April’s theme is peace. It’s the antidote to conflict and suffering. Ultimately, we all want peace. We want to be loved and we want to be happy. Where there’s active opposition to peace, we find war and adversity. Although the reasons may stem from complex issues, these negative conditions have their roots in fear and attachment.
Here we are, Spring 2022. While the pandemic has been managed to some degree, we have war on the other side of the globe as well as internal strife here at home. With all that’s unfolding before our eyes, it’s tempting to give up and lay blame elsewhere. Humanity and the planet are in crisis. Moreover, many of us may be at a loss as to how we can remedy this great discord. The spiritual traditions of all lineages give us a way to heal: peace comes from within.
“The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace.” — Carlos Santana
This month’s word comes from the Latin pax, which means tranquility or absence of war. “Peace be with you” is an integral part of Christian liturgy. In Hebrew it’s Shalom, which comes from a root verb meaning complete, perfect and full. Similarly, in Arabic peace is salaam. “As-salaamu alaikum” means “Peace be upon you.”
Other examples are Shanti, the Sanskrit word for peace, a mantra used by yoga practitioners and Buddhists world-wide. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti is often chanted at the end of a yoga practice or meditation as an invocation for inner peace. Furthermore, it’s universal and an age-old theme. It’s wishing the best for others, that they may be “complete, perfect and full.”
“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”
— Saint Francis de Sales
Here are reasons why peace is worth practicing. You will:
- Feel better and function more efficiently.
- Have more energy and mental acuity.
- Have less stress and drama in your life.
- Develop a more compassionate nature.
- Become more resistant to negativity.
- Learn how to manage emotional discord.
- Improve your judgment and decision-making.
- Sleep better!
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” — Lao Tzu
Here are ways to cultivate peace with regularity:
- Develop a meditation practice.
- Connect with nature often.
- Start a gratitude journal.
- Acknowledge and own your mistakes.
- Forgive yourself and others.
- Let go of the past.
- Love and accept yourself.
- Declutter your environment.
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” — Dalai Lama
Finally, we’re all in this together. We’re inextricably connected. “Being peace” liberates us from attachments that are negative and unproductive. What we think, say and do affects everything and everybody. It’s a matter of mindfulness and intention. We can “right our course” toward a world that brings freedom and equality for all. Above all, being peacefully present to each moment is true liberation!
April’s Scent of the Month: Lavender Oil. Distilled from the plant Lavandula angustifolia, this essential oil is one of the most popular and versatile oils used in aromatherapy. It’s especially known to promote relaxation and treat anxiety, fungal infections, allergies, depression, insomnia, eczema, nausea, and menstrual cramps. Additionally, it’s purported to have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It’s also known to be antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifying, hypotensive, and have sedative effects.
Lavender oil has a strong floral scent and is used both topically and as a mist. It’s often used as an ingredient in gourmet recipes. For more information and how to use and to order, I recommend Doterra and Young Living products.
Suggested Reading: Being Peace and Touching Peace: Practicing the Art of Mindful Living — both by Thich Nhat Hanh
Images: Courtesy of pexels.com/freephoto stock source.