By Maddie Rodriguez

Finding Inner Peace.

If you practice yoga regularly or even occasionally, you’re likely to hear a lot of advice about meditation, breath and calm. Not all advice works for everyone, but I wanted to share a phrase that has been particularly useful for me: peace isn’t a place, it’s a moment.

I’m sure I’m not alone in being encouraged to “find inner peace” or being told by others how they found their peace. To me, this phrasing always made it sound as if “peace” is static, constant; a tangible place once lost and then permanently found. I never seemed able to find that perfect place and if I did, I certainly couldn’t hold onto it. Distractions, in the form of my environment, my personal conflicts, and the events of the world around me, always intruded; secretly, I always thought they should. Who can afford to be calm and blissed-out all the time? Aren’t there things worth being excited, angry or anxious about?

By re-phrasing the concept of inner peace, my teacher helped me reframe feelings about it. Suddenly “peace” seemed both more achievable and aspirational. It no longer required the perfect surroundings or the silencing of the rest of the world. I stopped understanding peace as the result of searching, and instead saw it as a temporary clearing away internal and external distractions. It was fleeting, but all the more meaningful because it was something I could create for myself.

And all this from just thinking carefully about a few words. It never ceases to amaze me how a change in language can change a whole perspective.