Hope :: When Peace is Possible

Boston Public Garden's Lagoon
Boston Public Gardens, September 2022 – where I find peace in Boston

Merriam-Webster describes peace as “freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions”.

I agree.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still negative events in or aspects to our lives. It doesn’t mean we never have “disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions”.

I know we wish that was the case. It would make life much more enjoyable, wouldn’t it?

edited photo by John Cameron, procured on UnSplash. "Traffic free shopping on a Sunday in Ginza, Tokyo."

When I look at the image here, it reminds me of my mind on the daily. It often feels like utter chaos, with my thoughts moving in every direction not enough space to breathe, much less think. It may be a ‘traffic-free shopping on a Sunday in Japan’, but that doesn’t mean it would be peaceful for me. Other people might find peace in a place such as this!

The image here is what I need. On the right is a small cafe along Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, MA. Within the flowers, you’ll find several small tables set up for intimate moments. Though trains, cars, and buses are making their way past, along with foot traffic, it’s a small garden separated out on its own to give people a place of rest. And peace.

When it comes to our lives and our minds, we have to do what this cafe has done: separate ourselves from the chaos.

Brown Sugar Cafe, Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA

For everyone who does well with meditation, I hope that site is a great resource for you! However, for me and those like me, sitting in silence (specifically to meditate) makes my mind feel even louder than it had been, which defeats the whole purpose of meditating.

I have a couple of other suggestions for quieting thoughts and emotions.

  • Journaling – I’ve found that letting my mind wander and writing down those thoughts helps to find clarity in the chaos
  • Music – putting on a playlist of your favorite songs won’t necessarily make thoughts go away, but they can help quiet the noise and I’ve often found myself relaxing and finding peace by listening to music
  • Favorite spot – when you go to a specific place that brings you happiness, it leads to peace; you’re able to forget the rest of the world for a little bit

Though I could list a billion and one different suggestions for finding peace, I want you to share your ideas in the comments.

These are all places or activities that bring me peace. It’s been a little more difficult to see the stars living in Boston, but I make a point to get out of my apartment and actively seek spaces that give me freedom – in other words: peace.

Places can’t fix chaos. However, when we choose to make a change, our mind has no choice but to be quiet, at least momentarily.

“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Life has a funny way of wanting to tear us down. We can allow ourselves to become so overwhelmed by the noise that we shut down.

But I’m here to tell you that your life is worth more than that.

Seek peace, and I promise you’ll find it. Seeking opens doors that were previously closed. Or rather, they weren’t closed but we couldn’t see them because they were hidden behind the fog.

Will you seek peace today?

Brittany Stonestreet signature with dove
Brittany Stonestreet, signature with dove

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