Peace of Mind is Here and Now

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There’s a desire that I have the most. It’s the desire for peace of mind.

Do you want it too?

Guess what? It is always available.

Peace of mind is here and now.

In my public speaking class, students often fritter and shake their legs with questions and concerns about the speeches they will give the next week. I ask them, “Are you giving the speech right now?”

They look at me blink blink blink. Of course not. Their speeches are happening next week.

“So why are you stressed right now? What’s going on right now?”

We stop and stare at each other.

Stop.

Stare.

What is here? What is now?

steinmann-60007_960_720We take inventory together: You’re sitting in an orange chair. Your legs are resting on the seat. You are breathing. You have a body. It carried you through the door. Look at the mountains through the window. Name five other things about the room.

What is here? What is happening right now?

Sometimes, I walk my dog Blue and tears come to my eyes. I catch a wave of sadness. I try to surf it. I notice it’s there. I wonder why I’m sad.

Sure enough, I’ve time traveled. I’m in my head making up terrible stories. I’ve made a mistake. Someone is unkind to me in the future. Someone didn’t love me in the past.

I am not here. I am not now. I coax myself back:

Where are you, boo? You are not happy there. It’s ok. Come back.

What is here? What is happening right now?

My Australian Shepherd is smiling, a tangle of blue merle fur. There’s a white and black cat hiding in the neighbor’s yard that she has not seen. A group of big blushy pink peonies. The sssssssshhhhh sound of a quaking aspen tree. A pair of yellow chairs. A trill from a laughing little girl speeding down the sidewalk on a metal scooter.

I am ok here.

I am ok now.

In the gorgeously ordinary details surrounding me, there it is: Peace of mind.

Beautiful, monkey-minded, human reader: Would you like peace of mind? Take a moment: You are ok here. You are ok now. Take a deep breath and some loving notice. List the gorgeously ordinary little details of your life.

Hey boo, guess what? The past is over. The future is unknown. If you time travel and feel great, please enjoy the journey. If you time travel and feel terrible, please come back. Keep coming back. You might have to come back dozens or hundreds of times a day.

Peace of mind is always available.

Peace of mind is here and now.

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