Upbeat Spiritual Living: What is Personal Peace? Part 2
© 2012 Kebba Buckley Button. World Rights Reserved.
In Part 1 of this article, many words for “personal peace” were offered. But how does this peace come to us?
Intense personal peace may come in transport moments, as when you are looking at a newborn baby, or driving past a hidden brook’s footbridge in a wooded area. Riding in a car that comes into a sudden, beautiful view of a mountain scape, you may find your “breath taken away”. More peace may come when hiking a beautiful trail, watching the sun set over the ocean, or taking in the sunrise over the Grand Canyon. Some like to read a novel that transports them to another place or time, or both. Avid readers say reading the right book can completely restore an anxious mood to one of well-being. Many have experienced an immediate mood shift when looking at a humorous or heartwarming picture or cartoon. So many enjoy this effect that the Internet ripples daily with a vast array of light-hearted and inspirational series of photos, cartoons, and witticisms with illustrations.
Occasionally, we see a person who is clearly in a state of transcendent personal peace, and we somehow get a transfer effect, feeling more peaceful ourselves. This happened to me years ago, on a stressful day of travel. On returning from an engineering conference, I was dashing through the Pittsburgh airport, feeling tense, tired, and overworked, when I was absolutely riveted by a person going by. She was a nun, wearing a traditional habit. She was walking peacefully through the terminal, wearing an etheric expression of utter happy calm. Her slight smile reminded me of the ageless magnetism of Michelangelo’s Mona Lisa. I stopped completely. I had to stare as she passed. Her unreasonable peace and calm, in a noisy and busy environment, translated profoundly into my body, mind, and soul. I was changed by her. Now, years later, every time I think of that nun, my mind and body re-set, and I feel tension and stress leave me. I go directly to peace within.
Some place-related experiences can give us a profound shift into peace within. Perhaps 10 years ago, I was in a small town in Colorado for Christmas. Framed by a stunning view of the Rockies, many towering, majestic pine trees surrounded our historic hotel. Late Christmas Eve, fresh snow began to fall. Having much on my mind, I bundled up to go walk among the dancing flakes. Stepping out into the moonlight, I could feel the tension start to leave my muscles. I prayed for clarity and peace, and for any guidance I might need for the season and the upcoming year. I had not been out in the night air for more than ten minutes before my cares and worries of the last year began to seem completely insignificant. Soon, I couldn’t even think what my issues had been. Now walking in an inch of new snow, I looked up through the white-laden tree branches and deeply inhaled the sweet winter air. I felt surrounded by and filled with the Peace That Passes All Understanding. I felt the Divine Presence. I experienced a deeper level of peace within than I had felt in many years. I walked on. When I finally stepped back into the hotel, I realized I had been transformed. Years later, still, just recalling that walk vividly brings back the experience and the utter serenity.
–Stay tuned for “What is Personal Peace?” Part 3
–Kebba Buckley Button is the author of the 2012 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core.
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