Arriving Home :: Finding Your Peace Again
This topic hits home for me. Looking back, I wish someone had pointed me towards this teaching earlier on in my practice. For many years, I held the belief that once I "attained" a certain level of inner-peace, it would always be there no matter what moving forward. Yet just like awareness, the ability to observe and relate to our lives mindfully, peace will wax and wane depending upon how much you are putting into the practice of cultivating peace.
Peace. What is it?
If you are on the path towards peace, it's good to understand what to look for. Some common components and qualities of peace are:
Acceptance: The ability to be with and not reject what is is happening or has happened in your life.
Love: Feelings of care, tenderness, warmth and positivity.
Compassion: If you are at peace, you are able to understand and have empathy for your suffering and the suffering of others.
Internal: Peace is an inner-state. It is not a quality to be obtained through external means.
Contentment & Fulfillment : Contentment is a facet of peace. Being in sustainable happiness unhinged upon outside factors or hardships.
Steadfastness & Centeredness: You feel at ease and in your center. You are in a state of inner-steadiness and stability. This often shows up as subtle confidence.
How To Create Peace
Many of the great spiritual texts, whether it is the Bhagavad Gita, The Bible, Quran or The Tao Te Ching, all describe peace as attainable through the inward journey of faith, forgiveness, contemplative practice or action.
From the mindfulness perspective, the internal state of peace is a natural outcome from a consistent meditation practice. Like previously explored in this 'Arriving Home' , by bringing your attention back to the present moment in a non-judgmental way, you are growing the capacity to find peace wherever you are.
Our mind and heart's natural state is peace. By practicing present moment awareness in meditation, you are also allowing your mind and heart to be in their natural states. What brings us out of peace is being out of the present moment 99% of the time. As it's our fantasizing of the future or ruminating of the past that actually cause inner and outer conflict in the present moment.
Here are my top ways to create peace:
- Practice compassion
- Mindful Prayer - turn your need to control over to something universal outside of yourself
- Practice mindfulness - live in the moment
- Practice Gratitude
- Appreciate quality time with others and have healthy social support
If You Have Lost Your Peace
Once you have experienced peace, you are also more able to recognize when you've lost your peace. The qualities and components of peace mentioned above aren't present anymore. You are reactive once again, getting thrown around by life's ups and downs. When you are not actively cultivating your peace each day, then life's bumpy moments, daily stresses and bigger stresses may break the peace you have.
If you have lost your peace, the surest way to get it back is to actively practice peace again. To create peace is to be at peace.
Sometimes it takes bigger interventions to bring you back to peace again, like taking some time off from your job, going on a meditation retreat or stepping away from your life for a moment to gain some perspective.
Other times you can get your peace back by being really honest with yourself and being proactive about growing it back. This can be accomplished through simple daily measures - being extra kind, practicing patience, and finding humility in the lessons at hand. Most importantly, starting to get really serious about your practice again. The more you show up to peace the more peacefulness you will feel.
Other ways to find your way back to peace again:
- Consciously engaging with both the qualities of peace and ways of creating peace will bring you back.
- Finding your ground, a.k.a. getting grounded. For a meditation to help ground you, click here.
- Checking your ego.
- Spending time with loved ones and friends who make you feel relaxed and comfortable.
- Practicing mindfulness. Keeping your attention in the present moment. Taking mindful breaths. Staying present when your mind wants to wander or think about stress, the future or the past.
If you have lost your peace, I want you to know that you are also in one of the greatest personal growth experiences you can encounter in a lifetime. Through the awareness of being out of your peace and the commitment and willingness to find your way back, you are learning so much about yourself and the nature of peace.
Going forward, you will also know how to be preventative with your peace, learning how to better protect it. Your peace contributes to your presence and how you show up to the world. I like to think of peace as the stand I am taking not only for my own life, but also for the world around me.
You will be able to find your way back to peace through the daily application of your commitment to being you again. Just like the mind and heart, your inherent state is one of total peace.