Having just had the privilege of training in Reiki, a Japanese art which teaches practitioners how to become a conduit for healing energy both to themselves and to anyone in need, the subject of vibrations has been on my mind.
My admittedly simplistic understanding of vibrations is this:
Quantam physicists assert that everything is made of energy. As such, everything vibrates at a certain frequency, which is variable from moment to moment and thing to thing. The higher the frequency of vibration, the lighter and more energetic a thing is, the lower the vibration, the more dense and heavy it is. (For more on this, click here.)
Human beings vibrate on a wide range of frequencies; the higher vibrations being when we are feeling gratitude, love, generosity and similar positive emotions, and the lower vibrations being when we feel depressed, hateful, jealous and other similar negative emotions.
Once you think about your own vibrations in these terms, it’s easy to see and understand intuitively what it’s all about. The heaviness that accompanies depression is real—physiologically real. When we are depressed we feel stuck, dark, immobile because our vibrations are sluggish and slow. Conversely, the lightness that accompanies happiness, peacefulness and loving kindness is physiologically real as well, because our vibrations are rapid and efficient.
It follows that raising our vibrations, if that’s possible, would be a gateway to increased health and happiness, and also that by raising our own vibrations, we raise the vibrations of those around us in an ever expanding infinite circle.
The good news is, it’s not only possible, it’s (relatively) easy! Here’s how:
The moment we smile we release negative energy. Even if we don’t feel like smiling, the physical act of doing so relaxes our muscles and makes it impossible to cling to all the yuckiness trapped in our scowl. Smiling flips an invisible switch, creating just enough movement and space inside with which to un-stick ourselves.
I often cue my yoga students to “put a little smile on your face.” Stress and frustration immediately slip away, and I can feel the room literally lighten.
There is a reason Buddha is always smiling.
By “pray” I don’t mean say our hail Mary’s (whatever that even means), I mean closing our eyes and focusing on a wish of peace for ourselves and all the creatures of the world—particularly those creatures which might have been annoying you lately; teenaged offspring, corrupt world leaders, the cashier at the grocery store who puts your single magazine in a plastic bag even though you asked her several times just to hand it to you.
* Note: In a pinch, you really don’t have to close your eyes. Just look at that grocery clerk and beam love right at her and those plastic bags she keeps reaching for willy nilly.
3) Have a mantra.
I consider mantras emergency kits for when I’m too frazzled to think things through and I need to set the ship straight.
When I am so angry I could spit nails, I try to say instead, (silently, otherwise people might assume I’ve been seduced by some weird cult where people mumble words repeatedly at socially inappropriate moments) “May we be free from suffering and the cause of suffering.”
I repeat my mantra as many times as I need to, focusing on the person or thing which has caused me distress, as well as myself, until I feel my belly unlock and my brain start working again. It’s an amazingly powerful remedy.
It works just as well when I experience feelings of paralyzing depression. Realizing I have the choice to invite love into myself as well as outward to others is pretty empowering.
“Breathe”—we hear this instruction so often it’s almost become a cliche. Nevertheless, focusing on the physical reality of the breath is always a great away to go.
By focusing on the breath, we are turning off the mind and all of it’s unproductive chattering and tuning back into the self, which is a place of peace and wisdom.
Don’t let the ego tell you that “just breathing” isn’t going to accomplish anything. Our breath is the thread which moors us to the present moment. Experiencing this moment in it’s beautiful, visceral simplicity is the ultimate way to raise our vibration.
When we realize we have these simple tools in our toolbox on which we can rely to be effective every single time we pull them out, it becomes easier to remember to use them. Encouraging ourselves to actively raise our own vibrations takes practice and discipline, but the pay off is so dramatic, for ourselves and for anyone our energy affects—which is every person everywhere—it is well worth the effort.
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: elephant archives
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