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Thursday, August 29, 2013

tranquilosophy: tranquility is . . .

The very secret of life for me, I believed, was to maintain in the midst of rushing 
events an inner tranquility. - Margaret Bourke-White

During my recent writing workshop in Paris, I shared my an excerpt from my latest book {with art by the lovely Mary Catherine Starr} and got confused faces around the term tranquility. Tranquility to many sounds like time at the spa, or meditation in a remote setting, or escaping the day-to-day on a solo vacation. How can one practice tranquility and do the suggested daily, weekly, and monthly checklists?

Embracing tranquility while living a busy and full life is where I get inspired. It's understandable to feel tranquil while on vacation or meditating away from everyday concerns. But finding tranquility "in the midst of rushing events," as the quote above by Bourke-White mentions, now that's where it gets juicy. Thus, I've rewritten the definition to reflect my take on it and above is a fun graphic to serve as a reminder.

In Living Your Yoga, Judith Lasater explains that practicing pratyahara {withdrawal of the senses and one of the eight limbs of yoga} involves being in the middle of a busy marketplace and not affected by all that is going on around you. Think Black Friday at a big box store. You are centered and at peace even among chaos.

Next time you're in an overstimulating environment or rushing from A to B, stop, take a deep breath, and remember that tranquility can be yours. You have the choice to respond mindfully or react habitually. Keep this in mind while stuck in traffic or on a crowded beach this holiday weekend. Inhale, exhale.

Tranquility is: wrapping your hands around a warm cuppa tea, taking a deep breath in the midst of tension, saying what you mean and meaning what you say, feeling comfortable in your own skin, spending quality time with loved ones {sans smartphone}, living authentically, savoring a homemade meal, doing work that feels good, walking in the woods surrounded by fall foliage, getting clear on what you want, constantly learning, savoring a green juice, penning deep thoughts in a journal, feeling sunshine on your skin, stepping just outside your comfort zone, meeting a deadline with grace {or at all}, pausing and doing a body scan.

Explore the quality of calm within your full and meaningful life. Now that, my friends, is my definition of tranquility. What is tranquility to you? Bisous. x

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Rebecca said...

Beautiful post Kimberly!

Sarah said...

Rebecca took the words out of my mouth! Great post and thanks for sharing.