Inhaling peace.

We tend to think of peace as the absence of violence as quiet is the absence of noise, but is it more? Perhaps peace is active. It exists in the kind word offered, the refusal to meet hate with hate, the comfort of following higher principles, the strength of the outstretched hand. It is so easy to lose, to slip into mirroring the hate and violence we see around us, to sit silent in front of a bully, to trade barbs, to slide down. Peace is active. We maintain it in our hearts and mind. We breathe deeply to draw us back to that peaceful place. We remember truth, honor, decency, compassion. We breathe in all that is good, we exhale the bad.

Author Shauna Niequist talks about the anxiety we are all experiencing now and suggests breath prayer:

“Christians have been practicing breath prayer since at least the sixth century & there are lots of ways to do it. One way that’s been helping me lately: choose one word to pray as you inhale–what you’re asking God to bring into your life/body/spirit/world, and one word to exhale–what you’re asking God to carry for you, so that you can release it as you breathe out.

Inhale healing/exhale fear.

Inhale peace/exhale anxiety.

Inhale hope/exhale despair.

Inhale hope/exhale chaos.”

As you move forward into your day, remember to take deep breaths, center yourself, and carry on.

One day at a time.

oneday

Can you remember what you were worried about this date last year? Often, we forget yesteryear’s worries. Even more often, what we were worried about never comes to pass. It was wasted energy. All those sleepless nights and anxiety were spent on the thought of something that happened only in our imaginations. And, studies show, constant worry is bad for our health, ironically, giving us more to worry about.

Today, focus on your tasks at hand. Today has enough worries of its own. We don’t need to pile on tomorrow’s worries or the next day’s. The more we immerse ourselves in concrete action, the less our minds have time to churn away on what might or, most likely, might never be.

Take this day.

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What’s shadow?

suffer

How many of our daily fears and worries are consumed by things that may never happen? Or by inferences or assumptions that may not jibe with did happen? Or by reliving in our heads over and over again past trauma?

How much suffering is from the actual event or trauma itself?

Sometimes it’s helpful to breathe deeply and remind ourselves of our connection to the earth, our senses, this place and time. Our worries and fears can run wild if we don’t constantly remind ourselves that they are not solid like a pebble in our hand, but amorphous and changeable depending on our perspective.