Just For Today

Yesterday, my day began as it typically does on Saturdays; with an early morning swim. This time, I brought a mantra along to keep me afloat:

Just for today, I will not be angry. Just for today I will not worry. Just for today, I will not lie.

It was an appropriate buddy for yesterday’s swim because straight from the pool, I was going to spend the rest of the day otherwise immersed – in the last Reiki class of this session.

First order of business: a deep breath and visualization. Hmmm, I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to begin each day this way?

Our instructor, R, demonstrated a group-led treatment, thereafter dividing us up into 4-person groups for practice. Which is when we did the Reiki dance; Each of us, positioning ourselves in front, back or one side of the seated person (standing, in my case), would lightly touch the part of the body into which we wanted the energy to flow. Then we would find a way to silently shift from one position to the next, all the while carefully avoiding bumping into one another.

We circled around the seated body, laying hands here and there, staying in one position or the other for the amount of time that felt right. Then we would move on to the next, from the top of the head down to the toes. It was a dance that required nothing more than tuning into each other, fixing our energies on the receiver and letting our hands guide us as we inched our way ever closer to the ground.


Cartoon by John McPherson


The final treatment of the day, to the soothing sounds of background music, involved R giving us an initiation, but en groupe, seated as we were in an ‘airplane formation’: each person occupied a seat in a given row of chairs – all of which were facing in the same direction – and one by one, we would shift to the next empty chair, till we reached the chair in the rear, where R. would do an attunement. The entire episode lasted no longer than thirty minutes but I had to stand for the duration – and I tried so hard to stay still.

Although I was upright the entire day, there was some movement: I’d been able to lean against a wall, stretch my legs when needed, raise my leg, shift my weight, do whatever it took to keep up a certain fluidity. But now, as the group attunements progressed, I felt a throbbing sensation grip the lower half of my left leg. I tried to bend over, shift my weight and stretch my leg, but the damage was done: I couldn’t find immediate relief from the accruing heaviness in my leg.

When the treatments ended, and while all eyes remained closed, R asked us to imagine a word that best described our state of mind (and body) at that moment. One by one, participants vocalized sentiments such as: blissful, divine, comforting, relaxed, happy, and more. As for myself, I was grinding myself into the ground, body and mind. I had become suddenly and involuntarily mute, unable to utter a word – certainly not any of the words that were fogging up my mind: searing, pain, burn, damn, suffering and worse. So I simply stayed quiet, honoring the silence that enveloped my unflagging discomfort. Fortunately, R did not urge me to speak.

But soon after, we all joined together for a final, healing circle. R asked each person to share another word describing how they felt, now, at the close of the day. Standing beside R, I was to be last to speak. Could I find the courage this time around?Could I acknowledge that I felt gratitude and calm – but also…?

When the others were finished, I turned to R and asked if I could say two words instead of one. Sure, she said with a smile. Without skipping a beat, speaking the truth of my present reality, I said: aching and accepting. And then, perhaps just for today, almost imperceptibly, I felt a lightness descend onto my shoulders.

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