‘Peace is the highest happiness” (Tibetan Monk)
Peace to me far outweighs striving for happiness or love or anything else. When I drop into the peacefulness that is both within me and around me, i’m naturally happy and feel content.
It took, almost losing everything for me to realize this and it greatly lessened my struggles.
In recent times people may feel they have struggled and lost more than they ever had before with social isolation and the seemingly new norms that are becoming part of our daily life and plans. No matter how well we do in school or college, how great a job we have, how many things we own, how fit our bodies are, none of us have control over what life can bring, at any given moment. At the end of the day struggling and losing is part of life – we can’t buy our way out of it or protect ourselves from experiencing it. Struggle and loss are inevitable. Whether it’s our health, our loved ones, our relationships, jobs, pets, games, our minds, even the loss of one’s childhood. The truth is in this life we all lose and we have to learn ‘to lose’.
Without everything sounding too depressing, losing and struggling can be a great teacher. There are so many things we learn in life and ‘learning to lose’ is one of them and is not always easy. Depending on our attachment to who or what is lost.
“Know that peace can be a refuge, a deeply nourishing refuge” (Roseanne Reilly, 2021)
It may be helpful to keep this in mind. In my struggles I found peace and now my struggles rest in peace. The kind of peace I’m referring to here is a safe, stable peace, a peace that is a constant companion which one can lean on as they navigate the demands, stresses, and strains of life. It may help to manage stress more efficiently from a place of peace, our ability to listen improves, and we become less judgmental and defensive. This peace feels deeply nourishing even if there is physical and emotional pain, heartache, fear, anger, and worry. Cultivating a state of peacefulness regularly helps it become a bigger part of your experiences as a whole.
Meditate to permit yourself to let go of all struggles and worries for a while and to practice feeling grounded while shaken. It can support you to be the best person you can be in this world and lifetime. It’s like opening a door to be accepted and accepting of all that shows up, allows perspective, helps to nurture and level the energy you wake up with while quieting the mind chatter.
Through awareness and observation in my yoga practice, I began to connect deeper with peace. I had heard all about the ‘power of a pose’ and how if you hold a pose, as you do in Hatha yoga, it can be revealing and healing, there is a lot of truth to this statement. Today my life experiences don’t define me and yoga has taught me how not to hold myself a prisoner. It has taught me through being still enough in mind and body, that peace can enter.
Pausing in ‘Peace’ in the ‘Present Moment’ (And Nothing Else)
The discovery of peace occurred as I was recovering from many losses and deep heartache. It was confusing and powerful at the same time. I first experienced this deep sense of peacefulness as I rolled up into a yoga pose called a shoulder stand or Sarvangasana. Inversions were not my happy place to be. To go upside down was terrifying for me. I kept trying to be upside down to understand why anyone would want to do this. On this particular day, I decided to hang out in my shoulder stand and not rush out of it. I wavered and shook a little and quivered in my legs. I kept coming back and telling myself ‘I’m okay, ‘I’ve got this, ’this is ok’. I began to feel pretty safe and steady, then this weird wave came over me. I rolled back down and sat for a moment, a little confused, and then I realized what the wave was. It was peaceful, I felt peaceful and I began to cry. I was so excited about it I called my mother and shared the experience as I would consider her to be a fairly spiritual person. During and after her dance with cancer we became very close and she shared intimately about different life experiences she had and felt that she would also appreciate this experience.
From that day forward I chose peace as my path, my direction, I felt at home with peace, I felt I had come home.
For the following two years, my mediation practices were wholly based on cultivating a felt sense of peace in all its forms. Peace in suffering, in business, in chores, in heart fullness. Don’t get me wrong I still go off track sometimes, however now I am aware of how I can be captured by old patterns of thinking and behaving and now I can catch myself and step back on my path. I still set healthy boundaries and stand up for myself and fight the battles I need to fight. Today I hold my ground in peace, not fear. I do not need to protect my peace as it’s not going anywhere, it is always within me and around me. That was the real learning curve for me, it helped me to slowly decondition my addiction to sometimes paralyzing fear-based thoughts and feelings. It helped me become less attached to many things and in many ways. Not in reckless ways, quite the opposite, I now have a greater appreciation for the quality I bring to my life.
“You may not always find happiness, but peace is a reliable resource” (Roseanne Reilly, 2021)
Learning how to simply rest in peace before we die is a gift. It is available at any moment and to rest in those little pockets of peace regularly is profoundly healing. To simply rest in the awareness of being peaceful. You can be intentionally peaceful, in how you stand and look and hold your energy. How you eat, drink, and even sleep. You can be intentionally peaceful at any moment.
Approaching life from a place of peace rather than in fear and evaluation and a need to fix everything, reduces reactivity to stressors and increases immunity. If you think about it, this increases your chances of being treated well and reduces aggression and unnecessary aggravation too.
Peace, feeling peaceful, being at peace, warm-hearted peacefulness, mindful of peace.
Present Moment Peacefulness
Connecting with this sense has been of great value to me and my healing and my clients and students alike. So many times I hear them say ‘I just want a peaceful life, ‘to be at peace’ to ‘make peace with’ ‘I need peace of mind’. So let’s investigate a pathway there together with the next few suggestions to help you get started.
Here are a few examples to help you notice opportunities to absorb the peace. I intentionally build into my daytime to notice moments of peacefulness. These moments are already there and it doesn’t take time, you just redirect your attention to what is right there in front of you in the present moment. For example, doing the dishes and noticing a hummingbird while taking a drink at the feeder. Pausing to pay attention to the feeling of my daughter leaning on me as we sit quietly together on the couch. Or the moments when my sister in laws dog rests her little face in my lap. Appreciate moments like this more and more and take time to recognize and acknowledge and absorb them.
Slow down and take time to notice the little moments of peace. You can also choose to apply ‘H.E.A.L.’ to these experiences, which is an anagram meaning: To Have the experience, to Enhance it, to take time to Absorb the feeling of peacefulness, and to Link it. (As in to weave it into troubling feelings that you may be experiencing.) For example, you may feel peaceful and fearful, yet the fear becomes secondary and not as strong and you gently touch from one to the other to help dissolve the feelings of fear.
I first came across HEAL in a book by Rick Hansen titled NeuroDharma a couple of years ago.
Allow a sense of peace to evolve through moments of stillness. For example, I am an early riser and as I sat by myself at a lake on vacation, it became more than just stillness. It felt like deep ease within me that transformed into a deep somatic experience of tranquility. To a point when even the colors all around me became more vibrant as I intentionally allowed myself to be carried by the peacefulness that surrounded me. I became part of it.
Intentionally build awareness, of all that is peaceful even when there is disturbance and noise. Not as zoning out, more of active awareness. Grounding in peacefulness and peacefully aware.
If you do feel high levels of agitation, becoming familiar with a body scan before bedtime may be of great benefit to you. Don’t give up after the first try. It takes time for the body to let go, especially if a dominant state of fear, anger, anxiety, tension, worry, and contraction exists. Reconditioning takes time. This can also be a helpful step as an entryway to a mindful meditation practice that cultivates a state of peace.
If it’s ok, you can quiet the mind to focus on your breathing and just practice without expectation or judgment. Just keep coming back to your breath as time goes by you will become aware of times and things that tend to disturb you. Be careful as for a while you may be angry when people disturb your peace, remember not to crave it.
Over time you will be okay with the disturbances while remaining presently peaceful.
“In my struggles I found Peace”
“In Peace ‘I rest’ My Struggles” (Roseanne Reilly, 2021)
Love to all
Advancing your Ability to Heal and Repair your Nervous system
Roseanne Reilly DipNUR, APCST, ERYT500hr CEP
Roseanne comes from a Background of Nursing, She is an Advanced CranioSacral Therapist, Yoga Teacher and Educator and Somatic Emotional Healing Practitioner
Roseanne is Currently a Practitioner of Somatic based Healing for Trauma and Cptsd.
She provides reliable resources to support living with Trauma and Healing through Somatic Awareness, Guided Practices and one to one sessions and workshops. For Body Work Students, Practitioners and Clients