Finding Peace in Our Time
“Wishing You Peace in Our Time.”
Two years ago, a friend sent me a holiday card that had this as its cover message. It’s always interesting to me what people choose to put on their holiday cards. Of course, the season holds religious significance for many, and they express that in their cards. Others don’t recognize religious holidays, or if they do, they still use secular greetings to be inclusive of the various beliefs held by people in their lives. I love receiving people’s cards, family pictures, and letters regardless of whether they write “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” or anything else. What’s important is hearing from those I love, knowing they’ve made the effort to share and think of me.
But, the words “Wishing You Peace in Our Time” stood out as a special message. Not just a phrase chosen to be religiously neutral, but a powerful blessing (notwithstanding the phrase's storied past). The wish for peace is universal. It encompasses what we all are hoping for, regardless of our spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof), or the time of year.
When I first sat down to write a holiday-themed blog post about reiki, I had the intention of talking about how energy healing can help us stay centered during a season that is stressful for many. We have events and parties to attend. There are snowstorms to drive in and crowded airports to deal with. Time with family can be joyous but may also bring conflict. We don’t feel peace in our hearts during the holidays, oftentimes. I wanted to offer a service that could help with that.
I still do want to offer that to you, because I know it’s needed. And yet, I felt that the message I wanted to share was also much bigger than dealing with crowded stores and traffic. I thought about my friend’s card, and how that is one of my missions as a reiki practitioner.
As a child, I instinctively knew that bringing peace to others was a part of my life’s mission. Perhaps most children start their lives with a similar feeling that they might be able to deliver hope to a violent and conflicted world. After all, didn’t many of us wish for “world peace” at some time or another?
I didn’t know how I could possibly accomplish my goal. I went to college and studied political science, fascinated by why and how world leaders made the decisions they did, and how these affected people, countries, entire regions and the world, in ways intentional and unintentional. We talked about how World War II was known as the “last just war.” It was during my college years that the United States government made the controversial decision to attack Iraq under suspicion that the latter country was developing weapons of mass destruction. Of course, the expected stockpile was not to be found.
I had always had an interest in working in foreign affairs. I decided then that I wanted to become an intelligence analyst. Not because I believed I could stop any wars by doing so. But I wanted to know that if my country did go to war, it would be for the right reasons. People wouldn’t die needlessly. I hoped to be among those who helped to find the truth, so that better decisions could be made.
I did what I set out to do in college, but my career in foreign affairs didn’t last long. Despite my love for travel, research, foreign languages, and contributing to a mission bigger than myself, I also felt turmoil in my soul indicating that it was not the place where I could best contribute. I left after a few years to find a better-fitting career.
It would be several more years before I became a reiki practitioner. However, in a particular moment shortly thereafter, a seed was planted that would eventually bring me here. My friend Mike told me about how he had met the Dalai Lama when Mike was 14. What he remembered most, he said, was how you could feel the sense of peace radiating off of the monk just by being in the same room with him. What must that be like? I thought. What if you could be that for people? What if you could bring them peace, just by your presence?
I don’t expect to become anything like the Dalai Lama in this lifetime. I’m not here to try and say that I think I’m some kind of enlightened being (far from it), nor that I can make others into one through a few reiki sessions. But the more energy healing I receive, the more I feel a sense of the possibility for that elusive goal known as “inner peace.” However incomplete the process may be, it’s a game-changer to start bringing our inner chaos into balance.
One of my meditation teachers, David Harshada Wagner, talks about how he doesn’t teach people to meditate so that they can become “calm.” He wants them to find the fire inside themselves. To become warriors in the name of love. David talks about how, if we let ourselves, we can erroneously use practices like yoga and meditation to numb ourselves in an unhealthy way just as people often do with alcohol or drugs. This is not the point.
I have a similar philosophy when it comes to energy healing. Healing isn’t only about relieving pain, although it is my sincerest hope that that is part of it. Healing is about becoming better people. We heal our old wounds and scars so that they stop being “noise” that gets in the way of what our souls are trying to tell us. We strive for so-called “inner peace” so that we can bring that feeling out into the world where it is badly needed.
I once had the idea that I should start a blog series called “Things That Aren’t the Same.” “Peace” is not the same thing as complacency. I think that’s a very important distinction. Similarly, “acceptance,” which we associate with peace, is not the same thing as “inaction.” The kind of acceptance that is spiritually or morally beneficial doesn’t mean that we allow things to be as they are, no matter how terrible. More often, finding peace means we accept that action must be taken. Things cannot remain as they are. We accept our responsibility to evolve and do better.
When I talk of wanting to bring “peace” to others, like my teacher David, it’s not complacency or numbing out that I’m referring to. It’s healing the wounds and suffering that no longer serve us so we can bring our best selves out into the world. I named my business “Soul’s Mission Energy Healing” not only because it is my own soul’s mission to help others. I also wanted to work with people to help them find their inner peace and strength, so they can carry out their soul’s missions more easily.
What comes of healing will be different for everyone depending on the individual and the time. It could be about something big like taking action toward ending an actual war, or organizing for racial, economic, or environmental justice. It could be much smaller (seemingly, anyway), like being more patient with our children. Maybe it’s having more energy to lead and serve in our jobs, whatever those may be. Maybe it’s speaking up to our families when it’s hard. Or holding our tongues when that would be the better choice. It doesn’t really matter what task is before you - chances are, every action or inaction you choose is somehow about finding peace in your time, isn’t it?
I still want to help you through the holidays, because it is a stressful season. I don’t wish to diminish the challenges of the so-called mundane aspects of our lives, because for many of us (if we’re lucky, frankly), this is what takes up most of our time and energy.
Reiki works for your highest good. In the short term, that might mean getting through the holidays with a sense of balance. In the long term, your highest good may have much more in store.
For those who live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, I offer in-person energy healing sessions at Be Well Natural Medicine in St. Paul. You can book a session using Be Well’s online scheduler, or call (612) 440-7710.
For those outside the Twin Cities, remote reiki sessions are available. Contact me directly to schedule your session.