By Kelly M. Chapman, M.A. CALC
“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of these things, and still be calm in your heart.” -Unknown
I remember staring up at this quote from behind a mountain of paperwork, having recently been promoted during a time of structural transition. It seemed all around me uncertainty, social politics, and fear were clouding our collective vision. It was early in my career and personal life, and this job was an expression of my core values and one of the foundation pieces I was building my life around- the stakes felt high. When I think back to that moment, I remember the curiosity followed by hope. Was it possible to reach a state of inner peace that could remain constant despite the swirl of chaos around me, and, if so, might I be able to attain this one day?
Over time, these seeds began to take the form of intention, as this and other experiences combined to nudge me toward new practices and ways of being. I dove deep into personal work with a trusted therapist, experimented with meditation, and, from an off-handed invitation from a friend, connected with Bikram yoga, a practice that helped shape the next phase of my life.
I can now say with certainty that in my experience, it is absolutely possible to experience a state of inner peace that is unaffected by the swirls of uncertainty and chaos in life. What I cannot claim to have attained, however, is the mastery of this. In my evolution through curiosity, hope, & intention, I’ve only experienced true peace in practice. When I disconnect my inte
ntion and energy to the practices that ground me (for me yoga, meditation, floating, and long walks/hikes- there is no right or wrong here, you will know what your practices are when you connect with them), my pattern of energetic alignment begins the process of natural disintegration.
And that circles me back to where I am today, and what I aim to share with you if you need it- hope. Hope that with intention and practice, we can remain at ease within ourselves despite political upheavals, interpersonal dramas, and uncertainties in our own lives. Hope that we can forge intention and practice into the experience of peace, if only for the moment. I believe we can, and that our collective vision depends on it.