I have been searching for peace all my life, but it has only been the last couple of years (I’ve just celebrated my 39th birthday) that I’ve actually realised it. Peace is a value. A need. And for me, it is the greatest need I’ll ever have.
I’ve been a highly sensitive muffin for my whole life, and, as a result, the slings and arrows of the world seem to wound me a little deeper than some. When the penny did finally drop a few years ago that I was feeling and reacting to the subtle energy all around me, my world changed.
With this knowledge, I’ve slowly been uncovering little tips and tricks on how to bring more peace into my life, and I thought…what a wonderful time to share some of these surprising little tid bits with you. They’ve helped me ‘calm the farm’ tremendously, and whether or not you identify as a sensitive muffin, I’d imagine at a time like this they will drastically help you too.
So, if peace is what you’re looking for, here is a little list of the things that may help get you there.
Identify your sore spots and seek to remove them ( No, actually remove them. Really. You have to get rid of them. All of them.)
I never realised how much I hated white plastic toilet brushes until I caught myself having the same thought/feeling I’d been having (unconsciously) over and over throughout my life. Those white plastic toilet brushes are really a little icky, to me.
So I replaced the one in our toilet with a pretty ceramic one: soft grey pattern, bristles neatly hidden away. I cannot tell you the relief it brought. Just the act of removing that previously unconscious anxiety (I know it sounds so silly, it was just a toilet brush) from my life lightened me. It also allowed me to bring more joy to my life in the form of a beautiful decorative toilet brush and holder. Art. So beautiful. (Whoever would have thought a toilet brush could be considered art. )
Limit or remove negative energysources
There is no better time for this than now. Some of the negative energy sources I’ve limited/removed have been the following:
The news. I watch only the bare minimum in order to stay abreast of world events. This is so necessary for me. I feel the pain of the world, and I also feel dense, angry energy on supercharge. There are too many angry people on the news. I choose peace, instead. I am free to choose peace, instead, and so are you.
Social media. Twitter is a long distant memory. Facebook I use only for positive sources, such as positive, supportive writing groups and communication with friends. The moment the comment section begins to look a little hairy, I exit. Again, I choose peace. My life is all the better for it.
The need to be right. I am starting to get better at this, although it’s taken me a while. I once would have argued my opinion, hoping to change the others mind if I felt they were a little on the ‘wrong’ side of the street. Now, I pick my battles. If their opinion isn’t hurting anyone, and they are truly stuck on that train…for the sake of peace, I allow it to be. This one takes a lot of focused energy and consciousness, for me, but it has changed my life and my relationships. So much more lovely peace. For me and for the other person. (I’m not suggesting you repress your feelings, here. I am only suggesting that if arguing is causing more issues for you, choosing not to speak your feelings is perfectly okay. You can process them on your own at a later date, or bring it up with the person when your nervous system has had time to settle.Well, that’s what I do, anyway. )
House plants are not for hippies. And you so completely need one (or soooo many.)
Oh, my plant babies. They lighten the air I breathe. I have somewhere close to twenty houseplants, and they make my life better in so many ways. Not only do they purify the air, they help me practice using my intuition (I seem to intuitively know when it’s time to check them for water, you will too). They are wonderful to help build empathy levels (when you see a dying plant you’ve been desperately caring for, you’ll understand what I mean.) They are just the best housemates in the whole wide world. They are pure peace. You’ll even get a new title: Plant Mum/ Plant Dad. I love that SO much.
Add or remove music
Lately, while gardening, I’ve been bringing the speaker out with me and listening to calming music. It has been SO lovely. And another beautiful lovely thing: calming music while folding the washing. Never would I have thought it…the chores have become my favourite part of the day. No longer do I put my nervous system through a world of hurt by resisting (thinking how much I hate chores, but suffering through them anyway.) Now, I find ways to make chore time beautiful. Music is the very best way, for me.
Another thing: music can be felt and it’s been known to significantly alter moods (I’m thinking this would be particularly the case for us sensitive muffins.) So even if you’ve been loving heavy metal your whole life…if peace is what you’re after and you find your choice of music is inducing feelings or anger or anxiety (even love songs might be doing this, you’ll just need to monitor yourself and get to know how you respond to certain types of music) maybe it’s time to make a different choice. Trying it wont hurt. Loving it will change your life.
Time in nature. Yoga. Meditation.
I do all of these, daily. I need them all, daily. (I’ll do seperate posts on these. They are that important.)
So, there you are. I’ll stop here because, the truth is, I believe we all have an inner radar (sometimes referred to as flow) that guides us to make the exact moves we need to make in our individual lives, and we’re all slightly different in terms of our needs. I’d also hate to rob you of the chance to discover the beautiful intricacies of your own personal river to joy. But for those looking for a quick and easy road to peace, these little tid bits may help to get you there, they’re certainly worth a try.
I’ve come to realise that creativity is just the art and flow of being yourself. There’s really not a lot more to it than that.
At its core, creativity seems to be made of the absolute depth of who we are. And the depth of who we are is always waiting, somewhere beneath the surface, to be shared in its most resonant form. (I believe this is true for every human being. Not just those who are considered creative types.)
For me, the purest form my creativity takes is music. My voice, in particular, seems an extension of the calming, soothing essence that naturally seems to spill from the deep, internal parts of me…and so my music always does seem to reappear in my life, no matter how far I stray from it.
For a lot of years I judged myself (my voice, my performance capabilities) based on what others were doing with their own musical talents. Somewhere in my teen years I grabbed a hold of the idea that, although my talent was constantly being validated, I didn’t have a voice that could compare to a real singer. According to young human me, real singers had a range that reached far beyond the heights that my limited range could. Real singers were perfect, never to stray a note in pitch at all.
How sweet it is to have found the most beautiful new gift of evolved perspective when it comes to my music: that being…my music is my essence. Unique and beautiful, and only mine, never to be compared to any other. My voice and my music are here to achieve their own purpose. And this purpose has nothing to do with an out of this world range or perfectly crafted technique.
There may be singers who use a wider range of skills to express their musical essence in order to thrill…but to thrill is not what I am here for. I am here to express the depths of my heart. I am here to heal with my voice and perhaps to bring peace, calm and emotion to those who connect with my music, writing and creativity. How beautiful, to finally come to know this of myself.
And so I continue to release my musical essence as it is.
No more excuses.
No more foolish voice within trying to compare my musical self with others.
They are all beautiful fruits to be savoured and cherished in the fruit bowl of musical life. I am a different fruit, who finally understands that apples and oranges never will compare.
I’ve been getting to know myself through music again.
I wanted to go a little further into this idea because not only does music tell familiar stories and remind me of people and places…it also becomes me. As in: I embody it. This is the most magical phenomenon I have ever known.
I read a theory, once, where it was said that the mirror neurons of the brain are somehow responsible for this sort of mega feeling capability, and I only wish there were enough hours in the day for me to truly explore, and come to an understanding of, it all. I wish more people talked about their subjective feeling experiences so we could all pool our individual authentic truths and perhaps come up with a better, more holistic understanding of the nature of reality. Maybe one day people will open up fully to each other, even about the stranger things in life. Maybe.
I’ll start the ball rolling.
The other day I was driving along listening to a song where the singer was expressing a feeling of complete and utter freedom; a gorgeous energy that felt fun, wild, curious and sexy all at the same time. What a beautiful feeling it was as it surged through my body. I was alive.
While listening to this particular song, I recognised the essence of the singer as seperate to my own, and yet…her feelings had become me. I was feeling her freedom within my body. I was feeling her cheekiness and sass. It was as if I was her.
What-on-earth. If nothing else, I came away from the song understanding that this was clearly an energy in my life I am needing to explore. But on a more out there note, I had to wonder. What might humans truly be capable of if we removed the stigma and shame attached to the more, umm, left of centre traits of human nature?
We haven’t even begun to seriously discuss this sort of phenomena without attaching it to the words ‘disorder’ or ‘disease’. What if…we changed our story? What if we framed high sensitivity in humans as exactly what it is: high sensitivity in humans. Nothing more. Nothing less. I think you could guarantee that far less of us would suffer from the anxiety that naturally arises from being perceived as different. Or, worse, broken.
I suppose I know the problem in a nutshell. You only need to look at events where the human ego has completely rejected any sort of difference perceived as weird or threatening in any way. In 1692, for instance, hysteria swept through an entire town in the U.S.A and condemned many women (women who, by the way, very likely perceived themselves as normal) to death if they were discovered to be witches. These women were probably just highly sensitive women, who very likely had been born a little different to the rest…and yet.
So it’s not surprising to me, then, that humanity has taken quite a long time to truly own the more eclectic parts of ourselves. No one wants to be kicked out of the pack. No one wants to stray too far from safe and secure. You know. Just in case. (Cough: no one has been burnt at the stake for quite a while now.)
Perhaps I am different, but really, who isn’t? We are all unique in our own way, and I believe with just a few tweaks in perspective (for instance, we might do well to dismantle the damaging cultural narratives that seperate people) humanity might be onto something really very special.
I lay in bed last night, at 4am, thinking of the tortured artist, thing.
We feel so deeply, us creative folk, and therefore, we capture the world in its fullest expression.
Which is beautiful. Really, ice-shatteringly beautiful.
But we are often not understood, at best. And at worst…we are grossly misunderstood, usually by the logically minded folk of the world, who do not (perhaps cannot) see the world the way we do.
Sometimes we are judged as weak, overly sensitive; irresponsible, messy. A lonely human, this does make, at times.
A lonely human this does make, at times.
I remember sitting at my piano as a nineteen year old, feeling the world in all its depth; the beauty of the autumn leaves outside the window, a huge comfort as I sat and wondered about my place in the world.
These creative eyes.
They make everything a little more beautiful. A little more horrible. A little more alive.
I’m grateful, for them, I am.
I’d imagine all the tortured artists out there were grateful, even the ones who battled to a sometimes tragic end.
Misunderstood, they were, and a little bit lonely, maybe.
A little bit scared of the depths that dragged them beneath the surface, on occasion, maybe.