As I write, today is International Peace Day.
The energy of peace is really important to me – it’s the foundation I am building my entire life upon.
Being peaceful is something I learned as a child – although my definition might have been a bit skewed by my circumstances. Back then ‘keeping the peace’ meant not sharing my voice if what I had to say was different from my family’s views or opinions, not wearing clothes that drew attention to myself (either for color or style or mis-coordination), not doing anything in action that would upset my then step-mom (but that really meant not doing anything).
I was peaceful because I was afraid not to be. Which isn’t very peaceful at all when you think about it. My mind was on alert, my body was in a state of flight, my exuberant spirit was squashed into this little box.
After years of healing – and finally choosing to step out of abuse when I chose to become a mom – I knew deep within that I wanted to create a sacred container of a space to call home, I wanted my body to feel like a sacred container of a space for my energy to be in, I wanted my connections and my life experience to feel like sacred containers.
As much as I wanted this feeling, I didn’t quite know what it was, and I definitely wasn’t sure how to create it.
I started with this idea of peace – several decades later, peace is my way of being, naturally in this world. Far from ‘the peace of my youth’.
Peace to me is this nourishing, supportive, ever-flowing energy that acts as a natural heart-healer and connector (for myself and all who are in my space).
When we feel peace – in our heart, mind, body, life on Earth, physical home – all else can flow naturally, easily, gently, joyfully from there.
Peace is: a practice, a noticing of – and tapping into – flow, embodiment of energy, a non-resistance of cycles and seasons, choosing to think and act with love and compassion.
You can feel and experience this peace in your personal space/s even if the world around you is not at peace.
(Likewise, the spaces you step into and the people you choose to connect with might exude peace, but if you still have unhealed trauma or patterns that constrict the flow of your heart energy and spirit, you might feel frustrated, discouraged, angry instead of peaceful.)
If you have known peace in your life, what I speak of might be familiar to you and you might be nodding in agreement, maybe even smiling as you read.
If you haven’t known peace in your personal space or body, what I speak of might seem so incredibly unfamiliar to you that it feels impossible. (I understand – I’ve been there! It would irk me greatly when well-meaning people would tell me peace is a practice while I was in survival mode! But, now, with decades of practice, I get it – we can be in survival mode and still gift our being the feel of peace, at least a few moments a day.)
Before I go on, I want to be very clear about this: feeling and experiencing consistent peace or not feeling or experiencing consistent peace doesn’t make you better or less than another person. Let’s not add judgment to this! (I’ve seen it in life and in this spiritual field.)
When you (and anyone looking in) open to clearly seeing, and understanding, your life experience and your current circumstances, inner peace begins to flow (even before you do the inner work to understand why you feel as you do, and why you are in what you are in – or even if you choose not to do that inner work).
That seeing and understanding (this is where I am and what I am in) brings peace and/or amplifies the peace already there (even if you don’t particularly like where you are or what you are in). In part, because clarity then gives you choices (whereas not seeing or understanding keeps you stuck in tension and/or pain).
Sure, love is a great peace amplifier, but there is so much we find hard to love (for example: destruction, bodily harm, painful loss) that peace could be elusive if we first have to figure out how to love those things.
So the question is: how do you feel/experience the energy of peace, right where you are, in this world as it is, in your life as it is?
We can deduce the answer, first, by understanding a few ‘don’ts’: You don’t force it. You don’t judge yourself if you’re not feeling it. You don’t look to others to see if they are feeling it and wonder why you’re not. You definitely don’t fake it. (I’m not a fan of ‘fake it til you make it’ with energy work – you’re basically lying to yourself and eroding self-trust.)
There isn’t a formula for peace (or any energy) that I can give you.
But, I can share this: feeling peace is possible for you this moment, by first understanding that you want to feel it, then giving yourself permission to feel it.
You can start this process by thinking about – or even asking your being – what would feel peaceful right now?
That answer will change for you, depending upon what you are in, in this moment.
In general, we feel ‘not peaceful’ when we are afraid, feeling (or being) hurt and receiving energies into our space that dilute our joy.
I like to think and live in ‘positives’ so let’s flip that:
in general, we feel most peaceful when we are most deeply centered; feeling affirmed and supported; connected (to source, people, the ‘goodness’ of life); knowing our base needs are being met, consistently and receiving energies into our space that amplify joy, love, gratitude.
You can look at this list and choose one action step, right where you are. Let’s say, centering. You can take a few deep breaths, choosing to breathe in an energy that feels light to you while choosing to breathe out any energies that feel heavy or less than light. In that moment, you didn’t change external, you simply gifted yourself peace right where you were.
As I live my life, I ask myself ‘what would feel peaceful right now?’. (Of course, a sarcastic answer could be ‘napping in a hammock in the tropics after having had a spa massage, while someone cooks a fabulous lunch for when I wake’. Through the sarcasm is some truth, though, that needs to be recognized: rest, refreshment, ease, nourishment would add whole-body peace to my experience of this day.)
The ‘real’ answer varies depending upon what I am doing and how I feel in that moment. I listen and I do my best to follow through.
I share this practice with clients, and they like it because it draws their awareness to ….. peace. And, what we focus on grows. Being aware plants a seed. Following through with action nurtures that seed. Soon, you’re growing peace.
I will share an example. Right now, as I write this, I’m feeling incredibly peaceful. I have the day off from my p/t job and am free to tap into and follow flow as I create while my kids are at school. I’m loving the feel of the day. I am about to be ‘on’ for mothering duties for the afternoon, which means I will have commitments and not as much time for creative expression.
When I ask ‘what would feel peaceful right now?’ the answer is … ‘leaving this article and my Facets of Joy work, wherever I’m at when the time comes that I need to put my ‘mothering hat’ on and being fully present with my kids and whatever is in their schedules.’ Along with ‘eating something light for dinner’.
So, each time I notice I am present with my kids, and when I do choose something light for dinner, I am gifting myself peace. However, if my thoughts wander to playing with words to ‘finish’ this article and/or I eat something heavy and rich, I can notice that (with zero judgment – simply awareness) and keep the peace flowing, by asking again ‘what would bring peace, in this moment?’
That’s easy, though, because I’m feeling peaceful. Let me rewind and give an example. When I was in abuse, in survival mode, I just wanted not to be yelled at or spoken to in a demeaning manner. I wasn’t in a frame of mind to understand why I was in abuse or to remove my presence from it. So, how could I feel peace, then? By noticing each moment I wasn’t being yelled at or spoken to in a demeaning manner (that peace balances a bit of the pain from the non-peace) and also by not replaying the angry/demeaning conversations in my head *and* by not yelling at myself or criticizing myself in my self-talk.
When I was in severe poverty, the answer to ‘what would bring peace in this moment?’ was knowing that I’d have a next meal. And, thanking myself and Universe for the times I *was* eating a full meal. Again, that doesn’t change the circumstances of severe poverty, but it did bring a bit of peace to my day.
As you can see from these examples, peace is possible as a choice.
You build a life full of peace with one thought, one intentional action at a time. As peace becomes more familiar to you, the practice becomes easier.
Of course, there are a myriad of activities you can add to this peace-building practice, beyond allowing yourself the feelings of peace and being aware of noticing and cultivating peace; this is a start.
What I want to be very clear on is that one thought, one action *does* make a difference, so please make sure to thank yourself for each peace-building choice that you make.
Dear Reader: After thinking about what I’ve shared here and perhaps even playing with the practice of asking ‘how can I amplify peace in this moment?’, please do share whatever questions you may have, along with any comments about your experience with peace and how you may be cultivating it in your life. What I’d love to know is ‘what is one of the most peaceful places/spaces in your current daily life?’. (when you share, you inspire)
Much peace and abundant love,
While I do offer guidance through ecourses, it’s not as personal as the attention you receive through one-on-one coaching, where I am able to understand the specifics of what you are in and what you want to be in (or how you feel and how you want to feel) and to offer guidance and practices that are specific to you.
If personal coaching interests you, then you may want to purchase a session this month, during my 50%-off all personal sessions sale, purchased by September 30, 2016 – to be used by October 31, 2016.
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