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Friday, May 01, 2009

For today only, do not panic

When news of a global flu pandemic broke this week, I soon began receiving email after email from various natural health practitioners offering suggestions on how to prevent or treat the illness: nutritional supplements, essential oils, herbs, etc. I won't publish any of those handy hints here, since they go beyond my scope of practice and the focus of this publication. But I would like to remind Reiki practitioners everywhere that we have a powerful tool for dealing with a side effect of the pandemic that is spreading even faster than the disease: fear. When the news gets worrisome, simply apply the Reiki precepts to the situation. Our favorite translation is this one:

For today only
Do not anger
Do not worry
Be humble
Be honest in your work
Be compassionate to yourself and others

Yes, the news is worrisome, as reporters show us colorful, high-definition graphs of what might happen. But that's only what might happen. If we stay focused on the present moment -- for today only -- we realize that all those "what ifs" are just that. If the worst case scenario did come about, we wouldn't want to be exhausted from worry when it happened. 

Along with the handy hints, I got a few emails spreading rumors that this or that government or corporation or interest group was responsible for the flu outbreak. People who believe that stuff get angry, and people who don't fall for those rumors conserve their energy for more urgent needs. 

One of the translations of "be honest in your work" is simply "do your duty," and if we practice that precept, we can also help avoid spreading both the disease and the fear. Do your duty by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly, and you'll be less likely to catch or spread the flu. Do your duty by staying home if you become ill, and you'll spare innumerable others from the illness. Be humble: remember that it's not about you. Rather than crowding the emergency room and demanding treatment because you think you might be getting sick, leave those facilities to the people who urgently need them.

And of course, all the other aspects of Reiki personal practice can help you stay healthy, recover if you do get sick, and help those who may need you.  

Finally, a handy hint that comes not from Reiki but from my decades of experience in journalism: the news media always play up the fear factor because the more worried people are, the more likely they are to monitor the news. They may tell you they're being objective and professional, they may even believe it themselves, but they are serving their own interests -- not necessarily ours -- in telling us to worry. 

Readers, if you'd like to offer your suggestions for using Reiki to deal with the global flu pandemic, add them as comments to this post on our web site or email editor@thereikidigest.com. 

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