“Peace is an action, requiring little action. Peace is a feeling, requiring little emotion. But you cannot have Peace, the feeling, without Peace the action. Although little energy is required to achieve either, It seems the hardest thing for Man to DO.” Circle of Inspiration By Anna Pereira

This quotation can be taken in the collective worldwide sense, but it can also be taken in the personal sense. One of the hardest things for me in “life beyond breast cancer” was finding an inner peace, that place inside where I could rest and find comfort from fear and anxiety. It can be as difficult to achieve personally, as it is for the world to achieve. I keep reading the quote over and over and trying to break it down into understandable terms that speak to me personally. Action is defined as “the doing of something,” or “a thing done.” So Peace is the doing of something, but it does not require a lot of doing. Peace is a feeling, but requires little emotion. The definition of emotion being “any specific feeling such as love, hate, anger, fear, etc.” But all those feelings require energy. Peace within is almost the absence of feeling, a state of being where feelings that require energy don’t compete (at that moment). A Blessed sense of calmness and serenity. What Peace does require is “just being.” And “just being” requires living in the moment. So, what one must do is take the action to consciously live in the moment. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow will come soon enough. What you have is today, this moment, to rest inside yourself, find your inner Peace. How do you do that? How do you rest from hypervigilance, anger, fear for the future, among all the other symptoms of trauma and anxiety? For me, it is prayer, conscious breathing and meditation, and often it is hard to decipher the difference between the two. Isn’t prayer a form of meditation as you attempt to connect with God and isn’t meditation a form of prayer as you attempt to connect with the Divine within you. The more moments of inner Peace, the more Peace you actually begin to live with day by day. This sense of Peace can also help you through some of the more anxiety provoking days where perhaps you have a mammogram or a scan. I’m not saying that you will blissfully “walk” into that day full of serenity, but you can make the days leading up to the testing calmer. You can improve the quality of your sleep, help with your grief, reduce your anger…all improving your health by reducing stress that wreaks havoc on the body and the mind. How to begin: find a quiet time and a quiet space. It doesn’t need to be any longer than ten to twenty minutes a day. Aromatherapy and soothing music are a nice addition, but not necessary. Conscious breathing just requires slow and deep inhalations and exhalations until you feel yourself “slowing down” inside. Then you can begin your meditation with normal breaths, but perhaps a bit slower and more conscious than normal if you tend to find yourself “holding” your breath or breathing fast as a reaction to your anxiety. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to just “breathe.” A response to chronic anxiety is often fast, short, shallow breathing or realizing that you are actually holding your breath many times during the day. Conscious slow breathing also helps you to be in a “space” where you can review your body for holding stress. Often you’ll find your jaw clenched, your shoulders and neck tight, and your hands clenched. As you breathe, consciously relax any area of your body where you are holding onto your stress. You can begin with a short Metta meditation (I’ve posted this meditation before because I’ve found it so helpful). It is short, easy to remember after a few days of practice, and “says” it all: “May I be safe from inner and outer harm, May I be healthy and strong, May I be happy and peaceful of heart, May I be filled with a sense of ease and well-being.” Repeating these words silently to yourself while breathing slowly for ten minutes a day can be successful in helping you to find Peace.

I will leave you with a quote by Deepak Chopra: “We must find the place within where nothing is impossible”