In his book of that title, Inner Peace, Paramahansa Yogananda talks about how to be calmly active and actively calm. Aren’t those the very states of being that would be so wonderful to master as humans? Being able to maintain a grounded underlying state of calm in the midst of our doing while also being able to calm ourselves at will through the power of our intention.
As parents, it can be so difficult to carve out time for daily spiritual or relaxation practice. I know when I had young kiddos in the house I had the idea that I needed an inordinate amount of time in order to establish a sense of relaxation. So, I would put it off. I would put it off, thinking I would do it when I had optimal conditions for relaxing. I would dream of attending a silent retreat or finding time to go to that yoga weekend. However, those times seemed few and far between.
Then one day I attended a spiritual class that changed my whole view of daily practice. What I learned, what I finally gave myself permission for, was that I could start just where I was. That is when I started with just 5 minutes per day–in those days it was early in the morning before my daughters woke up.
With those five minutes, I began to slowly train my nervous system to assume a state of calm attention and my over-active brain got a rest for that brief time. I committed to those 5 minutes, and over time, began to experience a deepening, a transforming quality that came from integration. And pretty soon I added a few more minutes and a few more until I practiced 20 full minutes per day.
The promise of mindful parenting resides less in changing our behaviors and more in the inner work of understanding, healing and growing.”
~Sumi Loundon Kim
Daily practice has impact in our relationship to daily life. Build those muscles of spiritual practice and you will be working out your capacity to respond rather than react to life circumstances.
So, in the words of encouragement from Paramahansa Yogananda,”Focus your attention within. You will feel a new power, a new strength, a new peace, in body, mind and spirit.” And he also says, “Don’t wait until tomorrow…. We think we will seek that peace ‘tomorrow.’ Anyone who reasons this way will never find it. Seek it now.”
Here are some resources to get started today: