Zen is a form of Buddhism, describing a peaceful and calm energy. It also speaks to not worrying about the things you cannot change. Zen refers to a 6th century Chinese practice of mediation, insights and discipline. Zen is also our license plate for the Tiny Boho Chateau on wheels that has been home for the past year. It speaks to my journey, to my goals, beliefs and all the recent changes in my life. Day after day I make it a goal to stay in a zen state of mind and just like life would have it, some days come natural and others might be a bit challenging. It’s just the way it is and life happens to us all. All we can control is how we react to those challenges. Here are a few zen things to do to help keep the balance and stay in a calm, relaxed space.
1. Do one thing at a time
2. Do it slowly and deliberately
3. Do it completely
4. Do less
5. Put space between things
6. Develop rituals
7. Designate time for certain things
8. Devote time to sitting
9. Smile and serve others
10. Make cleaning and cooking become meditation
11. Think about what is necessary
12. Live simply
What do you think about this list? Some points might be challenging and may take getting used to, but aren’t all things worthwhile? Maybe you can start by picking one or two, let them become a habit, see how you feel and then layer on. It should be fun…they said 🙂
A last minute task came through on Wednesday afternoon to add to my already crazy schedule. My doctor had referred me to a specialist for rheumatology and I was on the waiting list. The initial call came last week, late, business day late in the afternoon for a appointment the very next morning at 7AM. I couldn’t commit and had an uneasy feeling afterwards that soon would be confirmed. I felt like I had gotten off on the wrong foot. On Monday I had my follow up appointment with my general care physician and she advised me to call the specialist to get something into the books for June when I return from Germany. I called the specialist back and the same receptionist hissed at me, informing me that there are no appointments until December. Wow… Needless to say, I got in a few days later, due to a cancellation and at a minutes notice had to change my own plans around just to make this appointment. I felt I would be doomed forever if I told her that I couldn’t make this one either. Well, I went and I am glad I did.
I dislike taking pharmaceuticals, the hard drugs that have pages worth of written side effects. Yet, I knew I needed something, and the word “temporary” has become my saving grace and what I cling to. It’s not forever, but temporary I hear my own dialogue telling myself, reminding me and trying to put me at ease with this decision. On the other hand there comes a certain peace of mind being armed with some heavy arsenal. To have a back up, something to fall back onto when I need to. I hope they can bring some relief and carry me through the weeks ahead. They need to perform nothing short of a miracle as I still limp my way through most days and struggle. While I have started to take the RA meds to help with the inflammation, the steroids are on the back burner and reserved for the flight. I still have fluid in my left knee, but it is what it is and with just a little over a week left until my flight, whatever comes my way will be dealt with as I go. For right now I take comfort and shed the worries. I have some back up, even if it is in the form of the red or the blue pill.
We need peace, not war. We need love, not hate. We need equality, not discrimination. We need understanding, not judgement. We need patience, not frustration. We need a lending hand, not a stab in the back. We need to step up, not ignore, while there is still time. We need humanity…
Today we are celebrating the 2nd of Advent. Our first candle, the Prophet’s Candle was lit last week, with the candle standing for hope. Hope, something we all need, hope something we need to believe in and keep alive. Today’s second candle is called the Bethlehem Candle and represent Peace. Also something we all need and Peace is a central theme of the advent season.
Peace is one of those words that people use a lot and depending on what religion and philosophy they follow, peace can vary and be highly different from person to person. Peace is not always associated with our state of the union, with the world or with war. Peace is much greater and it is what we encounter or lack on a daily basis. While world peace is the ultimate goal, peace can also be described as the physically well being of people. We can find ourselves during world peace and still be at war, not feeling peaceful inside.
Peace can come from keeping hope alive, from trusting in all that is and in all that is yet to come. Peace is not just an act, but also a feeling, a state of being. It’s a feeling of harmony, of alignment, of kindness and mindfulness. It’s a feeling of compassion and looking after each other. It’s a feeling of understanding, of patience and of banishing judgement. Peace is universal. It’s a language we all understand and are capable of bestowing through our actions. Christmas is known as a season that is more giving and more forgiving. More random acts of kindness can be found during this time than versus other times. It’s a time when we allow the heart to be involved just a little bit more, and by doing so we might even experience a moment of bliss and satisfaction. Have you noticed how good it feels to give? Have you ever been so excited to gift something that you could hardly wait for the person to unwrap it, so you could see the joy on their face and likewise feel their excitement?
And while we can’t buy gifts to feel these moments all year around, I think there are plenty of other ways we all can contribute to all little more peace for the world, for our neighbors, for friends and family and for ourselves. Challenge accepted while wishing you a week full of peace and hope.
Times continue to be hectic in my corner of the world and peace is a fleeting feeling right now. I do my best to balance things, but mostly it’s impossible. I can’t listen to my body when it begs me to rest because time is ticking away and I am frankly running out of time and energy, fighting the pain of exhaustion.
I do love essential oils and came across a diffuser blend for a feeling of peace. Let’s give it a try.
2 drops Lavender
2 drops Wild Orange
1 drop Geranium
1 drop Clary Sage
Mix essential oils in diffuser, inhale, relax and feel the peace.