cff FINDING YOUR ZEN LIFE SWEET SPOT | Simple and Serene Living


Tuesday, April 18, 2023

For those of you who may not be regular readers, my daughter Katy passed away on November 5, 2022.

Katy was my baby, my angel, and even though people may think because I smile and laugh with them that I am over my deep mourning for her loss, my grief is just as profound as it was five months ago.


Finding a sense of zen in the chaos of feelings I am experiencing is essential for my well-being and it is for all of us.

1) I have realized that one of the first things we need to do is admit our feelings. 

Always putting on a brave face may help others around us, but it doesn't address how we are really feeling. 

No, you don't have to share with the entire world how you are feeling, but talking about it to close loved ones, a therapist, or even writing it in a journal can help to bring peace.

journal candle and tea

 The important thing is acknowledging it to yourself. 

2) Rather than the more formal version of Zen, which is a form of Buddhism, my interpretation of Zen is peace and happiness. It is a feeling of tranquility.

Once we acknowledge that there is some type of upheaval in our lives, it is important to take steps to calm those turbulent waters.

row boat on lake

There are several things we can do to bring peace to our lives.

  • One of the first steps is deep breathing. This is probably one of the fastest ways to calm down.
  • Music is a wonderful way to bring peace into our lives. There is no set style of music to bring tranquility. I love putting on my old records. Listening to them takes me back to my younger years when life was less complicated.
  • Meditation removes us from the immediate stress we are feeling and allows us to slow down in both body and mind. Meditation can be as simple as closing our eyes for a brief time or more guided. I find that both types help to bring me peace.
  • Is there a physical place from your past that has brought you peace and you can close your eyes and visualize? For me, it is the river that ran through my small town when I was a child. I can close my eyes and visualize myself sitting by that river and I immediately feel a sense of tranquility.
  • I know people who practice yoga and say it centers them in a place of peace.

harmony rock

3) I have gone back to reading a lot more. Reading has always been comforting to me, but over the last couple of years, it was hard for me to focus. 

Yesterday I went to the library to pick up a book I had on hold and while I was there I wandered around looking at books and found some old authors I hadn't read for a while. 

I sat down in a chair, looked out over the woods next to the library, and read the beginning of one of the books. 

reading chair in library

There it was, Zen. 

Have you found your Zen life sweet spot?


  1. Getting out in the woods gives me such a peaceful feeling. And we live close to trails in the forest so I can go often. It's important for our mental health. Thanks for writing this post. I keep you in my prayers. Hugs, Diane

  2. I know how you feel Laura. It's been 14 years since my son passed, and there is still such grief inside. Your ideas are great for finding some Zen/peace. I do a couple already, visualizing sweet places I've been, deep breathing and closing my eyes. That reading spot in your library.. now THAT would be MY Zen place! What a beautiful spot! There are no woods or forests around where I live, and I really NEED that green and tall trees for my soul and health. That is where I always find such peace... so I'm searching for a place to move, now that's I"m alone, where I can experience the woods and forests again. When there is such loss in our lives, we DO need to be able to talk to someone about it sometimes, and not stuff the grief way down deep. Thank you for this post! xoxo Marilyn

  3. Music, beach walks and crafting are my go to's when I'm in need of a little zen...and believe it or not, cleaning. I know that sounds odd, but somehow it centers me. I think it has something to do with getting everything in order. Keeping you in my prayers, Laura. xo

  4. I thought about your post all day yesterday! Grief is all consuming - literally involved in everything we do and say. I know and understand how it effects our daily lives.
    I had an immediate answer to your question regarding my Zen life sweet spot but I still simply kept my answer in my thoughts. I decided I'd come back to answer. Initially I thought I would enjoy reading but sadly I still struggle with focus when I read. I only read on occasion. My Zen Life Sweet Spot is sitting in my living room working with a needle and thread i.e. hand embroidery, counted x-stitch, hand applique, etc. I'm a firm believer in keeping our hands busy. I've read articles about how using our hands produces dopamine and seratonin in our brain. If I start to feel a little our of sorts I immediately pick up a hand project and I start to feel much better. That's why it's my Zen Life Sweet Spot!

  5. I'm glad you have been able to find some peace, Laura. Reading is definitely in my Zen toolbox. Sitting on the beach watching the ocean, or sitting in my backyard watching the birds are other ways that bring me peace. I'm working on breathing techniques, and I keep saying I'm going to do yoga, but I've yet to follow through.


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