Breathing in I calm my mind

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”

― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

I often return to Ticht Nhat Hanh’s beautiful teachings on presence and peace in times of personal unease.

His words help me, to: calm myself, turn inward, tune in, and serve as a reminder to wake up. His simple teachings are a firm reminder to: be here, now. Recently, as part of my practice, I listened to an interview between him and Krista Tippett on: On Being

IMG_0227As an aside, I listen to On Being, a lot – which is why I have noted it before. One of my self care rituals is to rest supine in a restorative pose and listen to this brilliant show, where beings – from many disciplines – wax poetic about their beliefs, their thoughts, their motivations. Its fascinating really. Its definitely worth discovering. An additional aside, self care becomes MORE necessary during difficult times. What simple things are you doing today to take care of you?


Right now, I am finding the energy of the world very chaotic. Currently, there is a lot of strife, upset, and intensity in our country and abroad. There is a lot of fear.  We are living in a very tense and intense time both politically and socially. For me, the landscape is proving more and more difficult to navigate. As a librarian and historian I am finding it challenging to wrap my mind around the notion of “alternative facts” or that one religious group should be the focus of our collective fear. I keep wondering: “how are we here? how is this the landscape of our information?”  To be entirely honest, I feel turbulent a lot of the time right now and mystified by how very different perceptions in this country are. How vast the space between our stories. How separated we are from each other. So much fear. So much hate. So much divisiveness.

IMG_4845When I start to veer down the rabbit hole of despair, I remind myself that part of my practice is to find peace within myself – that beautiful space that simply abides. Even in times of difficulty, I remind myself that this miraculous wellspring of internal calm does indeed exist. It is always there. It is in fact, always welcoming me home. Peace in the moment. Peace in the discomfort. Peace in the center of the storm.  So I do my practice. I: practice, practice, practice. Again and again and again: “Breathing in I calm my mind. Breathing out I smile.”

What practice can you do today that will engender peace?