Posts Tagged ‘finding peace’


Which way will you go?


Student approaches Teacher and says, “Teacher, I am suffering so deeply. I have heard you have found The Way to make this suffering stop. I will do anything. Please, tell me, what is The Way?”

Teacher replies, “It is simple. In the beginning…No sex. No drugs. No alcohol. No overspending. No overworking. No romantic involvement. No junk food. No…distractions…of…any…kind.

Lots of: fresh air, moderate exercise, healthy foods, quiet, and solitude. Get yourself a therapist, a healer, another healer, maybe another healer. Buy a journal and a pen that works. Get quiet. Go deep. Go deeper. And deeper. And deeper still. Keep going. Keep going until you feel a wisp of fresh air on your face. That fresh, clean air is coming from inside of you. Keep going deeper still. Just…keep…going.  Inside.”

Student looks at Teacher, horrified, bewildered. Blinking rapidly and repeatedly, Student asks, “Huh. Have you got anything else?”


May you find the courage to go inside.  May you feel that wisp of fresh air that is your true Self and breathe it all in.  May you dig deep.  May you know peace.




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The Blank Page.  I have been staring at this thing now for quite some time.  For a LONG time.  For MONTHS now.  The Blank Page is daunting to anyone who has a passion for words.  A vast expanse of nothing begging to be filled with some form of brilliance, a brilliance I expect myself to bring.  Except I have been feeling less than brilliant lately.

It was a friend’s statement one evening while we were enjoying dinner that got me pondering this blank page.  “You need to write more consistently,” she said.  Those words always make my heart sink to the vicinity somewhere near my ankles.  Heaving the usual sigh I replied, “I know.  But I’m staring at the big…blank…page!”  “Then you need to write about the big blank page,” she said.


How does one write about The Blank Page, about the nothingness that descends upon a writer’s mind, the kind of nothingness that seems so endless it keeps you up at night?  I thought, Well, it’s like writing about an open field blanketed in snow.  HOW THE HELL DO YOU DESCRIBE THAT?!!! It’s a whole bunch of NOTHING!  Big…deal!

And the answer came:  Look at the field through the eyes of a poet.  A snowy field is far from lacking in description.  Look at it as a poet.

It’s true.  A poet would see the undulations of the land beneath the snow.  She would see the shadows cast, the sparkles of the sun.  Heck, she would even see the minute details of each and every individual snowflake. So I began to investigate The Blank Page in the same way.  What could I see?

Truthfully, I could see nothing outside of The Blank Page, but I could hear something beckoning to me, so I decided to listen.  The Voice had many layers.

The first layer started with, “Ach!  Why?  Who cares?  I have nothing to say.  I can’t write when I have nothing to say.  I’ll wait for inspiration to strike and THEN, when I have something useful to say, I will write.”

Which moved to, “Time.  I HAVE NO TIME!!!!!!!!!!!  Can’t you see that?  What do you expect from me? Miracles?  Between working to pay our bills at jobs I don’t particularly enjoy, and studying yoga for our upcoming classes, and co-maintaining a wonderful relationship, and trying to keep in touch with friends, and cooking for people and the cats, and preparing food because YOU have decided to go gluten-free, and fitting in a yoga class or exercise, WHEN, pray tell, do you expect us to find the time to WRITE?!!!  WE HAVE TO SLEEP SOME TIME, YOU KNOW?!!!”

And underneath the anger were rich tears.  Hot, sad tears that led to a despair that speaks to the desolation of my soul.  “It’s not supposed to be like this,” said the sad Voice.  “This is not the way it was meant to be.”

Desolation of my soul.  Starvation.  Inattention to my needs.  The Blank Page, which clearly isn’t blank at all,  begs the larger question:  How have I been ignoring my needs? 

The Voice asks, “How can you feel inspired, how can you be capable of giving, Tabitha, when you have deprived your soul-body of any sustenance?  When was the last time you spent any quiet time with yourself, in complete solitude?  When have you touched base with the Nature that surrounds you and fills you up?  When have you last spoken with the birds and the trees and the sky and the wind?  When…have…you…last…spoken…with…God?”

At the very centre of the question there lays a silence, a stillness that only comes from understanding, from truly understanding the process.

The Blank Page is a signpost, a checkpoint that says, “Kiddo, you’re running too fast and you’re losing touch with what is.  You’re too bound up in duty to everyone and everything outside of you and your God.  You are starving yourself here, becoming spiritually anorexic.  You need to feed.  In order to thrive, to be at peace, and to love, you MUST feed.”

Last week I went for a long walk and heard the voices of the trees.  I explored a bit of the world around me by going to second hand clothing stores just to see some of the remarkable things out there.  I played for a bit.  I prayed for a bit. And I began to feel myself coming back on track.  Admittedly, I still do not feel I have anything of brilliance to say but I feel okay enough within my world to admit to that. And I am feeding, taking slow small bites of the world around me, rejuvenating my soul in the same way I would begin to nourish my body after a fast.  Just as the winter-weary world is doing around me, I am slowly coming back to life, one…small…step…at a time.

So now I ask you: When The Blank Page, in whatever version speaks to you, shows up in YOUR life, what is it trying to tell you?  Listen.  Learn.  Feed.  So you can live.  So you can Love.

Many Blessings,


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“Keep thyself first in peace, and then thou wilt be able to bring others to peace.” – Thomas A. Kempis (15th Century)


One of those best ways we can find peace, even if  just for a fleeting moment in time, is by allowing ourselves to be still. I can sense the resistance through the computer screen as readers exclaim,”BE STILL!  WHAT ARE YOU, NUTS?!  WHO HAS TIME TO BE STILL?  HAVE YOU LOOKED  AT MY CALENDAR?!”  I know, it seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it?  But the truth that you can find only through experience is that stillness brings peace.  A moment of stillness allows us an opportunity to catch our breath.  It allows our minds a chance to take a break.  When we remember to breathe and relax the mind, we are less likely to get hooked into any drama that surrounds us, and we’re less likely to cause any drama ourselves.  And let’s face it, this season is often fraught with drama whether it be in the shopping mall parking lot or at our family dining table.

But you’re right, this IS a busy time of the year with lots of running around to do so the concept of sitting for an hour in meditation can be rather off-putting regardless of how effective it may be.  I’m here, however, to challenge you to build in moments of stillness so you can see its effects for yourself.  We need not sit cross-legged for an hour chanting OM.  Here are some practical ideas to help you find stillness throughout the day:

1)  Create time between sitting down at your desk and picking up the phone to make that important phone call.  Relax your hands in your lap, close your eyes, and slowly count to 10.  Congratulations!  You’ve just created space for stillness!

2)  You’re in the car with the keys in the ignition, ready to go rush off to your next destination.  Before you reach out to turn that key, relax your hands in your lap (this will be a common refrain), close your eyes, and take some deep full breaths, down into the base of your belly.  Inhale to a count of 4…hold for a count of one…exhale for 4…hold for one.  Do this for 5 breaths, THEN reach for that key in the ignition.  Notice how you’re feeling and see if it changes the way you travel. Congratulations again!  STILLNESS!

3)  You’re stuck in traffic.  Turn the music off and for 3 – 5 minutes take a look around you.  You’re not going anywhere very quickly anyway!  🙂  See what’s going on in the vicinity.  Use all your senses.  Notice any smells.  What can you hear in the far distance?  How about close by?  What do you see in the buildings, in the sky, in your own car?  Stillness.

4)  You’ve just received an email from a family member who will be at Christmas dinner and it has pissed…you…off. Before you hit Reply and Send, take a moment.  Assume the position (you know it by now  🙂 ) and do NOTHING!  Take the moment to get back in touch with yourself. Allow yourself to fully feel pissed off.  Let it wash over you.  Notice as you watch if the sensation of anger has changed at all.  Watch it.  Does the feeling move to different places in your body or is it centrally located? What words from the email evoke the most reaction from you?  Pay attention to yourself.  Love yourself enough to give yourself your full attention and then, when you open your eyes, decide how you’re going to respond.  Stillness.

In stillness we find peace.  Yet another way we can learn to cope with the stressors of the holidays.

May abundant peace be yours!


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