It’s the small things that truly give us peace. Tiny decisions, each one alone with limited impact. Incremental, microscopic rainbow-light prism-moments we gift ourselves. Little gems of peace, love, joy or rest.
Listening to my son chatter loudly and bang things around in his room during “rest time,” I slowly and mindfully eat a single square of dark chocolate. Teeny tiny bites, letting each one melt on my tongue before swallowing and eating another. Eyes closed, focusing only on taste and scent and mouthfeel, LittleA’s sounds and my own annoyance wash over and through me. A meditation in cacao.
Sitting down in my car about to head out for errands, I ignore my pressing sense of urgency and take the extra moment to hook up my phone to the car audio system and hit play. As I pull out of the driveway Michael Franti’s wise grooviness both transports and centers me. Taking that extra moment to add one small thing I love to my space, some delight to my duty.
LittleA is painting, and I am watching him because he insists upon my full attention. I start to feel bored and resentful and decide… to get my own paper and paint something too. Something messy and goofy and totally inept, just for fun. Peace in participating instead of grumpy watching.
In between two productive, fulfilling + intense client coaching sessions, writing a blog entry feels like the shouldiest of obligations. I check in with myself and decide to read other peoples’ blogs, instead. Connection and learning, feeding my creativity that I might in turn create again.
After my son is in bed and quiet-ish, before my husband comes home, I walk down to the basement and spend just five minutes painting with acrylics, then a few more cleaning my brushes. Slowly, in soft layers and deep textures, the painting emerges. In those short spontaneous bursts of creation.
My son is building endless towers of blocks at a coffeeshop, and I’m scanning my email, wishing I had my laptop so I could write a few longer responses. I put my phone away, and sip my coffee staring with a soft gaze into the middle distance, allowing myself to smile at nothing. Rushing is not required. Nothing in this moment is required.
Exercising against my inclination, limbs moving through water, because I know it’s what I need to do to heal my body. Flash of choice: continued resentment for the whole class? I give in and let the resentment come with all its might. I even do a flurry of a grudging resentment-dance in the water, thrashing my arms angrily. And turn my attention to the way the water feels against my skin, and gratitude for what I can do with my mighty mortal body.
My husband and I reading silently side by side, totally immersed in separate endeavors. One of us reaches across to the other– a hand on a knee, a head on a shoulder, resting for a moment. Connection across parallel play. Bridging the gap.
Frustrated with my book-writing progress, I shut down the computer. Head to my basement room, where I do art and dance and have an altar. Light a candle and brainstorm on index cards. Peace through engaging my muse on her own terms, instead of pushing… or giving up.
I am like you. I could tell the stories of decisions that go the other way, too, oh believe me… the ones where I chose stress and busy-ness and angst instead of allowing myself that moment of peace. The ones where I procrastinate and half-work/half-play instead of giving my all to something for those precious few moments. I waste time and energy. I choose the opposite of mindfulness. I screw up.
We all face those small moments of choosing, everyday. We all go both ways on them, myriads of choices both messy and sublime. We are human, and trusting in the okayness of that is, itself, peace. But I am not telling you those stories today. Today, in this moment, I am focusing on the times when I chose love and peace.
How do you choose peace?