This has been a challenging year, not only, but especially for those of us who experienced the loss of family, spouses, close friends, beloved pets or health issues. Yet, as we move towards the close of 2019, it can be a time of reflection and gratitude for the good memories, for those who offered support, and provide greater peace in our hearts for the days ahead.
Some years ago I read Neale Donald Walsch's book, When Everything Changes, Change Everything, with the sub-title, Even in the midst of turmoil, there is a pathway to peace. Could that pathway to peace be thinking new thoughts and walking down new streets? I have a 15 minute walk to my community centre for exercise classes, and often take a different route there and back, seeing something new each time. Might we adopt a new hobby? The December 2019 issue of Reader's Digest has an article entitled Peace by Piece, about the therapeutic value of putting together a jigsaw puzzle, which produces a Zen-like state, requiring both sides of our brains. My sister was masterful with puzzles. Me, not at all ... but, this week paused at a store and considered a purchase. Perhaps I'll suggest my 'Santa Nephew' put one under my tree ... but not with too many pieces, please!!!
In the Arabic language, the word 'problem' is translated as 'take another view', and is a huge asset in disguise if we reframe it as a potential gift, wrote Alan Cohen in his current Wisdom for Today newsletter. (firstname.lastname@example.org). I share below, from my 2011 archives, an inspirational message by an unknown author, that perfectly illustrates the value of taking another view about real peace, which may not initially appear peaceful:
"There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.
"One picture was a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for the peaceful, towering mountains that surrounded it. Overhead was blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.
"The other picture had mountains too, but these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.
"But when the King looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of the angry water sat the mother bird on her nest ... perfect peace!
"Which picture do you think won the prize? The King chose the second picture. 'Because', explained the King, 'peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.'"
Considering we are all artists, creating the canvas of our lives, what are any new or continuing ideas on your palette? Whatever you chose, when you look at it, smile with joy, for you created a very special YOU! Some of my 'new thought / new street' decisions in 2020 are to produce only bi-monthly Innisfree Moments (six per year, commencing January), and - after considerably more research - to commence podcasts with short stories by February 2020. Will I take music lessons and practice on the keyboard my sister gifted 20 years ago? It's an intention, and is on my palette!!!
I thank each of you who join me through this medium, for your warm and caring feedback and support. I especially acknowledge my technical genius and supportive Larry, who magically recreates and distributes these illustrated messages and audios to you (MountainWeb.ca).
May I wish you calm in your heart and real peace amidst whatever heights you scale, along with a smooth transition into 2020, with courage to think new thoughts and walk down new streets, knowing you do not walk alone.
As we welcome the return of the light, blessèd be to you ... Always, Namasté!
Rev. Dorothy Blandford, Ph.D
Apt. 202 - 1655 Martin Drive
Surrey, BC, V4A 6E1, Canada