This month we’ve been talking about taking time to be quiet. It’s not easy, especially on a day like today, known as “Black Friday” with the hundreds of emails and ads you’ve seen promoting great deals from just about every company vying for your attention and money. It’s also the beginning of the holiday season, a time of parties, celebrations, opening of gifts, laughter and some tears too. It’s not really a time of the year that we intentionally set aside for quiet reflection. But, the holiday season is about the search that closely relates to the search we do during our quiet times: it’s a season of seeking.
Throughout the season we’re looking for the best gifts, for brightly colored lights and decorations, for the best outfit to impress someone, for the mistletoe, for the snow, for Santa and for that feeling of peace and joy we’re told is part of the season. Part of the reason we are looking is because we’re not sure what exactly we want (or not willing to admit what we do want). Part of the reason is because we’re unable or unwilling to accept how things are or what could be in our lives. Part of the reason is we’re trying too hard to make things happen. Part of the reason is we’re not willing to do what it takes to find what we’re seeking. And there are dozens of other reasons that explain why you might feel unfulfilled or as thought you have to keep looking because you’re not finding what you’re looking for.
Part of the answer is in one of the reasons I listed: we’re not willing to do what it takes to find what we’re seeking. If you really want peace, maybe the answer is as simple as stopping the seeking long enough to sit down and meditate or not think at all. Maybe the answer is to ask for help and talk with a professional who can answer the questions you have and have been too afraid to ask. But what I’ve learned over the years is that there are many things that can’t be helped by external things. We may think what we really want is more money, when what we really want is more freedom for example. But freedom isn’t something money buys necessarily, it’s more of a state of mind/life you have to create. So this holiday season I encourage you to stop and slow down a little and see if what you’ve been looking for all along isn’t already inside you or part of your life.
“There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross