blindfold peaceHow do we face the holidays and find some peace in a fearful and scary world? With all the recent attacks abroad and in the California and Colorado, the media is reporting that everyone in the USA has become afraid, beyond just people like me who live in a big city like New York that has experienced terrorist attacks. Barack Obama made an impassioned plea to the American people to not give in to fear and stay true to our American values. I pondered this issue as I carried on with my fast paced life racing from one appointment to the next. If we are going to thrive, we need to be strong. For me, being strong means building your body and sharpening your mind. As I went to a yoga class at my studio, Yogaworks, with one of favorite instructors, Hollis, he asked us to wrap a strap around our eyes and do the poses blindfolded. Initially, I began the poses slipping around and laughing at myself. It felt strange to feel so spastic doing poses that I could easily do with my eyes open. Hollis kept speaking in an encouraging voice, “Remember to go inward as that is what yoga is about. If you can keep the peace inside yourself, then you won’t be bothered by others as easily.” Then I started to slow down; the blindfold cut me off from the outside world and my inner-chatter and I began to complete simple yoga poses with a feeling of safety.

His words regarding creating peace inside me really resonated as I’ve found this is to be the best offense for building boundaries with difficult people or challenging situations. As I walked the streets of NY again, ready to face the uncertain world, I left with an image of a Rambo-like head wrap around me and yet also with an inner happy Buddha calmness. I went through my work week, which included work travel, visiting my sick mother, and navigating holiday events, and I periodically allowed a few minutes throughout each day to close my eyes and listen to music or take a few deep breaths and smile recalling Hollis’s words to keep the peace inside. Closing my eyes allows me to escape momentarily, go inward to re-center and create a calmness that I find re-energizing, even for a few minutes. I encourage you to give it a try…and wish everyone a joyous and peaceful holiday.  What will you do to keep the peace within and all around you?




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