The Secret to Inner Peace

Amazingly, 2017 marks 20 years of my life in New Hampshire.  Why is this amazing?  Because I don’t like cold winters. I don’t ski, snow shoe, ice skate, drive, or even walk when there is snow about – I simply hibernate … and complain.

In spite of my efforts toward joyful living, I have complained for 19 of my 20 winters.  I’ve known that my own resistance fuels my discontent but when my body gets cold, I simply feel trapped in a frigid world.  Like there is no way out but south.

But this year things shifted for me, I lightened up and I just accepted the cold.  Maybe I was stock out of complaints, maybe no one listened to me anymore.   Maybe I was tired of hearing my own inner grumbles.  So, I simply accepted it — not grudgingly or resentfully — but with a full-on acceptance of the reality of a northern winter.

And therein lies the lesson that I learn over and again, the ultimate secret and key to inner peace: relaxed acceptance.

Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hit the slopes or play in the snow.  And I did spend 2 weeks in a warm climate, which helped a lot.  But there were still many months of cold for me to manage.  This year, I accepted winter and didn’t worry about it.  Then, ironically, I noticed happiness creeping in to even the coldest of days. Snow in April?  No worries.  Plus, I know that spring is on the horizon.

Ashley Davis Bush

www.ashleydavisbush.com

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2 thoughts on “The Secret to Inner Peace

  1. David J. Bookbinder

    Curiously, I, too, came to exactly the same acceptance this winter, after spending almost all my life in the Northeast. It’s true that it was a relatively mild winter here in Beverly, MA, but even so, there was no sense of dread when the first snow fell, nor was there a great sense of relief when I finally put the snow shovel away. Winter just was. The switch for me was during a meeting of the Buddhist sangha I belong to. It was an extraordinarily hot day last summer. A few minutes into our walking meditation, our teacher, John Bell, said, “This is heat.” And then that’s all it was: heat. When the cold set in this winter, I thought, “This is cold.” When the snow fell, “This is snow.” When it melted, “This is Spring.” And soon, again, it will be “This is heat.” So it goes.

    David

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