Busy, Busy, Busy
After spending nearly a week at Grace Bay in the Turks and Caicos Islands it was time for me to pack my bathing suit and flip-flops and head back home. On my last morning there, I strolled along the beach staring into the crystal-clear water, feeling the powdery sand between my toes. Then I made my way up from the beach to my favorite restaurant, Shay Cafe, for a fabulous, healthy breakfast. (The staff are amazing here, too!) After my last sip of cold-brewed coffee, I took off for Potcake Place, a rescue group that lets vacationers take the adoptable pups out for some exercise, bonding, and socializing. (Don’t skip this when you in the Turks and Caicos-and take a Potcake home with you-it’s the best souvenir you could get.) I finished up with my favorite pup, Jay Jay, and headed back to my hotel. On the way there, something happened. I just broke down in tears. Walking and crying right there on the sidewalk next to the wild brush and palm trees.
Where were the tears coming from? I stood still and asked my soul self to enlighten me on this moment. I closed my eyes and let go of thinking. The first message I heard inside my heart? I wasn’t being authentic. What did that mean? It meant I’m not being true to myself. In my heart, I already knew why. I still haven’t found true peace in my life. I can fly myself to paradise, but my unhappy mind goes with me. This is how paradise can turn into a living hell.
I have always equated getting away from it all with finding peace. I keep thinking there’s work and then there’s peace, as if these are two separate places. They are not. Peace isn’t a place, it’s a state of being. Integrating peace with whatever I am doing in my life or wherever I am is the key. Integrating these brings balance. This peaceful state of being is possible no matter where we are or what we are doing. I know this is true in my heart.Æit’s obvious I’m still not living it. My soul has come through to help me bring awareness to this point. I’m so thankful. Awareness brings healing.
For the past decade or so, I have become acutely aware that the life I have been living isn’t the life I really want to live. That may sound ridiculous or even impossible, but I have experienced the stark contrast between a life lived in the mind-created world of the Thought Self, a term I coined in new my book, Mood, Food and Gratitude: Healing from the Way We Think, and a life lived authentically as my soul self. I realized I was living the way I was trained to live, which formed my beliefs and the resulting thoughts and actions. The training has as its foundation a belief that I’m not good enough and uses this to see me and the world around me through those tainted glasses. It’s not a pretty sight. It lacks authenticity, balance, and love.
Some of this training has been to equate stress with work. Through this training, it seemed the only way to find peace was to quit my job and live on a mountain in the Himalayas. While this might be an option, it is not the only way to find peace. In fact, a new way, one that I never imagined, was shown to me today. I want to share this with you now.
There Has to Be Another Way
Most of us have been trained to see work and peace (relaxation) as things that don’t go together. Work is work and peace comes when we go on vacation, maybe. However, most of us in the Western world work and work, never taking much vacation time, if any at all. When we do take vacation, most of us still answer emails on our laptops in the lounge chair and come in from the beach to take work phone calls. None of this provides us with peace. None of this provides us with balance in our lives.
Back at breakfast at the Shay Café, I can tell you that the mere thought of work gave me chest pains. My stomach was in knots thinking about all of the things I have to do when I return. So much stress. It occurred to me that this can’t be right, all this stress over work. There must be another way.
It was at the Turks and Caicos Islands that I saw the possibility that we can obtain peace without quitting our jobs and selling homemade bracelets on the beach. I saw that peace is available to us in everything we do, including work, because peace isn’t out there, it’s in here-within us. Peace starts with a connection to what’s in our hearts instead of what’s in our minds.
If you look at the synonyms for vacation you will find words like, break, retreat, rest, and escape. But is it possible to rest while we are at work? Is it possible to escape the stress of the meeting while we are still in the meeting or find a moment of retreat in the middle of serving treats to customers? I say we can. To do this though, we will have to let go of how we have been trained to think about work. We might even have to go deeper and let go of our beliefs.Æour trained ideas, roles, concepts, and expectations about what work looks like and how we have to be when we are working. No longer following our training, we can be free to bring the balance of peace with us everywhere we go.
You might think this sounds like a great idea, but that it’s not possible where you work, or in today’s dog-eat-dog business world. If this is what you think, then nothing will change. But you that we– the people, the workers, the staff -are the change agents of our own lives and, therefore, of the entire world, including how we work. We are the ones who can set the standard for ourselves. Work will work around us. All we have to do is be willing to approach work from a different perspective, leaving our old training, beliefs, and mind-created habits behind. We have to bring peace with us into the workplace.
Peace as a State of Being
The way we can incorporate peace into our lives, including at work, starts with realizing something needs to change about how we see our lives and experience them. Peace comes because we want it in our lives no matter where we are. We must understand that we control our lives, not our minds or society’s ideas of our lives. When we do, we no longer give away our power to live the life we want.
The next thing we can do is approach work, home life, being stuck in traffic, or any other situation with a sense of inner peace. This is like setting an intention of finding peace in everything we do. Setting intentions are simple, yet super powerful ways to manifest what we truly want in our hearts. So, when we get up for work in the morning, we can intend to enjoy the day, connect with people on a more authentic level, and just do the best we can. No judgments. No worries. The intention will take care of you. Don’t worry if it doesn’t go perfectly. This is just your mind judging you as it has in the past. You are more powerful than your mind. Ignore its judgments and keep setting intentions day after day. The peace will come through. Have no fear.
Finally, breathing is key. Deep breathing during the day can help reset the parasympathetic system in our central nervous system. The parasympathetic system is our relaxation and healing system. When we are at work or stressed out in line at the grocery, our sympathetic system gets in gear. But this is the system with adrenaline and panic. We don’t need that when we are looking for peace. When you find yourself getting worked up, use that as a red flag to cue you to walk away for a few moments and breath slowly and deeply for two minutes (longer if you can). You will be amazed at the power this little move has for bringing peace into your life no matter what is going on.
Allowing peace to exist in everything we do means letting go of old patterns, habits and beliefs. We have to want our lives to be peaceful and then know where to find true, everlasting peace. This focus on peace is what ultimately brings it into our lives. We are the peace we seek and it can be part of everything we do and everywhere we go.