Such an elusive ideal.
We pray for peace.
Crave inner peace.
Long for world peace.
But what is peace to you? What does it mean? How is it attained?
There is plenty of unrest in the world around us right now. Although there is a lot vying for our attention outside of us, we still need to pay attention to what is going on within us first. Praying for peace and then turning around and yelling at the TV (computer, smartphone, etc.) because of the latest news update isn’t helpful. We need to establish some semblance of peace within our own selves so we can foster it around us. Inner turmoil creates outer turmoil just as inner peace creates outer peace.
Here are a few acronyms for peace to foster self-exploration. If you find yourself getting agitated or impatient, I invite you to stick with it. It often means you are closing in on what you most need to know.
Pause and take time to be intentional around where your walls may be up. Open your heart to notice what limiting beliefs may be guiding you. Bring awareness to your words and actions, both internally and externally. How are they serving you? How, in turn, are they serving others? Choose a path of elevating an awareness and consciousness around you…your words, actions, beliefs, and judgments.
Start with yourself. In what ways are you embodying self-acceptance? How do you talk to yourself? How do you treat yourself? How gentle are you towards yourself versus how hard do you push? What are you trying to prove? What is your goal? Your level of acceptance and compassion for yourself fosters empathy towards others.
The general level of anxiety continues to climb and it has become imperative to be gentle with ourselves. Expectations can be culprits behind anxiety, often stemming from a desire to control. We’ve all heard it before…the only thing we can control is how we react to people or situations. And it’s true. Keep tabs on your level of anxiety. Limit the amount of news you read or watch. Breathe. Be discerning about who you dive into conversations or debates with. Breathe. When you find yourself getting fired up, take a breath. Step back. Pause.
The more you pay attention within, the more you empower yourself. The same holds true in connection with others. The more you pay attention to others, the more you empower yourself AND them. Paying attention means listening…really listening…to what is being said. This is meant both personally and interpersonally. Are you really noticing what thoughts are racing through your head? How are they serving you? Be curious about a point of view that is different than yours, trusting the ability to listen, free of the distraction of judgment. Listening to someone doesn’t mean you have to agree or that there is a right or wrong point of view. It means bringing compassion and attention to the forefront, empowering both of you.
May you find the peace you crave, from the inside out.
Walking together in light, love and PEACE