Friday, May 09, 2008

Holding Hands

I was going through some files I have stored on a server and I found one I'd saved regarding the beneficial effects of married people holding hands to reduce stress. Click here to read the article at I guess marriage is good for something afterall. haha (I'm definitely operating a little to the cynical Left today.)

Later I noticed that is using the recent YouTube video phenom of the otters holding hands as an example for their embedded presentations feature. My Right Brain thinks the otters are enormously cute (and there are so many predictable ooos and awwws in the audio it makes me laugh), but my Left Brain argues that it's not love so much as a survival instinct. Otters are communal in nature, and they link paws in the water to keep from floating away from each other. Simple as that. (Thank you CBS news for the facts.) At this point Right Brain reaches across the corpus callosum and slaps Left Brain and says "what's wrong with you? shut up and appreciate the cuteness. it's still love in a broader sense." (Right Brain doesn't have any appreciation for logic, or proper capitalization.)

And probably because I was super sensitive to it by then, when I watched a YouTube video of Mraz singing Fly Me to the Moon from a recent concert in Hawaii, the line "in other words, hold my hand..." stood out, and that got me thinkin'.

Hands are an interesting appendage of the human body. We can live without them, but they make our lives so much easier, and they're used more often in communication than you'd think (unless you're Italian - then you already know. I hear if you tie an Italian's hands behind their backs, they can't talk - j/k :). Our opposable thumbs are one of the things that sets us apart from the other mammals and allows us to use all kinds of tools. "Thumbs up" and "ok" are universal hand gestures that people understand. A palm reading may give you insight to the current path you're on. Indigenous cultures have often used the shape of a hand as a hieroglyph to indicate Life. When you shake hands with someone it's an unconscious (in most cases) gesture of goodwill. The universal sign for "I mean you no harm" is holding up your open palm. We wear jewelry on our hands as indication of our social status. When you make a pledge or swear into court, you hold up your hand. We put our hand on our heart to honor the American flag, and soldiers use it to make a gesture of respect to higher ranking officers. The public also uses it to make a gesture of DISrespect if someone makes them unhappy. (This bumper sticker always cracks me up: Horn broken, watch for finger.) Cops' hands can control traffic, and a fireman's hands can bring nature under control, or save a life. You raise your hand to ask a question (or request a song at a Mraz concert haha). The Deaf use their hands to talk. It would be hugely difficult to type this blog without hands, and to me, holding hands with your partner is tied with a slow, meaningful kiss for the #1 spot in my Book of All The Right Romantic Moves. And that's just a few things we do with our hands.

I was wondering then, with all that evidence of the power of hands, why people have trouble believing in the healing power that can also be transmitted through them. I'm a second degree Reiki practitioner, although I'm not "practicing" at the moment. (Hmmm, and I think I just found my answer as to why all these hand references have been popping up in front of me.) I'm not practicing because I feel like most people are a) looking for some magical external cure so they don't have to do any internal work, b) feel they're not getting their money's worth if I don't "fit the part" (i.e., have "mystical" props and environment), or c) simply don't believe in it, and want me to "sell" them on how it works. Yes, I have some trust issues.

Reiki is a practice based on focusing Universal healing energy through your hands. You, as the Reiki giver, are not doing anything to heal the person you're working on. You are simply gathering some of that healing chi floating around the ether, and channeling it down to the place where it is needed. The person receiving the energy is actually doing the work by unconsciously healing themselves the same way we unconsciously breathe or have a heartbeat.

My aunt (who taught me) said to think of myself as a straw when I practice Reiki, so I picture the energy coming in through my crown chakra, down to the hand that gives, through the person I'm working on, back into the hand that receives, then down my body and out the bottoms of my feet back to the Earth. (This is why the ideal Rieki setting in my opinion is outside.) From there I'm sure the energy melds back into the flow in a circle bigger than we can imagine. I'm just the instrument that breaks into the stream to redirect it, much like if you place your finger under running water, some of the water will then follow your hand instead of the rest of the flow.

Many people I try to explain this to are skeptical though. If they believe in it at all, they don't believe they're the ones doing the work - they see themselves as separate from God, so it must be God or angels or me healing them. My reluctance to talk about Reiki at all has grown from me trying to explain the process, and people arguing with me about whether the energy is real, or who is doing the work, or whatever else they come up with. My brain shuts down at confrontation, so I suck at debate. I do want to find a way to make a living doing something to help people spiritually though. But, uhhhh... back to hands.

For me, the hand that gives is the right, and the hand that receives is the left. Some say the opposite is true as a rule. My intuition says it depends on the human, so both are probably true.

Which hand do you feel is your giving hand and which one is the receiving hand?

I imagine most people would say whatever hand is dominant is their giving hand and the non-dominant the receiving one, but what if you're a needy-type person? Would that make your non-dominant hand what you send energy out with? There should be scientific studies on this stuff. This is one of those times I wish I'd stayed in college. I could totally be doing this research. :D

Thinking about this also makes me wonder about when I hold Mark's hand, like when we're walking in the mall, is there a reason I end up on one side of him or the other? Are we like magnets where our polarization changes, unconsciously causing us to walk on certain sides so if we reach for each other's hand, certain energy needs are met? Hmmm. I'll have to pay closer attention to that in the future and write down what I find. I'd also have to figure out which is his giving hand and which receives so I can match up the situation with which side we're on.

Well anyway, just found the hand thing interesting and writing it out has made me realize why it probably came up, so woohoo! Score one for meditative writing. :)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Suck It Up

A friend sent me this picture recently just because it was really cool. I dunno if it's a real thing or a good Photoshop job, but I had to share because it's so clever. It's the simple things that make me smile. (You'll probably have to look at the big picture to understand. I mean for the pic below, too. :)

In other coolness...

My purse has become a repository of paper pieces because I see bits of things I want to post all the time, so I write them down but then my day ends before I know it. So here are some of those scraps of thought from the bottom of my bag:

My Chinese fortune cookie the other night told me:

"Your heart will always make itself known through your words."

I hope so. :)

Part of the tag from one of my tees from says:

Interpretation of the conceptual is as fundamental to the human experience as is our communication through language. Throughout the history of mankind language has created itself in many forms to symbolically represent that which we hope to express. It is always a process of unfolding... one thought after another.

...just as I unfold the language on my shirt so I can wear it. :)

Call me a lexiphile (yes, I know the word is actually logophile, but I like my word better) but I have a word-a-day calendar called Forgotten English and I saved this one from March 24:

chronogram - one of the simplest devices of the word-juggler, and as old as the Romans. It consists in selecting certain letters indicating a date from a name or an inscription on a tomb, an arch, or a medal, printing them larger than the others, and obtaining thereby a date which is regarded as an augury. In some chronograms only the initial letters are counted as forming the solutions to the puzzle, but in others all the characters used for Roman numerals are taken into account. History supplies many first-rate chronograms. In fact it was once the custom to strike medals with chronogramic sentences in which the date of the occasion commemorated was set forth by the letters selected. (Henry Reddall's Fact, Fancy, and Fable, 1889)

Death of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603)
Reddall included this example of a chronogram for Elizabeth:
"My Day Is Closed In Immortality. This is a 'perfect' chronogram because initials only are used to make up the date, [MDCIII] 1603."

Get it? Ok, my brain hurts now too. "Word-juggler" made me think of Mraz. Ha!

One more... My calendar at work has very nice verbage to go with the pictures each month. I thought it was very appropriate that this is what's on there for May:

We invent our surroundings to experience their inner nature and implications, to be empowered in ways not otherwise possible.

Intention begets change. Emotion empowers. Qi energizes and manifests our material realm.

Intention to wholeness invites in everything. Empty a space - more and more - until it is full and overflowing with the emptiness of immanence.

I would love for my surroundings to be overflowing with emptiness right about now. Moving always begets the question, how did I ever think I didn't have enough money? No one that poor has this much stuff!

The end of May is rushing up to meet me and I barely have anything packed, and still no truck lined up for California, but it's all good. Focus hasn't been my strong point here in the East, but somehow everything manages to get done. Do without doing, as the runes say.

It's only a Tuesday after all. I've only missed one thing so far.