How to Get a Piece of Peace in Your Life

Monday, October 31, 2005

Monday Quotes for Halloween

Halloween, which was "All Hallows Eve" was designed to revere those who have died.

In honor of this day, we shall have some quotes on grief and loss:

"Grief, like the ocean, comes in waves, only to recede and come yet again--but with healing. Memories wash ashore and are bathed by the golden sun. Grab hold of those memories and let them fill the emptiness." --Author Unknown

"She was no longer wrestling with the grief, but could sit down with it as a lasting companion and make it a sharer in her thoughts." -- George Eliot

"One often calms one's grief by recounting it." -- Pierre Corneille

"The human heart dares not stay away too long from that which hurt it most. There is a return journey to anguish that few of us are released from making." -- Lillian Smith

"When the heart grieves over what is has lost, the spirit rejoices over what it has left." -- Sufi Epigram

Friday, October 28, 2005

Your Mantra

man·tra: n.
1. (Hinduism). A sacred verbal formula repeated in prayer, meditation, or incantation, such as an invocation of a god, a magic spell, or a syllable or portion of scripture containing mystical potentialities.

2. A commonly repeated word or phrase.
(obtained from

Many times we find ourselves in a place of frustration, anger, anxiety, depression, or despair. Sometimes it feels never-ending, or like a downward spiral. What helps us in these moments?

We can have our own mantras when we want to refocus, regroup, readjust, or reorganize.

Each of us will have something unique that we tell ourselves. We each know what works the best. Even if it doesn't work instantaneously, the more we tell ourselves beneficial words, the more we exercise the ability to cope. Over time, it can have a very powerful effect.

If we feed ourselves negative messages, this takes us further into that downward spiral. It's one thing to feel and get through our negative emotions, which can be cathartic and healing; it's another thing to kick ourselves when we're down.

Do you have a mantra that helps you in your life?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Monday Quotes from Saints

"Let me not be tied down to property or praise and I shall be free. Free from the nagging ache of envy. Free from the hurts of resentment. Free to love all and forgive all. Free to do and say what is right, regardless of the unpopularity. Free to wander everywhere as inspiration guides me." -- Saint Francis of Assisi

"May today there be peace within. May you trust your highest power that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into our bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of you." -- Saint Therese of Lisieux

"Not the power to remember, but its very opposite, the power to forget, is a necessary condition for our existence. " -- Saint Basil

"Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation." -- Saint Augustine

Friday, October 21, 2005

Remaining Open

It's easy for us to resist new thoughts, unknown customs, or different ideas. Our brains actually send an alert to us when something is foreign to our neural patterns. It is part of our survival instincts to keep us aware of our surroundings. The longer we are alive, the longer our neural patterns are connecting and strengthening, making it more and more difficult to be naturally adventurous and curious the way we were as infants.

When we realize that there is no imminent danger to new concepts, we can let go of that alert and remain open in our minds. This does not require that we adopt, condone, or support what we are encountering. All we need to do is take the new information in.

Let new things come to you with no initial resistance. Opinions will always form, regardless. Take some time to hear, watch, or feel what is happening, without fear or judgment. You might be surprised what you learn, and what you try out.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


a·ware : adj. Having knowledge or cognizance.

(obtained from

Awareness has two functions for each of us: to learn and to educate. We each have the privilege and the responsibility to learn and educate as we go through life and encounter new people and new ideas. What is important is to understand the nature of these actions.

To learn: this is our opportunity to gain something. Whether or not we agree, whether or not we adhere to the exact information, we do gain something by exposure to different perspectives, beliefs, customs, values, etc.

To educate: this is our opportunity to share something. Whether or not someone else agrees or adheres to what we offer, we have at least given our views and have exposed someone else to something other than what they have.

This is as much control over awareness as we have. While there are more active strategies such as persuasion and coercion, awareness is the strategy that we can employ while respecting personal boundaries and granting equality among differences. We may or may not agree with this strategy, yet it may actually be the most effective in the long run. How well does it work to force someone else to see your point of view?
Our roles in awareness keep us from taking on too much while allowing us to contribute to social consciousness.

Having awareness is the first step to any possibility of change. Yet awareness can only happen when the door is open. It may come slowly.

Continue to share, even if the door seems closed. And leave it at that. It's what you can do.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Monday Quotes on Awareness

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." -- Anais Nin

"When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal. When you meet someone not as good as you are, look within and examine your own self." -- Confucius

"Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves." -- Eleanor Chaffee

"Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness." -- James Thurber

Saturday, October 15, 2005


We are each very, very, very, very unique.

When we realize this, we can take a moment to respect each other's differences, learn about each other's perspectives, look inside ourselves for introspection, and identify what makes us react to others and why.

Notice how many reactions, opinions, or judgment we have toward other people's choices of fashion, cars, music, hairstyles, intimate partners, careers. This doesn't even include bigger views such as politics and religion.

We react with inner criticisms:

"Why can't he/she just do it this way?"
"What in the world were those people thinking?"
"That person doesn't have any taste at all."
"I wouldn't be caught dead wearing that outfit/driving that car/dating that person."

Assuming that we are discussing legal behavior and choices, let's ask ourselves these questions:

Can we tolerate and respect people's choices and differences?
Can we tolerate that our loved ones choose not to take our advice?
Can we tolerate that people raise their children, conduct their daily business, prioritize, socialize, vote, and live differently than we do?
Can we tolerate that people have very different beliefs, values, morals, and ethics than we do?
Can we distinguish who we cannot be around, choose to distance ourselves, but still allow people to be who they are?

Can we live and let live?

Try to observe people today with no judgment, simply observing. Allow neutral comments to cross your mind. Even try to find one positive thing about every person you see, which might be something you imagine about what they are like on the inside.

Perhaps you'll find some appreciation for what you normally question. Perhaps you'll have a feeling of acceptance...simply allowing us all to exist in the same space.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Similarities and Differences

We each can have a long list of similarities and differences to those around us. We tend to quickly be drawn to the similarities, as they are easy to make connections and links. We react to the differences with either indifference, intrigue, and wonder, or fear, disgust, and hate.

Similarities feel safe because they are known. Sometimes the similarities are too close to personal issues and we could be turned off immediately, yet they are still known. Differences put us into the world of the unknown, and therefore many other emotions come up, many of which have a base of fear.

Identify differences that you can be completely open to, without fear. Explore a difference that you do have a fear about, by either inviting conversation, investigating through literature, or simply observing with an open mind. Knowledge takes away the fear and helps us improve our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. We tend to make the best decisions with accurate information, and the worst decisions by filling in the blanks with our own emotions.

Find all the similarities within all the differences and you will find more connections with many people.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Monday Quote on Peace

"I make peace when I learn about people around the world. No matter where they live, they are just like you and me."

~ Joshua K., age 6, Titusville, Florida

This is the first step in having understanding, tolerance, and compassion for all those among us.

The quote comes from a
collection at Radiant Peace.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

What Do You Need?

We can quickly get mixed up in the many messages of what works the best, what is guaranteed solution, what has worked for others. Even with good intentions, these messages can be a tricky labyrinth taking us further and further from our goals.

Quiet it all down. Take a moment. Find out what you need. For you.

We are each so unique. We all need different things at different times and at different levels and paces. We don't all fit into the same formula.

Hone the skill of listening to yourself. It isn't always easy. Ironically, we sometimes do need others to help us listen to ourselves. It's most beneficial to find sources we can trust. Sometimes it's hard to have someone hold up the mirror. Sometimes we need to be sure the mirror is real and not skewed. Sometimes we need many mirrors and then slowly we get the full picture and can figure out what is real, what is majority, what works for us, and what doesn't.

Find what is best for you. Sift through the sea of information and input. Keep what benefits you the most and feels the healthiest. It can take time, and it can be constantly evolving and shifting.

And you are worth it.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Greater Than You

Part of our emotional journey involves a time in our lives when we discover that there is something beyond each of us.

This can be a sense of God, Universe, Path, Energy, Light, Wisdom, World, Otherworld, Oneness, Unity, Community. You can almost insert anything and the common theme is that it would hold the role of, "other than you, yet a part of you, and of which you are a part."

This element can give us these things:

- a sense of belonging and connection
- a sense of mattering to the bigger picture
- an underlying purpose
- a guide for our actions
- a reason for what eludes us
- a way to cope with suffering
- a way to give the power to something else when we need to
- a will to go on

It is essential that we feel as though we are connected to something greater than ourselves as individuals in order to feel grounded in our reality and in our lives.

When you find that you can't make sense of it all, or you're feeling particularly weak and broken down, envision that you are connected.

Know that you belong here and are extremely necessary to something greater...just as you are.

Be Your Own Coach

It's amazing what power these four words have: "You can do it."

And also, the power that these four words have: "You can't do it."

In your own mind, do you have an inner coach, or an inner critic?

When a team is losing, the coach is still there to the very end, persuading the players to perform their best.

If you can be your own coach, you might be surprised by how much more you actually can do or can make it through.

You don't even need to believe what you're telling yourself. Your brain will automatically store it as the truth. And it will also become a habit that you slowly begin to believe.

What do you have to gain by self-criticizing?

What do you have to lose by self-coaching?

What will you do differently today?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Finding Something in Your Day

Perhaps you're having a day where nothing is going right. Long lines, bad traffic, bad schedule, mishaps, problems, stress, all piles on top of each other and it isn't getting better.

The next time you are in the midst of this kind of day, take one moment to find something, anything, that could be positive or beneficial:

- something around you that you find aesthetically pleasing
- someone who is with you who makes you feel not as alone
- some humor in the situation
- someone in your life who makes life worth living
- something that you are grateful for
- something that you can learn from this experience
- some scenario to compare your day to and put things in perspective

This gives every moment some meaning, and a way to make it a little better in your mind. It breaks up the chain of bad things that seems to keep getting longer.

It's amazing what one thought can do to change your outlook.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Getting Tagged?

Respecting a tag by Jude and still trying to stick to my usual format...

The fifth line of my 23rd post was this:

"Whether or not you hold these beliefs, you may want to adhere to your own gifts of wisdom for these reasons: 1. Others will be more likely to believe you and follow your advice."

If you're interested in the rest of the post, see
Follow Your Advice.

And I always believe that my own advice sneaks up on me in the most interesting ways. I'll be watching for it now. How about you?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Monday Quote on Peace

"If I have been of service, if I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, if I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, if I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day." -- Alex Noble

This is an excellent way to approach the day's goals.

Personal Entry

One more anonymous entry has been posted on Speaking Your Peace. Please take a moment to read and respond if you wish.