I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I never keep them. What I do is gather with a group of friends annually on New Year’s Day.
We spend the day sharing food, hopes, dreams, and intentions, and creating vision boards to represent what each of us would like to have expressed in our lives over the coming year.
Still in the afterglow of a deeply meaningful day, I arrived on January 2 at a memory care facility for my weekly appointment with a client who has Parkinson’s Disease and dementia. Over the past two and a half years of sharing Reiki with Dewey, I have witnessed the toll these diseases take. Dewey is now confined to a wheelchair and receives hospice care. Despite his condition, his quick wit and gentle humor remain intact.
Thinking for a moment about how to frame the question and wondering at the answer I might receive, I asked Dewey what he would like to see happen in 2014. His acerbic response: “365 days.” I chuckled with delight. Dewey had distilled my New Year’s Day into a simple aphorism—not the abstract year 2014, but 365 days, one day at a time.
“Just for today,” was Reiki founder Usui Sensei‘s instruction to his students when he admonished them to repeat the Gokai (The Sacred Rules of Life – The Five Reiki Principles) morning and evening, chanting the words with their mouths, taking the words into their hearts: “Do not be angry; Do not worry; Be grateful; Do your work diligently; Be kind to all living things.” Five brief admonitions that encompass the essentials of a meaningful life. As Usui put it: “the secret art of inviting happiness.” One day at a time.
Usui’s Gokai and Dewey’s aphorism are both calls to mindfulness; a reminder to be present; to focus attention on the moment and, by doing so, honor the activity or task at hand, no matter what it may be. 365 days, one day at a time.
©2014 Marianne Streich, Reiki for Living, All Rights Reserved. For re-posting permission, contact Marianne.
Marianne is a Seattle-Area Reiki teacher and practitioner. She is the author of Reiki, A Guide for the Practice of Levels I and II and a former editor, contributor, and columnist for Reiki News Magazine (2004-2010). See her current class schedule.