Peace

“Peace of mind is attained not by ignoring problems, but by solving them.”

~ Raymond Hull

This is from Peerless Panther for the quote Challenge. If you want to read her blog drop her a line.
Peace of mind? Like a lot of things that phrase seems simple on the front end but its actually difficult. Why? Well, there are things we have no control over. And those things can’t be solved by us. We can only fix our perspective on those things. Our peace of mind should never depend on circumstances.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

The obvious answer here is if we are being chased by a rabid dog or bullied, or have an issue we need to deal with, that we turn and confront our attacker. Then we sleep at night because the threat is gone. Often just confronting the issue takes the teeth out of the fear and makes it recede. Sometimes though, the dog bites or the bully doesn’t go away or refuses to accept responsibility. The choice then is how to deal with those new circumstances.

What about those things we can’t control? The things people say? The car wrecks, the broken water pipes? The people who don’t do their jobs, cut us off in traffic, are rude to us in stores? the people who just don’t like us? the people who are just nasty and unhappy and see the glass as half empty and get angry because we don’t? what about them? is peace of mind really obtained by solving those things? Or by solving ourself?

The practice of Yoga helps one obtain the mind/body/soul connection helps you balance yourself and then peace of mind comes. Your perspective shifts and you are content regardless of the circumstances around you. You realize that the only thing you really have control over is yourself and your reactions to what happens. This can happen in an hour, and if you do enough yoga you can take this practice with you every day.

the rest of the Serenity prayer?

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.


I’ll take reasonably happy. and the hope of supreme happiness over trying to strive for control that was never meant to be mine in the first place. the problems? I can’t always solve, because they aren’t mine necessarily to solve. And yes when I get sucker punched I still have to struggle to find my footing, my peace, again. Because I’m on a journey, I haven’t yet arrived.

Aloha

P.S. I’ll tag someone and give them two weeks to answer due to several people being gone next week.

Silence

Peerless Panther issued a quote challenge last week and its taken me this long to respond. Her quote?
“Experience teaches us that silence terrifies people the most.” ~ Bob Dylan

And how does that relate to yoga? Well there are many different ways this could go and may end up. But let’s start here.

My yoga teacher training is difficult, and in-depth and challenging. And I love it. But one thing really scared me. The knowledge that before the year was out I would need to spend one day in silence. Alone, just me.  I love people, I need people, interacting with people give’s me energy and makes me happy.   When I first learned about this day of silence, I asked my teacher, “How long is a day?” Would six hours count? Would eight? Would four? Well the answer grasshopper, is that it’s different for everyone. This silence could include a tiny bit of reading to help direct the mind and a tiny bit of music to keep focused on the inner. but. that. is. it.

I’ve decided the time in the car doesn’t count, (six-eight hours alone at least twice a month) because I need to focus on staying awake and driving and I tend to think a lot and if I stopped I might run off the road, etc.  And unless I really focus, the time at home alone doesn’t count. I mean I live alone right? in Silence? right? Well, there is the internet, the phone, books and all sorts of distractions. It’s supposed to be purposeful and intentional and well, silent.

The words of a Pink song, say “Silence scares me cause it screams the truth” And in October I was a bit frightened of that silence, that truth.

I’ve always been the one to fill the silence, with chatter, with stories, with questions. As a journalist, I learned how to use the silence, to draw it out just a bit so people would talk more, tell more, give better interviews.

As a child, a lover, and a friend, I’ve had silence used against me as a weapon, which is probably where my fear of it comes from.  And I’ve learned the companionable feeling of silence with someone when you get to the point where words aren’t necessary.  And I’ve felt the silence, the terrifying silence of having performed, spoken, written something and waited for feedback and gotten

silence.

And in that moment of time silence is terrifying.

But the beauty of choosing your silence? is the beauty of looking forward to it with joy and not fear. It’s the beauty of stepping back and being an observer of self, not a critic. I’ve started playing with silence, a few hours here, a turning off of the phone there, a stopping the inner monologue and what I’ve found isn’t terrifying at all, its actually pure joy and knowing myself better and accepting myself more.

And the more I step into that silence and joy, the more I see I’m not alone.

Who Are You?

One of the most interesting aspects of Yoga is self-discovery. Sometimes it comes at the end of a sweaty session when you held a pose, didn’t give in, and know you completed the challenge set before you. It gives you a quiet assurance that no matter what your day or week or life holds, you can take it!

Sometimes it sneaks up when you are your most relaxed and sitting quietly-there it is a thought that pops into your head, brings tears to your eyes and causes you to “frisk it” Is this true? does it have meaning? or is this one of those nasty things that gets on a thought loop that prevents you from moving forward in your life?

Sarah at Beer With a Straw, posed the question, ““The best way to learn to be a lady is to see how other ladies do it.” –Mae West”

Interesting.  And simple on the surface, but complex when you get right down to it.

Here in America, girls are bombarded from birth about what a “lady” is. And unlike some cultures where there are strongly defined gender roles, our definitions are based more on looks and buying the right things to enhance those looks.  Sometimes this makes us set up a definition that we use to judge ourselves and others, and without air brushes, wind machines, theater makeup, an editor to cut out parts of what we say and do,  NO one can measure up to that impossible standard. And why would we want to?

Thus, see how other ladies do it. My argument is that if a Lady takes out the trash, balances the check book, makes a cake, plants a garden, feeds the cows and chickens and hauls hay before going off to work on the road crew,  she is just as much a lady as the one going shopping and getting a new hair style and nail color every month. Why? Because by definition, If a lady is doing it, it must be what ladies do.

The art of being a lady is seeing how other ladies do it and finding out how to be the lady we want to be. The fault is saying,  “oh a lady would never _______. ” Because then you have set up the judges and juries to condemn some poor woman, possibly even yourself.

Years ago I set about taking pictures of the women in my life. Gathering eggs and washing them, bathing children, picking grapes, driving cars, cooking, laughing with friends.  What I noticed was that each of my subjects was beautiful.  The very art of being in that moment and being engaged in life made them so. The nuances of who they were deep inside shown through and was amazing!

So back to knowing yourself. Observe how other ladies do it. Be thankful for their ways if you love them. Learn from their mistakes if you don’t love their ways. Be your own kinda lady. The kind that knows who she is, and loves and accepts herself. In that moment, you are beautiful and the most ladylike of all.

Aloha