The Phoenix

Finding peace in the Reflection Pool

- By Terry Alburger

Life these days is nothing less than chaotic. We are emerging from a pandemic, which seemed to last an eternity; the world waits to see what will happen next in the tragic war underway in Ukraine at the hands of a ruthless enemy; locally, we seem to be plagued by violence and intoleranc­e and hatred; perhaps we have loved ones who are struggling.

Yes, this crazy world can be very scary. Yet, if you look for it, you can find good, and you can find peace.

I am always looking for ways to keep relaxed and not let the craziness affect me adversely. I tend to use visualizat­ion to help my mind stay calm, to ease the tensions which I had absorbed throughout the course of the day. Recently, I came upon a very helpful mental exercise that really helps me. I call it the Reflection Pool.

At the end of a stressful day, I find a quiet spot and close my eyes. This works best when I’m going to bed for the evening, because it usually lulls me to sleep.

I close my eyes, my mind tends to run in 100 different directions, worrying about this one or that one, thinking of work problems or just overwhelme­d with how many tasks I must accomplish.

I stress over ill family members or grieve over recent losses. My mind is a jumble of activity and abuzz with what if’s. Time for action.

In my mind, I see a large swimming pool, and each problem, each worry and each stress is represente­d by a nondescrip­t person flounderin­g and splashing in that pool.

Then, it happens. I blow the imaginary whistle, and each being, each entity, each problem, turns and exits the pool.

As they emerge from the water, they simply vanish. I am left with a peaceful pool, which exudes calmness and tranquilit­y. I continue to look at the water, soothed by the gentle lapping of water on the sides of the pool until eventually, the surface is completely still.

I can see the peace. I can feel the peace. I think of only the surface of the water. No other thoughts are allowed in, banished from my pool and from my mind. As I allow my mind to near the water, I begin to see my reflection gazing back at me.

It gives me the opportunit­y to face a calmer version of myself, to let my mind release the problems of the day and to reflect on my life, minus all the stress with which I was burdened earlier in the day.

As I become more and more relaxed, things seem to come into clearer focus. And I know that ultimately, everything will be OK. I just have to let go of the angst and embrace the quiet.

Once I am in that mindset, I can see myself slowly walking into this still pool, lying back and floating, enveloped by the warm waters of peace. It is usually around this point that I fall asleep, peacefully and quickly. I couldn’t tell you what happens next!

I know visualizat­ion doesn’t work for everyone, but this certainly helps to calm the savage beast that I can become when stressed out. I welcome you to try it and invite you to my swimming pool!

Take a dip — it just might make a difference!

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PIXABAY

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