What is your PEACE PLAN?

There’s been more rattling of the peace process lately. Once again I ask myself, “What can and will I do to keep the peace within? How can I share what I know? Dear Universe, show me the way!”

Yesterday, I read a quote from the Buddhist nun and teacher Pema Chodron that truly inspired me, and motivated me to finish writing this post, which had been in a holding pattern for a few days. Pema said,”The root problem is fear and hatred and how this escalates, which is where my kind of teachings could be useful. I am committed to continue to help where I can.”

Below are some things that help me maintain a loving and compassionate relationship with myself, others, and the world at large. Maybe you’ll resonate with one or all of what is offered.

– Meditate! I start my day with a check in. I won’t get out of bed without being aware of what is occurring in my body, where I am emotionally, and what is rolling around in my head. I particularly want to start off the day with a calm and clear mind.

– Breathe! Throughout the day I pause to notice my breath. I am often surprised how shallow my breathing is. A few deep breaths can shift many things, including tightness in the body, anxious feelings, and out-of-balance thinking.

– Exercise! Hit the gym and get sweaty with a weight training routine, do yoga, jog, go for a walk through your neighborhood, hike in the woods or mountains or along the beach, swim, take a long bike ride, or dance. Move that body!

– Laugh! Find something to bring out your silly side. Peruse YouTube for funny video clips. Shoot your own goofy video. Tell some jokes. Take a Laughter Yoga class. Find the humor in life. Bwaaahaaahaaahaa!

– Play! Break any pattern you feel you can or must in order to awaken that inner child, and break free of any cycle that keeps you from knowing that you are joy, and life is here for your to revel in – like a giant playground.

– Spend time in nature! When was the last time you watched the sun rise or set, observed a spider spinning a web, danced in the rain, opened your arms to the wind, watched a river flowing, or looked up at the sky and let your eyes linger there? Go do it!

– Go on an artist date! Have you been to a museum or art gallery lately? Ever taken a pottery-making class? How about grabbing your smart phone and taking inspiring or silly photos? Take in a play, or create your own theater group. Ask someone to sit and color with you. Read poetry aloud. Write a short story.

– Travel! Get out of town – and maybe out of your comfort zone. Observe how folks in other parts of the world live – even if it’s an hour away.

– Cook a meal! Lovingly whip up something yummy for yourself. Set a beautiful place for yourself at the table. Bond with friends over some healthy foods (pot lucks are fun!), or indulge in something that you may normally avoid. Hello, chocolate!

– Hang out with people you love! Stay connected to those who make your heart sing and soar.

– Observe the behavior of young children! Have you noticed how often babies or toddlers judge each other, hold grudges, act physically violently toward one another, or complain about global issues? Yeah, me neither.

– Volunteer! Offer the world your time, talent, and treasure. Get involved in a community service project. Volunteer to clean up a park or pick up garbage on the street on which you live. Work with older adults. Serve food at a shelter. Be a foster mom or dad to a dog or cat. Perform a random act of kindness. Make a monetary donation to a charity. Get the idea?

Here are some essential oils to help maintain and increase your inner peace:

Tangerine, Wild Orange, Bergamot, Lemon, Lime or other citrus oils.

Lavender

Ylang Ylang

Basil and Rosemary (particulary combined with one of the citrus oils mentioned above)

ASK ME how to get superior grade essential oils!

Thanks – and peace!

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Practicing Peace

I’ve been sitting with my thoughts and feelings about the recent mass murders in Orlando, Florida. Big waves of sadness have caught me off guard as my mind has released memories of internalized homophobia, verbal attacks at the hand of others, the years of persecution that gay men and women have been subjected to, and perhaps in some ways have gotten used to. All of that leads me back to the word ‘peace’ and questions such as:

– Are my thoughts and beliefs truly in line with peace, or am I creating suffering?
– Are my daily actions truly in line with peace?
– What can I do to cultivate more peace within myself?

That constant vigilance has paid off for me in countless ways over the years, and I am relying on it now. I breathe deeply. I slow down. I pay attention to the journey that my thoughts are taking me on. I allow myself to dig a bit deeper into my discomfort. I spend time in Nature. I talk things out with friends who support my mindfulness. I wrap some extra love around myself.

What is your peace practice?

Thich Nhat Hanh - Our own life has to be our message