I’ve been feeling a bit raw lately. Worry has taken over. I won’t go into detail here because others’ privacy is at stake. But I will say that it has crossed my mind that the gurus reported to have attained inner peace must not have had children.
Peace is a practice, and we have to keep at it. And children or not, we all have things we worry about. The break-neck pace of world disasters constantly running in the background like a software program is enough to make anyone anxious, not to mention our individual challenges. Staying centered takes work, and I’ve been working hard lately. I’m always open to advice.
I’d like to share a bit of wisdom I recently received from someone who does not claim to have achieved inner peace, but does have lots of children: the sage, Willie Nelson. Yep, that Willie Nelson. I happened to catch the 88-year-old singer songwriter and his son, Lukas, on a Brené Brown podcast last week. He got my attention when he talked about the difference between fear and worry. Fear, he said, can be useful, yet the only thing worry does is add poison to your body which can make you sick.
Then there was this bit of dialogue.
Willie: “I wrote a song called, ‘Imagine What You Want and Then Get Out of the Way.’
Brené: “What does that mean to you?”
Willie: “That means that I can imagine things that I want to happen, and if I get out of the god damn way, they will happen!” … “I believe that energy follows thought and whatever you think is still out there, that thought is going around the world…That energy is out there. If it’s a positive thought, that’s really good. If it’s a negative thought, it could bite you in the ass.”
So. Damn. True. The secret to inner peace, to getting rid of gnawing worry, is to surrender to trust. I believe in a Divine plan, and Willie reminded me that getting out of the way allows that plan to work for me and not bite me in the ass. And thoughts do matter because they are energy. So, staying in a spiral of worry does nothing but add toxins to my body and spread them out into the world.
Wisdom often comes from the most unexpected places. But it also comes from friends. So, I thank the many wise people who have witnessed my recent aching and apologize for spreading some poisonous thought energy. Voicing those thoughts has allowed me to process some emotion, and that has been healing for me. But it’s time for me to venture out of my worry prison and into faith and gratitude. Even when the world seems to be self-destructing, even when people in my life do things I don’t want them to, the Universe is conspiring for my highest good. What I’m experiencing is an opportunity to grow.
I have many tools to assist with my growing pains, and all of them serve to bring me back over and over again to the present moment, which is the only place that inner peace lives. Breath, embodiment, living in the now moment, and getting out of my own damn way. It’s as simple and challenging as that.