May 1, 2022

CULTIVATING PEACE

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Time and time again, over the last month the subject of "peace" has come up in frequent conversations with family, friends, clients, and students. Even as I flip through the pages of my journal, I can see the presence of this word woven throughout my recent thoughts. This morning as I was drinking tea, I took the opportunity to reflect a bit more deeply on the following statement from Yung Peublo. "The biggest obstacle that we all have to overcome to experience inner peace is our own reaction." These words... such truth in them.

It can be easy to think that things outside of us are causing us mental pain and turbulence, but when we develop a bit more self-awareness we can begin to see that what is driving the intensity in our mind is actually the relationship between our perception and our reaction. The way we perceive things influences how we feel, and we can then end up reacting to what we are feeling. How deeply and how loudly we react is indicative of how attached we are. Even though all of this happens within our minds, it is still smart to tend to the garden of our life by making sure that we allow good people into our inner circle, that we engage in activities that are both nourishing and wholesome, and that we generally remove toxic elements from our daily environment. 

That being said, I know that it is not fully possible to cultivate a life without challenges; the spontaneous movement of impermanence will ensure that our external environment will never be permanently pleasant. Even with the ups and downs, it is still possible to have a beautiful life, but that can only happen if we reclaim our power by recognizing that the biggest influence on our mindset is our own reaction.

I have recently asked myself the following questions. Perhaps, dear one, they will spark personal dialogue and reflection for you as well?

"What is one of my most prominent ways to react as I flow through daily life? "(i.e. with anger, impatience, avoidance, sadness, etc.) 

"What is my process for dealing with intense reactions when they come up?"

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