Over the past few years I have learned the value of quiet meditation as an antidote to stress, and one of the ways in which I meditate is by moving to a peaceful space in my backyard that we have created.
Complete with a faux doe and my Miracle Statue of St. Francis, this miniature patch of tranquility provides me moments of respite from worldly concerns, and it is here that I often venture to gain perspective on a vexing problem. Under the shade of a 100-foot oak tree, this place seems impervious to the "real" world: no phones, no Internet, no television or radio, no worries about finding the best buy in electronics - just the sounds of birds and the occasional vehicles that pass by.
Moreover, squabbles between my children rarely spill over into the backyard, and this quiet space offers serenity even in the most trying parental moments. A few minutes listening to the gurgling waters of the pond at the center of this sculpted plot can clear my head and help me to maintain a calmer demeanor. I walked barefoot to this spot today during a moment of temporary annoyance and allowed the cool earth under my feet to quell the frustrations, and I would have to work hard now to even remember what it was that previously troubled me.
I hope that you too have a place in which your daily aggravations can be set aside, even for just a few moments. Sometimes just removing yourself from stressors can give you the time and tranquility needed to think clearly.