I don’t know of anything more important than a peaceful mind and heart.
Peace isn’t boring. It's a catalyst that makes possible greater depth and color. Greater meaning.
Some years back, before we married, JoAnn and I visited a friend named Grant in Arizona. He’s a clinical psychologist.
It was a fun visit. One day, besides showing us around some local attractions and driving me for breakfast each day to a nearby diner – he was so proud of his beat-up rancher’s pick-up -- Grant gave us both a questionnaire to fill out.
One of the questions he asked was, “What do you value most in life?” We each gave the same answer to this question -- “inner peace” – which made me wonder, at times, if this helped our relationship flourish. Something makes it work. You could scarcely find two more different backgrounds. But in this we are the same – we both love and cherish peace.
Peace is our birthright
I’m not talking here about some exalted spiritual experience reserved for a fortunate few that needs much self-sacrifice to attain – “enlightenment,” let’s say. Nor a transcendent moment that flits through our lives almost by chance – to be remembered, perhaps, with awe for the rest of our life.
I’m talking about something simple and natural that is immediately available to each of us because it is our birthright. I’m talking about simply becoming aware -- in this moment, or any other moment -- of the peace that resides forever at the core of our being.
Peace does not come and go
This peace is not something that comes and goes. It is who you are. It is who I am. It does not change. It is always here. It only seems to come and go because our experience of life is constantly changing. Our thoughts change continually. Our feelings are in a constant flux.
Yesterday, for example – who knows why? – a wave of anxiety arose in me that perhaps my new book, Aging into Bliss, will not succeed. The feelings were quite painful. It was a difficult day, no doubt about it.
But today is different. My natural optimism, could I say, has returned. A hard-earned optimism, by the way. This cloud I was speaking of is dissipated.
I didn’t do anything special to make the cloud go away. I don’t think that would be very productive anyway. I just continued being myself. I just continued trusting myself and listening to the wisdom of my heart.
All that is necessary is to be still
Many menacing and dangerous clouds prowl the world in which we live. There is so much pain, division, and fear. How can we not be affected? But the good news is that it doesn’t really matter what difficult feelings or thoughts arise in us. Peace is untouched by any of it. It is who we are. As we were discussing last week, all that is necessary is to be still for a moment, and the peace of our eternal presence shines through.
I send you best wishes for a Peaceful New Year. I’d love to hear any thoughts you may have on the above.
Please click here for more information about my book, Aging into Bliss. The book is now available in print at Amazon, as a PDF (via my blog), in Kindle at Amazon and in other eBook formats at Smashwords.
Picture credit: J. Vela