Over the holidays I was in the greater Ottawa area of Eastern Ontario, Canada and had a chance to go snowshoeing in the countryside and just be in nature. On my snowy trek, I came across a cemetery adjacent to an old stone, country church. Amidst the snowy tombstones, I paused to reflect on PEACE.
When someone dies, we say “May she or he rest in peace.”
Over these holidays, we often wish each other peace for the season and the new year.
But, do we truly value the gift of peace?
Do we seek it as a top priority in this life or is it a goal to be achieved only in death or the afterlife?
If it is something we strive for now, do we keep it a top priority or do we let daily dramas rob us of our peace of mind?
Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hahn, says:
“If we are not able to smile, then the world will not have peace. …It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace.”
Additionally, in her article “Karma Yoga and Inner Peace” in the book Living Yoga, the Peace Pilgrim provides this advice about peace within and without:
“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others. Inner peace is not found by staying on the surface of life, or by attempting to escape from life through any means. Inner peace is found by facing life squarely, solving its problems, and delving as far beneath its surface as possible to discover its verities and realities. … Inner peace comes through relinquishment of self-will, attachments, and negative thoughts and feelings. Inner peace comes through working for the good of all. We are all cells in the body of humanity – all of us, all over the world. Each one of us has a contribution to make, and will know from within what this contribution is, but no one can find inner peace except by working, not in a self-centered way, but for the whole human family.”
So as 2011 comes to an end, we are presented we a wonderful opportunity to look back and reflect on our strengths and weaknesses, our accomplishments and disappointments, our areas of growth and the areas we still need to grow.
- Have we been able to take a few steps on the path towards inner peace?
- Have we found times to be still, connect with our True Selves, and be open to the choice of inner peace rather than immediately reacting to the daily drama?
- Have we had a moment of stopping and smiling, even at the sorrows in our lives, knowing that all the ups and downs are a part of the fullness of life?
If not yet, find some quiet time before the end of 2011 to just pause, BREATHE, be still and allow the beauty of the gift of peace to permeate your every cell. It is through the stillness that we hear, feel and touch the God within each of us – that infinite, internal source of peace, love and joy, the source of creativity and answers, the source of truth and oneness.
Will inner peace be one of your 2012 goals?
It will for me.
I invite you all to choose inner peace for yourself and for the whole human family so that we can all be the peace we seek in the world and so we may all live more abundantly!
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012 TO YOU ALL!