Choose Peace, Glorious Peace

     Enhancing Divine Peace in Your Life

Enjoy listening to, or sing along with, this serene soul song about Divine Peace “Golden Peace.” Connect to this page, where you can listen to “Golden Peace” while gazing at the full color design “Dove of Peace.”

Our Ancestors Found Inner Peace Through Harmony With Nature

Peace is a rare feeling these days for many people. There seem to be countless things that can interfere with one’s feeling of real inner peace. Actually, deep inner peace is one’s true nature. Somehow that has gotten lost for many, though. A lot of folks yearn to once again embrace their true natural peace. This chapter will be exploring inner personal peace as well as peace between individuals and groups.
In the past people lived more in harmony with nature and the seasons. There were natural cycles to life. Each day had its rhythm and flow. One awoke with the sunrise and the rooster crowing. For most people the day consisted of growing crops, raising some animals, and preparing simple food from the crops grown. It was very clear what needed doing and how to do it. People worked hard, but they set their own pace. Sometimes they would sing while they did their chores–other times they would stop and listen to the birds sing. They would pause and pat their dog that probably followed them around. It was a human natural pace of life. One talked to friends when meeting on the road, at the market, or at church–but there weren’t constant phone calls or digital communications. Events moved more slowly. There was time to think and reflect. Breathing was deep and steady. Food was natural. People listened to their bodies. Sleep came easily after a long day’s work, and the deep sleep could truly bring restoration. Their nervous system thrived living in harmony with Mother Nature.

Today’s Stress Is Hard on Us Physically, Emotionally, and Mentally

Today’s pace of life is very different. Most people are separated from a truly natural environment and life style. Time is of the essence, and every minute seems to need to be accounted for. Lots of folks have schedules that keep them going at a rapid stressful pace often well into the night. The economy leaves many uncertain as to what to expect. Simply paying the bills can be a huge burden.

Many jobs don’t pay enough to cover an individual’s or a family’s basic expenses, so frequently a second job is required. Maybe there is a large mortgage to pay off or massive student loan payments. Two adults within a household very frequently need to both hold down full time jobs, if they can land them. Lovingly taking care of children, being attentive to a significant other, housework, grocery shopping, cooking, lawn care, helping out relatives in need, and being responsible to one’s community can be exhausting after working all day. Life today seems to be conducive to serious stress for many.

When we have a crisis, our nervous system is frequently thrust into overdrive. The adrenal glands secrete extra adrenalin into the body to prepare us to try to meet the challenge of the emergency. This is the sympathetic aspect of our nervous system going into action. When we are able to calm down again this is the parasympathetic aspect of our nervous system bringing our body back into balance. (Note: The sympathetic and parasympathetic are two aspects of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is involuntary which means we don’t control it directly – – as compared to the voluntary nervous system with which we consciously move our body parts.) If we get intensely worried about challenges, deeply concerned about other people’s problems, and overly wrapped up in world issues–the sympathetic nervous system takes over and we may feel stressed and tense. If this happens repeatedly, this can become chronic. This partially shuts down our digestive system to the extent that we can’t digest food well. It makes our nerves hyper-alert and on edge to the extent that we can’t relax or sleep well.
Anybody recognize this? The heart pumps harder and eventually this can stress the cardiovascular system. Who needs all that? Our nervous system doesn’t have to be in permanent readiness for mega emergencies!
We have a choice. We can observe life around us calmly without allowing ourselves to get pulled off center by it all. This can allow us to stay clearer, be able to make wiser decisions, act more efficiently, and sleep better at night. Sounds good, right? It is possible. It’s helpful to pray and put the problem or emergency in God’s hands. We can focus on our steady smooth breathing and remember to be a calm observer of the situation. This doesn’t make us less helpful and loving. It actually can enable us to live our own life more effectively and have increased strength and emotional reserves to be there in a more valuable way for our loved ones. I know a woman who once was anxiously rushing around trying to help an injured family member and then she fell and broke her own wrist. At that point she wasn’t able to help at all. Too often a helper may just keep pushing him or herself to the point of serious chronic exhaustion and depletion. It’s crucial to not wait until “someday challenges are over” before taking good care of ourself. We need that nurturing self-support all along the way. Periodic challenges are perhaps just a natural part of the life cycle.

How Can We Lower This Stress? Oh, The Soothing Balm of Peace

How can we maintain peace in the midst of sometimes high odds against it? This is a very important question. Remember that peace is our true nature; it isn’t something remote and foreign to our being. Peace is “normal,” chronic stress is abnormal. Peace is the state in which the human body is designed to function well. How can we move out of stress and re-balance into greater peace? As previously mentioned, to relax more fully we can focus our awareness in our breath and allow our breathing to slow down and become steadier for a while. Stretching our body can feel wonderful. We can rotate our shoulders and other joints gently to help release possible tension there. Periodically throughout the day taking a mini break to do what I just described can be extremely valuable. Taking a relaxed walk each day can also do wonders to enhance our tranquility. Even a short walk a few times during a busy day can be helpful. The steady rhythm of the steps is calming for the body, and helps release muscles possibly frozen tight in knots here and there. I once worked two and a half miles from work. Parking was limited at the work site and the subway was very crowded (like sardines) at rush hour going home. So I rode the subway in and walked home. I felt relaxed and peaceful by the time I got home. Another option is to drive or ride public transportation part way and walk part way.

It is good to reduce caffeine, sugar, and artificial chemicals which can work havoc on our nerves. We can eat simple yet delicious fresh healthy meals and snacks to give ourselves solid steady energy. Caffeine and sugar can jerk our energy levels way up high for a little while–and then before long cause our energy to crash way down. That can then cause us to crave more caffeine or sugar. It can be a vicious cycle. I cured myself from that cycle many years ago by eating a good protein food when I felt a need for an energy lift. This protein food might be ten or fewer raw, unsalted (or low salt) almonds, or a glass of milk, or a tablespoon of unsweetened nut butter on a cracker or two. Drinking plenty of pure water or herbal tea is also refreshing and renewing.

Let’s remember to love ourselves and silently tell our body that it is O.K. to relax. A rest during the day or after work, even ten minutes if time is limited, can help us unwind. Meditation can be a very effective way to enhance peace. There are many wonderful approaches to meditation. You may find it helpful to listen to my audio “Meditation to Enhance Your Experience of the Divine Qualities,” with Focus on Peace. Perhaps consider joining a yoga or tai chi class. We need to remember to take good care of ourselves and not willfully override our true needs for a balanced healthy life style.

“What Does Peace Feel Like, I’ve Forgotten?”

~A Case History

This is a sharing of an actual person beginning to rediscover peace when it has felt lost. Rhonda (not her real name) came into my office our first session visibly upset. She said that she just couldn’t keep going the way she was. The stress was really getting to her and making it hard to concentrate at work or to enjoy her life. She couldn’t sleep well at night and woke up exhausted in the morning. She said, “What does peace feel like? I’ve forgotten.” Her work load at the office had increased heavily when a co-worker had been transferred and not replaced. It meant overtime work and skipping lunch sometimes. Her mother was in the midst of treatment for a serious medical condition, and Rhonda was really worried. She said her mother was being as brave as could be expected, but was getting weaker and needed a lot of help. The doctor apparently felt the treatment was proceeding reasonably well. Rhonda said that she tried to be as strong and supportive for her mother as she could, but inwardly she was quite concerned. Rhonda had been grabbing take-out food fairly often to save time–she was having indigestion and gas.
I said to Rhonda, “It is crucial for you to take good care of yourself in the midst of these challenges. You can’t be there for your mother or your boss or the other people in your life who depend on you if you don’t take care of yourself. Your health and strength could suffer. You count and are very important, too!” We did a guided deep relaxation together to help Rhonda begin unwinding a little. Some tears rolled down her cheeks. She said that she hadn’t felt that calm in far too long.

We then talked about the importance of healthy home cooked food to help support her nervous system and sustain her health. I said to her, “Eating most fast food on the run is like NOT putting in your car’s gasoline tank what your car needs to keep running well.” Rhonda laughed and said, “What? I wouldn’t dream of doing that to my car!!” She looked a little more serious and said, “But maybe, just maybe, I might put things in myself that won’t help keep me running well.” I responded, “That’s the way it is with a lot of people. Sadly, the very high salt, fat levels and sweeteners take a heavy toll on your health and nerves.” We talked about easy quick healthy ways to prepare delicious meals with fresh whole foods. We talked about easy-to-fix big salads and how they could be enjoyed with quality cheese and 100% whole wheat bread. Simple crock pot ideas felt possible to her. Some chopped pieces of vegetables, potatoes, and meat can simmer all day in a crockpot and be ready when you get home. Rhonda said, “I feel hopeful–no complicated recipes, just simple good food to help my stomach feel better.”

I encouraged Rhonda to invest at least thirty minutes a day to taking care of herself. Walk for at least twenty minutes, and do a relaxation meditation for at least ten minutes. Rhonda felt encouraged to have some tools and some supportive structure to help her re-balance. She said that she knew with all her heart that she needed to make a few changes for her peace and health.

She came back in a week and said she did her self-care most days, and felt it made a difference. She said that she felt hopeful for the first time in a while. The twenty-minute walk was a relief for her stiff muscles, and her body seemed to really thank her. She enjoyed seeing the squirrels scamper and the birds flying. Meditating and relaxing with the twelve-minute meditation on the website helped her quiet her racing mind. She said that her mind still wandered sometimes, but she was able to bring it back and not judge herself. Sometimes she felt really peaceful and was encouraged. She was doing better with nourishing her body. She knew it would need to be a gradual transition, but she already had less heartburn and indigestion. She said that the short breaks off and on through the day to stretch and do some relaxing breathing were helping, too.

The Acupressure Technique for Emotional Peace, and How it Helped Rhonda

At the second session, I then guided Rhonda through a simple form of acupressure that is helpful for calming the emotions. This technique involves light fingertip tapping on certain locations on the head, hands, and upper torso. This can easily be done for oneself or for someone else. I taught Ronda how to do it for herself so she could do it at home to enhance her peace. All the points can be gently tapped in about four minutes. It is helpful to repeat the cycle several times. Halfway through each cycle and between cycles, it is good to consciously breathe in peace and breathe out stress. It can give some relief for worry and tension. Acupressure is related to acupuncture except that fingertip pressure or tapping is used instead of very tiny thin needles as in acupuncture. Tapping on the acupressure points was a real surprise for Rhonda. She felt that it actually made some kind of shift for her. Even though she didn’t totally understand why yet–it seemed to help. The people of Asia have been benefiting from acupressure for thousands of years. Rhonda agreed it was worth trying since there are no side effects.
She found benefit through the various approaches described above. She was sleeping a lot better most nights and feeling more peaceful during the day. The sleeping pills were collecting dust on the shelf. Note: To learn how to do acupressure for the emotions, see information on “Emotional Freedom Technique” on the Resources Page. (End of case history)

Peace With Others Through Cooperation and Compassionate Understanding

Peace is a choice. Because there is so much chaos in our world, maintaining peace requires an active choice. Peace with others is the result of cooperation and active compassionate love. This involves being compassionate with oneself and one’s true well-balanced needs, as well as compassionate and understanding and cooperative with others. Some people may think of cooperation and compassionate active love as weak qualities pursued by fragile people who aren’t strong enough to be powerful on their own. In truth, peaceful cooperation and compassionate active love are two of the most powerful capacities to which people can aspire. One person on his or her own is like an atom needing to integrate into a molecule. It is as the units arrange themselves into cooperative groups that greater good can be accomplished. What holds people together in a group or holds atoms together in a molecule is love and peace. We aren’t talking about sentimental love or dreamy-eyed peace, but rather about cohesive love and cooperative peace. This is powerful and it is a choice.

Peace is desperately needed in today’s fragmented world. Every individual needs inner peace and the planet as a whole needs peace. Without peace every effort is at risk of being futile, and people risk giving up inside. Some people feel that struggling is noble as long as it is for a worthy cause. Yet there are times when we need to let go of the struggle and “wage peace.” When we come into a group with good faith to make a decision that affects the good of the whole, the focus needs to be on finding the common denominator– not on just trying to get the other side to do it our way. Does this sound as though it might be helpful for some politicians?

Consensus Decision Making is Extremely Valuable for Maintaining Peace

Consensus decision making is the essence of peace within a group. With consensus decision making, everyone’s needs are addressed as well as possible. Each person won’t get everything he or she wants, but will probably get a good part of it. With time, individuals may begin to feel that how they had seen the situation originally wasn’t as desirable as the way the group consensus decision eventually evolved. Consensus is the way of survival. It is important at this time in human history that everyone move above the strictly personal perspective to view the group needs and find a common denominator.

Consensus is not always a highly popular idea. It is easy to understand why. At the most basic level everyone wants his or her own way. One approach to this need to have one’s own way in life and still thrive as a group is for each person to have a private/sacred space of his or her own. This private/sacred space is just for oneself to control. Even having an area of one’s life on which no one else can trample can be very important for one’s psyche. The type of group being considering here could be a family, a business, a church, a neighborhood, a city, a state, nation, or the planet Earth. In other words, consensus decision making helps just about any kind of group. If anyone is left totally powerless and unhappy, there will never be peace because there will always be those who are desperately trying to get their needs met and to be heard. I belonged to a very active community group for fourteen years in which most decisions for the activities and welfare of the community were made by consensus of the group. It took a lot of discussion and sharing of ideas, but for many matters it did work quite well in the long run.

Power has to be somewhat evenly distributed to achieve peace. Too often a leader thinks that totalitarianism can achieve the best results because the decision can be made quickly by one person. Then the idea, of course, is that it is just up to the other people to get busy and do the work as demanded. It might appear that this is an efficient approach, but the factor that is not taken into account by such thinking is that people work harder and more creatively when they feel (and know) that they contributed to the decision making. Most people start to balk when they feel ignored and taken for granted. Many people start shutting down, and they begin contributing the bare minimum to the cause. This doesn’t build group spirit and enthusiasm.

Let’s look more closely at the relationship between consensus decision making and peace. Peace within a group occurs when all participants are O.K. with the tenants of the sustaining agreements. Then the group members can enjoy going about the work or activity that brings the group together. If some members are not content, there will be grumblings and lack of peace. You might think to yourself that decisions and goals within a group could be set by someone in charge–and those individuals who don’t agree could just leave. This is often the case, but it isn’t ideal. The reason this isn’t ideal is because another point of disagreement will surely come up again very shortly. Hence, the population of the group will keep changing, or some people will be left feeling powerless and unhappy. It is crucial to slow down and listen to each other even if it seems less efficient. In the long run it works out better. A little listening on all levels goes a long way.

Creating Peace Within the Parts of Oneself

Within oneself this same idea is important. A human is one person, but there are many parts of the self. In order to feel peaceful, a person needs to achieve harmony within these parts. Listening to all parts of the whole is just as important within one individual as within a group of individuals. There is a part of a person that wants to sleep and rest. There is a part that wants to go outside and walk or enjoy a sport. There is a part that probably wants to hug and have physical closeness and warmth. There is a part that wants to create something attractive or interesting, and a part that yearns for Spiritual connection. And as you well know, there are other parts. Inner peace is achieved through allowing these different aspects of a person to have an opportunity to express appropriately. If any strong need gets ignored, it will likely stir up unrest or trauma.

One may be thinking that there are parts of the self that may be better off not expressed. This may be true. This is where sublimation can help. Sublimation is not repression which involves simply burying and trying to ignore something traumatic or frustrating. With sublimation a person finds a constructive way to express those emotions harmlessly. A person may feel serious anger at someone else. Maybe the other person is not willing or is not available for talking together and hopefully working it out. Then one needs to let that anger express itself harmlessly somehow. If it is ignored it will turn into stress inside. One can talk with a trusted friend or a counselor about the angry feelings. One can pound a pillow. One might express the feelings through music, dance, or painting. The important thing is to not just let them build up inside until they explode in some manner–perhaps at the wrong person and in an inappropriate situation.

Striving for integration within ourselves is very important. Sometimes we may feel a strong conflict about two options. If this conflict is left unaddressed it can lead to civil war within ourselves and total lack of inner peace. Probably we have all experienced powerful conflict at various times. It isn’t a pleasant feeling. The important thing is to know that conflict is normal and natural. The crucial thing is to work with it actively and not allow it to fester unattended.

If internal conflict builds up too much it can actually cause a serious personality disturbance over time. As said, it is very valuable to allow the feelings to express harmlessly and begin to release before the trauma gets to that point. Give some kind of wholesome recognition and outlet for expressing the conflicted feelings. This is true whether seeking peace within oneself or within a group. Sometimes a bridge can be found between the seemingly irreconcilable parts of oneself or a group. Within an individual this may be a bridge between one’s inner passionate interest (or fury or something else) and one’s inner self judgment.

Honoring Each Other’s Honest Self Expression

Maybe it is another person that is influencing the conflicted person into thinking that something loved is totally unacceptable. This can be very sad. It can be seen when parents or school counselors push a young person into a line of work or profession against the individual’s true wishes. It can sort of break a person’s spirit. This kind of pressure can also come from a spouse, significant other, or peers. We all have a right to honor what we love as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else or break a law. There is so much room for personal differences if we can respect each other’s individuality and not try to hoist our preferences on others. A good motto is: “I respect and love you for who you are in your own unique way as long as you are not harming others. I may not always agree with you, but I honor your right to develop peacefully unimpeded.” Of course, if someone is injuring himself or another or breaking a law, that is different.

In the past there have been serious strait-jackets put on people to conform to the majority opinions. Many individuals have struggled to suppress strong creative beautiful parts of themselves in order to fit in with their society. This can cause severe lack of inner peace through strangulation of the true self. We come back to the same principle for maintaining peace. We all need communication, respect, and recognition of our right to express ourselves in our own unique way. This is what can enrich our societies and groups and can enrich ourselves. May we find peace within and without through cooperation, seeking the highest good for all, and through active compassion. In today’s complicated world, peace is an accomplishment and a goal that we need to intentionally cultivate.

To Maintain Peace Requires Steady Consciousness Holding the Vision

God’s creation is not static; it doesn’t just stay the same. It is always building up or disintegrating. To hold anything in manifestation, including peace, requires steady consciousness holding the vision. To maintain the physical body, people need to keep periodically eating, drinking, breathing, bathing, and eliminating. The body itself is extremely busy maintaining all the body systems and organs. It is an intricate balance of creation, change, and renewal. Even what may appear to stay the same is constantly reinventing and reintegrating itself. This is the nature of reality. It doesn’t allow anything or anyone to just be. That would invite disintegration. That is how it is with peace. In today’s stressful world we need to believe in peace and create conditions for peace. To have peace within and/or without we need to walk the path of peace.

I encourage you to meditate and relax with the audio meditations on the website–or meditate on your own. A good meditation to enhance inner peace is to visualize the color gold. As you breathe in, imagine that you are breathing the color gold into your whole body. As you breathe out, affirm “I am blessed with Divine Peace” or another appropriate affirmation. Giving yourself a chance to center using some of the suggestions in this chapter or other relaxation approaches on a regular daily basis (even for short periods of time) can truly help enhance your inner peace. Mental focus may feel clearer and more uplifted, emotions and worry may feel soothed, digestion and sleep may improve. It may feel like a whole new lease on life through peace. May peace bless your life today and each day. May peace bless all of us and our whole planet.

Real Life Sharings of Ways To Enhance Peace Within Oneself and With The World Around

Staying Centered in my Heart Helps Me Feel Peaceful

~ by Lisa Wilbanks

Staying in touch with my breath helps me stay focused in my body instead of being up in my head all the time. When I am in my heart, everything is O.K.–I don’t judge things so much. Whatever I happen to feel is O.K. Otherwise, when I’m in my head, I may be trying to not experience things that are normal to experience. That’s pushing against life and not flowing with it. When I breathe and get more into my loving heart space, then it is O.K. what is happening in my life–because it’s not good or bad, it just is. We can’t really know if something is good or bad until hindsight. It might be the best thing that ever happened. Who knows? Especially if you are a real feeler, like I am. When I am focused in my heart, I can sort of flow with life instead of backing away. I try to practice that. Singing, playing the keyboard or drums, and taking walks in nature also help me feel peaceful. I love to sit and look at nature. Being very present in the moment is calming.

Finding Peace In God

~ by Niki Nichols

What is peace? Peace is for me a deep realization that I am O.K. and that my life is O.K. Does that mean that I am in a bubble, and nothing challenging is happening? No, that isn’t it. It is a deep confidence and trust. That trust is in God. It is in life. The way I got this was a long, long journey. Now whatever happens, I make God my source. For example–perhaps your husband has walked out on you, or you lost your job, maybe you’re mad at your girlfriend, or your kids are being terrible, or you got a bad diagnosis. In reaction your stomach just goes to the floor. With all of those things, invite God into the situation. It is O.K. to have a bad reaction to something at first. You may not remember immediately. But as soon as you remember, pray and ask God to show you what to do. Know that God is your source for everything. It may take a while, but eventually you’ll come to know that your source for everything is God. This is a God Path. It is an invitation to God to enlarge your life. It is a prayer. The more you make God your source, the more peace you have. It gets rooted within you. God is within you. The Holy Spirit is within you. The Holy Spirit to me is the deepest intuitiveness within me. One time I was with a co-worker who was very angry at me for no reason. I prayed to God and I was filled with love for her. I got up and hugged her without knowing why. She cried and apologized. She was upset and worried that she might lose her job.

Don’t be afraid to journal your feelings. You’ll get a lot of answers. Tell God your feelings. He already knows anyway. If there is a problem in your life, that is a good time to pray and turn it over to God and to the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit may show you a place in your life or within yourself that needs a little bit of tweaking to restore peace. From that can come peace and gratefulness. Have confidence in God. Have confidence in the Holy Spirit in you. Have confidence in your prayers. Know that you can handle whatever comes up because you know that you can go to God. This is really working for me. My last three years have been extraordinary. Invite God to be your Source.

How a Pet Can Enhance Our Peace

~ by Ann
Raven is a very special friend. We communicate with body language, sounds, and gestures. She is a standard poodle and very wise. My husband chose her as a puppy because she climbed up to his ear and whispered and licked his face. He was enamored. He didn’t even complain when she wet on him during the long drive home. They were constantly together for three years until he died two years ago. That was a time of confusion. I felt very alone. Gradually with healing, I realized Raven was there for me. Our relationship is very different, of course–but she always is very happy to see me when I return home and attentive when she senses I am lonely or just open for pats and loves. Raven is protective and I feel completely safe with her presence. She is joyous with company. We enjoy playing games outside and talking walks. I really appreciate her companionship when I garden. She listens carefully, never judges and is very loving. I am blessed with many friends, and especially with my very special friend, Raven.

A Creative Way to Support World Peace

~ by Fleming
After 9-11 my husband and I were in a state of imbalance. The drums of war were heard faintly and then in earnest. Our anxiety and faith led us to design our Thanksgiving greeting card that year with peace in mind. That first year we made a pin of our peace design and sold them to food co-ops around the country, donating the money to Oxfam International and the American Friends Service Committee. Both organizations work for peace and social justice throughout the world. We were trying anything to keep the vision of peace alive. Peace has remained a theme of our holiday greeting cards since then, and several new pins were made. Since the beginning, friends and family have passed out pins at gatherings, peace rallies, May Day, Earth Day, and all celebrations. We have sent out 10,000 pins to the world. Knowing Joyce has brought me great peace. Her Spiritual guidance brings the Divine into view–such peace and love. (The “Floral Peace Symbol”, displayed in the book, is one of Fleming’s lovely Peace designs.)

My Experience in the Peace Corp

~ Anonymous
I was inspired to join the Peace Corps in the 1990s because I wanted to be able to draw on an experience with people from a very different culture for the rest of my life in terms of compassion for people in other situations. The Peace Corps provided that for me. How much a Peace Corps volunteer can help the people in the country where he or she is assigned is complicated. I was in a small village in Mali, Africa. They had very little infrastructure, but their needs were fairly well met locally. There was a clean pipe for water in the village, where I got my drinking water along with everyone else. They made their homes from mud bricks formed in molds and dried in the sun. The roofs were thatched. These homes met the people’s needs better than more western style metal roofs that were very hot and were noisy when it rained. They grew their food. There were issues that needed some improvement such as malaria, cholera, and educational levels. I spent my first year there learning the language, getting to know the people and the village, and figuring out a project. It was a growing experience for me. I enjoyed my time there. I miss it sometimes even now years later. I learned respect for the Muslim religion. I’m not afraid of Islam as other people might be who haven’t lived in a culture that adheres to it. It is a good idea to spread understanding of people in other cultures.

WORKBOOK: Enrichment Experiences For Enhancing Peace In Your Life

Enjoy the adventure of exploring these enrichment experiences on your own–or gather a few friends to share the journey with you. Be inspired by the audio meditation and soul song for this chapter. Reflect on some of the stimulating ideas and questions.

Questions For Reflection And Discussion

Reflection, discussion, journal writing, expressing your feelings in drawings or other creative ways can all be very valuable to help you delve into these questions in truly meaningful and relevant ways. Before focusing on the questions, you may wish to meditate with the twelve minute audio or transcribed meditation–and/or listen to the soul song “Golden Peace.”

1. What helps you feel at peace? Why is inner peace important to you in your life? How can you expand and support peace in your life? Would you like to carve out more time in your life to do these?

2. How does inner peace improve the quality of your relationships and your life in general? Are you a somewhat different person when you are peaceful than when you are stressed?

3. How does inner peace improve the quality of your work? When you are feeling peaceful–do you find that you can concentrate and think better? Are you more accurate? Are you more effective? Do you have more energy to do your work? Do you experience more joy in doing your work? Do you get along better with your co-workers? Does maintaining inner peace perhaps have payoffs for you that are valuable to keep clearly in mind?

Action Suggestions For Enhancing Peace In Your Life

1. For the week ahead, every hour pause a moment and simply be aware of your breathing for two minutes. If possible stand and stretch for those moments. Yawn or sigh a couple times to help release stress. Do this at the beginning of each hour that you are awake. If you miss the beginning of the hour, do it when you think of it–such as at 1:12 pm. or 1:21 pm. instead of 1:00 pm. See if you can find a family member or friend who also wishes to try it. At the end of each day, if possible, check in to encourage and support each other. Knowing that you are going to be checking in with each other can help you stay on track with enhancing your life in this way. Feel free to vary the peace enhancing techniques that you use hourly.

2. Give yourself the gift of a special time each day for your “inner sanctuary of peace,” even if it is only five minutes a day. You may already have this built into your life in some way. If so, good for you–continue. This “inner sanctuary of peace” time may be in the form of meditation or prayer. It may be taking a peaceful walk. It may be taking a fifteen minute nap. Maybe it is listening to peaceful music. Whatever it is, the important thing is that this “inner sanctuary of peace” time helps you feel peaceful and renewed. The length of time you need depends on how long it takes for you to feel refreshed and at peace. Invest in your well-being and peace of mind, it will pay you dividends.

3. To enhance your inner peace, try prioritizing your reactions to events around you. Decide what you can react to and what you need to sort of ignore for now. It is possible you might wear yourself out and shatter your inner peace by overreacting to things happening around you and in the world. There are certainly endless events around you and in the world that you may have good reason to get upset about, but it doesn’t help you to get thrown off-center. It can pull you down and make it harder for you to respond effectively and take care of yourself and your loved ones. It may seem paradoxical, but the more problems that may manifest in your life–the more crucial it is for you to stay as centered and as calm as possible. Your judgment and your energy reserves are curtailed by reacting in high stress. When challenges loom, that is the time to draw on your peace enhancing practices–not to skip them. You need them even more. Choose the most pressing challenges to focus on now, and allow others to wait a little while until you can handle them better. If you wish, create three columns on a piece of paper. Label one “Immediate challenges.” Label another “challenges that can wait a little while.” Label another column “challenges which I have to leave to others and to God.” Prioritizing can help you let go of some issues and put some on the back burner. Then you can focus more effectively on what truly needs your attention, and on doing it more calmly and optimally.

Connect to the Audio: “Meditation to Enhance Your Experience of The Divine Qualities,” with Focus on Peace. On that page, you will also be able to read the full printed text of the meditation and accompanying affirmations.

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