“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” –Melody Beattie
At this time of Thanksgiving, I thought I would share an article I recently wrote for a friend’s newsletter. You can read the entire newsletter at the Nurturing Tranquility News link here. In honor of Small Business Saturday (heck, let’s make it Small Business MONTH), if you are in the neighborhood, consider buying salon products or gift certificates from this wonderful salon & spa.
There are many ways to view the commonalities of life that we all experience; we fit these commonalities into patterns or schemas that allow us to organize them, contemplate them, analyze them, and then act according to them. One of the many schemas available to us is the concept of energy centers or chakras. In this short article, we will talk about chakras as they relate to a system of healing known as Reiki. Reiki healing is based on “ki” or life force that comes from your higher power, whatever your higher power happens to be. For you, that may mean God. For someone else, it may mean simply their highest self. For a Star Wars fan, it may be The Force.
According to the Reiki system of thought and healing, the body has several “energy centers” called chakras. Each chakra has certain characteristics and affects corresponding areas of the body. These energy centers can become blocked, causing physical and spiritual problems. A Reiki practitioner can use gentle hands-on healing techniques to open the energy center, allowing the ki, or life force, to flow freely. Individuals can also nourish and open the chakras with meditation and focus. And that is what we are going to talk about this month–opening the 2nd chakra with gratitude.
The 2nd chakra is located in the lower abdomen and is known as the pleasure chakra. It is here that we experience joy, creativity, sexual pleasure, enjoyment, and sensuality. This is the center where, if open, we are able to take pleasure in life and all it has to offer us. We can enjoy the beauty of a pink sunset, the taste of chocolate on our tongue, the way our partner’s eyes crinkle in the corners when he/she laughs, the rhythmic beat of our favorite piece of music, etc. Blockages at this chakra can produce feelings of apathy, dissatisfaction, and depression. You may feel tired. You may do things out of a sense of duty rather than creativity and pleasure.
One way to open and nurture your 2nd chakra is to practice gratitude. At this time of year with Thanksgiving just around the corner, this is a wonderful time to give gratitude some thought. Taking time to appreciate what you have–even the smallest things–opens that old 2nd chakra and makes way for more good feelings and energy to come your way. This concept is related to “the power of attraction” we’ve heard so much about lately. If you focus on what is pleasurable in your life and feel grateful for what life has given you, you are likely to attract MORE good things to you.
You don’t have to be a Reiki practitioner to recognize the universal nature of this concept. Most religions teach about the practice of gratitude–praising God or making offerings of thanksgiving. Seems that on some level there is a universal understanding that appreciation, gratitude, and thanksgiving are healthy for human beings. Focus on what is good in your life. Focus on the flavors of the food you eat. Focus on the pleasures of touch. Focus on the sounds of your favorite music. Use all your senses. Then, think:
“Thanks, Life (God, Gaia, Universe, etc.). This is really, really wonderful (delicious, gorgeous, tasty, mind-blowing, fabulous, etc.)!”
You may be surprised at how fulfilled and joyful you feel. Gratitude really is the “magic” ingredient for a more joy-filled, pleasurable, creative life.
I wish all of you, my dear readers, a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and the beginning of a joyous winter season.