Years ago I was working for an agency whose financial secretary had been fired after the discovery of her theft of funds. We were without a director at the time and as senior staff I was tasked with covering a lot of bases, to include making the daily deposits. There was a teller at the bank whose face just radiated peace. In the midst of this chaotic situation into which I had been thrust, I looked forward to making the bank deposit to bask in that calm presence she exuded.
I regret I did not ever go back to let that teller know what the bit of peace she offered had meant to me and to thank her for it. She certainly embodied the words of Wayne Dyer: “Peace can become a lens through which you see the world. Be it. Live it. Radiate it out. Peace is an inside job.”
“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace,” wrote Joan Borysenko. Thinking in terms of this as choice, as what we choose to practice, puts a different spin on this. We have choice? More likely we feel we are trapped in stressful circumstances not of our own making. Yet Borysenko offers two key concepts: the matter of choice involved and the fact that this choice to be peaceful takes daily practice.
This serves as a reminder that we impact our own quality of life by that daily choice. My experience with the bank teller also emphasizes that what I carry into the world affects other people. While we may tend to think of peace and peacefulness as difficult, even impossible, in this world full of hardship and hostilities, it isn’t always so complicated. Once when I smiled at a homeless man, he responded by straightening up, giving me a broad smile in return— a simple exchange. Peace begins with a smile, Mother Teresa said. Let us choose to practice peace.
May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Shalom, Kate
Hope’s Café Bonus: Gabriela Green offers a recipe for Sweet Calm Tea. Combine 1 t. chamomile, ½ t. rose and 1 t. linden. Put all the ingredients in a strainer (or tea ball, etc) and make sure to mix well. Bring water to a boil and pour over the tea, let steep for 3-5 min. Add honey if you like. If you like the mix of herbs, you can make a bigger batch and store it in an airtight container. Use as needed to reduce anxiety and induce calm.