!

Life goes on, whatever circumstances it faces. No matter how hard, how cold, how seemingly impossible, life shoots up – often in the most unexpected places, but shoot up it does and reaches for the light – and grows and blossoms. So can we.

It may take some time for us to see, or even believe that there is light in what we are going through during our lives, but there always is – somewhere. And where there is light, there is love and these two things will nourish us and let us grow. This thought can be a comfort to us in cold, harsh times if we can just hold on to it.

As a Reiki Master I work in light and love and see the benefits of that in so many places and circumstances, not only in my own life, but in that of others too. For some, it is harder to see love and light in what they have to face and deal with, but it is there, it just needs to be looked for.

‘Just for today I will live the attitude of gratitude.’

Though we may not have much, being grateful for what we do have and showing gratitude that things aren’t any worse, may be a step toward seeing light and feeling love. They are all around us. People are sending love and light out in many ways to others, in thoughts and deeds, we just have to trust it is there and accept it.

Under the harshness (and beauty) of what can, at times, be a frosty world, there is life pushing its way through to a lighter, brighter world.

HAPPY NEW YEAR !

Happy New Year to all! A new start, a chance to re-visit wishes, dreams, plans and things ‘put on hold’. Now is a good time to take charge and put in motion things left for ‘when I have time’, ‘one day I’ll do..’ and the ‘maybe next year’ things.

There really is no time like the present and a new year may well see a new you. It’s not only about making New Year Resolutions, but taking a step towards being the you you have been putting off time after time. Whether it’s applying for a new job, taking up a new hobby or donning a new look, whatever it is – do it!

The five Reiki Principles begin with ‘Just for Today..’ . Why not make that your mantra each morning? That way embarking on whatever it is you’ve wanted to do, but have put off, will seem easier with a step each day. Not as daunting as all at once!

Just for Today I am going to put real thought into everything I do, see and hear and make every minute count. Then do the same tomorrow and each tomorrow after that – imagine what I will glean from it – I can’t wait to find out!

LET IT SHINE

As we prepare to say goodbye to this old year and welcome the new, let’s just take some time to reflect and consider before we move on.

It’s natural, given the year we have had, that we should feel a little apprehensive about the coming year, but we humans are pretty special and, on the whole, find ways of coping during situations we cannot change or control.

Reflecting on this past year and all we have faced during it has shown how people have pulled together to help others and have found ways to keep not only their own spirits up, but that of others too. This year has shown just how caring and unselfish people can be, even to those they don’t know – and probably never will. It has shown an inner light of love and caring for others, that we all have inside us, which comes to the fore in times of need. Charities have often said how amazed they have been over the years as to how even people with very little rally round in times of need, wanting to do what they can, however small, to help others.

Reiki Practitioners work in love and light and it is that light that beams out to others, that inner light of love and caring. Whatever this new year holds for us let’s make a resolution to ourselves to let it shine. To find ways if coping and helping others to cope with what we cannot control or change, but what we can learn to adapt to and live with. It may not be easy at times, but we are bigger than whatever fate may throw at us, particularly when we work together. The NHS alone has shown us that!

So, chin up, best foot forward and remember – Let It Shine!