Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’ve tasked myself with exploring the concepts of pronoia (the belief that the universe is conspiring to shower us with blessings), quiety (serenity) and peace – all through the lens of unusual, obscure, or simply delightful-to-me words.
P is for…
Pacation – The act of soothing or calming something, derived from the Latin word for “peace,” pax.
It’s not healthy to live in a state of constant or prolonged stress, tension, anxiety, and urgency – it’s taxing for our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. We all know this, and yet we’re not all skilled at implementing strategies to help alleviate the strain. We need to become better at this, and we each need to find things that work for us. There are very few, if any, one-size-fits-all solutions in this world.
Sometimes serious situations call for complete overhauls – big changes in how we navigate our lives. Frankly, I think as a collective we could well use some re-thinking and restructuring of how we live our lives and what we place importance on.
But that consideration aside, often it can be helpful to simply take a few moments to re-set our energies and pull ourselves out of the noisy fray and find our way to some moments of peace. There certainly are a number of strategies that are soothing and that promote a heightened sense of calm and peaceful tranquility, and I thought I’d review a few of them in our exploration of pacation.
I’ve been thinking about Isak Dinesen’s proclamation “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.” I’m a big fan of salt water baths for clearing energy, detoxifying, and relaxing. I often use a combination of dead sea salts, epsom salts, and Himalayan pink salts. I have a supply of rosy pink salt “rocks” that are delightful to add to a tub of water – they look like chunks of rose quartz. Other things can be added to therapeutic baths, including flower essences, essential oils, various botanicals, and even water-safe stones if you’re so inspired.
Rhythmic motion is also calming. Anyone who has rocked a crying baby knows this well. So any slow, repetitive motion can often be helpful, whether it’s sitting in a rocking chair, or swinging slowly, or simply rubbing your hand (or another part of your body) back and forth or in circles. There often comes a point with such motion where your attention becomes so focused and then it suddenly shifts and you experience a sense of expansion and release.
Working with essential oils can be quite soothing as well. Lavender is one of the safest oils and most people find it a pleasant scent. It can be used in a diffuser, or a few drops added to a bath, or sniffed directly from the bottle or from a hanky containing a drop of oil. Dressing a candle with a bit of oil and then burning the candle is also a lovely way to enjoy the fragrance and its benefits.
Soothing music is helpful to turn to as well. There’s a difference between calming music and uplifting music, and while your ultimate goal may be to shift your mood to an uplifted one, it’s often easier to first move into soothed and calm and from that state move into uplifted. Slow, steady, small steps are often much easier to manage than big leaps.
Meditation is definitely a calming centering practice, and yet not every form of meditation is a good fit for everyone. Mantra-based meditation works for some, emptying the mind for others. paying attention to one’s breath, walking meditation, flame watching – these are just some options to consider. If you’ve tried one thing and it hasn’t worked, consider trying something else.
De-tensing your body is also a helpful strategy. Alternately tensing and relaxing body parts; slow, deep breathing; reflexology can be useful. A relaxing massage can be heavenly.
Being out in nature is another practice that can shift things profoundly. Grounding practices, slow walks, quiet observation – all these things bring quiet into your body and your fields.
And sometimes the best re-set is a nap and a conscious decision to call a do-over. Start again. Begin anew.
What soothing practices do you find most helpful? How do you find your way to peace in this often crazy, over-stimulating, tension-filled world? Do tell – you know I love to hear.