It’s my 2015 word, and likely the hardest non-resolution I’ve ever tried.
I’ve seen the idea of focusing on a few key words for the upcoming year in place of the common ‘resolution’ in a few different places. I instantly fell in love with the idea.
For me, peace is something I have a hard time with. I’m hot-blooded, sensitive, and unabashedly candid with what I think and how I feel. While you will never wonder how I feel about you, there are times, as I’ve gotten older and slightly more mature, that I’ve realized honesty is not always the best policy. People are afraid of honesty, and don’t want to hear things they don’t like. This had led me down a path of ‘was it worth its’ and self-doubt, and pep-talks from those who know, and love me, most calming me down by reiterating what I know to be true, but sometimes forget in my knee-jerk reactions.
There are people in this world who are not willing to see anything aside from what is in front of them, and arguing to any other end is futile and a war of attrition on my own nerves. To welcome peace into my life means recognizing these people and situations, and doing what is necessary to keep peace. It’s not straying away from hearty debate and banter, and disagreeing and arguing politics with like-minded (although with opposing views) people, it’s a part of who I am.
Peace in my thoughts is as easily obtained as peace in my physical body. Which, is non-existent. It crosses my mind as I lay in bed at night hating myself for eating chips, or whatever high-fructose overly-processed thing I have chosen to partake in. I wonder to myself what it will take to get into bed and not overanalyze my every move, every word, every decision before falling into a fitful sleep and waking up tired. Again.
Peace is a fragile bond I have with myself. I own every word I speak and type and yet I can’t help but wonder how others perceive it. And why is this considered a flaw? Why have I been told my whole life not to worry about what other people think? Because isn’t part of being a good person someone who cares about how others feel? Someone who thinks before speaking or Facebooking about how those we care about will perceive and interpret things.
I feel like a mess of emotion and passion and unbridled enthusiasm through most of my waking life. These feelings are the antithesis of peace. Peace is something I feel only in those brief, fleeting moments when I fall into it like an old friend’s embrace. You know, nice to see you, how long are you staying?
More often than not it’s the quiet mundane with my kids, when that dozy moment washes over me and I KNOW, I just KNOW that being a mom is something I’m good at. Oh, mostly I’m agonizing over that too, but there are moments when I know in my heart of hearts I’m doing something really right with these three souls.
It also happens in stolen moments at the barn. When I’m riding, or grooming, or watching horses work and I look around and see all the moving parts; And I take it all in like a fly on the wall. The laughter, the tears (Oh! The tears we shed at the barn. Worse than children these animals can make you feel like a complete and total moron!), the hope, the discipline and that passion. The passion abounds at a training facility. The entire place is sustained on passion.
But then reality comes and the doubts set in and I’m back to longing for those peaceful moments.
So in 2015, my word, Peace, will arrive at the forefront of my consciousness. ‘Will this bring me peace’ will be the question I pose to every decision I’m faced with.
No, in all cases the peace won’t be immediate. Being uncomfortable and analytical does help to grow and change a person. But I need to walk through my life calling on something more than knee-jerk reaction being constantly at war with.. myself.
Now don’t be too worried. My peace is likely not the Zen found in day spas and Weed shops. No mine will be a little more manic, it can’t be anything but with my lifestyle. Loud kids, louder music and a non-stop schedule that keeps me running. But, it’s the inner peace, the war raging in my mind to quiet down a bit I hope to affect. Focusing on the light and absorbing the beauty so I can be at once, both beautiful and at peace in the light.
Poets and poetry have always been a source of solace for me. Starting in Grade Six when I discovered Emily Dickinson. Their words at often times, seem to answer the questions I ask myself on those sleepless nights. So for my benefit, and yours too if you want to feel the gentle massage of these words on your mind (hey your brain is a muscle, you must flex it to grow) here are a few of my favorites:
From Walt Whitman:
“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large -- I contain multitudes.”
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.”
“These are the days that must happen to you”
From Rainer Rilke:
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
“Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final”
Finally, my all-time favorite quote, from Paramahansa Yogananda (say that three times fast….)
“Life has a bright side and a dark side, for the world of relativity is composed of light and shadows. If you permit your thoughts to dwell on evil, you yourself will become ugly. Look only for the good in everything so you absorb the quality of beauty. “
So there it is.. my quest for peace in 2015. A non-resolution that I hope you can find some inspiration in.
As a little head start, I’m thinking a hot bath, a glass of red, and a rereading of Eckhart Tolle is in order tonight. Or maybe I’ll just watch some hockey with the family. See.. there it is again. My life messing up with my Zen Plans. ;)