Thursday, December 29, 2011

Peace Now

(Originally published in the Stay Open Newsletter, Feb. 2010)

Greetings, friends. It's always good to be here to share with you.

It's more and more obvious to me that solutions do not arise from thinking about some imagined future . . .

I've had something on my mind for days, mentally toying with me, showing up as thoughts that ask me about how I'm going to manipulate the future. As if I could know anything like that!

Today I realized a sweet and subtle distinction. I felt the sensation of waiting. I felt the mentally un-relaxed state of waiting. As if I couldn't relax now, but in some imagined future, when I tackled the supposed problem, then I could relax -- maybe. Of course the thoughts aren't sure about the future either. So in the moment, I was neither relaxed, nor was I convinced that relaxation was possible in the future, yet I was projecting myself ahead to a moment when relaxation might be possible.

Then, I simply relaxed. I let my thoughts come to rest and noticed what remained.

Peace is available now. There's no other time that you'll ever find it. In fact, it's not something that can be found. It is naturally here - right now - no matter what is arising on the surface.

If you notice that you're casting yourself mentally into some unknown and non-existent future, please don't scold yourself. Don't cause yourself more suffering by making that wrong. Nothing is a problem. Instead, you can just take that moment of noticing to rest. That's it. And then, for that moment, peace.

The restful moment may be fleeting, as all moments, thoughts, emotions, and sensations are, but you have given yourself the opportunity to recognize what is always available no matter what is arising on the surface.

Thoughts and emotions are not problems. The mind that wants to sort things out and plan for unknown variables is not a problem. In fact, they can all be gifts, pointing us home to what is always present, unchanging, stable and peaceful.

The more we can recognize these moments of waiting for peace, and take the opportunity to rest now, the more mellow things become. We find that - in this moment - there is no problem. There may be something that you need to tend to presently, and if so, you do. And if there isn't, you get to have a real slice of life. You are actually living now. Life is spontaneously taking care of all that needs to be cared for.

As I write this I have my front door open and can see the once gray and now chalky white sky and evening approaching this February day in Texas. Across the street I can see just the hint of green fuzz on a tree, mixed with the spidery branches of winter limbs. The rocking chair on the porch is still, yet somehow vibrant, in its effortless existence.

Nothing has changed in the supposed situation that my mind was trying to solve. Nothing is needed. Life is totally managing itself. And when the moment arises that something needs to be done, I can rest assured, it will be. It cannot be any other way.

Peace is now.

But don't take my word for it. Verify for yourself by taking brief moments of rest when you notice this problem-solving tendency in yourself.

* * * * *

If questions arise from this writing, please email

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Class: Creative Freedom in Therapy & Life

*** please note: new dates! ***

From the Creative Expression Series . . .

Creative Freedom in

presented by Carin Channing, LCSW

This class is open to everyone, and we provide
6 hours of CEUs to Social Workers and LPCs.

Through direct experience, I have come to know the benefits of using writing and visual arts in therapeutic ways. Whether you want to access your creative muse or whether you want to unleash feelings that aren't satisfied with just talking about or sitting with them, I stand by therapeutic creative exercises, 100%.

The more we allow our complete and natural experience to be expressed, the more we can experience freedom in all emotional states.

In this two session class, we will practice techniques to put words to that which we have been reluctant yet eager to express, and we will use visual arts to paint a picture of life that's fully allowed and welcomed.

Practical and fresh skills to use in therapy.

Saturday, January, 14 – 4 p.m.
Saturday, January 15, 1 – 4 p.m. (6 Hours of CEUs)

3355 Bee Caves, Suite 510, Austin 78746

Please register in advance by emailing or by
clicking the “Buy Now” button on this page.

A few additional supplies are required. Complete list given upon registration.

Registration is limited to 8 participants.
Call Carin at 847-732-0932 with questions.