1. the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; sereneness.
—Random House Dictionary
Remember Charles M. Schultz’s book, Happiness is a Warm Puppy? It was one of my childhood favorites. The image of Snoopy dancing ecstatically with snout held high is burned into my memory. While I can’t yet say that happiness is a continuous state for me, I have a strong center in serenity, and that feels close enough for now.
In homage to Snoopy, then, I offer these definitions of serenity and invite you to add your own.
…knowing everything will be ok in the end, whether or not it goes exactly according to plan
…listening to a friend, knowing we don’t have to solve their problems, just be there for them
…laying underneath a tree with fall foliage with the afternoon sun filtering through
…falling asleep to a gratitude list when anxiety threatens
…taking time in the morning to reflect on the positives before diving into the “to dos”
…having friends who accept us without judgment
…an uninterupted evening to read a long-awaited book
…being present to a child’s excitement about a new story, toy, or idea
…accepting other people for exactly who they are, not who we wish they would be
…a cozy corner, chair, rug, or cushion for meditation
…letting other adults be responsible for themselves, knowing our limits and responsibilities
…believing that we can do our part but not necessarily control the results
…a quiet Thanksgiving with family in front of the fire
…giving to others from a place of love and generosity
…exercising body and mind
…a purring cat on the lap
…letting our bodies guide us toward health
…breathing the scent of freshly fallen leaves and moist forest soil
…having realistic expectations of others and thereby avoiding self-caused and unnecessary disappointment
…being able to recognize and meet our own needs
…allowing ourselves to feel our emotions and let them pass through us rather than hang onto them, exaggerate and dramatize them, or stuff them down
…sharing with others what makes us serene and hearing their ideas
Chime in – what gives you peace?