We live in tenuous times, no doubt about it. But then life on earth has always been challenging, even frightening. This being human is not for the faint-hearted.
One of "the kindest things" I can do for myself when I am anxious or afraid, especially when it comes to matters of the world—this week, for example, more terrorist bombings—is to drop into my breath and bring my awareness to my calm center. Being calm in the face of fear is definitely the kindest thing for me, for all of us.
Our calm demeanor is not insignificant. It matters. Lao Tzu, the great Chinese sage knew this. That's why he wrote:
If there is to be peace in the world,
It is my responsibility to make the peace we wish to see in the world a reality. It is your responsibility, too.
If my thoughts are fearful, wary, or angry, all I am doing by harboring them is perpetuating volatility. Turbulent thoughts and feelings can cause ripples of tempestousness. Ripples become waves, waves become tsunamis, and tsunamis, whether they be watery or emotional, can cause horrific damage. Thoughts and feelings convey energy and because we "inter-are", everything and everyone around me can be impacted by how I am being inside myself.
As Lao Tzu taught, this peace (or lack of it) will pervade my home, neighbors, city, nation, and world. Peace begins with me. And you.
Come back to center. Breathe. Follow your breath down, down, down into a more kind and welcoming space within you when you are worried or afraid. Rest there.
May we all rest there.
My motivation in writing Portable Peace: A Weekly Guidebook was to provide you with my favorite (and most effective practices) for staying calm no matter what is happening in your life or in the world. There are 52 of them, one for each week of the year. Inner peace is easy when you implement one new method each week. Day by day, the calmer and better you'll feel. Guaranteed! Learn more.
is a touchpoint. a resting place, a "remembering" of who we really are and how we can best live—kindly and compassionately with ourselves and others.
Janice Lynne Lundy, DMin
is an educator, interspiritual director/guide and retreat leader who has been pointing people back toward the Sacred for more than twenty years. She is the author of several spiritual growth books, including Your Truest Self, My Deepest Me and Portable Peace., and is the co-founder and co-director of the Spiritual Guidance Training Institute.