Monday, September 23, 2013

Open Your Peace of Heart

Open Your Peace of Heart


It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.  It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.  (unknown)

Where is your heart at peace?

Meditation, nature, music, art?

            Our heart is at peace in certain states or places, such as meditation, nature or music because we are a part of that place where peace is found. It is who we are.  We are peace.  We cannot look for, find or encounter peace.  The peace we search for is who we are if we “open our peace of heart” that is ourselves.   

The most peaceful place to me is the woods.  Almost every morning this summer (now fall) I would sneak away before the girls were out of bed to engage in a stroll through the woods.  Seeing the early morning sunrise pop up above the trees, listening to the gentle melodies of the cardinal and occasionally encountering a bunny or even a doe would set the tone for the day; opening my “peace of heart.”

Recently we went on a family vacation Up North to Mackinac Island.  This is a special, even sacred place or space for our family.  We love it.  Since  our daughter from Guatemala has been home over five years I think we have been there at least five times.  To us, Mackinac Island is a place of peace.  From the clip clopping of the horse drawn carriages, to the sweet smells of the Lake, to the gentle breeze blowing and the array of flowers Mackinac Island is a place of peace. 

Although upon arriving, you might not think so.  The “main” street is busy with activity as the day tourists unload from the ferries, the delivery carts pile up their goods and the bicycle riders begin their journeys.  Yet this is only a small part of what the island actually encompasses.  Just around the corner on the next street over the pace is quieter.  Head towards the Grand Hotel and things begin to settle down even more.  Around 6PM as the day tourists leave Mackinac Island can transport you back in time to when life was simple, slow, quiet, and peaceful.  This is what opens my “peace of heart.”

During the early hours on Mackinac, prior to 10AM, the energy is serene.  This is the time we bike around the island after a slow stroll on the Pontiac Trail as the sun rises up.  Like the movie Somewhere in Time, our time on the island is magical, mystical.  It halts the chaos of our daily schedule and brings us back to ourselves, to Mother Earth, to Creator.  Here within the Oneness of Life peace again is in my heart.  

There is a deep concern in the world today with the heart.  The heart is not at peace.  Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the western world.  Over a decade ago my Dad transitioned after having a heart attack.  Heart disease which can lead to a stroke or heart attack is caused by a blockage of blood and oxygen to the heart.  Oxygen, which makes me think of breath or the Holy Spirit, is blocked from our heart.  Blood, the Life Force or Creator, which supplies all the nutrients needed, is shut off from our heart.   When this occurs we suffer greatly and even die a physical death.  By connecting back to the Holy Spirit through breath and ultimately to our Creator we can open our “peace of heart”.     

Breathing Exercise:

1.     Place your hand on your heart

2.     Take a deep breath in and release

3.     Take a second breath in and release

4.     Take a third breath in and release    

5.     I AM a Heart of Peace(repeat three times)

As many of you know, this year we lost two members of our family, Max, our 21 year old cat and Nick, our fourteen year old Persian.  It would have been very easy after their crossing to not invest another decade plus financially and emotionally into new pets.  In other words, I could have closed off my heart in order to not experience the pain of the “perceived loss”.  Yet, in closing off my heart I would miss out on the joys, the happiness, the love and the peace, animal family members can offer us.

My two girls, ages eight and ten were insistent in finding kittens soon after Nick’s crossing.  After a friend informed us of a litter nearby we waited patiently for the day we could bring them home.  After “selecting” them in the barn, we toted them home.  Soon after it was apparent, based on their behavior what their names would be, Licorice, who is black and likes to lick and Pearl, who is a tabby and loves to purr.  Love was in our home once again (although I am not sure about peace).  Our hearts were open to the possibilities of this new love.  Yet as we settled into our new routines and life with kittens a peace did settled into my heart.  I had opened my “peace of heart” to the kittens and they had returned that peace generously. 

Begin today to find and open your “peace of heart.”  For me it is the woods, Mackinac Island and our new kittens that open my Peace of Heart, what opens yours?  What brings your peace?  Is it the ocean, flowers, cooking, physical activity, mediation?  We each have a unique path and a unique path to peace.  Honor it and “open your peace of heart.”    

“If, within the depths of our hearts, we want peace, we must do the things that belong to peace.” –Hamid Bey

“So listen to what the heart tells you for by doing so you will find the heart gives you peace…”  –Hamid Bey

Love, “with a heart of peace”,

Susan J. McFarland


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