Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Peace is the Answer

"Peace is the answer to every question right now." --Lee Anne Peters, in the Weekly Guidance for April 29th through May 5th

I love this advice (which, by the way, was also in The Weekly Guidance for last week). PEACE is the answer to every question right now.

It's easy to say, but sometimes hard to get there. So how do you do it?

Here are some of my favorite ways to find a little peace:

1) Sit down and MEDITATE - Even 10 minutes when you are feeling less-than-peaceful can help you find that place of peace again. So often it is our thoughts that are leading the charge against peace - what we need to do, what we haven't done. what so-and-so said to us, etc. Sit. Breathe. Watch your thoughts just drift on by.

2) Get outside and EXERCISE - Or inside. Again, even a short walk around the block will get those endorphins flowing, increase your sense of well-being and augment your ability to choose peace in every moment. And the fresh air on your skin and in your lungs doesn't hurt either.

3) Get a good night's SLEEP - It's hard to remember to choose peace when you start the day completely exhausted. Getting at least eight hours a night will set you up for a more peaceful day.

4) AVOID alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and other "DRUGS" - The side-effects of these substances - disturbed sleep, irritability, dehydration, etc. - disrupt our bodies' natural functions and make peace harder to achieve.

5) SPEAK YOUR TRUTH with lovingkindness - Holding back and holding it is may seem like the easiest ways to achieve peace when in conflict with another person, but this can create explosions of anger and frustration when you least expect it. Instead, try and speak your truth using "I" statements and with as much kindness as you can muster.

6) Simply LET SOME THINGS GO - If you can't muster the courage to speak your truth, or you just don't have the time right now, decide to simply let it go. There's no rule that says you have to be upset that someone cut you off in traffic or stole your idea. Make the decision to let it go this time and see how good (and peaceful) this can feel.

7) Take more NAPS - If you are feeling tired and irritable between the hours of 2:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon you are not alone. This is a great time to sneak off for a twenty minute nap. Set a timer, close the blinds or put on your sleep shades and start snoozing. You'll wake up recharged, refreshed and ready to choose peace again.

8) Have more ORGASMS - This one may make you laugh, or blush, and I had to work up the courage to add it to the list, but orgasms are great for stress relief (and thus greater peace) and can often be achieved in a few minutes (or sometimes even less :)

9) Practice FORGIVENESS - When you mess up or make a mistake, let yourself off the hook as soon as you can. Do the same for others. We all have our good days and our bad days, our low moments and our high moments. Forgive as quickly as you can and claim the peace the comes as a result.

These are the ones that I can think of off the top of my head. I am sure there are a lot more. What are your favorite ways to choose peace?

[This photograph was taken in Lahaina on the island of Maui on a recent family vacation and is one in a series of three. Check back tomorrow to see photograph #2]

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wisdom from The Universe

"Embrace who you are and teach your kids to do the same." --The Universe in meditation

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Gems from Jonathan

The spiritual path can be a lonely one, which is why it is always comforting to meet a fellow traveler. I had tea with one of my favorite co-inspirators the other day and came away with these gems:

"The competitive struggle for existence has got to end."

"When faced with someone whose beliefs seem completely opposite to mine - and incomprehensible - I try and remember that they are looking at the world through their own window. It may seem smaller than mine, or narrower than mine, or more clouded, but it is theirs and if I look hard enough I can find ways in which they are similar and I try and focus on those."

With many thanks to JM until we meet again.....

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Wisdom from Kaypacha

"Just when I thought it was over and I could finally settle down, Life continues to challenge me to rise up and hold my ground!" --Tom "Kaypacha" Lescher

Another gem from my sister, this weekly astrology forecast is not for everyone, but I love it. Hope you will too!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wisdom from Mumford and Sons (and Tsoknyi Rinpoche)

"So I'll be bold 
As well as strong 
And use my head alongside my heart." --Mumford & Sons

A couple of weeks ago I saw Tsoknyi Rinpoche speak at NalandaWest in Seattle. One of the main themes of the talk was heart vs. head. He talked a lot about how what he teaches in the West is the very opposite of what he teaches in the East.

In the West, he tries to teach us to open our hearts. In the East, he needs to teach his students how to use their heads.

In Nepal and India, for instance, he teaches his students about "healthy fear." This is apparently an unknown concept to them. They do not fear germs and disease and dirty water. And thus, health problems stemming from these hygiene issues are rampant.

In the United States most of us are fortunate enough not only to be aware of the necessity of cleanliness and good hygiene, we also have access to plenty of fresh, clean water with which to wash and keep clean.

What we need to learn is those skills that come from an open heart - kindness, compassion, love. We are too much in our heads, always doing what "makes sense" and not necessarily what makes the world a better place.

He suggests, like Mumford & Sons, that the world would be a better place if we all used our hearts, alongside our heads. He calls it the Heart/Head Handshake.

I have heard this from other spiritual teachers before, that becoming a student of the spirit does not mean setting aside the physical world completely. We still need to take care of business - set boundaries, speak our truth, take care of our physical needs - but to learn to do so in a way that also takes the heart into account. With kindness. With love. With compassion.

This isn't easy. It requires patience. It requires good communication. It requires a willingness to take a little less and give a little more. Or sometimes to give a little less and take a little more, if that is what is needed in the moment.

It requires tuning in and being present and listening to The Universe. It requires, in other words, meditation. That time we spend in our hearts. And the more we can do this, the more we can teach our heads to shake hands with our hearts.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Wisdom from Temple of Balance

"Don't allow your worries to control your moment." --Lee-Anne Peters

I love this one. So simple. So true. And sometimes so hard. But definitely worth the effort.