From the archives:
A few years ago, I was asked 3 little questions about inner peace by a spiritual friend. I thought I'd share my answers here with you today. Despite the passage of time, my answers remain the same.
"Do you have a practice to cultivate inner peace in your life?"
Out of absolute necessity, I have many practices I use each day to stay as serene as possible. I was a nervous child. I kiddingly say that inherited worry genes from my dad’s side of the family and anxiety genes from my mother’s side. I tend to “feel” everything. So in 1994, when I’d maxed out my health due to stress (worry and anxiety too), I discovered mindfulness and the work of Thich Nhat Hanh. That was a turning point for me and since then I have had a deep passion for living as peacefully as possible.
My favorite inner peace practice is connecting with nature. Nature, for me, is my “God” connection. All of nature is sacred and all I need to do to feel relaxed and at ease in my life is to step outside, lift my face to the sky, breathe, and heighten my senses to get plugged into feelings of peace, gratitude and joy. Works every time!
"And, in what ways is that inner peace amplified/enriched by external?"
Mindfulness practice (which I have engaged in for over 20 years now) invites me to let everything in and use it as spiritual practice. If the world hands me a difficult situation, I can actually use this is a prompt to go within and access my innate peace. Peace is always there, ready for the taking. If the world offers up a delight, mindfulness allows me to stop, take notice, and indulge that experience. There are many exterior things that amplify peace for me. Nature, acts of kindness, art, music, the essence of people, animals. Simple things. The sound of leaves moving with the breeze, the touch of my husband’s hand, the sweet taste of ripe strawberries. Anything can touch our essence (our core) and amplify peace if we have the eyes to perceive it and the open heart to receive.
"Do you have a favorite quote about peace and if so, how do you apply it within your life?"
"No matter what is happening in our lives, peace is possible."
This phrase comes via one of my mentors, Sylvia Boorstein. No matter what is happening in the world, no matter how difficult things are, we have the capability to change our mind about how we respond to life. We can live elegantly, creating beauty, love and kindness everywhere we go. Or, we can perpetuate small-mindedness, live in fear or anger, creating dissension or harm—even to ourselves—by holding onto certain mindsets and behaviors. The choice is ever ours to embody our essence, which is peace. Anyone can do this. It simply takes the awareness and will to do so.
You might enjoy and glean great benefits from my book, Portable Peace: A Weekly Guidebook. If you want to feel more at ease within yourself and bring a blessing of peace to the world by being more calm, clear and wise, this book can take you there.
Learn more and read excepts here.
Available in paperback or as an e-book.
Recently, I had the privilege of being interviewed by Kenny Brixey of "Life's ToolBox" on Empower radio about the Spiritual Guidance Training Institute I co-founded with Dr. Jeanette Banashak and the topic of spiritual guidance.
We discussed some important questions:
What is spiritual guidance?
What is the importance of spiritual guidance in someone's life?
Can we ever serve as our own spiritual guide?
Can we be a spiritual guide for others?
"Now more than ever we could all use guidance in our lives. Understanding that guidance, how it works and where to find it are all keys to living a life that is in alignment with our greatest good. We do not have to rely on our own efforts and struggle along trying to make things fit in our lives. With spiritual guidance, we have a loving guide. We need only tune into it." ~ Kenny Brixey
You can listen to the broadcast here. (25 min.)
Going Deeper: Practice setting aside any critical voices you may hear when you engage your practice. Cultivate a self-compassionate voice instead, one that might say, “You are doing fine.” “I am glad you are here.” “Let go and let God.” “Just be.”
Excerpted from My Deepest Me: A 30-Day Guidebook by Janice L. Lundy. All Rights Reserved.
You can learn more about and read excerpts from this transformative spiritual formation book here. Available in our online store.
If you were raised in the Christian tradition, you are familiar with Lent. And depending on your family of origin, perhaps you honored Lent in a particular way.
Many folks focus on giving up something for Lent. I recall childhood Catholic friends who who gave up candy or chocolate or soda pop. Of course, as adults, we might take this giving up practice to a deeper level. Perhaps the Lenten story (of Jesus' death and resurrection) invites us to focus on a spiritual action, like forgiveness (giving up grudges) or generosity (giving up stinginess).
A recent meeting with one of the lovely women whom I companion as a spiritual guide told me she was taking a different approach. Instead of giving up something, she is embracing something, focusing on an aspect of her spiritual life that she wants to accentuate or grow. I love this idea.
Examples of this could be expanding your morning meditation time. Taking mindful walks. Spiritual journaling. Trying out a new prayer form. Beginning a daily gratitude practice. There are any number of practices to choose from that can deepen your connection to your truest self and Spirit.
In Lent, we could also focus our attention on opening our hearts to others. We could do loving-kindness practice. We could donate a few hours each week at a food bank. We could bring an elderly neighbor a meal or walk their dog.
This Lent, use your imagination and expand your approach to honoring this season in a meaningful way. How could you stretch yourself? How could you recommit to your inner life? We grow only so far as we are willing to go so take heart. A journey of meaning is up to you to make.
“If the only prayer you ever offer is
‘Thank you,’ that will suffice.”
So often our prayers are supplications.
We ask Spirit for things, people, opportunities.
Our needs naturally bring us to the act of prayer.
Yet, prayers of gratitude, of thankfulness, are important acts
that deepen the connection between ourselves and Spirit.
To offer a heartfelt, “Thank you, God!”
delivers us to the realm of unseen abundance.
We view life as blessed and fruitful instead of scarce;
we begin to live from a place of fullness in our lives.
We are and have enough.
From "Thank You" Is My Prayer: Reflections, Prayers and Blessings for a Grateful Heart
is a touchpoint. a resting place, a "remembering" of who we really are: beings of unshakeable peace, boundless compassion, and deep joy.
A Year For Me
Meditate Like A Girl
Summer Of Love
The Divine Feminine
The Kindest Thing