you can’t take a crash course in serenity

“You can’t take a crash course in serenity.”

—Shirley MacLaine, American actress and author

Image from Melissa Heisler

Shirley MacLaine is an American film, TV, and theatre actress, a singer, dancer, activist, and author who has achieved much and earned many awards in her 60+ year career.

Her well-know interest in New Age spirituality has even made its way into films, including Albert Brook’s romantic comedy, Defending Your Life, where we are introduced to the concept of past lives through the “Past Life Pavilion.”

Most of us would like a far larger helping of peace of mind and serenity, although they appear to be contrary to our high velocity, quick-fix world that generally over-promises and under-delivers.

EXERCISE:

In what ways can you slow down and take a deeper inner journey to realize greater serenity in your life?

Ask those you know and trust what they find helpful. Consider a bit of experimentation to see what works best for you.

Peace is not made at the council table

“Peace is not made at the council table or by treaties, but in the hearts of men.”

—Herbert Hoover, 31st President of the United States

Image from Flickr by Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

Image from Flickr by Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

In the movie, Miss Congeniality (2000), Sandra Bullock plays an undercover FBI Agent posing as a contestant when terrorists threaten to bomb the Miss United States beauty pageant. Bullock’s character, Gracie, is the only female FBI agent who can “look the part” despite her complete lack of refinement and femininity. She prides herself in being “just one of the boys” and is horrified at the idea of becoming a girly girl.

Since the film was a comedy, the audience wasn’t alarmed. We all happily watched all the interplay of contestants and other characters. In one scene, the contestants were asked about their personal goals and aspirations. Almost every contestant mentioned world peace at some point in their response.

In today’s dynamic and often violent world, we sure could use more people working on world peace in their personal and professional lives. If all of us did our part, we would never need a council table or treaty, which as President Hoover points out, rarely works.

EXERCISE:

What heartfelt attitudes and actions can you share in your communities to bring about greater peace on earth?

Finding Fault

“Finding fault replaces peace of mind.”

—Author Unknown

Image from alarminfo.org

Image from alarminfo.org

 

There doesn’t seem to be much peace of mind, serenity, tranquility, or calmness in people’s lives or in the world these days. In our hyper-connected, media-inundated society, the levels of judgement, blaming, and outright hostility are unprecedented.

In addition to conducting your own version of a media diet or even a complete media fast, take a very close look at your immediate professional and personal worlds to determine the level of fault-finding you observe and perhaps initiate.

EXERCISE:

Beginning with yourself, make an extra effort to see what is right with people and in the world around you, and replace fault finding with the peace of mind you desire.