I stripped myself of anything that didn’t feel like peace. My job as a magazine editor. My seven-year relationship. My old apartment. It all went.
I started working from home so I could wear yoga pants and hoodies. I got up every day to meditate and do my asana practice. I said ‘no’ to things that made me feel stressed.
That meant people I’d been friends with, activities I used to do, and food that made me hyped and anxious.
I began to do things that felt like relief.
One of them was signing up for yoga teacher training. That was seven years ago. (There’s something about the number seven here.) Asana is still one of my favorite ways to be at peace.
Along the way I’ve discovered that peace means more than less stress—it means power. And not in the domineering, making things happen and making people do what you want kind of way. In a ready to receive and respond no matter what kind of way. Peace is the most powerful place we can stand in, in any circumstance.
During my life coaching training, we were asked to try to bend a spoon. But first, we were told to get into our most stressed-out state by thinking of stressful things. I got into that state; the spoon wouldn’t budge. Then we were asked to get into a peaceful state and invite the spoon to melt. I got into that state; the spoon melted. A perfect curve.
This is the place we access every time we do our asana, our meditation, go for a hike or a run, or play with our dogs. We can listen to music, we can dance, we can sing. Whatever works for you. In a place of peace, we are powerful.
This is not about going with the flow, and simply accepting whatever comes our way. This is about releasing what distracts us from being able to respond from a powerful place.
We know that, like John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when we’re busy making other plans,” and that the only thing constant is change. Being in a place of peace means we’re able to live our life no matter what plot changes cause bumps in our road. It means we’re able to respond and maybe even embrace the constancy of change.
In peace, we are here: mindful of the moment, living the life we’ve been gifted with, and able to embrace what happens next.