“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” ~ Lao Tzu
As I am stitching my first hand-made pair of pants I do feel calm…
The rain has just started to gently tap on the pavement outside the kitchen door, probably preventing me and my family to accomplish a previously twice curtailed bike trip to the river today, due to wetness, I however feel calm.
I have learned not to be bothered by the weather any time and whatever it may bring on, but enjoy every change for what it is: another opportunity to feel alive, awake and to contemplate – even if just for a moment or two.
I look at my blossoming three year old daughter, self-confident and all-so agile, at her unabridged development: watching her eat life by the ladleful makes me feel a healthy pride, that my beloved wife and I are doing something right, and this only deepens my already pleasant calm.
Our little family is about to make a huge and intended-to-be-permanent move diagonally across the globe, yet I am calm.
We have learned well how to live on a very tight budget, nonetheless we continuously surprise each other with delicious cooking – gluten-free. Even if the organic coffee wasn’t brewing now behind my back, I would stay calm with daily reassurance about self-reliance at work.
My love-life and our marriage past its twelfth anniversary is as balanced, deep and strong as ever and perhaps I should have begun with this, because it truly keeps me calm.
By my mid thirties I suppose I can call myself a really calm person.
Have I always been this way? No. As a young adult I had my fair share of frustrations, insecurities about self-worth, too. My psyche needed grounding, I often felt vulnerable by societal pressures.
Did calm miraculously just find me?
Not exactly. I began consciously seeking calm little by little, situation by situation, and we eventually found each-other midway: in nature. Where peace and calm resides, offering itself to anyone patient enough to absorb it.
Was it nurturing patience, then, the path leading to calm? Now perhaps we are getting closer to a potential remedy to taming Mars in our blood-flow.
Calm is a characteristic of the non-competitive spirit.
Calm draws from nature’s adaptive quality.
Calm is not viewing life through the hour glass.
Yeah, in fact I haven’t owned a wrist watch for ages and it’s been quite a few years since we recycled our last digital alarm clock, too. What we are left with is the time display on our cell phone and the one in the bottom right corner of the computer screen.
In exchange we have been rewarded with the moon phases, the sound of the cuckoo and hoopoe signaling spring, the cranes pulling autumn across the sky, judging what else could fit in the day by the position of the sun.
Calm also means well-rested, but it does not equal sloth. On the contrary: only through calm does alertness and readiness seem to gain real meaning. It is the continuous acquiring of wisdom how to better portion our energies invested.
In a way calm is embracing the concept of letting go. Both spiritually and materially.
In my personal case this calm translates into an eco-minimalist take on the material culture that I strive to surround myself with.
Emotionally calm means to be perceptive only to the waves that matter to us and reserve our back-signals to those, while letting everything else fly by our emotional radar as spiritual clutter.
Life is certainly complex, but what I’ve learned is to only hold in regard patterns informed by nature. Anything outside of it is artificity. The more we deviate from natural, the more cumbersome this artificity becomes.
As far as I am concerned, I would much rather have my tolerance threshold be tested by natural factors and patterns, than artificially conceived abstract systems.
This approach to acquiring and keeping calm does not necessarily put one into the position of an antisocial hermit, but rather helps the individual keep a wise distance from the techno-social commotion while restoring or maintaining the innate, so natural integrity of the self.
In fact I suggest measuring the grade of calmness in an individual, – by extension – a community or a whole society based on how fully it got assimilated into nature, how naturally genuine behavioral patterns it demonstrates.
And why look right here, in nature for the best source of calm? Because it also happens to be the most humane setting of all. Yes, you are reading it right: a forest, versus a concrete jungle, despite its savageness, provides incomparably more humane place to be – calm.
See, in our age calm is enviable, but I’ve found it. You can do it, too!
Where and how do you seek true calm? Are you finding it?