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Kaizen: Stepping Stones for Change

Kaizen: Stepping Stones for Change

by Liane Legey

Kaizen is a Japanese work ethic popularly practiced today. It refers to a continuous improvement process that while slow and incremental, is constant.

The literal translation is, "Kai" meaning change; "Zen" meaning good. "Good change."

Within this concept there is much beauty and balance regarding how to live life well. Kaizen is about embracing change willingly and with zest; recognizing its goal of harmony. Kaizen integrates a non-judgmental approach through small, regular steps made to improve one's overall life.

"Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time"
~ Voltaire

Kaizen is a Japanese word which means "the Good Change ". It literally comes from the combination of the words Kai: Change and Zen: Good. Kaizen is a non-judgmental approach on life and in its peculiar transformation phases. It signifies the possibility of change through slow and constant steps, creating powerful quality improvements in one's overall life.

Kaizen is a method where you can create of value for a meaningful life, through rhythm and harmony. Kaizen is about embracing change willingly and with zest; recognizing its goal of Balance and Harmony.
We all recognize the need of changes in every life, and these are not always very easy to do, to accept or to adapt to. Kaizen is a tool. It brings the possibility of making it through transitional periods with a projected map road of change, therefore diminishing the traumatic aspect of the different transformations periods we face during our lifetimes. We have to keep in mind the meaning of planning, setting goals and working constantly towards them.

It is a common belief that the word Crisis in Chinese is composed by the characters ?? meaning at the same time danger and opportunity; or a crucial point of change.

Through every change in life, we can still choose the way to face it, to embrace it and to adapt to it. The outlook of creating meaningful changes can help one overcome the powerful waves of crisis and renovation we all encounter from times to times.

Kaizen in Spirituality

To implement the spiritual changes we are all called to do nowadays, we have to keep a positive outlook. Many will find that these new transitional stages (shifts) are less than comfortable or easy to understand and adapt to. It is important to prepare for change and continue in the process of being open to the many different aspects of it, especially after the period of euphoria that comes after a Spiritual workshop or course. What we typically experience is that enthusiastic plans and goals are normally forgotten within days, until desperation drives you back to do it again and again, such as repeating New Year's resolutions every year.
Life is a voyage of self discovery; where we leave our comfort zone and start exploring the uncharted territory of our own soul. The journey towards balance and harmony with ALL THAT IS never really ends when we see ourselves as part of the big collective Picture of Creation.

The goals of Kaizen can be easily perceived in the 6 Reiki Principals: the constant Improvement and Integration of Mind, Body, and soul.

"Just for Today": Kyo dake wa.
"Don't get angry": Okoru-na
"Don't worry": Sinpai suna
"Be Grateful": Kansha shite.
"Work hard": Gyo o hage me.
"Be kind to others": Hito ni shinsetsu ni.

Kaizen here incites you to keep and hold the energetic frequency of intention, to manifest the constant change we need in our 4 bodies, eliminating lower feeling and repetitive behaviors that do not add to our process of development. Hold the intention for a moment, always in the present moment; keep the focus (when using Kaizen) that all we really have is the Present moment.

The Value of Kaizen in Self-Improvement

All of us can benefit from this method as it is vital to modify our small decisions as our poor choices often build on each other to take us off the path. Truthfully, it is particularly helpful since the small decisions which can keep us from improving are not noticeable so we do not routinely work on them, and the decisions which take us forward may not have caught our attention so we do not repeat them.

If you have a lucid picture of the person you want to grow to be, simply ask yourself what choices you made that day that do not draw you towards being that person. The same way, determine the decisions you should make in order to become what you envision to be.

When you draw a clear image, and set your intentions to it (not wishful thinking, but clear intentions), you can break down the change into steps that are more susceptible to be achieved.

Kaizen, Teamwork and the Ripple Effect

Kaizen is also a Japanese work ethic popularly practiced today. It refers to a continuous improvement process that while slow and incremental, is constant like it was stated before.

When applied to Spiritual Activism, the principles of Kaizen correlate to Spiritual Teamwork merging concepts of traditional business skills with a spiritual humanistic approach, inserting quality and depth to the perspective situations; to provide a new ways to manage successfully any challenging situation.

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The Core of Kaizen applied to Spiritual Teamwork results in a sense of familial bonds working as a interconnected entity towards actualizing a goal in a peaceful manner in small gradual steps towards making a change.

Both utilize the concepts that situations, when we are open to change and willing to forgive ourselves for our mistakes, will improve over time in ways that can create great long-lasting benefits for all.

The Kaizen concept applies equally well with the principle of the Ripple Effect: merging individuals into Spiritual Teams to enact larger-scale positive changes. We understand Spiritual Activism as peaceful compassionate devoted actions towards ending social inequities throughout the world.

If we choose to enact change willing and take gradual steps in those areas of our lives in which we desire change to take place, we will discover a world that opens more widely to us; embracing us even as we embrace the simplistic concepts behind Kaizen.

We rid ourselves of that which does not work slowly, yet in favor of a life that flows as water; fluid, without blocks or hindrances.

©2009 Humanity Healing. Partial Rights Reserved.

Music: Taylor Hayward, Loire

Images: Google / Photobucket
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