Thursday, December 21, 2006

Got Peace?

I’ve read a number of articles this month about stress and stress reduction. Most of them recommend that I ……..make a list and complete 25 steps, turn down invitations and requests, buy less, sleep more, blah, blah, blah. None of the typical suggestions work RIGHT NOW, while I’m stressed.

If the typical anti-stress recommendations leave you cold, try my method:

1. Turn off the cell phone.

That’s right. No one will die in the next 5 minutes if you don’t answer your
cell phone.

2. Turn off you computer.

See number one.

3. Close and lock your door.

This assumes that you will be alone if you do.

4. Close your eyes.

The good stuff comes next.

5. Now……..what color is peace?

Is it the bright metallic green of that bicycle you got for your tenth
birthday? Is it the warm yellow of your mother’s homemade chicken
soup? Is it the soft aqua blue of the waters of the Caribbean? Is it
the velvety brown of your chocolate Labrador retriever?

Don’t worry if this isn’t easy. The imagination atrophies with lack of use
and with stress. Just choose the first color that came to mind.

6. Let the color wash over you.

For me, peace is the warm crimson of the uncut garnets that litter the trails on
Rainier in the spring. It is the color of many of the holiday decorations I see, the color of my mother's hair when I was a child, the color of my daughter's
birthstone. Peace smells like ponderosa pines. It feels like the sharp, icy intake of breath at 10,000 feet. It sounds like the crunch of the trail under my hiking boots.

You get the idea.

7. Now open your eyes.

That wasn’t tough, was it?

8. Now remember that color you chose, even if you only got a glimpse of it in the periphery of your mind.

9. Open your door, turn on your computer, and turn on your cell phone. Yes, check for messages.

10. For the next 24 hours, look for your color.

I don’t have time to go to Rainier, and it isn’t spring. However, my crimson is in the turtleneck I happened to choose this morning. It’s in the bows on my Christmas tree. It just happens to be the color of the rug in the entryway of my home.

Your peace could be in the color of your tie, the color of your car, the color of the favorite room in your house. Look for it. It’s there, all around you. All you have to do is let it wash over you. For instructions, go back to number one……………..

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