In this society, we are apt to get caught up in the busy-ness (business) of our lives to the extent that we, literally and figuratively,  do not “stop and smell the roses”. There is so much to do, people to see, goals to accomplish. It’s hard to find time for ourselves. When we do, we might feel guilty for taking it. Yet if not, we can lose sight of all that is important.

The first Reiki Principle is “Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings.” Webster defines gratitude as the state of being thankful.  If we stop to think about our many blessings, we would naturally gravitate to the positive aspects of our lives. We appreciate love, beauty, inspiration, accomplishments, good health, and much more. We can truly be thankful when we can claim them as our own.

Yet we do not always have love, good health, or great accomplishments. In order to realize them, we need to look at our lack of these things. It may be necessary to explore what we don’t have to find our way to what we want. The lesson is in the lack. If we don’t share love, why? If we are ill, why? If we “never” succeed, why? Stopping to discover why may in itself be a blessing we can give thanks for. If we didn’t stop, we would never find an answer and would never change the situation from negative to positive. We might remain bitter, downcast, or just a “glass is half empty” sort of person. However, our worst enemy can be our greatest blessing if we allow it to help us learn an important life lesson. For example, take the child who agonizes over the math he is learning. It’s too hard, it doesn’t make sense, it’s stupid! That child is discouraged and ready to give up. But, with encouragement and support from parents, teacher, and/or friends, he will learn that math concept and will also learn to persevere. He may end up being an accountant! As we learn these lessons with help from others, we also slowly learn to help ourselves until we look upon ourselves as capable. This is a lifelong process. Each step of the way brings us lessons to learn, no matter what age. There are times when we can learn the lessons by ourselves, and others when we need help. Regardless, it’s the learning of the lesson that counts and what we should be grateful for.

So when we give thanks for our many blessings, give thanks for the hardships, as well as the positives. Those hardships help to make us better people when we learn from them. They help us be more patient, compassionate, loving, and peaceful. Reiki helps us open to the lessons of life that strengthen us as individuals. The first Reiki Principle is a wonderful reminder for us to stop and check in on ourselves.