Wisdom Workout

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Peace of Mind in Stressful Times

By Susan McNeal Velasquez
By Susan McNeal Velasquez


The tragedy of 9/11 sits in the background at the start of each September. The daily newscasts inform us of all the threats worldwide. Then there are the personal challenges we each face.

Bombardment of outside threats that we have no power to alleviate creates a context of anxiety that threatens to suck the juice out of our ability to stand strong and positive.

Some of us opt to stay uninformed as a way to hold on to some sense of safety and security. Others gather copious amounts of information as a way to stay alert, awake and aware of potential threats. Ultimately, neither strategy fixes the problems because overload is the reality in this information age we live in.

What can we do to reach a level of equilibrium that allows us to live our own lives fully engaged and also be connected with our families, our community, our state, our country and the world?

One of the most important attributes that we each need to cultivate is flexibility. Just as increasing our physical flexibility enhances our ability to move through the world, mental and emotional flexibility allows us to be more open and receptive if we learn the art of discernment; knowing when to grab on and when to let go.

The definition of successful is often portrayed as being special and being in charge and on top of everything. This unspoken mandate crowds our airwaves and can contaminate our capacity for compassion, understanding and connection with anything that takes away from that image. If we are devoid of any deeper motivation than seeking and getting attention, then our intellectual eye and therefore our creative energies are locked in frozen self-centeredness that becomes a form of idol worship.

When we create an idealized version of ourselves, we freeze our natural ebb and flow of creative energy into a stagnant container that holds no room for discovery, curiosity, passion, and vitality.

Rather than pursuing the path of striving to be the center of special external attention, perhaps it is time to set the intention to discover and uncover our ability to create a meaning-filled life.

When we are only willing to acknowledge the high tide aspects of ourselves or we obsess about our low tide experiences, we become trapped in daily ego dramas that are counter-productive and out of touch with reality.

When we turn our mind’s eye inward, insight can come to visit. Let us turn away from any external bombardments we are facing for a moment and listen. Listen for that still, small voice within that beckons us to follow a simpler, kinder, more compassionate path that unfolds gently, one step at a time.

When we allow ourselves more room to collaborate with, learn about and respect the ebb and flow of our natural rhythm, we will also expand our ability to open to increased tranquility and peace of mind.

Susan is the author of the book: Beyond Intellect: Journey into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind. Reach her at: susanvelasquez.com or [email protected]


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