In my search for Zen, the goal has been to create a life that is peaceful and calm. Not the dramatic ups and downs that were my life for such a long time. I’m not a calm person by nature but I craved inner peace. Mediation has been a powerful tool that has helped get me closer to calmness, healing & Zen then ever before. I will happily spend as much time as I can learning about Zen and how to keep my heart open and spirit connected to the calm that comes with inner-peace.
We have a choice
Of course life isn’t always calm, that’s unrealistic. I recently took another Oprah & Deepak on-line meditation class through The Chopra Center called Shedding the Weight: Mind, Body & Spirit. One area they focused on is how we all have a story of our life; the good, bad and everything in-between. They point out that we have a choice in what we pull from our life story. If our story was filled with struggle, pain or oppression, can we re-frame it to be about resilience, strength and optimism? Easier said than done for sure, but not impossible.
I’ve talked before about how time is a great healer and while it’s true, I wouldn’t suggest that time be the only thing we count on. We want to be proactive and take steps to help our healing along. I don’t think anyone would choose to stay in pain if they could do something else to ease their suffering. The time it takes for heartbreak to heal could be a month, a year, or a lifetime. As someone famously said “God helps those who help themselves.” The more we help ourselves to heal, the closer we come to finding a calm, Zen filled life.
My childhood wasn’t always easy, but I never worried about having a roof over my head, food on the table or clothes on my back and I was never physically or emotionally abused. I have many wonderful childhood memories and some not so wonderful memories, like most of us. I was a child of multiple divorces and parent combinations and I learned to adapt. Every new situation and family combination, even if I wasn’t happy about it, I tried to find a way to get along. Probably the biggest trauma of my childhood was when I was 13-years-old and my beloved Grandma was murdered. She was only 52-years-old when she died and was the most loving, consistent and supportive person in my life.
As an escape I immersed myself in a world of books, writing and would dream about how I wanted my life to be. My favorite books were about Helen Keller, Anne Frank and Joan of Arc. All real-life women who were models on how to be brave, strong and resilient. I also loved fairy tales like my favorite, Sleeping Beauty. Stories about finding true love and being saved from danger and evil. When re-framing my childhood story I choose to change it from insecurity, unpredictability and confusion to independence, resiliency and curiosity.
My quest for calm and healing…
All the childhood upheaval and adult turmoil I experienced has made my quest for calm a lifelong goal. I can help myself by being a life-long learner as well as: yoga, meditation, reading, journaling/writing, taking classes, spending time in nature and whatever strikes my interest. And…by surrounding myself with true friends who are honest, positive, supportive & like to laugh. My husband, son and daughter-in-law (and grand-pups!) are my rocks and offer unconditional love.
Once we are healed we CAN open our hearts again to accept what the universe has in store for us. A friend’s Facebook post said: “When we can tell our story without crying, we are healed.” I’m not sure it’s that simple but not crying when recounting our experience is a milestone. I couldn’t talk about my childhood without crying until I was well into adulthood. Sometimes I still get chocked up talking about my Grandma. But I can now talk about how my marriage was almost destroyed by infidelity without tears. I can’t say I’m 100% healed yet but now I’m loving life and soaking up every beautiful moment!! Each day I feel a little more at peace, a little more calm and with a little more Zen in my soul.
One last thing…
There is a book that you must have if you don’t already: “The Book of Awakening. Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have” by Mark Nepo. You can check it out in the “Books & Things I Love” section of my blog. The book was a gift from a very good friend and I’ve had other friends recommend it. Oprah Winfrey describes it as “A year’s supply of inspiration every day and the perfect gift for yourself and your friends.” I enjoy the short chapters of inspiration, quotes, breathing exercises and other surprises for every day of the year. Like a calming little meditation…very nice.
Till next time…
Peace & Love ~