Each year, during summer break, I participate in a silent retreat located in the beautiful Queensland mountains. Over several days I sit quietly under a tree writing a journal, walk up a mountain, stroll along a stream, have a nap on the grass, and help with preparing meals. Most importantly, for a few hours each day, I do my best to quieten my noisy mind.
The process of settling the mind and 'just being', is amazingly re-energising and therapeutic. I often return home feeling 30 years younger. But then as I leap back into the thick of the business, my newfound peace and vitality gradually evaporate.
The last six months have been particularly stressful for many people, and I wouldn't be surprised if you are feeling a little up against it yourself. Whether it’s the frenetic pace, the domestic intensity of lockdowns, the constant pivoting, the financial pressures, or the uncertainty of what’s going to happen next – it can get to you.
I woke up super early this morning, my head buzzing with changes afoot in my business, and the many things I haven’t done. I couldn’t get back to sleep, and sat up wondering what to do.
When you have a lot on your mind, it can be useful to write it down. So I switched on the little lamp by my pillow and quietly fumbled through my bedside drawer to find my journal. As I opened it, I was surprised to see a loose piece of paper staring me in the face. It was actually a white napkin with a fold in the middle. On it was a poem I had jotted down late one evening on my last retreat, in a moment of quiet reflection.
It made me smile, and it made me feel a little better. I've decided to share it here. It's not Wordsworth, but you may enjoy it nonetheless.
I found a piece of peace
although in truth it came by me.
It came when I stopped trying,
and withdrew to let things be.
But then my piece of peace moved on,
it went and took its leave.
I know it will return again,
so I've decided not to grieve.
If by chance you feel that piece of peace
come by one day.
Please make it feel at home,
and it might just decide to stay.
Whatever pressures your mind is under, I wish you a piece of peace.
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