Saturday, December 17, 2011

Instant Peace what is peace?  

"Peace is a state of harmony, the absence of hostility," according to Wikipedia. "To be at peace with one's self would indicate a sense of serenity, calm, and equilibrium."
People that experience inner peace say that the feeling is not dependent on time, people, place, or any external object or situation. It's keeping oneself strong in the face of discord or tension. It is the opposite of being stressed or anxious. Sounds good, but how do we get it?

Way to complex for this blog, but here's a link to the Peace Pilgrim that should help launch your journey:

What I'll give you are some moments that evoke a peaceful feeling, at least for me. It's not scientific, but I have felt a warm sensation in my core, which I interpret as peace, when I have experienced the following:  
  1. Giving - It can range from making a donation after a natural disaster, volunteering, and saying, "yes"  to the cashier at the grocery store when asked to donate a dollar to the charity of the month. It can be quite spontaneous too. This morning, while at the gym, I waited in line to get an exercise mat for class. The first woman lifted one out of the bin and instead of taking it to her spot on the floor, she started passing them out. Everyone smiled. This act of easy and unexpected giving generated that peaceful feeling.
  2. Breathing - Taking slow deep breaths and focusing on them almost instantly soothes sorrow or anxiety that you may be feeling. Formally, it's called meditation and it really does work. 
  3. Self Commitment - When I set a goal and accomplish it, I feel satisfied, at peace. It can be as simple as promising myself to make the bed in the morning, doing abdominal crunches before my shower or drinking eight glasses of water throughout the day. The bottom line is I valued myself enough to keep my word and it feels pretty good.  
  4. Creativity - Doing something you love. For me it's writing. When I write, especially fiction, the world around me seems to disappear along with problems. We all have a creative side that, when accessed, helps us escape to a peaceful place, whether it's making an awesome play list on an I-Pod, snapping photos or sketching a pretty scene.
  5. Smiling - Smiling is the true peace sign. If you give it away, you'll almost always get one in return too.
  6. A Candle - There's something about lighting a candle then gazing at the flame that ignites peace -- an instant calm. I'm not sue why, but we'll explore that in my next blog post.

These are a few things that have given me a glimpse of what peace feels like. Please share ways that foster a sense of peace for you.

A Little Something Extra: 

Here's a short story about a mean school photographer who tries to get 4-year-olds to frown instead of smile for their class picture. The last little girl just won't give in. Does the magic of a smile work? You'll see. Click the link below:

<iframe src=";byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="400" height="225" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="/30133754">School Portrait (2011)</a> from <a href="/picopictures">Michael Berliner</a> on <a href="/">Vimeo</a>.</p>

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