“If we’re frantic, life will be frantic… And so our goal in any situation becomes inner peace.”
~ Marianne Williamson
I have been working on a story for an upcoming Heal My Voice Collaborative Book project. This will be my second time participating in a Heal My Voice Writing Circle and the focus is on Peace. It’s been a couple of months that I have been gathering ideas and exploring what story might want to emerge for the book. And, I have been diving into what peace means to me, how I experience it and where in my life I am not experiencing peace.
Awhile back, I came upon a course listing from a fellow Zero Balancer. Zero Balancing® is a type of body/energy work that I utilize in my holistic practice. And, interestingly, it was one of the best modalities I have experienced that facilitates and supports a deep sense of inner peace. The title of the course was “The Peaceful Body. Just hearing this term stirred something in me. I realized that so often we tend to think of peace in terms of a peaceful mind or peaceful spirit. Suddenly, I felt strongly that in order to truly experience peace and embody it in the world, it really seems beneficial to consider it on all levels.
In my life and my work, I have tended to take a holistic approach – one that addresses body, mind, emotion and spirit and the integration of all of those parts into a balanced whole. This feels like an important paradigm to bring to the cultivation of peace. Gandhi’s famous words,”We must be the change we wish to see in the world” comes to mind here. We often hear that we cannot bring peace to our world if we are unable to cultivate peace within our own selves. But what does that mean?
It’s easy to say we need to cultivate peace in our lives but learning how to actualize that awareness and how to live and embody peace is another story. My sense is that by taking a holistic approach to peace, we can create a framework for developing and deepening our ability to be Peace Beings, on all levels – body, mind, emotion and spirit.
A peaceful body
A peaceful mind
A peaceful emotional state = A PEACEFUL BEING
A peaceful spirit
Many Peaceful Beings = A Peaceful Planet
I have been told often that I have a very peaceful presence. I find this interesting as I have tended to experience stress and anxiety and continue to work through old traumas. Even when I might not feel calm, I seem to project that energy outward. My sense is this comes from 30 plus years of meditation and cultivating stillness within. Even when I may not feel peaceful inside, others tend to feel peaceful around me. This may also have to do with the fact that having come through traumatic experiences, I know how to be calm in the face of crisis and chaos.
I share this because, for many years, I saw this as a strength and I have to admit that it still does come in handy, especially when facing a crisis or dealing with a chaotic situation. However, what I have learned in my years as a body/energy worker, healer and most of all a being in search of peace is that there is a price to pay when we hold the façade of peace and yet, our center continues to hold turmoil and chaos.
It is often this gap that creates the greatest disharmony in our individual selves and in our world. If we consider this from purely an energetic perspective, most of us have a sense of when we feel chaotic, unbalanced and disconnected and we probably, also have a sense of when we feel peaceful, balanced and connected. I use the following sketches to illustrate this:
There are many ways to shift our energy from a chaotic state to a balance and peaceful state. Also, just having the awareness of these variations and recognizing how we tend to move between the two states can be the beginning of a practice to become a more Peaceful Being.
Exploration: A Holistic Approach To Peace
Taking a holistic approach to Peace offers a framework for actively working to cultivate deeper peace in our lives and in our world. In order to feel peaceful, balanced and connected, we need to attend to the our whole self- body, mind, emotion and spirit. And, we need to also find ways to integrate all of these aspects of self. Take some time to explore each level and how you might work to create greater peace and balance in your life.
Body – Do you feel healthy? Are you following a diet that supports well-being? Are there foods or chemicals you are taking in that may cause you to feel out of balance or be harmful to your body? Do you get enough rest and relaxation? Are you experiencing tension or discomfort in your physical body that needs your attention? Take some time this week to do a holistic self-care review and consider what changes may support your body in being more in a state of peacefulness and balance.
Mind – Do you experience a calm mind? Are you able to create space for stillness? Does mental chatter or busyness keep you from feeling peaceful and balanced? Are you holding beliefs that are in opposition to being at peace, e.g. the world is unsafe, I am undeserving of peace or happiness, there is only one way to peace, etc. Take some time this week to explore a practice that helps to quiet your mind, such as meditation, yoga, or even a walk in nature. Also, do some journaling to explore beliefs you may be carrying that are keeping you from a deeper experience of peace.
Emotion ~ Are you holding in feelings that need to be expressed or released? Are you in denial about feelings you are experiencing? Are you unable to connect with what you are actually feeling? Are you picking up on the emotions of others due to a depleted or chaotic energy field? Take some time this week to explore what you are feeling. Are there unresolved feelings you need to work to let go of? Be open to really listening to your heart and what it needs in order to move into a place of peace.
Spirit – Do you feel a sense of connection to your self? to others? to the world? to Source? Experiencing a sense of connection is one of the foundations for Peace. When we are disconnected, we lack a sense of support and stability which is inherent in the energetic quality of peace. Take some time this week to explore your sense of connection. Do you need to do some inner work to connect with your own self? Do you need to connect with community? Do you have a spiritual practice which supports connection and fosters peace in your life?
In addition to considering each level on it’s own, it is also important to consider the interrelationship of various aspects of self as well as overall integration. For instance, sometimes we are holding emotions in the physical body that need to be released or discharged. Sometimes body/energy work can support this; sometimes emotional release work or even some type of physical exercise is needed. Be open to exploring what practices and tools support you in achieving a sense of wholeness and well-being. This is another foundation for becoming a Peaceful Being.
A simple practice for cultivating peace ~ When you have a moment where you recognize you are feeling chaotic, stressed, unbalanced, etc. Take a few deep breaths. Breathing in for a count of five and out of a count of five. Then, let your breath move to it’s own natural rhythm. Continuing to follow the breath with your intention and awareness – on the in breath invite in the energy of peacefulness and calm in to your body, mind, emotion and spirit. As you breath out, let go of any tensions, worries, stresses, or obstacles to peace that you may be carrying in body, mind, emotion and spirit. You may wish to do all the levels at once or work with one at at time. (Note: This practice can also be used to explore what you are feeling or experiencing on each level)
I hope you have a beautiful week. May it be filled with peacefulness, balance and connection.
As always, feel free to stop by to share your thoughts, feelings or reflections on Peace.