Peace Is Always at Hand: 5 Ways to Know It

Peace is always at hand. The pandemic is not over. The presidential election is some 90 days away. The economy is fraught with tension.

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

Peace, though, is always at hand.

I believe the key to finding peace is simply knowing, believing that peace is always at hand. Peace is always within us. We are peace, each of us. We are the same peace. The peace that is love. That is joy. And that is harmony. Peace that is Spirit.

If we allow ourselves to relax just long enough, we can bring our awareness into contact with that peace. Therefore, if we take a break from all the thinking about what is going wrong. Don’t worry about it going away if you’re not worrying about it. Because, it will be there for your worry when you get back…if you want it to be.

Peace Is Always at Hand

Let me offer you 5 simple practices to make your way to peace. observe, breathe, move, be still, pray. Emphasis on the word “practices”. The more you practice each and all of them, then the more proficient you will become and the more peace you will experience. The more proficient you become, then the more likely that you will make each or all of these your regular practice.

Five Ways to Peace

Observe. Although there is more beauty and more wonder in the physical world than we can experience in all our life., there is not too much to observe for just a few minutes. Select something you will enjoy looking at. For 3-5 minutes simply observe. Observe closely each detail. View broadly  its entire scope. Look at it. Look into it. See how it must have been before. See how it might become after. The more often you practice this, the more ways you will discover and create to observe. Hold what you observe in your memory.

Breathe. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, pay attention to your breath and your breathing. Notice the rhythm of your breathing. Change the rhythm and pay attention to the difference. Play with breathing. Give meaning or metaphor to inhaling and different meaning or metaphor to the exhaling. Don’t rush. Take your time breathing and focusing on breathing, feeling breathing when you concentrate on it.  Hold the calm that breathing brings.

Move. Without any regard for the “right way” to move, just move. Pay attention to what your body parts do and how they work in such wonderful unison. Notice how the movement, the attention to your movement, brings you joy and that the joy is peace. Run. Walk. Swim. Dance. Hop. Stretch. Skip. Roll. Jump. Wave. Sway.

Be Still. This is stillness not of your body only, but of your senses, your thinking. Remove yourself from all distractions. Be mindful of being at rest. Still. At peace. Concentrate on the absence of motion, of doing. Focus on the fact that at this moment you are doing nothing except being. Free yourself from thinking how much work goes into being. The world around you may be moving at the rate of three times hubbub. For these few moments you do not have to. You do not want to. And so you do not. You are still.

Pray. To pray is to communicate with Spirit. That communication happens in an infinite number of ways. It may be spoken but it does not have to be. It may be written but it does not have to be. Praying can be silent or aloud. It can be in motion or at rest. Praying is simply and wonderfully your awareness that you know the presence of Spirit and you know Spirit is aware of you. That is communication with Spirit. To magnify the power of praying to let you know peace may be to make time for praying. To consciously know that as you pray—no matter the focus or the content of your praying—you bring the peace you are to the surface of your being. Consider that the other four ways to peace are praying in themselves.

Praying because Peace Is Always at Hand

Power. Presence. Peace.
How wonderful to know full well You are, I am, We are.
Thank you, Good Friend, from whom I come, with which I am made,
for giving me the power and the presence that come from peace.
I thank you, too, for allowing me to know and to practice
simple joys that pull peace to my surface being,
as I know your peace is always present within me.

With comfort and grace I expect and respect your gentle guidance
in the things I do that I may know
that peace is always at hand. I do this
by observing peace in so many forms,
from breathing the full complement of peace continually,
when moving with peace and through peace and as peace,
by being still in the presence and with the fullness of peace,
thanks to praying from peace and for peace.
Thank you, Spirit, for the peace I am and share and have.
And so it is, and so celebrate the Christ within. Amen.

Love & blessings,
Tim

 

 

17 August 2020

 

 

Posted on August 17, 2020 at 9:30 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Beauty, Breath, Inner Peace, Peace, Prayer, Praying · Tagged with: , ,

If only a piece of peace

Reasons for peace

At lease a piece of peace desired

Peace. If only a piece of peace. The threats–or the mere feeling of being threatened–by the chaos (is it?) happening now, all at once, all around. How do we deal with that? How do we make small steps toward peace not just here, now but going forward.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. (Martin Luther King, 8/28/1963)

If we know God is the power and the presence and we call on the Christ Spirit in ourselves to know that really, daily, then why do we doubt that this will end and end well? Why do we doubt that this is Divine Order when it seems anything, everything but divine?

The What of Peace

This post is not to answer why. Just what and how. What I can do and how I can do it. And what I choose not to do. Obviously, it’s time to do, rather than to think about doing.

Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children. (Martin Luther King, 8/28/1963)

First and foremost for me is praying. Praying in ways that affirm my faith in being, which is faith in One Being, which is faith in all of us. Praying that affirms our ability to move beyond seeing fault. That movement is Spirit-given and Spirit-driven. It does not mean failing to see or consciously ignoring. It does mean seeing what must be changed. And choosing to be part of the change from what we see.

Praying to be part of the change begins with the action of forgiving. First, forgiving myself my sight being slow to focus on the human actions and interactions. Then forgiving myself for being judgmental in so many different ways. Forgiving myself for being slow to know in my heart and with my Godmind that all and each of us is Spirit. That forgiving allows me to know that is truth and my knowing that truth imparts the knowing to others. And forgiving myself for even thinking of giving up on that consciousness if I sense it is not taking hold as fast as I want it to.

Affirming Peace

Praying then affirms that the universe knows its truth, finds its grounding, feels and accepts its Oneness. Affirms that we are beginning to remove the anguish and fear that makes us separate our selves much more than mere socially distancing. My praying affirms that such fear and doubt are false, that love is true, removes all fear and doubt from mis-believing minds.

Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness
and hatred….Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
(Martin Luther King, 8/28, 1963)

 

Praying for Forgiveness for Peace

Spirit of Love, Spirit of Life, Spirit of Peace
and Spirit of Forgiveness,
I am eager to forgive myself for all that I have seen
but not truly beheld on this human earth.
Even more, I want now to forgive myself for all the inaction
I’ve allowed for myself.

I thank you, God, for my faith in the power of affirmation,
the faith that what we think, what we put forth to the universe
as fruit of our concentration and commitment is already becoming real.
That faith I affirm and with that faith I affirm peace among and for
all of your children. I affirm that we are individual beings of One Spirit.

Peace among us all, peace without hesitation or question, peace
as our reality is my greatest affirmation. Affirming
that we are beginning to remove the anguish and fear that make us separate
our selves. Affirmations that fear and doubt are false, that love is true.

God of Peace, I am thankful that this prayer is heard.
And so it is. And so I let it be. Amen.

Love & blessings,
Tim

 

 

June 1, 2020

Posted on June 1, 2020 at 5:59 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Affirmation, Peace, Prayer, Praying · Tagged with: , , , ,

Do’s and Don’ts for these unusual days

Do’s and don’ts are best learned at the same time. My mom so often told me what not to do followed by what I should (or

Do’s and Don’ts

could…or she’d like it if I would) do. She ultimately told me do’s and don’ts are opposite sides of the same coin.

This morning while writing in my prayer journal I thought of Mom and how she’d deal with the situation these days. (Is it a crisis, a tragedy, a disaster, an ordeal, a problem? Situation satisfies me.) I could clearly imagine Mom pointing out things we should not do and the opposite things we should do instead.

Remember, please, the several ‘do’s’ staying home allows.

Do’s and Don’ts for “these days”

Here are 6 of each:

Don’t think about all you can’t do.
Do think how many things you can do.

Don’t wonder or worry how long this situation will last.
Do be thankful it’s now one day less.

Don’t focus on what you miss.
Do find pleasure–no matter how simple–in what is present.

Don’t watch the news nonstop.
Do watch just enough news to know enough.

Don’t bounce among all the bad stuff.
Do single out and appreciate one good at a time.

Don’t put a cloud over your silver lining.
Do let sun shine wherever you want it to. (It will!)

A prayer for all the things to do, with some attention to things to don’t

Good friend God, the blessing of so much we can do
and the power you give us to choose what we don’t do
are key to successful movement through these times.
For every action we might not perform
there’s an even better one to enjoy.
Each moment of distress we can look beyond
is matched by one that thrills us to the core.
Steering clear of bemoaning what we think we lack
takes us straight to the consciousness of all we have.
Thank you, Good Friend, that we see the great difference
between the 6 we easily don’t
and the 1/2 dozen we are glad we do.
We thank you, God. We thank the Christ Spirit that fills us.
And so it is. And so we say Amen.

Love & Blessings,

Tim

 

 

10 April 2020

Posted on April 10, 2020 at 6:00 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Happiness, Inner Peace, Peace, Prayer · Tagged with: , , ,

Thanks for the little things makes a big difference

Thanks for the Little Things

Writing thanks for the little things

Thanks for the little things? Really?

Really. Even though everyone is feeling stress these days, there is plenty of scientific evidence that it does us good to identify and experience thankfulness. Even thanks for the little things.

Since I mentioned science, I feel obliged to offer evidence.

Psychology Today (2015) cites seven benefits of gratitude relative to stress. Three of them may be especially relevant to the stress you/we are experiencing:

Here’s a really scientific statement from Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury, a clinical psychologist:

At a neurobiological level, gratitude regulates the sympathetic nervous system that activates our anxiety responses, and at the psychological level, it conditions the brain to filter the negative ruminations and focus on the positive thoughts.

In other words gratitude–felt and expressed–moderates our anxiety tendencies and helps our minds to stay upbeat rather than to feel down.

Finally, as far as my evidence goes, let’s blend the scientific with the emotional, specifically with happiness. How about the Harvard Healthbeat‘s statement:

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

No matter how happy you are now, would being happier help you as the current stay-at-home environment continues?

How to do gratitude

Each of the sources cited above offers several “gratitude practices.” All are good. All are worth the read. There is a  secret to paying attention to gratitude as a way to solve feeling bad, like from long lines to get into the grocery store or nothing on television but news that’s becoming pretty redundant. You want to select gratitude activities that

Here are my own favorite 3:

  1. A gratitude journal or list. Writing by hand, rather than typing, draws the direct connection between your spirit/emotion, mind, and body. I’ve written 10 Thank Yous every morning for some 10 years. I like the morning because I can reflect on yesterday’s gratitude-givers and I can anticipate what I’ll be thankful for yet today.
  2. Writing thank-you notes. Some sources say it does you as much good to write the thank-you note mentally. Not so. The spirit/emotion-mind-body connection matters here, too. Granted, a thank-you email is better than nothing but not as good as one you fold, seal the envelope around, put a stamp on and drop in the mail.
  3. Contact those you’re thankful you know (or knew). Whether you actually thank them for being in your life or not, the simple action of calling someone up and making contact will make you thankful. That you know/knew them and they matter in some way is a gratitude experience. That you make the time and spend the energy and overcome any hesitation to ring them up is gratitude in action.

Praying thanks for being thankful

Living, loving Spirit,
knowing thanks is a powerful experience.
Showing thanks magnifies that experience.
We thank you for the awareness that no matter
how stressful life is,
no matter how much we want things normal,
no matter what we cannot do or have right now,
we truly can find abundant thankfulness.
Guide us to look closely, to see clearly, to hear sharply,
to taste patiently, to feel calmly. In doing that we will
know the little things for which we can give thanks.
Wisdom tells us we serve ourselves much more
by enjoying gratitude than by regretting lack.
We thank you for the wisdom.
And so it is. And so we thank you, Spirit.
Amen.

Love & Blessings,

Tim

 

 

7 April 2020

 

 

Posted on April 7, 2020 at 11:46 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Gratitude, Happiness, Praying · Tagged with: , , ,