“What are you doing to maintain a peaceful heart?”
I like to talk. I especially like to tell stories. There is a lot of talking in the world these days, and I believe an even more relentless desire to connect. I suppose that’s what social media is all about. Yet I still don’t think people truly feel connected even when they are tweeting and addicted to their Facebook pages all day. I wonder about all of the mindless and heartless babbling (read that as hatin’ talk). “What is the purpose”? “Why am I doing this?” are the questions I pose to myself more frequently these days. These questions particularly pertain to my speech and my conversation. As Miquel Ruiz ask in his book, The Four Agreements, is my speech impeccable?
So I decided to start blogging. This is not the first time. I tried blogging several years ago in an attempt to encourage my students to write more. It seemed that they expressed a desire to become better writers (especially after they received feedback on their college papers from me). But when I asked them how often they wrote, it appeared that writing was a required pastime. To encourage my students, I told them that if they blogged I would blog. The issues that emerged from a course on Race and Ethnic Identity were ripe for commentary and I also promised extra credit. None of us blogged for very long, quickly losing steam as the semester rolled along. However, not surprisingly, the best final grades in the class went to those students who blogged until the end.
Now I have a topic that I am passionate about and perfect for a blog. How does one acquire and maintain a peaceful heart? Having a heart transplant eighteen years ago set me on a path to understanding that possessing a peaceful heart is the key to happiness. Most people believe that happiness is linked to having things; a nice car, big house, large bank account, fame, “having the life” if you will. If there is one thing I learned recovering from three heart surgeries (one of them the transplant) and a kidney transplant is that none of things I listed could prevent the suffering I experienced nor could they help much in my recovery. Yet there are lessons to be learned and resources and people everywhere that helped me uncover the peace in my heart and the subsequent joy that emanates from it. Peace and inner joy are inextricably linked and they both reside in the heart.
Thus, I will be blogging about what I’ve learned and continue to learn about this “secret.” I wish I could say that I will blog every day but that is creating certain expectations and “stress” both of which are likely to disrupt the peace in my heart. I vow to blog as least once a week hoping to get that frequency up to 2-3 times a week. My commitment and goal stems from an urging in my spiritual heart to help others find and maintain the peace in their hearts. Let the journey continue.