Hearts and Minds Open

I’m reminded this morning of the Apostles Creed …”may the peace which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds open”.

As a young mother sitting in church with my three children, I found those words comforting but I probably just recited them mindlessly.

When I embarked on a life change 5 years ago, I wrote in my journal that peace was my priority. I was exhausted from the myriad of ways that peace was disrupted and often over trivial matters. Preserving my energy for the big stuff that life was bound to throw at me became a priority.

I have learned through much work that peace resides inside of me … and when I calm my racing thoughts, when I anchor myself with my values…. I give myself peace even in the midst of unfolding chaos. It is from this space that I can choose how to show up — for myself and others.

This was the most critical and necessary work I have done in my life. The big surprise was that in getting to know myself better, in finding some peace and more quiet space, I came to have greater compassion and empathy for others.

There is a foggy haze that blinds us when life is always stirred up, swirling in negative energy, too much noise. It is nearly impossible to hear what another is telling us amidst all the commotion. It is equally hard to see —with our eyes, our creative brains, and our hearts — what is at the root of the problems with that foggy haze of chaos.

I am feeling the metaphors of our collective experiences calling to me today. The Arizona sky has been hazy and blurred by the heavy smoke of raging fires from far away. Phones and iPads stream and scream in all caps all day long — like a ticker tape in Times Square . So much negative energy emanates from the body language and reactive emotions of others on TV and in our streets that wire cutters are needed just to walk through it.

My heart is aching every day for each and every person on this planet who is facing whatever their own indIvidual life situation might be. The state of our union amplifies their struggles and diminishes their joy.

We need a rest break. We need silence, space… a little peace.

Keep your hearts and minds open.

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