You will probably be reading this in the new year, as this will most likely come to light at the very end of 2022. And I am trying to write some sort of profound, internally resonating thoughts on Peace for this, the final Morning Mimosa which I will be writing for insidewink. Something which will help you go forth into the new year filled with a determination to help make peace with yourself and bring peace into the world. For this world, right now, desperately needs our peace.
But the reality is I am just one human being “talking” to whatever other human being may be reading this right now. I’m a middle-aged woman (how I hate to admit that, but it’s a fact) facing her own mortality and currently the complete deconstruction of her career.
Oh, don’t worry, that all sounds much worse than it really is. It’s just that I’ve had to go to a lot of funerals lately. And my own body has been giving me ongoing signals as to the changes it is going through which aren’t, honestly, all that great despite my best efforts to waylay the inevitable decline. It all adds up to making me think a lot about death and birth and the life we live in between those two states. Where we are now, where we may be going, and where we may have been once before, I suppose.
As for the career, let’s just say these past three years have been somewhat of a struggle creatively, as has been the case for so many. Some have managed to get by with great success, and indeed for the most part the universe has seen fit to keep me going and able to do the things I love and want to do. I’ve at least been able to continue paying all of my bills, and that’s saying something.
Heck, I was even able to go to Italy this year! And to Portland, and to visit others, and back and forth to Phoenix to see family and friends many times. So in many ways this year has been one of great blessings and opportunities. And I am grateful and appreciative of all of them, believe me, and I look back on the memories of those times and those people with a sort of awe that this has been MY life. So many of my dreams have come true for me. Not just this year, but throughout my life.
But let’s just say that career-wise, the work hasn’t exactly been plentiful in 2022. And as of the writing of this article, my slate is completely blank for 2023. However, with every deconstruction comes a reconstruction on the other side of things. I know this, and take hope from it.
But in the middle of every renovation project comes that point where you feel as if it’s going to last forever and never end. This is the point where we learn all about having Faith and Hope, but that’s for another article.
However, I have not been through some major trauma recently – not any more than many who will read this, that is, the collective trauma we’ve all been experiencing since 2020. I am not in a war zone, I don’t have any major health issues (knock on wood), and though I’ve said goodbye in this present life to some people I dearly love, overall I am also still surrounded by many others I dearly love as well. So in some ways I feel like the last person to talk about being at peace during times of trouble.
But finding peace when you are attending yet another funeral, or paying bills wondering where your next gig will be, or trying to take a walk only to have a knee go out, or facing the scale down realizing every pound you lost at the beginning of the year has come back with a vengeance (dangit)… this I can talk about. And so I will.
Because the reality is, those times of real trauma in our past, such as having breast cancer or losing our parents to Covid or our niece to a stroke or a job we loved ending or a dear friend going away – can catch up to us and inform the times where we are simply having a little bit of a mid-life crisis and make it more of a major-life crisis.
I have no in-depth answers, just my own concepts about what Peace means to me, and how sometimes I am able to find it.
So here are some random thoughts on Peace, brought to you from the brain of a woman in the middle of a mid-life crisis.
12 Ways to Peace-mas
or How to Ring in the New Year with Peace
The First Way to Peace-mas: Find a Tree and Listen to the Birds In It.
I’m thinking about that Partridge in the Pear Tree from the song and how we start off the 12 days of Christmas with that. I know the song is referring to historical things, but I find it interesting that the first thing given is simply a bird in a tree.
There is something about simply sitting under a tree and looking up at a bird within it preening itself or chirping that is soothing to the soul in the most profound way. It is a ritual as ancient as mankind, it’s probably one of the very first things we ever did as humans. Connecting to nature and in particular to trees, delves deep into our subconscious giving us that sense of perspective about life.
When I was walking the Via Francigena in Italy this past summer, there came a point half-way through the trek that I was simply slogged out. It was hot, I was tired, the sun was beating down on me, and I just needed to stop for a moment and allow the emotions being brought up in me by this pilgrimage to sort through me.
An old Oak presented itself to me on the side of the road, lining up to a vineyard filled with ancient grapes, with more vines across the road flowing along the hillsides up to a picturesque ancient turreted castle straight out of a storybook. A big gnarled root became the perfect bench for me to sit, pull off my boots, set down my pack, sip my water, and pull out my diary to write for a bit.
A hawk chose to perch itself on the top of the tree, scanning the fields around us for prey. I talked to it as I wrote in my journal, blessed by its presence. It was one of the most memorable moments of my walk.
Sitting under a tree may not resolve all our problems, but it gives us a moment to just breathe and rest. It shades us from the sun and protects us from the rain. It reminds us we are a part of this planet too.
So go find a tree to perch under for a moment and listen to the birds above you. Their clear notes remind us that there is life in this world still singing, even when we aren’t able to do so. Let that give you some peace.
The Second Way to Peace-mas: Take Two Minutes
Sometimes I will get stuck in a rut, in a space of indecision, or just in a total creative block. While writing this article, for instance, I had a deadline I wasn’t able to meet because I kept restarting my thoughts on it. I couldn’t get the first sentence out, though I had the ideas swimming around in the back of my head.
This can take me down a dark hole of depression as I beat myself up for “not getting things done” and “not being good enough” or whatever. My internal expectations of myself can be unreasonably high, and like so many I am much harder on myself than I ever am on anyone else.
So I finally just did something I’ve found helpful in the past when I’ve been in that mode. I took two minutes to meditate.
The dove is seen as a symbol for peace, and when I thought about how the song says; “two turtle doves” it reminded me of taking those two minutes to seek that peace through mindfulness.
Not everyone is into meditation, but even if you’re not, if you can just stop where you are at, find a quiet spot (maybe under a tree!) and simply calm your mind for two minutes, you will find it makes a tremendous difference in your ability to focus. It helps tone down to at least a dull roar the voices in your head screaming at you, if not shut them up altogether.
And when it’s just a couple of minutes you’re taking, it makes it easier to find that time to do it. When you think it’s got to be a twenty minute commitment, it can be too daunting, so just give it two, not twenty, and make it something you will always feel you have the time for. You’ll be surprised at the amount of peace just two minutes can bring.
The Third Way to Peace-mas: Three Deep Breaths
Now I don’t know much about French Hens so I can’t really relate them into this part of my steps, but the number three stuck out to me.
Three slow, deep breaths is a remedy often assigned not just during meditation or mindfulness training, it’s something doctors, nurses and psychiatrists will tell you to do in order to calm yourself down when you are beginning to experience anxiety. It’s one of the first things I was told to do in order to help calm and control the panic attacks I began to have in 2021.
It’s no coincidence most guided meditations begin with three deep, slow intentional breaths, as does most yoga work, and most anything in the field of healthy living. Three deep breaths are often what you’ll see weightlifters do just before they raise that bar above their heads. The body responds physically to this by flooding your system with oxygen.
Called “diaphragmic breathing” it’s known to help with many health issues physically, but its main benefit is the way it helps relax your mind as well. As your body is flooded with oxygen it also floods your brain with endorphins, helping to calm and clear your thoughts.
Some of the benefits of deep breathing include (but aren’t limited to): lowering your blood pressure, decreasing stress, improving your immune system, relieving pain, detoxifying your body, stimulating your lymph system, improving digestion, increasing energy, supporting good posture, and a healthy heart.
So next time you’re stuck in the middle of holiday traffic ready to curse Santa and all his little elves if someone doesn’t move their car soon, take those three deep breaths and find your way back into a tiny bit of peace before you throw any hands (or fingers) up at the drivers around you.
The Fourth Way to Peace-mas: Call Forth Your Love
Most of the time when I’m going through tough times I go into cave mode. I insulate myself, wanting to work my way out of my own disasters. It’s partly pride, it’s mostly a sense of shame – I feel I ought to be able to handle it all on my own. I’m a grown-friggin-adult, aren’t I? I’ve got my big-girl panties on, I should be able to do this all by myself!
But there are times when I just… can’t. I find the weight is really, just… a lot. And the one thing which will pull me out of the doldrums is that phone call from a friend.
For a long time I felt I needed to wait for that call to come to me. But one day I took a cue from another friend of mine who will put out a sort of “public call” on social media when she’s having a hard time. I always admired her for her bravery in doing that, in being so vulnerable and open, in being able to tell it like it is and admit to everyone that she just needed some help right then.
But I realized it wasn’t just brave – it was practical. Because rather than wallowing in her misery, she was actively doing something to force herself out of it. She was asking for a boost up out of the pit, and that wasn’t just brave, it was smart.
How often do we sit inside the pit for too long, waiting for someone to come along and see us sitting there alone, when all we had to do is call out for help?
Find a family member or a friend who can just listen to you or whom you can just listen to talk for awhile (if that’s what helps more). Reach out to them in love, and realize that they have a load of love they’re happy to send right back. That’s why they’re your friends, after all. If they’re not the type of person who loves you that way, why are they in your life? Or at least, why would you consider them a close friend?
Close friends call you back when you need them. Close friends come when you call. And if they can’t talk or come to you, close friends make sure you know their love is there for you anyway, reaching out to you, sending it to you in any way they can even if they can’t be there physically. They let you know they love you, and just that much information can be all the help you need to give you the energy to get yourself up out of that pit.
Surround yourself with those who want to be there for you, and who not only will not judge you for asking for help, but will tell you; “You are so brave! (And so practical!)”
Next time you are finding yourself in that place where the only way to get to peace is to get a leg up out of the hole you’re in, make a call. Send a text. Send four of them.
When you do so, you are calling out to Love to find you, you are calling forth your Love, and Love will always lead you to Peace, every time.
The Fifth Way to Peace-mas: Five Golden Moments
One of the tools I’ll use to pull myself out of depression or pain and into peace is very simple, easy, and can be done anytime or anywhere.
I’ll close my eyes and select a Golden Moment Memory. And then I’ll let it play out like a movie in my mind. And when that one is done, I’ll choose another, and play it. And then another. Heck, I’ll find at least five of them, and have them all playing in syncopation in my head.
But even better is if I have an item I can wear – a necklace, a pair of earrings, a scarf, or, perhaps, five golden rings that remind me of that Golden Moment in time.
I’ll put that on, and every time I touch it throughout the day, I’ll be taken back to that beautiful Golden Moment Memory, that place of peace in my past that is now part of my present because I’ve brought it forth with me through that tactile touch.
I bought a scarf in Florence this summer, and every time I put it on I am taken back to standing on those cobblestoned streets selecting this particular beautiful silky blue thing. I am walking along the bridge there with the full moon lighting the water over the Ponte Vecchio. As my fingers brush against the smoothness of the scarf, the sense of joy from that adventure fills me with a deep, beautiful peace.
We all have those Golden Moments that we treasure. Those times when we experience something so wonderful we want it to last forever. And most of us have some kind of item we may have brought home with us from those moments.
If you have anything like that, pick it up, put it on, grasp it with your hand and let yourself be filled with the emotions of the beautiful memories it brings you. Or if your Golden Moments are ones that have no physical object to attach them to, fine – you will always have the movie of your mind. Close your eyes and let it play for a minute.
Remind yourself what it felt like to be in that Golden Moment. And then, if you can, if you’re in a place where that’s possible, when you open your eyes again look around to see the potential Golden Moment in the here and now.
How often have I opened my eyes only to see that the home I have now, the place I am sitting, the cat on my lap, the husband laying next to me in bed – are new Golden Moments I will treasure in my future? It’s easy to overlook them in the everydayness of things. To take it all for granted.
But if these past few years have taught me anything it is this: all of life is filled with Golden Moments, every single day there is at least one waiting for you. In fact, when we really get into a place of true peace, we come to discover that all of life is made up of a string of Golden Moments, like pearls on a chain, and we are simply passing from one right into the next with every breath we take.
So select your favorite five Golden Moments, pick them up, put them on, and enjoy how they make your life glitter with peace.
The Sixth Way to Peace-mas: Lay Those Eggs and Let Them Go
Those six geese laid their eggs – and then what did they do? They let them go. That’s the whole point of the geese a-laying.
Now for those who are Vegan, try to just listen to the analogies rather than the realities of eating goose eggs, and my apologies as I understand your sensitivities. But think about it: these geese had something within that they could give to the world. When they did, they not only unburdened themselves and did what came naturally to them, they provided sustenance, good things and even health for others.
But what if they’d held all those eggs inside? What if they’d never let those eggs come out of them?
They’d have died from the burden of it.
When my husband and I first met, he had a beautiful Cockatiel named Bird. I had a white cat named Kitty. When we moved in together, Bird and Kitty became the best of friends, and Bird would often sit on top of her cage while Kitty slept on the sofa next to her.
Bird and Kitty both lived to be very old – Kitty lived to nearly 22 years, and Bird lived to nearly 18. But at the end, Bird, whom we’d always assumed was male, suddenly began to lay eggs (much to our surprise). Not many, and not often, but eggs nonetheless. (Being an only Bird, none were ever fertilized, and she showed no signs of wanting to roost on them, so they were disposed of gently.)
Unfortunately, this is what ultimately killed her, because one day she was obviously not feeling well, and we couldn’t figure out why.
We quickly rushed her to the vet, but we didn’t make it. On the way there she died in my hands as I held her close. We’d never heard of “egg-bound” before, but we discovered that is what she’d been. The egg inside of her had gotten, for lack of a better term, “stuck” as she tried to pass it, and it basically backed up her system.
There are so many analogies here to talk about, but let’s just look at that last one. By not being able to pass on what was within her, Bird had passed on herself. What was once a beautiful gift that could (if fertilized properly) bring life into this world, turned into a painful process that killed her as she held it all inside.
What are your eggs? What are the things within you that you need to let out into the world, perhaps fertilized so they grow and become independent energy of their own?
But even unfertilized, what is that something that then gives sustenance and protein to others who pick it up from you and enjoy it? What is the thing you have within you that you must let out into the world, or else you feel stuck?
It doesn’t have to be something “big” or creative or life-altering – it can be any little thing within you. It can be your ability to smile and make someone feel welcome by it. Or the cookies you love to make for friends and family. Or the walk you need to take every day.
A thing doesn’t have to be fertilized and grow up all on its own in order to have worth, after all. It can just be what it is in that moment, a little egg that is beautifully created and comes forth from you and gives yourself or someone else a moment of joy. Just as Bird’s eggs did for us even though we couldn’t (and wouldn’t) eat them or keep them. We still took delight in them when they arrived and praised her for it (before the gentle disposal).
Holding onto whatever it is that you have within doesn’t serve you, it only serves to close you up and close you off. Express who you are and you’ll find that knot in your stomach comes loose and you will feel unburdened inside of yourself.
Unlock that which is within you and allow it to come forth, because as you do, you’ll discover what you are really producing from inside is peace.
The Seventh Way to Peace-mas: Swan Dive In and Glide Through the Chaos
Sometimes we can find peace within the chaos.
It sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s true. Chaos is often one of the best places to discover your inner peace.
I know this from being raised in a large family. With seven kids there was always some form of chaos happening in our home. Music playing on the radio, children playing in the backyard, adults playing games together. There was a general cacophony of sound and energy happening every day, and my mom loved it. And it wasn’t until I moved out on my own that I realized I’d loved it also.
Ironically, I also love being alone now and having a calm, quiet home. However, I still will often crave time with others: at a party, at a club, hearing my husband play his instruments with a band. I can enjoy the chaos while I feel a sense of real peace and joy within it.
Not everyone can do this or wants to, but for me I’ve come to find that in those moments when the chaos is surrounding me and it seems overwhelming, the best thing I can do to be at peace with it is to just dive on into it, and then glide along it. Rather like a swan.
If you think about how swans swim, they make it all look so easy, even when the waters are choppy or there is a swirling current around them. They’ll land in that churning water, and then glide with grace along it. Yet underneath their calm exterior, under the surface their feet are paddling away, steering them through the waters safely.
If needed, parent swans will have their babies climb on board their backs and will protect them from the raging currents around them. This may be necessary as well – protecting others you love who are unable to handle the chaos by carrying them and surrounding them with your arms of love.
But the swan itself just glides along, allowing the current to take them when it gets too fast, spreading wings to slow things down as needed, flying away to calmer waters if it really gets to be too much. And always with grace. Always with an ease that makes them look, well, peaceful as they go about their business.
The chaos around them doesn’t ruffle their feathers. Nor should it ruffle yours.
How can you make peace with the chaos right now? How can you allow yourself to dive in and then pop up gliding while your feet are paddling away?
For me I do it by allowing myself to be a part of the chaos, but also above it, like a swan. I try to not let it drown me, but float along observing it and moving forward until I come to a calmer patch of water. I let the chaos lead me to peace, even as it swirls around me.
Other times I participate in the chaos itself, I embrace it, I explore it, I enjoy it, finding peace within the realms of it, finding the peace of paddling along with it as part of it.
Or at least I try. Sometimes I admit to being more of the Ugling Duckling in my responses, searching for who I really am for a long time until I finally find my people and my home among the swans again.
But once I get there… I do my best to paddle my way to peace while gliding in grace.
The Eighth Way to Peace-mas: Milk the Moments for All They’re Worth
OK, setting aside the feminist in me who wants to ask why it is only “maids a-milking” and not men, and again with apologies to the Vegans in the group, I sort of love this analogy of bringing forth abundance with our own hands.
Milking isn’t an easy job, as I discovered when visiting friends on a farm as a kid. But the reward of it once you get down in there and just do it… you end up with things like cream, butter, cheeses, ice-cream… all sorts of yummy deliciousness is derived from milk. And it’s one of the reasons it remains a very popular product to this day (and why it is one of the first items to be emulated by those choosing to go to plant-based products).
The term “milking it” refers to getting all you can out of a situation. And for me, during those time when I’ve begun to really feel depressed, down, distracted, uneasy, anxious and all those other pronouns for simply being not wholly myself as I’d like to be – one of the biggest ways I can bring myself back into a place of peace is by allowing myself to fully engage in something fun, good, and joyful and then just… milk that puppy. Or cow. Or coconut. Or whatever analogy you want to use.
That is, I will actively choose to focus upon the moment I am in, and look specifically for the things within it that feel good. And when I am in a really special moment, when I’m doing something that is particularly fun, or with people that I love deeply, or in a place that is exciting – I’ve come to learn to remind myself to stop, to pause, just for a second, and “take a picture” in my mind. To fully appreciate what is happening to me, with me, or for me right then and just soak it in. To just… milk the moment, drain it into my system, so that it fills me, even if I feel foolish doing it. Who cares?
Drink in the times when you are watching a sunset with the one you love, or visiting your favorite friend, or traveling to your dream destination. Drink in the moments when you are sitting by the fire with a cup of coffee in one hand, a good book in the other and a cat on your lap. Drink in the moments when you are watching your favorite band play your favorite song while the crowd goes wild around you. Drink in the moments when you are snuggling up warm in your bed after a long day, knowing you accomplished what you needed to do, knowing you are safe, knowing you are truly at peace right then.
Because those are those Golden Moments I will later use to go back into the movie of my mind at a time when I need to Take Two Minutes and Three Deep Breaths while I Sit Under a Tree to calm myself and find peace.
So milk those moments when you are in them, and discover the resulting yumminess that will fill your life later because of it.
The Ninth Way to Peace-mas: Dance Like Nobody’s Watching
There is something called “ecstatic dance” which I’ve participated in while in Portland. Though this may not be for everyone, one of the things I found about it was how liberating it was, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally.
I felt it calling out emotions in me I didn’t even realize were stuck there. And afterward, after a full hour of my body moving however it needed to move and my mind slowly relaxing and releasing all thought and my emotions slowly easing and flowing through me… I found myself so completely at peace I could have fallen asleep right there on the floor of the room.
It took me awhile to dance like no one was watching in a room filled with other people doing the same. But once I closed my eyes and tuned out the others around me, I was able to tune in to myself and allow myself to simply be. To simply… Be.
Dancing is a form of moving meditation. Whether you do ecstatic dance, dance at a club, or just dance to your favorite tune in your den, moving your body through the format of dance (or other exercise) is a great way to release stress and pent-up emotions. Because you are focused on the physical, it frees your mind from focusing on thoughts that may be on an endless loop, it releases endorphins that make you feel better, and it relaxes your body.
In short, it leads to peace.
Dancing in particular, and dancing simply for the sake of dancing (rather than formally as a professional would do) is especially good for this, as you have no agenda with it. There’s no “goal” to get to, no reps to count or laps to swim or miles to jog. It’s just allowing yourself to be present in the moment of your body and go with it.
What’s interesting about ecstatic dance is that it can help you free up old emotions. You may find yourself moving a certain way and suddenly tears spring up out of nowhere. But if you let yourself keep moving, if you go with it, then you’ll move through that emotion and into a sense of peace about it (or at least I did).
It’s a way of helping yourself get into a place of peace when just sitting and getting quiet won’t do it. Sometimes that’s what you need, rather than meditation or the traditional ways we think of getting into a place of peace. Sometimes the physical is what is needed to lead the way into the mental and emotional state you desire.
So dance, baby, dance. If nothing else, you’ll feel better afterward.
The Tenth Way to Peace-mas: Take the Leap of Faith
I have no idea whether those Lords are leaping toward something or away, if they’re leaping up onto something or down from it, if they’re leaping over something or around something or upon something… all it says is they’re in the process of taking a leap. And so often that’s what we need to do as well – take that leap of faith.
Because a leap of faith can land you directly into a place of peace.
Not that where you leap to will necessarily be peaceful. But the act of allowing yourself to leap and trust that the net will appear in itself can lead to a sense of deep peace. Because you are finally doing something for yourself. You are believing in yourself.
So many times I feel stuck. I’ll be in the throes of indecision, or I’ll have something I really want to get done but can’t seem to finish it (rather like this article). When I’m there, it’s basically impossible for me to feel at peace, because I can’t move. I get frustrated by my own ineptitude.
But as soon as I move in a direction, and especially if that direction is one which takes a leap of faith, I will have a sense of peace fill me. If for no other reason that at last a decision has been made.
And more often than not, I also gain a sense of joy and even excitement along with it. The peace leads me to that, it opens up my ability to let the joy and excitement flow into me by clearing the pathways where once there had been feelings of stagnation.
So if you’re in that “state of stuck-ness,” take a leap of faith into the good, and find your peace as you do.
The Eleventh Way to Peace-mas: Music Makes You Happy
I’m a bit biased about this one, but I am also married to a musician who happens to be a horn player. So the eleven pipers piping, well, now you’re singing my song. Literally.
Because music, as we know, “hath charms to sooth a savage breast.” And yes, the original quote says “breast” not “beast” which is significant to note. For it’s talking about feeling savage within, having that swirling anger inside, or that wild-eyed fear and anxiety that brings out the basest emotions in you. When you’re in that place of reacting from animal instinct rather than acting from rational thought.
It’s during those times when the world just gets you to the place of feeling so overwhelmed that you cannot find your peace no matter what you try, that you should try a little music in the night.
There’s been so many studies and scientific research done on this that it’s a well-known fact at this point: music really does calm people down. Hearing a song you love is known to have not just psychoactive benefits but physical ones.
The right music can and will reduce blood pressure, lower heart rates, and decrease the chemicals being released in your body that cause the fight or flight instinct while raising the chemicals that create a sense of calm, joy and even euphoria so they flood into your system.
And listening for an extended period of time to music that makes you happy ultimately calms your system and brings you into a place of, you got it, peace. No other drugs needed.
So whether pipe organ music is your thing, or pipes in a good horn section, or just pipes on a great singer, bring those pipers in and play them loud. While you’re at it, get into that ecstatic dance routine and really let the peace flood your body, mind and spirit until you collapse onto your couch with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.
Let the music play you into a place of peace and happiness.
The Twelfth Way to Peace-mas: Beat Your Own Drum
So here we are at last, the final “way” as it were. Drummers’ drumming. And how appropriate this one is for all of us.
Because the reality is, the only true way to peace begins within. It starts with listening to yourself, with hearing your own rhythm, and then finding your own drum and beating that rhythm out for all to hear.
I am most at peace with myself and the world around me when I am in a place where I feel most wholly and fully myself. Where I am confident in who I am, what I am, and what I am doing. Where I am content with all that I am inside and out. Where I am grateful for all I am and all I have in my life.
I am most at peace when I am most… myself.
Matshona Dhliwayo said; “Dance to the beat of your own drum; whether the world likes your rhythmic movements or not.” This is a phrase we’ve all heard, but think about what it really means for you.
Do you feel you are beating a pattern into your life that fully supports who you are? Or is your rhythm one that was given to you or forced upon you? Do you feel out of sync, out of syncopation with yourself and your life? Or are you in the flow of the tune that sings in your heart and thrums in your veins?
Again, I know that when I am in that place where I am most confidently me, that is also when I am most at peace. And I am most confidently me when I am listening to the patterns within the center of my being, and I’m enjoying just pounding them out to the world.
So I suppose all of this guidance as to how to find peace boils down to: it begins within.
So I suppose all of this guidance as to how to find peace boils down to: it begins within.
Which is why, I guess, the song this is all based on always takes us back to that first Day of Christmas – our first Way to Peace-mas: the Partridge in the Pear Tree. Ultimately just sitting under that tree and listening to the birds sing as you tune into the beat of your own heart is one of the most perfect ways to peace there is.
And when we gift ourselves these moments to find peace, we become our own true loves as we truly love ourselves. My true love gave to me… twelve pathways to peace.
In this way we also gift those around us with peace – for just as one who is wounded will wound others, one who is healed will help others to heal. As we gain peace within we bring peace to all that is without, and around us.
Perhaps a new tradition can be born in which we begin the New Year and do something specifically to bring Peace to ourselves every day for twelve days. It can be these things if you’d like to use them as suggestions, sure, and I’d be honored if you’d do that. But regardless, imagine just taking the time to find a way to peace each day.
Imagine it flowing out from you to everyone you come into contact with that day. Imagine it then flowing from them to those they see. Imagine it flowing out, out, out into the world, a trickle that becomes a flood that becomes an ocean of peace.
Imagine, as John Lennon said, all the people living life in peace…
We said he was a dreamer, but he definitely was not the only one. Imagine if we all share that dream of peace together, and do something for even just twelve days at the beginning of the year to make that happen. Perhaps the world could truly live as one after all.
Or at least we can live better, more peaceful lives for ourselves.
May you receive gifts of peace this year, and may it resound outward until the entire planet is ringing with these words once more;
“Peace on earth, good will towards all.”
Happy Holidays, my friends, and Happy New Year. And as I like to sign off with all my emails and letters to everyone:
By JEANETTE DUBOIS
Jeanette is a film & tv editor, writer, director and producer who’s worked on Emmy & Telly Award winning shows, movies, and music videos for a variety of networks. She’s also a trained operatic who mostly sings to her cats now, though sometimes she expands her audience to her family & friends. She loves gardening, good books, good wine, and good conversations, preferably all at the same time.
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