Is there a process to gain peace?


The path to peace is simple. I am speaking about everyday peace, not Peace, with a capital P . . . . . . because there’s a difference, right?

I know, I know, I hear the same touchy feely, new agey peace mumbo jumbo that everyone hears. Breathe in, breathe out. Suck in your stomach and unleash all those crazy thoughts that are rambling around in your head. Just let it all go. Sounds like a fairly simple and attainable approach to every day life. Besides, what could be more enjoyable than eating, praying and loving your way to a higher level of consciousness, and if you find peace somewhere along the way, all the better. Oops, there I go again thinking that peace is a goal or yet another sought after destination. Exercises like these make me realize how not at peace I really am. Especially when I am trying to suck in my stomach. I tend to be a tad obsessed with what’s next on my agenda. Speaking, walking, eating, working, writing . . these are all things I can do. I can record them in my planner and do them. They don’t require a true sense of peace to soldier through them.

Another full disclosure moment here . . .

I’ve always thought that everyone else (yes, the whole world – everyone except me) is out having fun and doing things that are far more interesting and eventful than whatever it is I am doing. I’m not exactly sure when I started thinking this way. Maybe it’s a seed that your parents plant in your head . . . like, go outside and play with the other kids . . . look at them, they’re having fun, go have fun! Or maybe it’s the way people paint their life, it all sounds so much more exciting than the reality. Whenever I was preparing to go on a vacation and rushing around with excitement my grandmother always said that the anticipation is far better than the realization – very true. After all, we all do the same things, don’t we? We shop for food, pay bills, see a movie, eat out, watch too much TV, exercise (really?), pick up dry cleaning, buy expensive coffee, email friends, send the occasional tweet. I always wonder why the same stinking feeling wells up inside me every time a holiday weekend is looming on the horizon. I look around and think everyone is packing and getting ready to go somewhere wonderful and fun . . . . everyone except me. In the summer, it’s the beach and in the winter it’s some story book winter wonderland. This drives my husband completely insane as he feels tremendous pressure to orchestrate some amazing event to make up for what I believe I am missing. This is entirely too much pressure for one person.

I felt true peace recently while sitting in my beautiful back yard and listening to the tweet (not that tweeting) of the birds as they fluttered from one pine tree to another. I had this incredible intense feeling that I should be doing, moving, cleaning -anything other than what I was doing. I fought the feeling and just sat continuing to listen to the simple activities happening around me. My focus moved from the birds to the sun that was bursting through the morning sky. I then noticed with great appreciation the cool morning breeze that sent chills through the September air. In other words, I was present in the moment. It’s what you hear people saying all the time – be present and appreciate the moment. Look at everything with complete clarity and develop a keen sense of gratitude for just being present. Hhmm, am I suppose to be doing all this while still sucking in my stomach ? Ouch, I could strain my neck at the same time – seems not very peaceful to me.

When I’m in a calm state of mind I have no problem moving over to let the pushy driver behind me get past, or letting the hurried working Mom jump ahead of me at the checkout line. But what about the times I’m not feeling so calm and altruistic? These are the very moments that challenge my faith and my true sense of peace. How do I live in these moments?

I have stumbled upon a simple answer. It’s all about choice – simple as that. Easier said than done? Absolutely, most things are. I have to be able to choose peace at any given moment – no matter what’s at stake. Sounds like something else I will need to add to my agenda. Think peace – it’s your choice.

The below poem I wrote speaks to the busyness of life, and the illusive search for peace that we all search for at one time or another. Enjoy!

The Well

Content with making plans

busy to meet demands,

racing to stay in place

emotions begin to swell

there is solace just over the hill

healing waters that are still

luxurious days at the well

peace and grace, peace and grace

a perfect fit for many days

content to stay in place

the blessed event

peace and grace, peace and grace

the feeling of healing,

ultimately revealing.

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