New Year REIKIsolutions
It’s as good a time as ever to start working for a better year or a better decade, at the wheel of an automobile or at the wheel of life. A little thought may help us live longer and happier.
©2009 Isaac Hernández
I’m writing from the last day of 2009 in California, already 2010 in China. Right now we in Santa Barbara are getting ready to receive the new year of the Roman calendar, while in Beijing most people are
already sleeping after the celebration. By the time these words have been translated to Mandarin and printed, the Year of the Tiger will also be imminent. It’s a perfect time to make New Year’s resolutions.
Perhaps you don’t believe in resolutions, which can have a tendency to get forgotten a week after they’re declared. It’s a normal thing to feel confronted by a big promise, and end up abandoning it with an
excuse: “I didn’t really want to do that”.
Perhaps you don’t believe in Reiki, the energy practice of LING QI, which began in China, and is used for healing. Whether you believe in it or not, there are five Reiki principles that, in Japanese, begin with the words “Kyo dake wa” (Just for today). I’ve discovered that they can be very practical for New Year’s resolutions. These three
words can inspire us to focus on our goals day by day, instead of looking at larger, yearly, seemingly impossible goals.
Given that Americans spend an average of 438 hours a year in a car, according to Tom Vanderbilt (www.tomvanderbilt.com), author of Traffic, Why We Drive The Way We Do (And What It Says About Us), the
car will be the vehicle for my resolutions.
Think about it. 438 hours per year adds up to 1.2 hours per day. I know people that spend more time than that daily behind the wheel. Nevertheless, if the average person spends that much time in a car, by
the time I’m 70 years old, I’d have spent over 30,000 hours on wheels! And judging by how long I’m taking to write these words, I’ll spend another 30,000 hours writing about driving! This seems like a ridiculous amount of one’s lifetime to spend in traffic, trying to get somewhere. For this year, I will focus on being happy where I am,
instead of trying to get somewhere, hurrying, fighting to get through. But wait, I’m forgetting about the Reiki principles: Just for today I will focus on being happy where I am. So I have adapted the Reiki
principles to the automobile, whose intention is to allow for small daily measures of peace that add up to a longer, happier life.
Just for today I won’t worry. I’ll get plenty of rest before I drive so that I can focus better and be present at the wheel, enjoying every second of it. Today I won’t drink alcohol or do drugs before driving, putting my life and those of others in danger. Rather than worry, I will focus at the wheel, even if it’s just for today. When I’m not
worried, I can be in the moment, aware of all the surroundings, and open to new experiences, willing to take the road less traveled.
Just for today I won’t get upset. I’ll intentionally let go of any “road rage”. I’ll breathe deeply, redirecting this energy into something positive. I’ll be polite, allowing space for the other cars, and yielding to others (including pedestrians). I won’t cause accidents. I’ll use the turning signals. I’ll turn on my headlights before sunset so that other people can see my car, not just when I need to see. I’ll use my high beams when I need them, and will switch
to low beams when there’s traffic coming the other way so as to avoid blinding other drivers.
Just for today I will honor my parents and teachers. My parents gave me life. I will accept them as they are, and as they aren’t. I won’t argue (especially not at the wheel). I will relax. I’ll respect the traffic laws, and the opinions of others, even if I don’t agree. I’ll be ready to learn every day, from my teachers, and from children. My son once said to me, “If you get angry at another driver, you’ll drive worse, and that will make another driver get mad at you, and another driver will be angry at him, and you’ll create a lot of upset drivers.
Just don’t get angry.”
Just for today I will earn a living honestly. I’ll apply myself to my work. I won’t get distracted sending text messages or speaking on the mobile phone while I drive. I’ll wear the seatbelt. I will make a living sustainably, using only what I need, turning off the lights when I’m not in the room. I’ll consider walking, riding my bicycle or
taking public transportation before driving, to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases and to keep the Earth a living space for future generations. I’ll give the best of myself, loving what I do; even the simple things like walking or driving, feeling fortunate that I have legs and a place to go to.
Just for today I will be grateful for everything that surrounds me. I’ll express my gratitude to other drivers, to my parents, my children, to the whole world, for the opportunities that are given to me, for the opportunities that are coming my way, for the old and reliable Honda Civic that was given to me by my father-in-law (thank you, Bud). I will be grateful for all that I have and all I don’t have, for the oceans that provide rain, for the air that lets me breath. I will be thankful for being able to live in the world, circulating these roads, remembering that I am part of the traffic jam. Whatever happens to me happens to everyone. We’re all connected.
Happy New Year!
PS. A Chinese proverb says, “To know the road ahead, ask those coming back”. You’re arriving to the Year of the Tiger before me. Could you please tell me how the year is? 😉 My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
# # #