A FRESH START
The rush of the holiday season is now over. Phew, we made it! Barely. The shopping, the wrapping, the food preparation, the family members-somewhere in the middle of it all, I thought it would never end. At some other point, I felt the sheer exhaustion that seemed part of the experience, one I don’t care to repeat. But, now it’s all done. Now, it’s time to celebrate a new year. An opportunity for a fresh start. Welcome 2017.
Many of us make New Year’s resolutions to improve upon the prior year. Our lists often contain goals for getting in shape/losing weight, spending more time with family, or obtaining some financial goal. But this year, I want to suggest that we also add peace to our resolution lists. A peaceful life is so powerful, it can help make other resolutions possible, or render them completely unnecessary. To get a taste of this amazing power, we need to allow peace to shine through our mesmerizing daily routines throughout the year.
We might not be aware that we run on auto-pilot most of the time, repeating the same life circumstances day in and day out. There is little creativity. There is little freedom. These are just the kinds of things that keep us from experiencing peace.
ALLOW PEACE TO FLOURISH
This is a year where we can leave behind all the problems we have been stressing about and losing sleep over for years. These are the things we stew over, but never resolve. For instance, I didn’t go see my grandmother before she passed because I couldn’t get off work. I have regretted this ever since. But this is an unsolvable issue. I can’t go back and change it, so I need to allow myself to accept it and then let it go. We can use unsolvable issues, such as this, as a red flag to help us see what those issues are. Once we see them, we can resolve to leave them in the past once and for all. We don’t have to carry any of them into the new year.
We can also leave behind all the old, negative, demeaning stories we keep repeating about ourselves, others, and life in general. You know the ones-they are easy to spot because they all have a common theme-there is something wrong with everyone and everything. When we let go of such stories, peace is automatically experienced. Additionally, when we don’t pay attention to such stories, we find we didn’t need to tell them after all. It’s only our energy given to them that keeps them alive. When we become aware of this simple truth, the need to repeat them disappears.
You might have noticed that I said Allow Peace to Flourish in the subheading. This is because we are already the peace we are looking for. It is part of the fabric of our authentic, true self-our soul energy. We allow peace to flourish by getting rid of the blocks to that natural peace within. We don’t have to go looking for peace-it is who we are.
HOW TO ALLOW MORE PEACE
There are many things we can do to allow more peace into our lives. Remember, though, removing blocks that keep us from peace is more about what we don’t do instead of what we do. Below are just a few suggestions, but feel free to explore your own ideas.
- Slow Down. I know this one personally. Years ago, I promised myself I wouldn’t work so much that I never got a chance to relax. And yet, this year, I did it again. I have taken on too much-enough that I am busy 24/7. I realized this in October and have decided to slow down. That means letting go of some of my duties, seeing less clients, and going on vacation more. So, what does slowing down look like in your life? You can do it. I know we think life can’t do without us doing all the time, but this is not true. The truth is, we live better when we slow down. Cut two things out of your life this year so you are less busy than you were in 2016. You will most likely feel much better in every way.
- Accept and let go. I talked about this above in my example of working instead of seeing my grandmother before she passed. What can you accept and let go? Life happens in the present moment, not in the past (and not in the future). If your mind is stuck on something negative someone said to you this year or last, let it go. All you get out of holding onto it is more stress, which keeps you from peace. If you can’t let it go in this moment, accept it as it is, without adding any extra storytelling to it. Once you accept it, it automatically loses power, and you then you can let it go. Take your focus off something your mind is telling you and that something eventually disappears.
- OK, so I’m all for this one, too. I am going through every drawer, every closet, and every plastic storage bin I have. Every item goes in one of three piles: Keep, Recycle, or Trash. When you declutter the closet, your desk at work, or any part of your life, you declutter the energy within, allowing the space for peace. It’s amazing how well this works. Give it a try.
- This doesn’t mean hide from your duties in life. It means to give your mind a break and do something you love. Read a good book, watch your favorite film, or go for a long walk in nature. The one thing that keeps us from peace is our trained monkey mind. It is always busy, dragging us around in life. But we have the power to take control of our lives. In doing so, the mind gets quieter, allowing the presence of peace.
- This is one of my favorite things to do. I have decided to become a master of meditation in 2017. To do this, I am going to focus on my breath for two reasons. One, it is an easy meditation for me. I don’t need to clear my mind of all thoughts, I simply focus on my breath-in and out of my lungs.-feeling the life-giving air entering every cell. Two, deep breathing invokes the parasympathetic portion of our nervous system. This brings calm to the body, allowing healing and peace. Ten minutes in the morning, evening, or anytime you feel a little stressed would allow peace in your life.
The opportunities for a fresh, healing perspective on life through peace are as limitless as we are. Peace is an aspect of love. When you experience one, you experience the other. Enjoy.