Pathway to Peace

Peace is something everyone wants, and for good reason. It is a healthier way to live. People who know inner peace are easier to be around. They live longer and feel better. They are happy.

There are some ground rules for the search for inner peace.

-It is a journey, rather than a destination. It’s a refinement process that takes time, perhaps years. The process itself, though, is rewarding.

-It takes practice. We CAN change the way we think; neuroscience research has shown this. We can rewire our brains to accept situations differently and choose an alternate course that is in our best interest. We must want to make this investment.

-Most people who attain it do not live in a state of peace every minute of every day. Humans evolved in a binary environment, so our brains are wired that way. We would not appreciate light but for the dark. In the same way, we would not know peace unless we know turmoil. Living in a state of turmoil, however, is unhealthy. Many dysfunctional situations are not worth fighting, especially when there is limited control over the outcome. It’s better to disengage using peace practices. Other situations may be worth the effort to find a satisfying solution. We can use logic (Precious Logic!) and peace practices to turn these tumultuous situations into friendly ones.

There are different ways to approach the search for inner peace, and expert advice varies especially from different sides of the globe. Most experts agree that finding peace involves not just a singular practice, but a combination of habits that are intertwined and reformed over time.

i.  Practice Gratitude. This is HUGE in any approach that I have read about, and I can endorse it because I practice it and it works! Learn to be grateful for the gifts that have been bestowed on us. Look at situations as “Cup half full” instead of “half empty.” People who are grateful are easy to be around because they are so darn happy! And happiness is infectious. Surround yourself with people who feel gratitude.

ii. Let go of Judgement. This one takes lots of practice. It’s healthier to let go of toxic feelings about past situations rather than harbor unhappy memories in packages that get opened and reopened. When these memories surface, release them like popping soap bubbles. Forgive. Think about something joyful instead. Also, and here’s a BIG one, let go of self-judgement. Learn the practice of self-love. Forgive yourself for past mistakes and know that everyone makes them. Accept yourself as lovable, and then you will be able to experience love in a more meaningful way.

iii. Live in the moment. As individuals living in a fast-paced time-fragmented society, we have been programmed to want to jump to the next “thing” that grabs our attention and not linger where we are. Studies have shown that these rapid-fire attention changes are detrimental to the focus needed to accomplish singular tasks. Slow down. Take deep breaths. Learn to shut out distractions. One way to help with this is through meditation, which results in long-term beneficial changes and can be done just about anywhere, and even during certain activities.

I hope you will join me on this Pathway to Peace. There will be more detail in further blogs.

See you soon!