In this world, it can be hard to know Peace.
Anxiety, worry, convergence of complex energies can crowd out peace.
We are so often called to cultivate peace, bring peace, find peace, but creative process asks us how we are inspired to BE Peace.
The path of peace holds the energies of harmony, connection, freedom and love.
The absence of these four elements often cause anxiety, conflict, disruption and isolation.
Each of us has the opportunity to create peace, impacting our own experiences, the lives of those we touch, and feeling the deeper influence of those lives that touch us…seeking peace is a powerful way to activate healing in a tumultuous world.
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
– Wendell Berry
This poem can inspire your creative…how will you find the wild, discover your deep nature within to be free, and where in your life can you be peace?
To Be Peace, is to acknowledge the center where equilibrium is held. Being peace is connected to the nature within – a space where balance is active and while many things can move in, out and around, they will not disrupt the center. Being peace is an act of trust in the capacity of the human spirit.
Create with these narrative prompts to tell a new story about being, you can use image, paint or poetry, please write or wander with these prompts:
I am called Peace…
I am the Center of…
I wake, and discover…
I go, and recover…
I come to discover…
I rest in the space of…
Creative expression, through artmaking, experiential process, dialogue and storytelling, will transform our experiences. Where there are disruptions, distinct and separate parts of self can be discovered and integrated into a new whole, bringing peace to what was broken or broken open, if we are willing to trust and be peace, even in the storm of the story.
When there is a storm of a story present, we are taken out of our center. It can happen in a flash, a moment of irritation can bring on a tsunami of flooded feelings that overwhelm, or a prolonged and difficult experience that lingers may deepen into unresolved drought. When there is a deep underlying feeling dis-ease, seek the source of the storm of a story…they like to hide and often cause havoc.
The call to seek and find peace within the creative is vital and dynamic, like launching a small boat on stormy seas it requires curiosity, courage, commitment and trust. When seeking peace, we must also be willing to hold and share the many ways we are undone, out of balance, fear-filled or harboring pain. When tumultuous experiences spin around and stir emotion, there is an opportunity to turn to art to seek deeper understanding and find peace.
When you have exposed the truth in your art, when you have poured out your pain and discovered a needed piece of your story, then you are free in that moment to BE PEACE.
The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love, and to be greater than our suffering.
– Ben Okri
If Peace is a Bridge over troubled waters, notice if you are seeking peace, making peace or being peace?
Peace comes from traveling the path, finding the truth, releasing the trigger, exposing the conflict, unraveling a worry and uncovering other sources of dis-ease. Not to banish or destroy, but to invite each of these experiences to become a bridge from there to here – so that it can be known, be seen… be peace.
A special place can bring peace. A place of peace offers solace and sanctuary from disruption. Like Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond, a sacred place will calm the tumult of “too much” and is often discovered in the outer wild, where nature restores balance and contemplative time can sooth the soul. Within our art we also discover places of peace, inner landscapes that provide us peace.
We are called to seek it, search for it, carve it out and cultivate it, like never before. When peace is not easily found in the world we yearn for it. The tenderness of life and the importance of peace for the human spirit is undeniable. Being able to slow down, to pause, to get quiet, to create space, to witness, to find center, to restore balance and to breathe deeply… these are all ways peace can be discovered and recovered.
Turning to creative expression through art as process, is a vital way to explore what peace means to you, what peace brings to you. Explore where creative ritual and new traditions that are important can restore and cultivate peace.
Experiential + Creative Process:
Be peace as you create the space where a new story will be held. At midwinter, just past the Solstice shift your energy from holidays to Holy-days.
Find ONE image that you love, that is divine, Holy and inspired for you…something that soothes the soul.
Feel the possibility that a new story might be held here.
Let the image linger and be felt in your heart, and write a few lines of the story, maybe using the prompts offered above?
Notice how your embodied heart-space feels.
Does the new story fly in and nest?
Where does it feel blocked, stuck or held back?
If there is a strong protective boundary or you feel a cage around your heart, notice that this layer of protection is true for you right now – and that it can change.
Offer grace and peace to the edge of the boundary that has been birthed with pain.
Place the edge of your “new story” just along the edge of your heart space
Close your eyes and seek the slight depression right there, with your fingertips and place the story in, as if you are planting a seed or setting a jewel.
Open your eyes and take in the original image, what do you see and sense held within this now?
Wrap yourself in warmth so that the jewel can warm and flicker in the light, so that the seed can find its way into the earth of the body, so that you can be present to transformation in this season of being!
You can also listen to this process, read by Cat Caracelo:
Be Peace with your new story!