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.