Archives for June 2014

It’s Time to Eat Peas and Grapes … Your Happiness May Depend on It! Part Two by Valerie Sheppard

June 17, 2014 8 Comments
Valerie Sheppard

Valerie Sheppard

Welcome back. I trust that you have explored holding the energy of Ease and that you’re finding it serves your feelings of happiness to do so. Let’s continue with how being in Ease helps you experience Peace.

Ease is but the surface layer of this deeper inner state. Peace is your State of Being beyond resistance. A place we all strive to get. Peace is within your Essence, it’s a space of trust and openness, the unmistakable knowing that everything is exquisitely right, regardless of appearances. In the story above of praying over a dead pelican or gull, ease is accepting that this particular walk includes a dead pelican (certainly not something I want to experience), and Peace is trusting that however it died, ultimately all is as it should be —even while the judging self might be looking for something or someone to blame for its death.

Peace comes from choosing to transcend the situational aspects of a moment, while allowing those aspects to be exactly as they are. As Mahatma Gandhi taught:

“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.”

All your fears, anxieties, anger, and sadness are not the opposite of Peace. When they grip you tightly and you feel like you can’t break free, they are essentially reminding you of your disconnection with Peace.

When a lamp gets unplugged, its light goes out. But the power to light it is still there waiting for the lamp to be plugged back in. Inner Peace is still waiting for you to plug back in when you’re facing a struggle, experiencing pain and sadness, dealing with your fears. Just because there’s momentary darkness in your life, doesn’t mean your inner Light is not there. Remember to stay connected to the Source within; trust that you have safety, stamina, guidance, endurance, and comfort even in the midst of a beach walk with hills, rocks, debris, dead creatures and big unknowns.

And finally, Grace. When you feel like something amazing happened that you’re not sure you deserve, what do you call it? I call it Grace. Grace is what Divinely plugs your lamp back in when you couldn’t even reach for the plug. Grace is experiencing the presence of God when you least expect it to, because you are barely connected to that aspect of you within.

Grace is a gift bestowed to you when you’re trapped in the appearances of lack and limitation, when you’re seemingly out of time and out of options – yet abundance and opportunity show up anyway. Grace is what calls to you asking, “what do you really want?” Grace shows up to remind you that you can choose how to experience what is happening, right when you may be at your absolute worst place for remembering and choosing.

In the midst of situations that make you ask “Where did this come from?”, Grace helps you take responsibility and love yourself anyway, without judgment, guilt, or shame. It shields you when you realize that sometimes you cannot claim the Divinity within, and that you’re attached to the limited ideas of your human self, experiencing fear, sadness and loneliness. As the poet Rumi says:

“Give up to grace. The ocean takes care of each wave till it gets to shore.”

So now, you can see why I love to affirm Ease, Peace and Grace in my life always. I offer this mantra to you, and intend that it elevates your vibration so you can experience everything it is in your life now.


* This post is a revision of my original two-part article that was published on on April 11, 2014.

It’s Time to Eat Peas and Grapes … Your Happiness May Depend on It! by Valerie Sheppard

June 13, 2014 4 Comments
Valerie Sheppard

Valerie Sheppard

It’s Time to Eat Peas and Grapes … Your Happiness May Depend on It!*

As I was murmuring my favorite mantra, a friend amazed asked me, “Did you just say eat peas and grapes?” It was a funny misinterpretation and I laughed as I thought about it for a moment. I do love eating that’s for sure. It’s probably one of my all-time favorite things to do. The exquisite tastes and textures and the friends along for the ride make eating a heartwarming and fulfilling ritual.

I don’t like peas though. They are my Green Eggs and Ham. As a pre-teen, I didn’t get excused from the dinner table unless I belonged to the “clean plate club.” When peas were on the menu, I would sit there looking at my almost-clean plate, except for the pile of cold and forlorn peas.

But that was until I figured a way out. I’d put them in my mouth, quietly spit them into my napkin, and discreetly and oh-so-secretly empty the napkin into the waiting mouth of my dog Taffy who was patiently waiting under the table. She saved me from hours of sitting and staring at food I wasn’t going to eat. Thanks girl.

Childhood stories aside, neither peas nor grapes can transform your life. What my dear friend misheard is a favorite mantra, “Ease, Peace and Grace.”

When I simply utter the word ease, I feel an exhale.  Ease is about releasing resistance within. Ease is holding the posture of a “YES!” in your body, mind, heart and Spirit, and using that energy for whatever shows up.

Our ease is manifested in how we react and express ourselves when the experiences of the day are difficult. Ease is the space we save in our hearts for Divine Light and Love to be present, moving in, through, and as us. Ease can be the gift that you give yourself in the midst of what appear to be the ‘not gifts’ coming to you. Ultimately, ease can be your power center, one that allows you to embrace a day full of challenges and disappointments, struggles and conflicts.

I love taking long beach walks. Where I walk, there is a combination of sand and rocks of different sizes. Sometimes, the tide creates hilly areas as well. Each walk is a surprise; the beach might be flat, smooth and rock-free, or the exact opposite. I can never know or predict what I will get and that’s ok. Ease is about greeting whichever scenario I encounter, with an open heart. This energetic “YES!” means I am open to whatever shows up – whether it’s a flat, smooth and clean path, or whether I must step over rocks, pick up garbage, or pray over a dead pelican or gull.

In our lives, it’s often the unknowns we resist the most. I love this quote from Eckhart Tolle:

“Being at ease with not knowing is crucial for answers to come to you.”

This is the beauty at the heart of ease – being an energetic “YES!” lets you receive more possibilities because you are not disrupting life’s flow with the energy of resistance. Start to consciously notice how and when you are denying ease to be part of who you are and what you are experiencing.

Ease goes to a deeper place though. Ease is what let’s you experience Peace. Ease is but the surface layer of this deeper inner state. And who among us wouldn’t like more of that?! We’ll explore the Peace and Grace of my favorite mantra in Part 2. Stay tuned and stay in Ease!


* This post is a revision of my original two-part article that was published on on April 11, 2014.