“Peace is acknowledging what is and finding harmony, not separate from it, but amongst it.”
a wellness guide
By Travis Kā’eo
“Peace – it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work, it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
There has been no shortage of trouble in our world lately. To be blunt, people are dying, families are headed towards financial turmoil and companies – some staples of communities – are closing their doors. In every sense of the word, we are in unprecedented times.
So where is there peace in the midst of all this?
Peace is ultimately a mindset – a soft, cozy mindset. And the truth is, we are the only ones who can control what we hold in our minds. Times like these come with a lot of noise. Everyday there are new articles and reports that unconsciously become the framework for our mind’s viewpoint. There is no escaping the news because it is tattooed across every once busy street in the world right now – the harrowing mark of a desolate road in broad daylight. If peace were pretending like this reality were a dream it would be ignorance.
Peace is acknowledging what is and finding harmony, not separate from it, but amongst it.
This is where yoga philosophy comes in. (Note: if this is not your cup of tea, skip to the “Ways to Find Peace” section). In order to find harmony amongst the chaos, we most first delve into the reality of the situation – take death for an example. Death has a partner; her name is life and they waltz their way through eternity. All too often we think of death as an awful thing and life as a beautiful one, but we can no sooner separate these two than we could separate gold from a golden necklace – the moment we remove the gold, the necklace is gone as well. We all no death is inevitable, but we hesitate to truly commit to the idea that it is essential.
Everything in this universe vibrates in wave like patterns. Light, matter, sound – it’s all buzzing. If you took away the trough of a wave, you would remove the crest as well and it would be a flat line. At the same time, if you tried to remove the crest of the wave, the trough would flatten out as well. There is not one without the other and the greater the crest, the deeper the trough.
It seems right now we are in a great trough and we are desperately trying to make sense of it.
Take a breath. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Try it again, and again, and again until you notice the waves in your breath pattern. If there was a mark made by your diaphragm across the graph of time, as your breath it would form a wave – there is a crest on your exhale and a through on your inhale. If you cut out the through, if you do not inhale, you would expire and die – moving into the trough of life and death because even then a through somewhere must be found. So, take a moment to notice all the little crests and troughs in your breath – see them as life and death itself and understand how they dance with one another.
And yet, still we are saddened by all this – we know death is essential, but we feel great loss. And that is okay. If I could offer you one thing it is to be sad if you’re sad, be happy if you’re happy, be confused if you’re confused, and above all just be. In thinking life is linear we all too often cut ourselves off from feeling as if taking roll at the start of a journey and selecting the certain feelings that can come along and which ones must stay behind.
But life is not a journey.
And that is why we are saddened. You see the graphs – these statistically made up images to show growth. And an upward trend is what we have come to know as “good”. It’s what we want to see in our stock market, what we want to see in our career path, what we want to see in our personal finances – and unfortunately, what we do see in the trend of this virus. In thinking that an upward trend is the goal of life we are saddened by the troughs. We have positioned ourselves from a young age to climb a ladder to success that never was intended to be climbed.
Because life is a dance.
Life is moving with the world around you to the silence of the universe. Life is taking steps, forward and back and then forward again knowing one day you must go back. We do not get sad when we dance this way – we simply dance. And that is all there is. There is just this dance.
It seems to me that most of our sorrow comes from thinking this dance isn’t for us. That it should go some other way – but with the universe as our dance partner I ask you: what other way could it possibly go?
It is true that we are not the lead in this dance, and the lead (universe, God, divine mother or whatever is your highest vibration) has taken a step forward. The choice is then ours – do we hold our foot planted in the past, or do we step back to create room for the dance of the present?
Step back. Step back and find peace.
Ways to Find Peace
1. Listen to Music
Listening to calming music can activate your parasympathetic nervous system – the rest and relax part of your nervous system. Here is a playlist to calm your mind:
2. Deep Breathing
Similar to listening to calming music, deep breathing can activate your parasympathetic nervous system. To do this with great efficiency, make your exhales a little longer than your inhales. Perhaps start with a 5 second inhale and a 7 second exhale and stay with that breath for about two to three minutes. This practice is great any time you feel anxiety because it quickly takes you back towards clarity. Our mind can get bogged down with thoughts, however, through intentional breath, we give our mind the ability to become clear again.
3. Sit in Meditation
Meditating is a great way to still your mind. In many ways, it works hand in hand with deep breathing.
Meditation is space.
It is as simple as that. It is space away from thoughts and expectations. It is space between past and future and it is the ability to be still in that space. To sit with what is as it is. This is how peace can be found in the midst of chaos – because so often we rush to fix, avoid or avert when our calling is to sit with it and experience it. Meditation begets enlightenment for that very reason.
4. Connect to Nature
Lastly, is the way to refresh your mind. Once calm, clear and still, your mind is ready to refresh and see things as they are. This is when you are called out to nature to be with the world. We spend so much time inside our own heads that it becomes near impossible to be in harmony with everything when we are behind the wall of our own mind. Go out into nature – see the grass tickle the earth and leaves breathe in the air. Breathe, sit and be.
You’ll come to realize things are as they should be. This is peace.
I wish you peace.
Travis grew up in the small village of Kailua on the island of ‘Oahu, Hawai’i where, in his early years, he discovered the benefits of an active lifestyle. Travis loved to play sports, be in the ocean, and hike. For many years Travis carried on with his active lifestyle until, during his time as a collegiate athlete, he was injured. For the first time he was forced to slow down.
Soon after, Travis found yoga and from that first class he knew it was something he was going to do for the rest of his life. Now you can find Travis at a coffee shop reading up on yoga philosophy to share with his students. He loves when students internalize their practice and hopes to offer just that to all members of The Source Yoga + Wellness.