Christmas celebrations are often full of sound. It would be good for us to make room for silence, to hear the voice of Love. …Pope Francis
As I move about in various places these last two weeks I hear a common thread of stress, overwhelm, busy-ness, and exhaustion. In the shops, in yoga class, among caregivers, in our congregation Christmas preparations seem to be overwhelming Christmas spirit … the spirit of peace and love.
I engage in a regular meditation practice … a practice I can do anywhere, anytime … which is exactly where and when I practice. When I notice overwhelm, anxiety, or a lack of mindfulness I pause for just a short moment … long enough for about 10 breaths … and I repeat this mantra with my breaths: “When I breathe in, I breathe in peace. When I breathe out, I breathe out love.” I might do this five to ten times a day. I can do it while I’m driving, standing in line at the check-out, or trying to fall asleep at night with thoughts of all the “to-do’s” racing through my head.
Pope Francis’ Tweet quoted above reminds us to pause, to take in the sound of silence during these noisy times. I think this should extend beyond Christmas (and I suspect he would agree) … ours is a noisy world full of sounds that disconnect us from ourselves and one another.
When I have calmed my spirit and separated myself from the noisy-ness and busy-ness of life, then I feel I can generate a sense of love and deep connection with those around me. Feeling a sense of connection is at the core of peace and love. When we are connected, we see the divine in the other, and there is no room for hate and fear.
Breathing in peace, I breathe in quietness. Breathing in peace, I breathe in silence. Breathing in peace, I breathe in connection.
Breathing out love, I breathe out gratitude. Breathing out love, I breathe out joy. Breathing out love, I breathe out hope.
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