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Posts Tagged ‘chant circle’

Part of writing this blog series is for me to remind myself that I need to actively seek happiness.  This exploration will continue through my lifetime;  the goal is to continually create the spiritual space to thrive as I actively engage in life with a smile on my face.  It’s what I do.

Before I go into what I will call Commandment #5 or Seek Peaceful Connections, I want to explore how each of us see beauty.

Below are two photos, the first one taken by my friend Shai Gluskin under the beautiful clouds of Vermont’s wilderness.  The second photo was taken in one of the holiest places I have ever traveled, Jemez Springs, New Mexico.  The terrain of both locations is vastly different and yet both are spiritually holy places.  The question is which physical environment do you find peaceful? Which location is beautiful to you?

Blueberry Hill near Ripton, Vermont
Photo is a contribution from Shai Gluskin

Jemez Spring, New Mexico
Photo taken in January 2009 by Chava


Each of us define relationships to people, to land, to the world differently.  What do you see as healthy and what I see as healthy may be different.  In the fifth commandment, I am exploring what it means to have peaceful connections.  Looking at the two photos above, I am aware that my needs change based on what is going on in my life at any given time.   I am flexible in my needs, but my son Aryeh has yet to find beauty in the ‘fucking desert’ as he jokingly refers to the southwest.  I, however, love being here.

Seek Peaceful Connections

In our personal relationships, we all have people we adore, people we tolerate or just like, and people that challenge us.  I contend that in order to be happy, you really need to surround yourself with those folks that jazz your soul in different ways.

Knowing yourself will help in this journey.  Personally, I love spiritual environments; drumming and chanting, prayer and learning make me happy.  When I take time to write, my soul feels complete joy and thoroughly alive. I am passionate about the environment and Israeli politics.  And watch out once I start talking about voluntary simplicity.  For me, I need to spend time with people that love many of the things I do.

Over the years, I have learned to end connections that don’t fuel me in any way.  While it is sad and hard to do that, it is necessary for my emotional health.  I accept the fact that I do not have enough time in my week to experience what I need and want for myself.  Between my children and work, there is so much to do.  So when I have time, I want to thoroughly enjoy those that surround me or I want to know that what I am doing makes a difference.  Wasting time is not an option.

What is peaceful to you? What do you find comforting? Below is a short list of environments I find to be peaceful:

  • nature
  • quiet coffee houses
  • drum circles
  • walks in the rain
  • chant circles

And I love being with people that prefer the same environments.  I wouldn’t enjoy nightclubs or amusement parks.  I don’t like large gatherings and I wouldn’t like to be around a group of hunters.  So, it is important to have a grasp of what environments are soothing to you and then find others that share what you like.

The biggest challenge in creating peaceful connections is finding the time.  There are so many people that I instantly adore; sometimes I have the time it takes to nurture the connections and sometimes I don’t.  The key is being honest with myself about the time I have to connect.

Peace is the calm feeling that nourishes and inspires me to be the best me I can be.

“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.”

~Peace Pilgrim

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