In the storm, be still.

Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart.

This past summer has been the most rewarding and most challenging time of my life. We bought and began – and are continuing – renovations on a foreclosed home and moved in before the work was complete.

We, along with all our stuff, lived and slept in the living room and the kitchen for the first month. Neither bathroom was truly useable, so naturally I had a bout of sickness that left me curled up outside the bathroom, instead of next to the “throne.” All the amenities I was used to – closet, dishwasher, bathroom, mirrors – were on standby.

One thing you should know about me is, I like things in their place. Not squeaky clean, but organized. Neat. In order.

My home was utter chaos. I felt utter chaos.

Life was anything but peaceful.

We all go through times like this, when our environment feels like a tumultuous battlefield of pain, hurt, struggle, discomfort, sadness, frustration, and stuck-ness.

The first thing I found myself doing was resisting and trying to force change into my environment, hoping to fix and alleviate the feelings inside me.

In our human experience, we have the privilege of experiencing a whole spectrum of emotions. What is the awesomeness of joy if we feel it all the time? What is happiness if there is no sadness? What is peace if there is no discord?

True joy and true peace are found in the midst of our whole, beautiful, messy life.

One might say that peace is only true peace because we are tested with challenges and struggles.

I let go of resisting, I let go of trying to change my environment and I used it as a test. Could I find peace in the midst of chaos? Where was my source of peace?

Dig deep and find your Well of Peace, track the source of your peace and hold on to that. Because, my dear sisters and brothers, life is messy and beautiful all at the same time. Life is full of tears, of joy and of sadness. Revel in it all!

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
by, Rumi