Article by Angie Webster
As we go through our daily routine, the ordinary busy-ness of life, it is common to get caught in the mundane, the boring and even the irritating. Our minds have a natural tendency to focus on the negative and the monotonous. It is much more difficult to notice the subtle moments of day to day kindness, love and contentment. We can even get so used to this state of ignoring the subtle, little things that bring happiness that we become somewhat addicted to complaining, drama and problems, making negativity our default setting. That’s an unhappy and unhealthy place to be.
Of course, if we rarely notice the good things in our life, we are placing little energy there. Our energy, attention and actions are instead flowing toward the things we don’t enjoy. This increases how often these things happen in your life, which then reinforces your belief that these are the only things to focus on! Not only that, but the more you focus attention, words and actions toward something, the more your mind and emotions are involved with it. Why not place your attention, words and actions on the things you love and enjoy, more than the things you don’t like?
For example, it is possible to focus on the little things that annoy us about other people. No matter how much you love someone, there will be times they irritate you or anger you. How easy it would be to only notice these irritations! To allow them to swirl in our heads! We can get stuck in playing scenes in our head about how things “should” have gone or what we wish we had said, even having arguments in our head with the other person. Doing this, your mind may begin to convince you that you are right and have been treated unfairly, reinforcing blame and victimhood. However, this will never lead to compassion, happiness, or to loving and fulfilling interactions with the other person.
Instead, we can focus our attention on the things our loved ones do that we feel good about. After all, if there weren’t things we loved about them, they wouldn’t be our loved ones! Instead of taking these things for granted, we can choose to take notice of them each day. Rather than keeping tally of the things that upset us, we can keep tally of the things that fill our hearts with love and appreciation for the other. If you have difficulty with this, imagine anything, now or in the past, that has made you feel good about the other person. Let this feeling settle deeply into your heart for a minute or so. Recall that feeling into your heart several times a day and radiate it into your own body, your life, the other person.
I don’t mean to imply that we should falsely create loving feelings toward situations or people where none exist, or pretending we don’t feel angry or hurt. If you feel a negative emotion, it is best to acknowledge and be with that emotion in a loving way, breathe through it, and allow the energy to flow through you until it passes. Treat your emotional energy kindly, like a small child who needs love. However, we don’t have to offer more mental fuel to an emotional fire.
Begin noticing the things that make you feel good in life. No need to wait for grand gestures or huge events! The things that make a life are the things of everyday existence. Gather moments of appreciation as you go through your day. Notice the sunlight pouring through your window, the way the tree branches dance in the breeze, the softness of your pet’s fur, the warmth in your heart when you see your family at the end of the day, the nurturing relaxation of a hot shower.
When we intentionally practice placing our attention on the small things that bring this state of subtle contentment, peace and joy, we begin to realize these things are everywhere. This fills you with a sense of peace, even if only for a moment. It is a practice, and life will sweep you back into the mundane and the busy over and over. When that happens, it can seem as if the feeling of peace and appreciation vanishes like a mist in the sunrise. But if your intention is to keep returning to the things that fill your heart with love, and cultivating that feeling of joy and gratitude, it will grow. It will be easier to recall that feeling and return to it. Doing these things can make the Reiki principles an active part of your life, rather than simply ideals to be recited.
Angie Webster is a Reiki Master, Teacher, and Author. Angie’s primary focus is animal Reiki, which she adores. She teaches online classes on energy healing, flower essences, herbalism, and personal growth. Angie often works with nature healing and Earth healing, hoping to better understand our connection with Mother Earth. Angie is the author of Animal Reiki: How it Heals, Teaches & Reconnects Us with Nature and Reiki from A to Z. You can follow her at: angie-webster-healing.teachable.com and on Facebook (facebook.com/angiewebsterhealing).