True Peace: Reflections from Bali

Mt. Agung from Sanur Beach

Although I am 100% in vacation mode right now, I wanted to take a few moments to check-in and say hello :-)

Here’s what’s been on my mind and in my heart this week:

  • I've been noticing how dreadfully judgmental I still am. Despite all my years of practice with mindfulness, nonviolence and oodles of personal therapy, the moment that I am out of my comfort zone, my mind has an amazing and quite horrifying capacity to generate sharp, incisive, cutting judgments about just about anything.

Lying awake in the middle of the night the other night, watching my mind flit and jump from memory to imagination to judgment and back again, I noticed myself thinking impatiently, "What the hell is wrong with me?"

The moment I caught it, I had to laugh at myself - yup, out loud, in the dark. Aware of how I'd spiraled down into unhelpful mental habits, I switched gears and changed the question: "What am I needing right now?"

Once I figured out what I was needing, nurturing and effective options for moving towards getting those needs met began to present themselves. I often still need to interrupt the "what is wrong with..." habit, and replace it with the "what is needed..." inquiry. It's simply a much more productive question - more soothing, more hopeful and a whole lot more helpful to consider.

Try it.

  • If you haven't yet read the book "Maybe You Should Talk To Someone" by Lori Gottlieb - I highly recommend it. I finished it in a couple of days and found it both highly entertaining and also really informative about what "therapy" entails and is like from the inside out. Not all therapists practice in the same way, but I felt a ton of resonance with her approach, style and philosophy and appreciated how she portrayed therapeutic relationships and the complexities of personal growth.

  • On the long plane ride to Bali, I had the pleasure of watching "The Biggest Little Farm" and absolutely loved it. Totally captivating for me. l fell in love with the farm, the animals, the ecosystem, the approach. In a parallel universe, I am sure that I am living on a farm like this.

  • I took my daughter snorkeling a few days ago to Menjangan Island and was absolutely dismayed and heartbroken to see the bleached coral reefs and the degradation of life in our oceans. It looked nothing like the vibrant, colorful reefs that I had enjoyed so many years ago. Feeling quite a bit of heartbreak over the state of our natural world and trying to stay focused on what is good and hopeful in the world. Somedays this is easier than others.

  • Finally, I’ve been reflecting on these three kinds of peace:

"The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Taka (the Great Spirit), and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.

This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this.

The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations.

But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until it is known that true peace is within the souls of men."

– Black Elk, Oglala Sioux

That's my check-in for this week!

If you'd like to continue the conversation leave a comment below - I do read all the comments you leave and would love to hear from you!