Okay. So now you’re steeped in peace. Nothing can disturb your reverie, right?
No matter how much at peace you think you are, there’s always more. There’s always a deeper peace waiting.
Finding your state of inner calm is important. In fact, it’s going to be essential for you to begin the next step of our journey together — actually dealing with the things that steal your peace.
Perhaps nothing in your life does. You are like a saint, living with such equilibrium that it doesn’t matter to you if your world is collapsing around you.
If so, great. I invite you to consider becoming part of the PeaceOptions’ teaching corps and sharing it with those who aren’t.
But if you’re like most, something can steal your peace. Maybe it’s your job or money situation. Or the kids. Or the buttons pushed by someone in your life.
If you live in this world, there’s a good chance you’re being affected by the state of the economy, the environment, or the incessant wars being fought around the globe. Or maybe it’s just the horrific news that crosses your TV screen, like women being sold into slavery, children abducted and abused, or an unending supply of horrors being inflicted upon people.
These are all peace-stealers, and they are everywhere.
The question is what are you going to do about them? And how will you go about it?
We’ve already talked about finding your own peace. Ignorance certainly isn’t bliss for those affected by them. Now modern media are thrusting them into your awareness and turning away isn’t an option.
Either you learn to live with their presence, or you roll up your sleeves and do something about it.
The choice is entirely up to you. It’s a matter strictly between you and your inner voice. For it is truly what will allow you to be at peace, or not. When it goes off inside your head or pushes your inner buttons, you will find it very hard to ignore. No amount of meditation will provide you refuge. No amount of withdrawal from the outer world or avoidance of its problems will bring you peace.
I assume you’re quiet enough to hear your inner voice. So what is it telling you? Is it urging you into action? Or is it pushing you to enhance your ability to cope with the mess and develop a deeper inner peace despite all the problems around you.
Let it guide you. Sooner or later, though, it will tell you to turn and face the strange, to meet the assailants upon your peace and do something about it.
This is where we will be turning our attention this year — how to meet and engage the things in your life and world that are causing your discontent.
2012 is a time to act — not to fix our world, but simply to make your stand for peace by dealing with those things in your life that stand in its way. The first step you’re already taking, surveying your inner landscape and taking stock of the state of your inner affairs.
Perhaps you’re already working on the second step as well, strengthening your intention for peace, and creating a space in which it can take hold and grow.
If so, then perhaps you’re ready for more, to engage those things that encroach upon that space. Don’t think of it as going to war with your reality. Instead, consider it simply evolving your intention for peace to allow it to spread into that reality and reshape it in ways better suited to bring you peace.
This stage of your evolution starts simply by making becoming aware of the things about your life and world you don’t like. After all, if we can’t like what’s in our reality, it’s mighty difficult to be at peace with it.
As each comes to your attention, examine it closely, especially the responses it triggers in you. How does it make you feel? What are the emotions it dredges up? Thoughts? How about the underlying beliefs involved?
Look for the causes. Why do these things have the impact upon you that you do?
Now, consider what it is you can do about them. What is it about each possibility that attracts you? Or repels you? What are the obstacles you see? Which ones might you not, or want to know more about? How might you go about implementing each one? What is the cost associated with it? What about the cost of doing nothing?
Most importantly, be aware of your inner processes as you look at each possibility. What are the thoughts and feelings it sets off inside? What are the actions it calls you to make, or shrink from?
Now, make a choice. Any choice will do. Act upon it. Allow yourself to engage that problematic situation. Maybe you’ll be impulsive or fall into old patterns. Maybe you’ll do it thoughtfully and strategically. Or maybe you’ll just follow the inspiration of your inner voice as it leads you into action.
As you do, try to remain at peace. Take it one at a time. You’ll know what to do first.
Should you hit a wall or bite off more than you can chew, take a step back. Not to stop, but to reevaluate what you’re doing and why. After taking pause (resting in the space created by your step back), renew your intention to bring peace to the condition and try again.
That’s it. Simple, really. But much, much easier said than done.
In coming weeks we’ll explore some of these elements in more detail. Until then, just do the best you can.
Look at your life as it is. Meet the things that steal your peace, and deal with them in a way that restores it.
God bless you indeed.
* * * * * * * * * * *John Dennison is a lawyer and peacemaker who offers guidance to meet the challenges of a troubled world with more peace, ease and direction.
His services include availability as a keynote speaker, panelist, moderator and master of ceremonies for conferences and community events, as well as media guest expert to provide commentary and analysis on political, economic and other current events.
He also spearheads several projects of his own, including PeaceOptions.com to challenge the beliefs and practices that keep us locked in struggle and conflict, and MissionLaunch.com to enhance the efforts of those working to build a new world.
A spiritual teacher by avocation, John also authored Whispers in the Silence — Living by the Light of Your Soul, a guide to self-knowing and the process of personal development behind most spiritual traditions.