“The greatest self is a peaceful smile, that always sees the world smiling back.”-Bryant H McGIll
“If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.”-Thich That Hanh
Vibrant and peaceful. At first glance, these two words can almost seem like opposites. However, they definitely are not. (If you don’t believe me, just go to thesaurus.com and look up vibrant antonyms, Mr or Mrs SmartyPants). Not only are they NOT opposites, I believe we need to bring both words to the forefront of our life, to work in harmony, in order to have a fulfilled life. Let’s examine these words in a bit more detail, shall we? (Not really fair to ask you, because that is exactly what we are going to do in the next few paragraphs, so if your answer was “No” then I advise you to just skip ahead a bit).
According to dictionary.com, the definitions of vibrant [vahy-bruh nt]:
1 moving to and fro rapidly; vibrating
2 vibrating as to produce a sound, as a string
3 (of sounds) characterized by perceptible vibration, resonant; sounding
4 pulsating with vigor and energy
5 vigorous; energetic; vital…
OK, lets just stop with #5. For the record, I am not saying we need to walk around vibrating or producing sounds as if a string. The 4th and 5th definitions are definitely more fitting to this vision. When we are truly alive, when we are living our purpose, living with inspiration, we are pulsating with energy and vigor. We are energetic, we are vital. I bet when you think of the word “vital” it sparks a warm feeling inside, and possibly a yearning to own, to be a bit more of that word. People are naturally attracted to vibrant individuals. They exude positivity. They demonstrate confidence. They are naturally “likeable.” When we are vibrant, things are definitely on the “up and up.” Sounds like a pretty good word to emulate, eh? How about peaceful?
Again, dictionary.com defines peaceful [pees-fuh l] (can I just say the whole phonetics thing makes me chuckle a bit):
1 characterized by peace; free from war, strife, commotion, violence or disorder
2 of, relating to, or characteristic of a state or time of peace
3 peaceable; not argumentative, quarrelsome, or hostile
So it seems that the first definition isn’t truly the best for our purposes either. The second definition is a rather half-hearted attempt, you can’t really define a word by saying it’s relating to the time of the word… So the third definition seems pretty good. But I think we can delve even a bit deeper (yes, in this instance I am saying I may know more than dictionary.com, you can’t trust everything on the internet anyway, right?). When i think of peace, I think of comfort, calm, tranquility, harmony, amicable, etc. When you think of peace, what do you picture? I think we can all agree that “peace” is a positive word. Peaceful is a positive, desirous state of being. People who are at peace are not easily shaken, they are solid, they exude a comfort to those around them and to their surroundings. When we are following our purpose, when we are truly inspired, we are at ease with ourselves, we are living peacefully.
When we combine these two: vibrant peace, (or maybe peaceful vibrancy, vib-peace-ancy? You get the idea) we can picture living with purpose, striving toward improvement but with a sense of calm and comfort about the journey. We are pulled (more than pushed) toward pursuing our best selves because it feels so good to do so. We feel compelled to live with enthusiasm and drive through a smooth, steady path. (That is not to say there won’t be bumps, or hurdles, or walls, it’s just that we are at peace with the knowledge they will be there but our vibrancy trumps our obstacles). Live to improve. Follow your heart strings. Allow your soul to tug you toward living a more impactful life, most definitely. However, do so with peace in mind, knowing that following our inspiration is the highest level of our life. We are destined to do so. The drive should also produce some solace if we are truly allowing inspiration to drive.
Go forth, be vibrant, be at peace. (Wow, that sentence sounded so official ;).
Have a truly amazing life-Joel Lindeman D.C.