Inner peace is the result of the choices we make in our perceptions, thoughts,
beliefs, feelings and actions. It’s completely within our control. As we work
to be in harmony with the following eight aspects of our lives and being, inner
peace emerges. Contemplate and reflect on your status with each of these eight
components, and enjoy doing the activity presented with each one.
Peace with Self
This happens when we do what we know is right in every situation, large or small. Integrity and ethical behavior are prerequisites for inner peace.
Activity – Write down three situations when you didn’t do what was right. Can you still make corrections? What weakness in self prevented you? List two ways you can strengthen or change yourself so that it won’t happen again. Forgive yourself and completely let go of these three incidents. You have learned, and they are part of your development. We have the right to learn and make mistakes as we grow. Move on, period.
Peace with Others
As we consciously choose to transform judgment of others into understanding, we move toward harmony within. And, when we act with clear boundaries, we stop blaming, feeling sorry for ourselves and greatly reduce our inner turmoil in relationships.
Activity – Think of a recent situation in which someone behaved negatively to you or in your presence. What was she feeling at the time? What was she afraid of? What was she in pain about? Why didn’t she have the strength to act more positively? What is she in the process of learning? How is she like you? Whenever you feel yourself judging or thinking negatively about another, ask yourself these questions. You will feel more peaceful. Many times during your day, affirm the following words: "I am a blessing to all I meet; and all I meet are a blessing to me." This simple phrase brings change.
Peace with our Soul/Spirit
By systematically developing our innate spiritual qualities – love, harmony, generosity, confidence, oneness, joy, faith/belief, illumination, forgiveness, service and courage – we grow in peace. Our dedication to act in ways that cultivate the highest in ourselves brings true fulfillment. Peace follows.
Activity – Which spiritual quality do you need most right now? Write about it, study others who exhibit it, contemplate it, draw it, dance it and practice it today in every situation you encounter. Keep a journal of your experiences with this quality as it grows and develops within you. When you feel solid with it, move on to the next quality that you desire.
Peace with our Thoughts
Choosing to let your thoughts run wild will take away your peace. Thought is a creative energy that is proven to engineer and cause events and experiences in our lives.
Activity – Each time you find yourself in a negative stream of thought, deliberately begin to think the opposite. If you’re thinking that an upcoming meeting will be a struggle, do an about-face and think about how it will go smoothly. Even if you don’t believe your new thought at first, persist! With consistent practice, you will quickly see profound changes in your level of peace and be delighted to realize that it can make a big difference in many situations.
Peace with our Feelings
What we feel acts like a magnet; its energy goes out into the world and returns to us similar situations and experiences, like a boomerang. Practice not identifying with your emotions. When we let negative emotions take us over and get lost in them, we lose our balance. By expressing and then releasing them without harming others, we’re free to choose a better feeling. Peace comes when we take control and decide what we’re going to choose to feel.
Activity – On a blank sheet of paper (using crayons, markers or colored pastels) express your upset feelings. Get them out on the paper, as you draw. Release all of them. Take a second sheet of paper and, this time, deliberately change your outlook, as well as your feelings. Choose a new perspective and a new feeling. Now draw! Enjoy and feel renewed peace. This brings peace whenever you feel upset. It only takes 10 minutes, as opposed to stewing over feelings for hours or days!
Peace with our Contribution/Service
Research shows that people who are happiest are those who have found a way to make a contribution, a way to serve others by using their gifts and talents.
Activity – Close your eyes and relax deeply. Focus on the beating of your heart. Now imagine a doorway made of multi-colored light in your heart and walk through it onto a pathway inside. Feel pure love in your heart, love for yourself, for others and for life. Continue walking this heart path until you come to an open area. Here you find a hand-carved table with two objects on it. Notice the crystalline light that is pouring down on them from above. Look at them up closely now. As you pick up the first object, you become aware that it is especially beautiful. This object represents a way that you will add real beauty to the world. Examine the object and it’s message to you. Your heart is speaking clearly, guiding you. What is it saying? What are you feeling? Pick up the second object, which symbolizes another major contribution that is important for you to make. What is it? What does it signify? Feel how your spirit will soar as you make this contribution!
Peace with our Intuition
Intuition is an innate gift we all possess. It comes from a level of our minds, which is beyond rational thought. We simply know the truth or correct answer about something without knowing how we know. Analytical thought is not involved. We receive intuitive information through our right brain modalities, including inner pictures in our mind’s eye, strong feelings, hunches, our inner voice and pure knowing. Studies show that we’re biologically wired for this higher intelligence that connects us to direct truth, through many sense receptors beyond our normal five. Physicist David Bohm and physiologist Carl Pribram provide evidence that the experiences and consciousness of all life forms are recorded in the quantum energy field that underlies all life. Because we are holographically connected to this information (past, present and future included), the correct answer for every question we have is available to us. When we say, "I knew that would happen," we were sensing direct truth. Intuition is pivotal to inner peace, because when we know how to identify it and then act on it, we thrive, succeed, make good decisions and move forward gracefully in life.
Activity – Close your eyes and remember a time you were 100 percent relaxed. Allow your body to duplicate that experience now. Intend and expect that you will receive intuitive information. Feel yourself becoming very still, as quiet and peaceful as the silent stars in outer space. Ask a specific question, or for general assistance in your life, and listen, observe and feel as you quickly become aware of pictures, feelings or the inner voice giving you information and answers. Let insight and understanding of these symbols, words, and feelings fill your mind and heart. Decisions based on intuition are aligned with truth and will bring you success and peace.
Peace with our Dreams and Goals
When we have a dream or goal that’s in our hearts, peace comes only when we fulfill it! Giving up or feeling that we can’t attain it for some reason will destroy our peace. We make progress when we discipline ourselves, especially our thoughts, to believe that we will have it. When we truly believe it will happen, science shows it will. As we work with dedication through each obstacle and requirement for success, believing all the while in our positive outcome, we won’t be disappointed. Then, not only is our dream fulfilled, we become a new person with the positive qualities of inner faith, hard work, persistence and courage.
Activity – For two or three minutes a day, (three times per day) sit quietly and feel yourself happy and thrilled that your goal is accomplished now. You already have it! Maintain that feeling as you experience yourself doing or speaking something that would be natural if your goal were already a reality, now, right this moment. (If you persist in this activity, it will be!) Examples are: Hearing your friend congratulate you on your new job; signing a copy of your newly published book with your favorite pen; sitting on a plane admiring the sky as the captain says you’ll be landing in Sydney, Australia, in one hour; and holding the key of your new house in your hand as you feel its coolness and smoothness on your fingertips. With daily commitment to this exercise, you will succeed, and be at peace.
We grow into inner peace and discover that it’s earned, as we focus on these eight aspects of ourselves. We also find that the fruits of this labor go far beyond peace!