Different traditions offer different pathways to healing and wellness in our lives: yoga can strengthen us; mindfulness can center us; meditation can enlighten us; and philosophy can soothe us.
But whatever path we choose, or whichever teacher we listen to, the end goal is the same – a sense of lasting harmony and peace within our lives.
Here are a few thoughts inspired by different teachers, times, and traditions, in order to help illuminate the potential for peace within every waking moment.
1. Balance – Harmony lies in the balance between our actions and our thoughts, our physical well-being and mental wellness, our inner world and our outer existence. More than a philosophy, balance is a way of being. Find time each day to maintain that balance – whether through yoga, meditation, art, or another positive outlet.
Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. – Thomas Merton, Theologian
2. Breathe – It is often said that peace is but a breath away – if only we could remember that advice when we are feeling stressed! Fortunately, mindfulness practice can help us approach that sense of peace by paying attention to the normal rhythms of our lives, starting with the breath itself.
Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again. – Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist
3. Meditate – Meditation nurtures something deep inside of us – the sense of stillness we possess beneath all external cares and troubles. Even making time for a few minutes of concentrated meditation each evening can help us re-center and regain a feeling of lightness and ease in our existence.
Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul. – Marcus Aurelius, Philosopher
4. Relax – Daily relaxation is vital to health of mind, body, and spirit. If we cannot find time to shut down and unwind throughout the day, it could mean that we need to re-examine how we approach life – and see if there isn’t a bit more room for positive and fun personal time.
Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. – Chinese Proverb