Reminders of Peace BY DONNA DAY © 2022
This Peace Nurturing Practice is reminders.
This practice was inspired by Barbara, one of the members of this group, who wrote: “While I understand things like being mindful, being grateful, and being present and peaceful, it's difficult to keep all of that as first priority when life gets crazy, and The Daily Grind feels endless.”
Her statement prompted me to think about the methods I've used over the years to remember that I wanted to be peaceful, and then, to actually be peaceful. As a single parent, working, going to night school, I could hardly remember where I was supposed to be and what I was to be doing, let alone to be peaceful. So here are some things I did then, plus some I’ve added over time. It is my deep desire they are of use to you, dear Reader and Friend in Peace.
- This first one speaks directly to Barb’s concern: my good intentions did not help me remember I wanted to be peaceful in the busyness of each day, so I literally wrote PEACE on the back of my hand with a marker or pen. Yes, it sounds a bit odd, but I was desperate. Did it bring me home to peace 24/7? Not at all. Did it help me remember I wanted to be peaceful? Yes! It worked so well that when the ink washed off, I would rewrite the reminder on my hand.
- The second part of helping me maintain an awareness of peace flowed from the first. When I noticed myself looking at the word PEACE on my hand, I would honor my success with an inner, “Good for you!” Congratulating myself for each little step along the way felt good and helped me to persist in my quest for serenity.
- Another reminder I’ve used is to write the word PEACE on little notecards and post them around the house. It's simple and amazingly effective. Seeing the note offered me many an "ah ha!" moment of remembering my goal of peace. Just looking at a notecard saying, Peace or Serenity or Calm, brought me back to my intention, to the place of peace.
- Whenever I had a couple of minutes before picking up my son or daughter, getting to a class, work or a meeting, I would stop, close my eyes and breathe slowly in and out, in and out, in and out. Such short little “peace interludes,” are invaluable in refocusing ourselves. This is a practice I continue to this day. If I arrive a bit early for an appointment, or simply feel “off,” I take a couple of minutes in a serenity interlude to refill my inner peace reservoir.
- This final reminder of peace is one my friend, Ruth Fishel, and I agreed to do a few years ago. We do this simple and powerful practice daily at 10:00 am. When we hear the alarm on our phone, we stop, put our hands on our hearts and send peace and loving kindness to ourselves in a Pause for Peace. Next, we send peace and loving kindness to all beings everywhere. Sometimes there may be specific people we wish to include in this blessing. These Pauses for Peace have worked so well for me, I now also do the same practice at 4:00 pm daily. Many others also join us to Pause for Peace wherever they are. If you aren’t already, we hope you will too. It doesn’t need to be 10 am or 4 pm, it can be whenever it works for you. What matters most is that you do this practice daily. Don’t be surprised if other people ask what you are doing and once you explain it, they join you. Peace and loving kindness are contagious!
Reflection: I’m grateful I was so desperate for peace that I wrote PEACE on my knuckles. Part of the success in this practice was my strong desire, but as Barbara said our good intentions can fade in the crush of our days. Simple, somewhat silly as it was, it worked. It was delightful looking back at the practices I’ve used and the ones I continue to this day. As I’m writing this, it’s 9:45 am so you know what I’ll be doing in 15 minutes!
Your turn: Which of the practices are you using? How is it or are they working for you? Did you already have a practice you are using? If so, please share it with me. As always, I will honor your request as to whether only your first name is used or no name at all.
Invite your family and friends to join you in a daily Pause for Peace. If you have little ones at home, such a pause could be part of your daily routine, perhaps as a morning and/or a bedtime ritual.
Thank you for being a vital part of Peace on Earth.
“It isn’t enough to talk about peace.
One must believe in it.
And it isn’t enough to believe in it.
One must work at it.”
- Eleanor Roosevelt