Finding peace in your life….

We often imagine peace will come when things in our lives are calm and we have no problems.  If imagewe think that this is the only way we can achieve inner peace, it often feels unattainable because of the reality of our lives: work, relationships, children, financial concerns, illness, anxiety, worries, demands, obligations, and so on.  Is it possible to find inner peace even when life is full of turmoil? Can we learn to cultivate inner peace?

Yes, we can.  Mindfulness teachings do just that.  With practice, we begin to see life from a different perspective.  We begin to see that it is our interpretations of our experiences that lead us to loose our peace.  How we perceive what happens in our lives is what can make us feel lost.

We spend too much time fighting our reality, or in the past dwelling on things that we did or didn’t do, or in the future worrying about something that has not happened, imaging the worst.  If we are ill, we feel that our bodies have become our enemies.  So much of this is literally in our mind!

Mindfulness is a discipline that helps us gain mastery over our minds.  With mindfulness practice we learn how to become observers of the thoughts and stories that our minds generate.  In being able to observe our thoughts, we become able to discern which of our thoughts are useful and which are destructive and torturous.  Furthermore, we learn that thoughts are just thoughts; they do not have any power unless we give it to them.  So, we can begin to say “oh, that’s just a thought, I don’t have to believe it or get hooked by it.”

Tip: Every time you notice yourself stressed and anxious or upset, pay attention to your thoughts, observe them as if you were watching a movie.  Say, “oh there is that thought again…” or “oh, there is that awful thing I am telling myself.”  “I don’t have to identify with my thoughts.”  And then attend to what is in front of you, here in the present (for a mindfulness strategy that helps with this, click here.  Imagine being like a tree; just there, stable, grounded, accepting of what comes (weather, storms, heat, etc.), you grow leaves in the summer, lose them in the fall, welcome snow in the winter, and grow flowers in the spring.  We can cultivate our ability to be steady, grounded, and accepting of what comes with peace and acceptance.

To learn how to cultivate mindfulness and the well being that comes with it: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program, for more information, click here  or to register click here registration

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to sail

imageLife is like the ocean, sometimes it is calm, and sometimes it is stormy and intense.  When life gets stormy, we often feel overwhelmed and react.  When we react we often are coming at it from an automatic pilot rather than from a place of choice.

Given that life has its ups, and downs, no matter what, just like the ocean, we can equip ourselves with the tools we need to navigate it.  Like a skilled sailor navigates a boat during an intense storm.  So what are the tools?


Being in the present moment can assist us to see what is happening and to have an awareness of what is going on and what our impulses are before we act.

One way to cultivate this presence is with mindfulness practice.  When you find yourself in a stormy moment, close your eyes, and take 3 deep breaths.  Then feel your feet and the sensations of the feet touching the ground.  Spend a minute attending to these sensations.

Taking a moment to come to the present may open up the space for you to reach into your deep wisdom so that you can choose an action rather than react and cause yourself further sorrow.