I recently wrote a series of posts about peaceful activism (it ends here and the post has links to all the others at the end) and I recently mentioned I wanted to turn it into a book. While ruminating I’ve realized there must be a discussion of the importance of individuals “being peace”at the core of any such movement.
Thought I’d start with a series of simple ideas in posts here and the first suggestions are about helping to create an environment for yourself in which it is easier to feel positive and serene.
Many of us live in homes where some inhabitants are not on the same spiritual journey. Most of us live in areas where lots of negative thinking swirls around us regularly, whether it’s neighbors, coworkers, family members or the media–social or traditional. It can be difficult to hold a space of peace when it is constantly challenged by chaos.
Your Own Space
Whether you have a room you can devote to meditation and quiet or you’ve just put a cushion in a corner and announced it’s your meditation spot or you’ve carved out an area for an altar and a zabuton in the den, create a spot that no one else enters and keep it sacred.
No one else should be allowed in that corner or area or room. This helps to hold the energy you’re creating there and keeps down the amount of interference from others with less peaceful energy.
Place one or more objects that say “sacred space” to you, whether it’s a candle, an essential oil diffuser, a statue of Kwan Yin, a crystal or a combination of items like those. The items are not the source of peacefulness but they provide a focus for your attention and will increasingly say “peaceful” to your spirit when you move into that space.
Increasingly we’re bombarded with positive ions which, ironically, are bad for us physically, emotionally and energetically. From technology to electric cords to air pollution and allergens, we live surrounded by things emitting positive ions all the time so it’s up to us to counteract with negative ions.
Nature is a great provider of negative ions. Even just a walk outside or a stroll on the beach can provide you with enough negative ions to shift your positive/negative ion ratio. A pounding surf or a waterfall can restore balance and leave you feeling uplifted.
In the house there are a variety of things you can easily do. My current favorite is my Himalayan salt lamp. This salt when warmed by a bulb emits negative ions. Within a couple of weeks I slept better and my nagging allergy issues by and large disappeared. Months in I feel it’s contributing to my slowly increasing energy.
Many table fountains are available and the moving water sends negative ions into the room. When I first read about the negative/positive ion issue years ago I went out and bought a fountain. I’ve had a few and I love them but I live in an area where there’s so much lime in the water it became too hard to keep the mechanism clean and clear. If you don’t have the water issue, it’s a lovely way to fill your home with negative ions.
Taking a shower will give you a personal hit of negative ions; its one of the reasons you may feel uplifted or energized after a shower.
Tourmaline and amethyst crystals also provide negative ions so you can buy stones to place in your house and/or get jewelry with those stones to wear as you move through your day.
Many house plants can also help with negative ions. See here for a list of plants to consider.
Smudge sticks, essential oils and incense
Scents can do so much to make an atmosphere and/or create a feeling. I’ve always loved perfume and scented things so I make use of many varieties.
Smudge sticks are a combination of sage and cedar or sage and sweetgrass, sometimes with one or more other herbs. I use loose sage and cedar in a shell instead of a stick. Sage cleanses and clears negative energy. Cedar both clears negative and attracts positive energy.
I don’t do it as often as I should, but I try to clear my room periodically and I always smudge when I create a circle for ceremony or meditation. Escential Essences, possibly my favorite incense company, makes one called Kachina Dreams which is sage and cedar so you can keep cleansing the energy with the ease of lighting an incense stick.
I most frequently burn the Sai Baba Nag Champa but I also use various scents from Escential Essences if I have a particular atmosphere I want to create. Some other faves are Buddhist Temple, Ocean Atlantis and Purification.
I also have an essential oil diffuser in which I use Amrita (recommended by my aromatherapist) essential oils — sometimes one of their blends, sometimes a combo of individual oils I choose to put together. More often these days I just wear the oil…
As long as no one in your home is allergic to scents or smoke, it’s a great way to create a sense of peace or spiritual purpose.
Music pours so much energy into a room and you can shift the atmosphere by choosing music that creates a peaceful space. I often leave a peaceful playlist running in my room and when I teach yoga or a spiritual workshop I choose music to create a mood.
Although I have a number of yoga nidra recordings the only one I use is Experience Yoga Nidra. Besides a short and a long version of yoga nidra, it has a short music recording, Travel through the Space of Experience which is an Indian piece designed to balance the chakras. I often put the track on repeat and play it throughout a class or leave it looping in my room all day. It’s amazing what an energy it creates.
I also play Deva Premal chant playlists or various kirtan chant recordings or one of Jonathan Goldman’s or Dr. Jeffrey Thompson’s healing sound recordings. Obviously there are choices by the thousands, just give some thought to whether you want to promote peace or balance or healing, etc. and play music that creates that feeling. If you can put a playlist on repeat and leave it running in an area in which you spend a lot of time.
Choose one or more things that appeal to you and then start creating an atmosphere of peace and calm either throughout your home or in your space. You can also wear an essential oil and, say, an amethyst necklace wherever you go so you’re bolstered in holding your space of peacefulness.