I believe inner peace is there for all of us --- even if it is, at first, only for a moment.
Do you agree? Do you have an image of peace in the mind-body and soul? Do you feel the energy of peace? These are a few of the questions we will explore in our last newsletter of this year, this decade.
I grew up on Long Island, New York and was always drawn to the ocean. I went to Jones Beach and loved it -- even more in the solitude of winter than in the heat and crowds of the summer. I love the Great Lakes and am blessed to now live and overlook Lake Erie. The background picture for many of the quotes I post on Facebook and for this Blog is a summer sunset looking out from my Lake House. I am looking forward to taking a new picture this winter when the lake is frozen, and the horizon disappears.
Sometimes the lake is rockin’ n’ rollin’, sometimes the waves are gentle and sometimes the lake is a mirror of the sky. Whatever is happening on the surface of the water – whatever is happening in our mind and body and in our relationships and in our environment – below the surface, deep down, all is calm. That is my imagery for peace. In the depth of the lake/ocean … there is peace. This I believe.
I found the message and imagery in the poem, “The Peace of Wild Things,” by Wendell Berry inspiring.
“When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”
I particularly love the last line – “For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” To me this line means that peace is experienced in the “Now.” When we are in the present moment, we can experience the grace, calm, contentment, equanimity -- the stillness of the Soul, inner peace.
Deep diaphragmatic breathing and meditation are wonderful ways to practice relaxing the mind-body, to be curious and look inside ourselves – and experience peace.
So, what does peace mean to you? How does peace feel? Are you curious?
A simple first step might be to try this meditation by Fleur Chambers, a mindfulness teacher on my favorite meditation app, Insight Timer, Connecting With the Energy of Peace. Fleur Chambers teaches that peace is an energy -- a frequency -- and through a gentle body scan she guides us to feel the energy of peace in our body. This selection is from the Daily Insight section and you have the option to choose a 5, or 10, or 20-minute version. (Please note Daily Insight may require a fee or an upgrade to the Premium subscription.)
Another option is to start on the journey of peace recognizing that Peace has many forms. I like the analytical construct which Deepak Chopra has talked about in the 21 Day Meditation series “Expanding Your Happiness.” For example, as Deepak suggests, we can talk of:
Each of these forms of Peace are valuable. With each step on the journey of exploring and experiencing Peace, we go deeper and deeper.
Whether you choose meditation, or prayer, or music, or painting, or poetry, or walking in nature… I invite you to join me on this journey of creating Peace. I am very intentional in writing “creating” or “co-creating” Peace, rather than pursuing or looking for Peace. Big difference.
I use different sources of inspiration depending on my focus and intention. For example, if my focus is on managing stress, I might go to Glenn Harrold’s 10-Day Course, "Learn to Mindfully Manage Stress & Anxiety." Or perhaps I want to let go of emotions and attachments – negative and limiting beliefs that no longer serve me – then I look to David Gandelman’s 10-Day Course, "Letting Go of Attachment." The value of the meditation courses is that they bring structure and each lesson builds on your learning and experience. Simple search on the teachers name to bring up the course or go to the courses tab at the bottom of the app to explore the full range of courses available.
Be curious – explore what resonates and works for you!
When I want to do deeper and explore what it feels like to accept myself, just as I am – to accept the situation, just as it is, I often turn to the Book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, verses 1-8:
“For everything there is a season, and
a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up
what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a
time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to
refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”
All seasons and all changes have something to teach us. I find peace in accepting change….in accepting things just as they are… in accepting ourselves and others just as we are…and seeing what change has to teach us.
When we come to the form of Peace – Spiritual Peace – I simply invite you to continue your journey with your definition of spirituality. Out of respect for all religions and peoples' spiritual practices, I will refrain from suggesting specific prayers or meditations. We are all on a spiritual journey. I know you will find your way. Peace is the way.
With great admiration for the teachings of Wayne Dyer, I will close with his words on the subject of Peace:
“Peace can become a lens through which you can see the world.
Radiate it out.
Peace is an inside job.”
I will be taking a short break from Blogging over the holidays. Wishing everyone the blessing of Peace as we close out 2019 and a healthy and happy 2020. We will reconnect in mid-January and kick-start the year with a focus on energy and productivity.
May you be happy now and always, Alison
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