As I might have mentioned, I bought a Zen wall calendar for my home office. Each month it gives me a word that is supposed to remind me to do things like breathe, slow down, relax and enjoy life. Yeah, that was my first reaction, too. I can't slow down or relax. I already breathe and enjoy my life. I liked the monthly photos, though, so I invested.
Turns out the monthly word has been more inspiring to me than even the pretty pictures -- maybe because January's word was Inspire. I kept looking at that one word and thought a lot about what inspires me, how I might inspire others, the various sources of inspiration and so forth. I reached out to a few of my personal friends and tried to inspire them. It was interesting, in a guided spiritual kinda way. February's word was Love, so I tried to be more loving in various ways toward my family and friends. I'm aware of how much love I am blessed with in my life, too, and tried new ways to show my gratitude for it.
When I saw that March's word is Serenity I felt as if I might not have to do anything differently. I do practice meditation every day, and at that moment my life was very calm and quiet. Seemed like I might be able to skip a month of Zen . . . until a personal issue suddenly cropped up. I'm not going to get into details, but as I'm sure you all know it's not calming or quieting to have a big, unexpected problem drop in your lap.
This is the first quilt I finished this year, and it's been my go-to project when I've been upset, sad, nervous or feeling any other negative emotion. Working on it helped me cope by providing me with tasks I find soothing and calming. I always sleep better if I work on a quilt before I go to bed, but this particular project gave me something to think about besides my problem. Also, if I was too upset to write (and yeah, that happens to me now and then when I'm arm-wrestling the universe) I could quilt a couple of seams and get my head back into my work without a lot of fuss. Quilting for me is Serenity.
My resources for finding Serenity aren't limited to sewing. Cooking does the same thing for me. So does doing some housework, painting, going for a long walk or writing in my personal journal. I've worked through countless worries and problems by hauling out the vacuum, trying a new recipe, painting a terrible watercolor, taking the pups out for a stroll or composing a journal entry. I know what works for me, so March wasn't telling me anything new. I think it was more of a reminder to me, to give me a nudge toward doing the things to help me deal with what's ahead. Fortunately I just found out the solution will be pretty easy, so the big unexpected problem has dwindled down to a very manageable thing.
So what are you doing to find Serenity in your life? Let us know in comments.
Image Credit: dtolokonov