Personal practice Monday: Do not worry
By Deborah Flanagan
Editor's note: This article is excerpted from Deborah Flanagan's January 19, 2011 newsletter.
Another one of Master Usui’s Reiki precepts is "Do not worry." Easier said than done, right?
But what is worry? If you think about it, worry doesn't DO anything--if you fix what's bothering you then you stop worrying when you start fixing it, and if you can't fix it, then why worry?
Often when you worry your worst case scenario is totally off and your instincts are wrong, and if your worst nightmare happens it usually doesn’t feel as bad as when you worried about it--let's call it the "wild imagination factor."
Worry doesn’t prepare you for anything--watching TV and reading the news, then feeling bombarded by fear--it’s a distraction. It doesn't allow you to be in touch with your own freedom, power, and true self.
Well, Maybe Worry A Little
Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona, author of Coyote Medicine and a physician who combines Native American healing with traditional medicine, suggests keeping a Worry Diary. Make a list of worries for a few minutes each day and ask yourself if what you're worried about will matter in 10 days, 10 years, or 100 years from now. And then be done with it for the day.
His Cherokee grandmother couldn't write, so instead of making a list of worries, she set aside a certain time each day to think of everything that worried her, and when she couldn't think of any more worries, she said a prayer, and worrying was done for the day.
Our minds can be free of worry and fear—just for today.
An Anxious Exercise
If you’re feeling anxious pass a small object (a ball, your keys, etc.) from one hand to another side-to-side, crossing the mid-line of your body. (This involves both sides of your brain, disrupting anxiety which is based only on one side.) It's so simple and yet, it REALLY works.
Deborah Flanagan has a private Reiki practice in New York City. She also works with patients at the Initiative for Women with Disabilities, part of NYU Langone Medical Center.