Be Well Be Happy

It is the season of peace and joy and celebration. Thankfully, we have all of that around us. The new year - 2022 - is almost here and it seems as if we are in another state of uncertainty, one that is a little harder to the reality, a little more tolerant, much like someone who hardens to uncivility because of repeated exposure. We are growing accustomed to things we would have never thought we would/could do. With it, comes fear, anger, despair and hopelessness, for some, with greater intensity.

“The meditator breathes in and says, ‘Hello, my fear, my anger, my despair. I will take good care of you.’ The moment you recognize the feeling and smile to it with love and care, embracing the fear with mindfulness, it will begin to change. That is the miracle of mindfulness.  It’s like morning sunlight shining on a lotus flower. The bud has not opened yet, but as the sunlight pours down, the photons penetrate into the bud, and after one or two hours of being penetrated by the light, the flower opens itself.” - Thich Nhat Hanh in “Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet”

So, like the sun to the beautiful lotus flower, we can warm our unsettling emotions with our own love and come to a state of peace. The word mindfulness referenced above in this context is another word for awareness. My practice is to “drop into” my heart and become aware of my current state, acknowledging whatever is unpleasant, whatever is strongly rattling, whatever is shaking my equilibrium. It is not the story of why the emotions are present, it is just the emotions. When we turn our focus to them with tenderness and love, they begin to dissipate. It takes time, being fully present over and over again. Long, full deep breathing really helps this process. 

On the long exhalations, we feel our bodies dropping to center - where the heart is.  Lingering there, after a while, there is a softening. For me, I feel a welling up of happiness, feeling joy, compassion, gratitude, peace, abundance and love - one by one I embody my six heart friends. There is nothing anyone can do to get us to this place of peace.  It is up to us.  No matter what is going on, we can be peaceful at the core, at least when we sit with ourselves away from whatever chaos is out there. Once you feel it, you will go back to the process - I’m sure of it - because it is a true sense of peace.

As we prepare to ring in 2022, I wish for each of you to discover this oasis of serenity inside of you and visit it frequently so that before long it becomes you.  Being love, being joy, being gratitude, being compassion, being abundance, being peace - no stories just being.

May you be happy. May you be free. May you be compassionate. May you be grateful. May you let go of things that do not serve you. May you have inner peace. 

 By Paulette Mancuso

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