What is personal growth anyway? Is it a process of losing immaturity and facing the facts of life? Is it a coming into peace? Is it the development of personal ideals into a vision of life? How can any of it begin to be possible without peace? Ever try to build a tent in a storm? Growth is like that tent-pitching adventure. We set up camp here and then there as we explore a terrain on a journey of wholeness, richness of living. How do we get there in turmoil?
The whole idea of feeling at peace with your self, with life, with others often – by its sheer contradiction to reality – lands on the mind with a comical mockery of all the chaos, internal agony and daily inundation of responsibility. Peace? Right! And the fairies leave me gold coins under the magnolia every evening! It can sound that ludicrous. Then we face the semantics of “finding” peace, even in a quiet home, sitting in “optimum” meditative pose (as if!). With all else clamoring within and around the next bend, it can feel like a gargantuan striving to be “at peace.” So many things in life scream out: “I am more real and more important!” The contrast of those screaming demands and issues pose the notion of peace as comical and the one contemplating it worthy of contempt or ridicule. The roof may cave in with the financial disaster. I might produce the same orphaning of my children though I’m technically more here than my parents were. There’s too much to do to even begin to imagine what it would be like to be a smooth-running overflowing river of peace in the middle of it all. Too much nips at the heels daily.
So, sit and rest into a sense of wholeness, peace? RIGHT! Besides, the attempt can, by its own efforts, destroy any suggestion of peace. So, it seems impossible. But it’s not.
There are layers to tend to first.
1) Focus on the body’s language
2) Acknowledge and work through (lifetime work) the injuries of the past that continue to visit today.
3) Establish a vision that will make possible the management of now’s needs and desires in conjunction with the repair work needful to relieve pain from past injuries. E.g. A person needs to feel capable of being present on certain levels with those s/he cherishes without the paralysis and inhibition created in fear of repeating history. There are ways to work through both needs. The importance of now and the critical drain of concern about the effects of the past on a life – these are both vital concerns. One does not negate the other. Your power is now. Sure. But that does not diminish how the past still needs a measure of your regard and attention. Development is essential in making the most of the power of your now. But…development is facilitated by recognition of what is NOT developed because of past influences. We can run. We can hide. But it profits us little in terms of depth change, the type of transformation that brings a person into a place of full presence, making the life a feast for self and for loved ones.
4) Recognize the path of peace is a process of increasing awareness, allowance, integration and release built on a foundation of self-acceptance and sobriety. All while making sure to grow and hold loosely to your dynamic vision of life as you, you as life.
5) Grow a sense of unity with all in an ever-increasing expansion of wholeness within, shedding perspectives of isolation and judgement.
Stay tuned… for a glimpse into the first layer mentioned above. Find a place today, a soothing place, sit with yourself and call every part of you that has been scattered back home. Visualization, as much as it cannot be proven, measured or otherwise grasped with anything tangible, is still a highly powerful tool of self-restoration, especially when feelings are allowed to have their full play without fear.
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