Monthly archives "January 2019"

just give peace a chance

I understand the motivation behind the search for happiness. I understand the draw to it. The promise of freedom, of transcendence beyond the ‘conditioned everyday’, of some greater, more meaningful, state of being than that which we’ve come to know. And, the reminders? The reminders for the pursuit of happiness are everywhere. Often, veiled in the shroud of consumerism accompanied by manipulative attempts to find depth in the shallow end of the pool.

But, the real happiness, that happiness is real. It’s the happiness that the all the ‘how to be happy’ books tell you that you find on the inside; separate from anything else except for you. It’s the happiness that the Dalai Lama would say requires nothing more than inner discipline and your mind. (I might add the heart in there, too).

The real happiness, it is as the master guru guides; from within. For all measures of intents and purposes, differences in wealth, class, occupation, personal circumstance or health, have no bearing on one’s ability to attain happiness. It is real. Yet, for many, perhaps for most, it is like trying to capture the clouds with your hands.

Happiness is within everyone. It is a purpose of this existence. Its ethereal nature and reliance upon one’s self make it no easy task to endeavour upon. The mind occupies great power and the mind commands great power. The path toward happiness armed with nothing more than inner monologue and neural synapses is a challenging path, to say the least. Seemingly, a path with no definitive beginning.

It’s why I search for peace. Without looking for it. Peace, I believe, you create; you intentionally cultivate. You bring it to you with categorical certainty rather than chase and contemplate and assess. Peace, you agree to with your self and the universe to choose to be a part of.

How do we choose peace? We choose peace deliberately, both tangibly and otherwise. We see it and we don’t. Peace shows itself with consistency for everyone. The inner workings of the mind are not navigable in a blanket theory. I can no easier tell myself how to think and feel than I can anyone else. But, peace is accessible because of the objective decisions we can make to be a part of it.

Peace translates itself in how we process our world around us. Peace is in the quiet; in taking time for yourself to be in stillness. Peace is in a tidy home and an organized workspace. Peace is in taking steps to feel confident in your physical self; to feel comfortable. To only wear the clothes you feel good in, even if it means wearing the same four outfits over and over. Peace is to feel strong; it is to move your body. Peace is at the top of a short to-do list. Start and finish the tasks and projects you need to that support making your life easier. How our mind processes the calm of organization and order is gravely underestimated. Peace follows when you lead with making choices to exile unproductive drama from your life; in whatever capacity it presents itself and that you can. Peace is removing the negativity of the daily news. It’s choosing to consume media and entertainment that calms and enriches your mind. Or, makes you laugh and smile or even brings tears of emotion, whether sad or happy. It’s not absorbing that which induces fear, terror, anger and anxiety. Peace is reading a book. Peace is eating well. Not all the time, but most of the time. Peace is being with people that make you better, and that you make better. It is being yourself. Peace is being able to make choices of what you want to do and who you want to be.

In a sentence, peace is in the de-cluttering of your physical space, your emotional space, your mental space and your spiritual space. And, you get as far in each as you can for when you can. Individually and harmoniously, as you ascend, those spaces will pull each other up. The evolution of who you are will become more apparent the more you allow yourself to make the choices that support your evolution. Brick by brick, you will pave a path of peace. A path that leads to the uncovered happiness within. And, even further still, to….

….be Love.

it depends

Independence; self sufficiency, self supporting, to be able to stand on one’s own two feet, to be free from outside influence, authority or direction.

We’ve learned to wear independence as a badge of pride and honour; it is an accomplishment to be recognized. The notion shouldn’t come as surprise; we commemorate an infant’s first steps, congratulate an adolescent’s passed driver’s test and celebrate a young adult’s move from home out into the world. We applaud these milestones in life and mark them as graduations toward independence.

We have little choice but to learn that doing things on our own is what makes us whole, that it is what propagates our autonomy as the individuals we choose to be. There is your path to follow; the one you pave for yourself. And, while this is very true, while it is integral to the evolution and growth of who you are, the perceived freedom of independence sits atop a very precarious perch.

We learn, some of us quicker than others, that reliance upon ourselves is the safest. We learn that all we choose to carry upon our shoulders and that which falls to the ground when the weight becomes to heavy to manage, comes at our own reward and peril; at our own achievement and blame. We believe, falsely, that we really don’t need anyone’s help. If it goes right, I’ll have myself to thank. If it doesn’t, I’ll have no one to blame but me.

The freedom of independence can imprison us. It can hold our perceptions hostage. There are many reasons I can hypothesize as to why we struggle with asking for help – embarrassment, shame, release of control, fear, pride, past experience, self confidence. But, I am more concerned with why we should ask for help, why we should be dependent.

We are meant for community. We are meant to rely on and to be relied upon. We are meant for meaning. Independence, I’ll estimate, is somewhat of a selfish precept. The decision to act as though in a silo of one’s own personal world steals the opportunity for meaning from others – from the people close to us, the people that care about us, the people we Love. We believe that tending to our adversities on our own, may make things tougher on us, but easier on those around us. A logical, but counterintuitive, premise. Those closest to us see our struggles, they feel our struggles. They want our struggles to be their struggles; shared. There is strength in togetherness regardless of the outcome of what is afoot.

We are easy to forget that we wish to give ourselves to the people we Love when they are in need, yet, when we are in the same need, we choose to isolate ourselves. Challenges in life present meaning. They present opportunity for giving of the true self, the part that comes from compassion, empathy, caring and Love. Sometimes, we have to show up for ourselves by asking someone else to show up for us. Give someone the opportunity to create meaning in their life by asking for help, by asking for someone to stand shoulder to shoulder with you, or just for that shoulder to cry upon.

Strength is built from adversity. Greater strength still, when we choose to not stand alone amidst that adversity. That is how Love is grown, with opportunity to exercise it. Love is grown with the intention of the Heart – when we allow it to be practiced on us. Self-Love is allowed in when we open that part of ourselves that knows we need more than just us.

Love is not what you can do for me, it’s what can I do for you. It is the moments we invite Love to be given to us. And, it’s ok to ask for it.

Be Love.