For the past few days, the five ideals of Reiki have been on my mind. To paraphrase, they are — “Just for today, let go of anger; let go of worry; give thanks; work well; be kind.
Why “just for today”?
By specifying “just for today,” perhaps Reiki founder Mikao Usui was ensuring that adhering to the five ideals would be perceived as doable. Not feeling anger for a day –- I can perhaps manage that. A whole week, a month, a year? Erm… possibly not for the likes of unsaintly me. One day, each day at a time – that I might be able to achieve. Or at least I can give it my best shot.
As well it is because, I realise, today – this day — is as much a span of time as we can be certain of. Actually it is not even all of today’s 24 hours. Accidents happen, illness or natural disaster strikes, something unexpected occurs, and we may not see tomorrow. Or this afternoon, this evening. At least not in the same condition that we are in as of this moment. In essence it is merely this very moment that I can be sure of.
At this very moment I am writing in my gratitude journal – my 91st day to be precise. The very word journal is based on the concept of one day – the French jour. If I had, from the outset, thought about this undertaking – of a daily or almost daily habit of writing down my thoughts for 91 days — I might have baulked at its scale.
Yet here I am, approaching just about a third of a year along on my journey of daily thanks. Journey – incidentally that’s another word with jour in it. It originally meant “as much distance as one can cover in one day.”
At this precise moment, I am grateful that M has brought me coffee. He has even accompanied it with a Madeleine – the last one from his second batch. M has recently taken up patisserie making, enticed by the cookbook that came with this year’s house Christmas present – a Kenwood mixer – for both of which (M’s baking and the mixer) I am thankful. My previous one, a multitasking Osterizer, lasted well over 3 decades. And I hope this one does as well.
At this very moment, a red squirrel is scrambling among the branches of the yew tree nearest the house. I am happy and grateful to be able to see red squirrels, right here in my Bonn garden. They are a rare sight in the UK, as North American grey species brought over during the colonial period have out-reproduced the endemic red European ones.
Update on the amaryllis: the taller bud has been increasing in girth, its profile looking more and more uh … pleasingly pregnant. Just now I am reminded of the Spanish equivalent – embarazada, whereas the Japanese term is more positively celebratory – omedeta; omedetou being the usual greeting for a happy event — thus, congratulations, best wishes. Yesterday the upper bud had slightly opened to show its vermilion inner garments. And today, have a look — this picture says it more eloquently than my words can say.
For the beauty of flowers – their infinitely diverse and splendid colouring and outrageously fascinating shapes — and for the joy that they bring. And most of all – for the wondrous, glorious, and miraculous phenomenon of flowering — I am deeply in awe and exceedingly grateful.
Just for today, I let go of anger. Resentment, frustration, exasperation, annoyance, jealousy, irritation, bitterness, impatience. Anger — that corrosive emotion — has many forms. It does not only come as rage, after all.