In our context of news beamed across the world, and news being defined largely as situations that are disastrous, scary, heart wrenching and the like it can be hard to find calm. Many of us imagine ourselves in the positions of others and shudder. Sometimes we try mightily to play a helpful role but we are pessimistic our little bits help much against such a huge tide of pain in the world. Some of us will feel guilt that we live in relative peace and calm. Still, most of us struggle to truly appreciate that calm we are often anxious, ashamed, afraid, and the like.
When Jesus says, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27, NIV he was tapping into this vein in our hearts. He recognized that there would always be that in us which would require peace, a sort of peace that—no matter how beautiful our little garden might be—we find illusive.
I have found sitting and simply breathing, counting my breaths, noticing the chill of the air as it hits my nostrils and the warmth of it as it leaves my body, settling. It is a simple practice, maybe 4 to 10 breath cycles (in, pause, out, pause, in pause…) and I can start to feel my shoulders relax. On my best days this can lead to a time of thanksgiving, a time of noticing that in my life for which I am grateful. It can also lead to a bizarre sense of comfort where I feel confident that praying for intervention is useful, and thus I pray about all those ills that weigh the mind down.
My suggestion: check in with yourself a few times today, maybe even set a timer or two on your phone, notice how your body is feeling, is your jaw tight? Your shoulders? What’s your stomach feeling like? Is your mind calm or???
Then take those 4 to 10 deep breaths and notice how they impact you. If you are the journaling type you might even want to take a few notes about how this goes.
I would be interested to hear how it goes for you, if it serves you, what lessons you might learn in the process.