As we approach the season of cheer, contentment, and the closeness of family, I encourage everyone to be thinking “outside the box” on how we can keep these things as our primary focus in a not so “normal” year. Although on the surface, many of us may say “This is easier said than done!”, during a time that has kept us off the path of normalcy for many months. However, I encourage all of us to look deep, deep within ourselves to acknowledge that although there have been many challenges during this Pandemic, we may be experiencing not so positive thoughts, and we may even have grieved one type of loss or another, we still have it within us to find the cheer, contentment, and the closeness of family to make this holiday season happy and joyous.
I would say that we start with peace. This peace may take on many forms, as the individual each of us is. Finding and continuing to go back to this place we each call “peace” will ultimately lead to our overall happiness and a positive life. Please make no mistake, that when I says this, I am not being a Pollyanna. Reality is that with or without any of the current challenges, we have the issues of everyday life to accept, embrace, and move through. The Pandemic has just made these everyday issues seem larger and harder to overcome. These issues can be as small as not having enough gas in the car when you get in because your partner forgot to refill the tank, to something as large as facing life threatening medical problems (all which were here pre-Pandemic). Therefore, it is critical that we look to the processes of how we always found peace within ourselves, our families, and all our relationships, and know that we still have this skill set to do the same now during this glorious holiday season.
Think about the ways that we respond to all the wonderful parts of our lives. We welcome them, we embrace, them, we smile, we laugh, and we work to find ways that we can keep this comforting and warm feeling in all aspects of our lives. For some these processes may include the spiritual aspect; no matter what that may mean to each of us individually. For some, it is long walks to appreciate the beauty of nature or the changing seasons. For some, it is “alone” time that my include a meditation, centering that brings us to childhood memories, or even good book that we had not had time to read. For others, finding peace may include facing life’s challenges head-on; always finding the silver lining in ever dark cloud. It also may include passionately believing that when one door closes, another will open to an even better life with more and fresher peace and happiness. Further, it may be creating space for just “being” amidst whatever may be around us.
Ultimately, it is so important to accept that finding the peace which always leads to happiness in life does occur no matter what is happening outside the circle of our individual lives. We all have the capacity to find our happy place. This happy place which leads to peace. This may be very personal or include the people who we love very much; or even some combination of both. The key point, is to work everyday to get to our own happy place, no matter what life may present. The first step is identifying exactly what that happy place is for us. It may be a combination of behaviors, thoughts, or spaces. It is also important to acknowledge that this happy place is ever-evolving or ever-changing as our lives are always changing and have many phases. Often we want this search to be easy. However, it never is. But the important point is to begin the process of finding the happy place which will give us peace. And importantly, it is also being committed to being fully part of this process throughout our lives. This commitment ultimately gives us a cycle of knowing ourselves and having the desire to open ourselves to this process of always finding peace as a major part of our lives. With this commitment to make this a “real” part of us, comes the wisdom that we have this as a “go to” place and the peace and happiness that come with it.
Most especially at this time of year, when we celebrate life, one another, and the world, let us commit to building peace and happiness within ourselves. By building this peace and happiness within ourselves, our life will speak volumes to those around us, and this peace and happiness will spread beyond. Please remember smiles speak a thousand words and smiles reflect our inner peace and happiness.
Close your eyes and smell the rain.
Hear the thunder: he roars his name.
Watch the lightning dance with him,
Across the sky so thick and grim.
Close your eyes and feel the sea
Bubbling, frothing, merrily.
Hear her whisper in your ear
The secrets she has held so dear.
Toasted sand beneath your steps,
Sinking softly in its depths.
Golden fragments, silken grains
All unique, not one the same.
Live to love, and love to laugh.
True life is following a path
Of silent dreams and worthy hopes,
The essence of your innermost.