Be Well Be Happy

My “mantra” during my New Year’s day walking meditation on the beach: “om shanti, om shanti, om shanti, om shanti hum” (‘om’ peace, ‘om’ peace, ‘om’ I am peace). I begin this new year - 2022 - with hope for peace and awakening. Peace on every level: self, between and among people in our community, regions, countries, world.

My hope is that peace, joy, love, compassion, gratitude, abundance replace all of the opposites (and I am not going to name them, not going to give them any power or place in my life or in this column!). The way to peace begins with the self and ripples and flows from there.  Finding the softness, kindness in our own hearts and projecting that outwards, causes that ripple effect. The way to do that (and if you read these columns you can probably answer that!) is to take a moment to sit in a comfortable place, breathe deeply and fully, and settle in to yourself. Once there, ask yourself to unwrap the “opposites” (that I refer to above) from your heart.         

Recently I was reminded of the absolute kindness abounding after Sandy. During that event, I was enjoying my yoga teacher training in Baja, Mexico. When I returned home shortly after, I experienced people in our community in a different way. There were lending hands everywhere you turned. There were no “opposites,” only compassion and peace. My guess is that if there were to be a similar event, all of the discord present now would simply lift away.  People come together. When something very extreme happens, the goodness surfaces. That just tells me it is how we have spun our lives that covers up that core goodness and all of the offerings - love, kindness, generosity - that spring forth from that.  

I watched Shane’s (Enchantress Shane) video on New Year’s Eve, and someone wrote in the comments: “Happy New Ear” as in listening to things with a new ear. (Thank you, Shane, for sharing that.) So, one on one, maybe listening with an open heart, not ready to push back, waiting to respond, holding off on the reaction until the moment passes. It might lose steam. It might lose some of its power. 

We have to ask ourselves how important are the things that divide. How important are the things that exclude harmony and peace? In the whole scheme of things, that is, our lifespan, I venture to commit that they are not important at all. I ask myself what is important, and I come up with my six heart friends: peace, joy, love, compassion, gratitude, abundance. 

“Let's trade in all our judging for appreciating. Let’s lay down our righteousness and just be together. If you would truly bring peace to the world, identify with that place within you where you are Peace.” - Ram Dass

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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