Friends, as it happens, I wrote this post before the tragedy unfolded in Paris, and as it is focused on finding peace, I believe we need peace now even more than we did when I wrote it. Our hearts go out to the citizens of France and our loved ones in the beloved City of Light...
Lately, it seems everything in my world is accelerated. Distractions abound, leaving my brain jumbled, my body exhausted—and I’m wondering, are you feeling the same way too?
“It isn't the mountain ahead
to climb that wears you down.
It's the pebble in your shoe.“
— Muhammad Ali
It’s no longer a question of making the journey to the mountain. The mountain comes to all of us everyday in the form of responsibilities, obligations—and distractions.
And while we’re doing all these things, it’s easy to lose perspective on important things like how we choose, why we choose, and especially—how we feel.
Our minds tell us to think smarter, go faster, gotta do more—when actually, it’s when we do less and slow down that we experience the refuge, and ironically, realize the increased productivity we long for.
Pascal reminds us to “carry something beautiful in your heart.” Yet, with the ever-increasing demands for our attention, how can we access what's really important for our lives when we’re so focused on the climbing the mountain of our daily obligations?
It’s an unsustainable pattern where more energy goes out than comes in—and with the headlong plunge into the season of giving, how can we find refuge and access all the good things that nourish and replenish us?
So as we brace ourselves for the turbulence of the holiday season, maybe we can ward off the bully of time with a few discerning practices for peace of mind:
- Just Power Down: Technology has only made it easier to trade joy for distraction.
- Take a Breath: At any moment, you’re only a breath away from changing the channel on where you are—turn that one breath into ten, and you’re practically taking a mental time out.
- Mind Your Thoughts: Explore the space between you and your thoughts. Notice your thoughts, acknowledge their story and how you feel about them—here’s where we take back the controls and reset our emotional climate.
- Just Add Water: It’s magical how water refreshes us and restores our bodies and minds, so enrich your time in the shower or bath by enjoying it.
- Take 5: You may be surprised how easy it is to be engaged in simple mindless acts—like moisturizing your skin—that turn off your thinking brain and engage your unconscious mind to find creativity and bliss.
The reason I focus so much on skin care is also one of the driving forces that led me to create a skin care line that is focused on the body.
The body is a cathedral of attention, where we can swap despair and turbulence for beauty and stillness, bringing forth stability from imbalance. But it’s up to us to take the steps.
The neglect of our inner life doesn’t happen with any single, momentous act—it happens when we ignore the small, but pressing, pebbles in our shoes.
There is a richness offered in the daily care of yourself—starting with your skin—that is readily available to each of us.
It’s the seemingly small habitual concessions to outside demands that wear us down—and I think we can take back that energy for ourselves, and be the guardian of what is precious by starting with our skin.
The "man at peace" photo is a shot of Hong Kong street art captured by Eu2Be founder Charla Jones.