fiona bennettJan 19 3 min read
For Today Only is the start of the Five Spiritual Practices, the first of the Five Elements of Reiki. One Day at a Time is an AA and Alanon slogan. There are many, many other ways to say the same thing and what is that thing exactly? To me it is some of the best, kindest and often the most difficult principle to apply to my life.
There are things that I consider to be really important to me, my values, that I try and use as a compass for my life. Values aren't like goals. They aren't something I can put on a list, acquire the skills, work towards and then tick off a list and say to myself, well done now let's move to the next one. Values never end. They are qualities and limits and standards that I aspire to BE and LIVE and they get borne out in my words and actions but they aren't captured on a To Do list. They are very personal and my values are not necessarily your values and that's ok. I value love: both loving others and being loved, compassion, family just to name a few. Recently, I redid a 'valuable' exercise (see what I did there) that asks for self-examination to narrow down the top 10. What I found was that my values haven't changed much over my life. What has changed is how honest I am with myself and how loyal I am to myself. When I am living in truth and authenticity then I am living in alignment with my values and able to say no to things that don't align and when I am not then I live in ways that I am not comfortable with and even at times ashamed of. Without living in truth I create an energy of unease which leads eventually and inevitably to Dis-Ease. I promise you it is just not worth it.
The gift of the Five Precepts intro: For Today Only and the AA slogan: One Day at a Time is that even on the darkest day if you know its only for a day you can usually do better than if you imagine endless time. Things like 1.Do Not Anger might seem impossible to achieve for a lifetime but maybe for one day I can manage it. Or one hour. 2.Do Not Worry definitely seems like an extraordinary ask when you are looking for a job, or have a difficult boss or a sick child but then you know what if I didn't manage today, well then I didn't fail I just didn't manage it today. There is always tomorrow and then I can start over with my intention to not worry For Today Only. 3. Be humble and 4.be honest in your work might seem easier and so start to take note of where you may not be fully embracing those principles. Do you ever gossip? That is not an expression of humility. Do you ever check your phone for deals or flight prices or facebook while you are supposed to be writing a report for your boss? Do you gripe about your boss? Just take note. Lastly 5. Be Compassionate to Yourself and Others might be one of the most difficult principles. Every time we don't hit the mark or at least imagine that we don't we can be so mean to ourselves and even if we are the kindest person what happens when someone brings you a salad with the wrong dressing or takes the parking spot you were waiting for? Where does our compassion go then - out the window or to the person? Just take note.
One of the best pieces of advice accompanies the principles and that is to meditate every morning and evening. If we are to take one day and release the others then we need a practice to help us process our feelings of the events, and to clear out any negative energy that has accumulated throughout that day to be able to really let it go and not bury it. Buried feelings fester and will infect our tomorrows. And in the morning we can set our intention to be who we value and live our truth with vigor and vim and all our attention clear.
Whether you view it as a spiritual practice or simply a recipe for a satisfying life try it, what have you got to lose. It's For Today Only.