Saturday 7 January 2012

They Tell me Attitude is Everything: A Reiki Perspective

Virtually everyone I talk to either encourages me to keep a positive attitude or comments on how positive my attitude already is.  I always feel a little guilty when they say these things, because I do have moments of fear and negativity and because I don't really know how to keep a positive attitude.  I'm mostly just grateful that when I wake up in the morning I feel positive.  I give God all the credit for this.  I don't have the power to fight cancer with a positive attitude alone, but He has been helping me.

Soon after my cancer diagnosis, I found something else that helps me to keep a positive attitude.  It's almost an exercise regime for positive attitude and I'd like to share it with you because I see the value it has for everyone of us.  This "regime" is a set of five principles of Reiki.  In a future post I'll talk more about Reiki and my experience with Reiki treatment.  These principles of Reiki, having been translated from Japanese, appear in various wordings over the Internet.  These are the words I use:
Just for today,
  • I will not be angry.
  • I will not worry.
  • I will be grateful.
  • I will do my best.
  • I will be kind to every living thing.
Many of you know that I'm a pretty particular person; I call it "a commitment to excellence."  Geoff says I should be starring in "How to deal with difficult customers" training films.  OK, I won't deny it.  And the truth is that I can be just as demanding of myself, which is pretty exhausting.
These five principles, with the intention to follow them for as little as just today, give me an opportunity to focus away from the negative.  Cancer gives me plenty to be angry and worried about.  But what is the upside of focusing on that anger and worry?  What will it give me?  Nothing.  So, instead, I try to be grateful for what I have.  And I try do my best where I can.  I focus around the house.  My disabilities keep me from doing many household chores that I would like to.  But I can load the top rack of the dishwasher, and sometimes the lower.  I can cook on the stove top, but can't get anything heavy out of the oven.  And then there's the "be kind" principle.  Over my birthday weekend, I had a number of experiences with service staff who had a lot to learn.  Instead of my usual approach of being increasingly demanding, I decided to be extra understanding and supportive.  Strangely, it felt better.  It was like I felt a load lift of my chest by not beating them up for their inadequacies.  Who knew?
There is no telling how much attitude will or won't contribute to surviving cancer, but without a doubt attitude plays a huge role in terms of quality of life.  These five principles, as something to pray, meditate on or just mull over each day, give me a reminder of how I can keep my attitude positive. 

Like I said, it's like a positive attitude exercise regime.  And maybe you should try it too.

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