Black Belt in Inner Peace #30

Black Belt in Inner Peace contains short journal entries I have kept and continue to add to, as I go for a black belt in inner peace by endeavoring to move through each busy and sometimes stressful day with greater grace and ease. 

Number 30: Community

I just returned from a three-day gathering on Spain’s Mediterranean coast of 50 people from around the world who were invited there by a rather famous person to celebrate his birthday … but also because this wonderful person wanted his close friends to meet each other, since many hadn’t.  The first day was spent getting the basic facts on each other and working through the awkwardness of finding something more to talk about.  The second day we began letting our hair down and revealing more about ourselves.  The final day it was easy to be authentic and to care about one another and there were hugs everywhere as we left to catch planes home … and I thought: all it takes is three days away from the rat race and humans start becoming a community.

Black Belt in Inner Peace #29

Black Belt in Inner Peace contains short journal entries I have kept and continue to add to, as I go for a black belt in inner peace by endeavoring to move through each busy and sometimes stressful day with greater grace and ease. 

Number 29: The power to choose

My spiritual practice has come down to one very simple approach: choosing what I want to experience. Everyday some stressor, problem, blunder, bad news, or absurdity surfaces and if I’m unconscious it can take me down. Today the challenge was with a friend. But it is now my practice to be keenly aware of any self-doubting thoughts and emotions that raise their ugly head and to consciously choose happiness over whatever happens on the outside. When I make happiness more important, my fear of failure fades and what takes its place is the faith in myself that happiness restores. Then anything feels possible.  I have been practicing this long enough now that it is wired into my brain, making it easier for me to make this shift quickly.

Black Belt in Inner Peace #28

Black Belt in Inner Peace contains short journal entries I have kept and continue to add to, as I go for a black belt in inner peace by endeavoring to move through each busy and sometimes stressful day with greater grace and ease. 

Number 28: The better angels of my nature

This morning during meditation I could see two incompatible selves at work in me. There was my old self – the graduate of the school of hard knocks – moving incessantly, often pointlessly from one worry to the next, becoming more and more anxious until I was hopelessly lost in all its confusion. That’s where my meditation began today — in a bad neighborhood. But I managed to recover by standing back from the frenzy simply by observing it and as I did my mind began to untangle and calm down and the Self that deserves a capital ‘S’ began to emerge all by itself, and my mind became expansive and I was happy and felt alive and could see every reason to be optimistic in what I am. It was quite a shift.

Black Belt in Inner Peace #27

Black Belt in Inner Peace contains short journal entries I have kept and continue to add to, as I go for a black belt in inner peace by endeavoring to move through each busy and sometimes stressful day with greater grace and ease. 

Number 27: Certainty of purpose

I grew up in a home where it was ten-parts-shame to three-parts-love, which made a long hard climb of believing in myself. This morning while thumbing through a spiritual book, I came across an affirmation that captures (for me) what it takes to heal self-doubt. The affirmation goes: “All my doubts I lay aside, as I take my stand with certainty of purpose.” These words wowed me, and I carried them into the day to help with a problem that has troubled me lately, simply by detecting my worried thoughts, then sitting back and reciting this affirmation until I genuinely felt that certainty of purpose. It actually felt like standing up. When I returned to my problem I was like a mountain climber seeing the summit up ahead.

Black Belt in Inner Peace #26

Black Belt in Inner Peace contains short journal entries I have kept and continue to add to, as I go for a black belt in inner peace by endeavoring to move through each busy and sometimes stressful day with greater grace and ease. 

Number 26: Understanding

While crossing the Bay Bridge into San Francisco, my mind slipped out of its pointless chatter into the present moment and I became one with it, and the world and I came to life. Across the water, the city skyline was clear and shining and behind the skyline the old majestic fog was rolling in from the Pacific. The beauty of the moment took my breath away and suddenly my whole being opened with a child’s sense of wonder and somehow I recognized that this was the way I felt nearly all the time as a child, but I’d forgotten how to be that way. Afterwards, I recalled the passage in Matthews that says “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven,” and I finally  understood it.