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The Official Blog of Michael Schoenhofer, Executive Director

Thoughts by Myself #4

April 1, 2020

A Quiet Mind. A Peaceful Heart.

 

Figure 1 Calvin gets another tiny friend.

 

Yesterday my wife and I spent the afternoon gardening. When we saw the sun shining, we couldn’t wait to change into gardening clothes and get outside. In the garden, we discovered young garlic shoots sprouting, some parsley that was still green, and the chives reemerging. Daffodils were just beginning to bloom. I spread the 24 bags of mushroom compost I hoarded from Stock & Field on the garden beds. I always feel peaceful in the garden.  

 

We were both so happy to be outside in the warm sun that we drove to Hermon Woods Metro Park to take a walk. When we arrived, the parking lot was full. It looked like a lot of other people were there trying to shake off cabin fever and the feelings of isolation from the Stay-At-Home order. It was great to see young families with children, grandparents with grandchildren, and people walking their dogs all enjoying being outside. Everyone was friendly. We both felt energized walking in the fresh air, the warm sun, and feeling connected to nature and other people.

 

There is so much to feel fearful about these days. Stepping away from the news and reconnecting with nature, a bigger picture, offers a sense of well-being. I realized how important it is to take care of myself. Creating a peaceful heart and a quiet mind is positive prevention that helps to strengthen us all during tough times. 

 

When I lived in Zimbabwe during the '80s, I would play the wooden recorder I brought with me. It helped a lot when I felt fearful, lonely, and troubled. It surprised me when one of my teammates told me that when she heard me playing my recorder, she felt better because she thought everything would be all right.

 

My peaceful heart and quiet mind can be a calming presence for those around me.

 

Now would be a great moment to try a little mindfulness practice. You might discover that a peaceful heart is a lovely experience. Here’s a guided mindfulness practice I like from Tara Brach. Meditation

 

Go outside for a walk in nature. Try it without earbuds.

 

Go out on a cloudless night and look at the stars. Take a loved one with you and marvel. 

 

Stay well. 

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