Rudyard Kipling wrote well over one hundred years ago a poetic essay entitled “If” that offered a series of stanzas all beginning, “If you can…” and most famous is its opening stanza that begins: “If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you….”
Whether there is an element of blame or not, we’ve all had those situations when people around us are screaming, when life tips over into chaos, when there is good cause to wonder if others around you have lost their minds. Though on some of these occasions, you must actually do something to save the day, at other times, all that’s needed is for you to find some instant peace despite your surroundings.
One of the best tricks I’ve discovered for finding that peace is to envision a large bell jar coming down from above me, settling comfortably around me, and sealing me inside a place of quiet and calm. Bell jars are used in labs to create a vacuum where sounds are eliminated but their clear glass walls leave visibility unhampered. What the visualization does for me is to create a little space between me and whatever chaos is going on near me. It’s a brief, meditative moment when I can retreat inside the silence, re-find myself, remember what’s important, and restore equilibrium.
It takes only a moment but that’s enough to restore harmony to my being.