The Path to Shalom

Did you know that it is possible to live your life with peace and fulfillment – every day? 

I don’t mean peace that looks like a quiet beach or a calm shady forest. I also don’t mean peace all day, every day. However, I believe it is a process that anyone can learn.

In Hebrew, the word peace is translated “Shalom” which includes harmony and tranquility.

The two hardest places to find real tranquility are at home and in the workplace. That’s because people are typically the cause of our lack of peace.

The Shalom that we all want (and need), can occur in the middle of an argument with your spouse, in the chaos of a classroom full of children, or when deadlines are looming at work.

When you are living a life of fulfillment and taking steps toward how you want to live,
you can choose to let others do – or say – whatever they want,
without taking it personally.

Sound impossible? It’s not as hard as you might think. You can begin to flourish with an inspiring life now. It takes a lifetime to get good at it! Why not start right now…choose peace today, instead of waiting for tomorrow!

Take a long slow breath in and hold it for a second or two then slowly let it out. When you feel yourself spiraling out of control, remember to breathe. Now find something that makes you thankful in this moment. Maybe the weather, your home, the person who annoys you…

In my years as a principal and teacher, at board and staff meetings, in my marriage, raising children, and in many friendships, experience taught me that I can choose my reactions to others. Through both failures and successes, I am finding my own path to peace each day. 

“Are you actively making choices for the life you want, or are you drifting along hoping someday things will get better? Or somebody else will fix it?”

It is my life purpose to help others to:

  • live a life of gratitude
  • find ways to forgive, and,
  • learn to accept others, without trying to change who they are.

I wrote a book called: Flourish in a World Full of People that is full of wisdom and experiences shared from my own life-long journey. You can find it here to read on your Kindle or why not send one as a gift to a friend?

To Flourish or Human Flourishing is defined 
as an effort to achieve self-actualization and fulfillment within the context of a larger community of individuals, each with the right to pursue his or her own such efforts. (Aristotle)

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Shalom!

What the world needs now…

This time of the year can be very difficult for those of us who don’t have a romantic love interest. The stores have displays of chocolates and flowers and today I heard an ad for soft pajamas that a man can buy for his lady. Couples buy each other gifts or plan romantic outings but the rest of us can feel that we aren’t included. It can be like “who will you be kissing on New Year’s Eve?”

Love isn’t just for lovers though, because it is one of the basic requirements for life, right up there with food and shelter. People who don’t experience love every day soon become depressed, feel hopeless and eventually get sick. Babies need to be touched by loving hands in order to thrive.

Whether you are part of a couple or not, you can reach out to the people around you in very simple but profound ways. Have a conversation with someone and really listen. Turn off your phone and make eye contact. Make it your purpose to hear what is behind the words of the other person. What are they feeling? Can you hear a need or pain in what they say? You don’t have to solve any problems, just listen. In fact, please don’t try to solve their problem. Listening carefully can help them to find solutions that will be much better.

Maybe for someone on the street, saying “Hello” or even just smiling can make a stranger’s day. The guy begging for money wants more than just spare change, he wants to be noticed. The money is easy to give but making eye contact and the gift of a greeting will mean a lot more.

The people who need your attention the most probably live in your home or are close family members. Instead of giving a box of chocolates this year, why not try a gift of time…uninterrupted time. This goes for the children, the aging parents, an aunt or uncle who lives alone, a neighbour…

If you have a “significant other” express your gratitude to them and for them. Maybe she is longing to know if you really see her. He may wonder if you know how hard he works for you and your family.

“What the world needs now, is love sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”

Songwriters: Burt F. Bacharach / Hal David. What the World Needs Now Is Love lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management, Royalty Network

May this month of love be a special time for you as you find others to thank, encourage, listen to, and bless. I bless you with much love!