Trying to live a more peaceful life

This western world we live in does not always lend itself to peaceful living. The responsibilities of job and family can seem endless. Add to that poor quality food, not enough sleep, impossible schedules and who could feel peaceful? Sadly, most of us seem to accept this as our routine; we know it and understand it.

Enter the ''the wake up call,'' those times when everything we knew and understood seems to be coming apart at the seams. A loved one dies, a marriage dissolves, we lose our job, a serious illness besets us and our body begins to betray us. Overly identified with our jobs, family, friends and body image, we believe that we are in danger of losing the very essence of who we are. All of what was, or seemed positive now looks negative and we rail against the changes.

If we could only see things in terms of balance rather than positive or negative. Our universe is made up of positives and negatives -- opposites but opposites that balance one another. The earth itself sits within a large magnetic field with positive and negative polls. Our cells use the same universal laws of positive and negative charges to transfer nutrients and waste products back and forth across a cell wall. One could not exist without them but always there's a balance, or there's illness and a lack of balance.

We judge one as good and one as bad. In the profession of massage you hear people talk about positive and negative energy. Life force, or energy is neither positive or negative, it is just energy. An accumulation of energy may gather in an area and cause a dis-ease and imbalance. Dis-ease is the body's way of asking that we pay attention and rebalance ourselves, or redistribute our life force energy to a pattern that is more conducive to health.

In terms of positives and negatives and health in the human body, we would be happier and healthier if we could understand that all of life is a flow energy. When we cling to what may appear to be a positive for too long a time, the stronger the negative pull will be. Of course there's nothing wrong with taking the positive view of things, it's the right thing to do. But, in the bigger picture of things what may appear to be a positive on the surface is not bringing balance for your life and there will have to be some adjustments.

When we find ourselves in the midst of a crisis in our lives, something that appears negative, we can at times feel like a tar baby -- stuck with no hope of every getting free. Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh writes ''People should not try to run away from their suffering. In fact, you have to hold the suffering and look deeply into it, because that is the only way to discover the true nature of your suffering. And when you have seen the true nature of your suffering you have a chance to see the way out.''

Other masters teach the best way to achieve a more peaceful life is not to cling, to accept, to make your effort the best it can possibly be and leave the outcome to a source higher than ourselves. This of course is also taught in 12-step programs such as AA. Unobstructed flow of energy is our most natural state, avoiding the high highs and the low lows.

We are charged to live each day to the fullest. It can be difficult finding that balance between living life to the fullest and allowing for downtime. The next time you want to resist that downtime, remember that rest brings regeneration and inspiration for the next challenge and the ability to allow life to just flow!

Till next time, Rebecca

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online June 6, 2001

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