Cultivating Inner Peace

I hear the words “Peace on Earth” a lot. The host asks Miss America “what do you wish for the world if you could wish them one thing?” She tosses her hair behind her shoulder, a memorized smile spreads across her face and her answer doesn’t surprise anyone. Anyone at all. “I would want to give the world peace. Peace on Earth.”

Is that even realistic though? Is it even possible with billions of souls on the planet, each one here to learn lessons…most of the lessons learned through anything but peace. I don’t know about you, but most of my growing has been done in the midst of suffering – long walks in grime and rain and my heart so clouded I thought if there was just one more drop of something…anything…I would just rather be gone. Then, the sunshine came out and circumstances changed, and I grew.

The idea of world peace is beautiful, is hopeful, but while there is false ego alive…I’m pretty sure it’s a pipe dream. Pretty sure. Don’t shoot the messenger.

Peace begins with yourself. It’s the only thing you control – you. Peace on earth begins when you intentionally cultivate inner peace. When I say “peace” please don’t mistake the word with happiness and visions of walking on clouds and drinking champagne (or kombucha for my sober friends) on the daily. No, peace is something entirely different. Peace is a knowing, a certainty, that you are worthy and that you belong. No matter what.

You begin to recognize that there is something greater then you out in the Universe. Maybe this realization begins to seep in during the early mornings when the sky is clementine and sparks of pink fire up around the mountains. Maybe you visit the ocean and while your feet sink into sand and your heart begins to beat in rhythm with the waves and your breath slows and your soul feels like it’s flying with the seagulls…you start to know that there is more. There is way more, and this…all of this…isn’t for nothing. It’s isn’t an accident, a mistake…a big bang surprise. Sunrises and bees humming and clouds drifting and waves crashing and even your very own breath are part of something. That’s why it’s so beautiful…because it’s a creation. It’s imagination and intention and a Higher Knowledge Masterpiece.

So, now with this knowing…you start to say “thank you.” Thank you for the food and thank you for my one good friend and thank you for my shitty car that still gets me to work. You say thank you for sunrises when you just want to sleep and thank you for water and thank you for grocery stores. This gratitude turns into noticing…awareness of blessings.

Awareness of blessings means awareness that the blessing came from somewhere. Free gifts, free fortune, free breath. Free love.

This love then begins to grow in you as you direct it back to others. You devote yourself to kindness. Your words become softer like breezes through leaves and your smile radiates like sunshine. People notice that there’s “something different about that one.” You begin to treat others the way you want to be treated….and even when you don’t – you forgive yourself – because something else, something Greater cherishes you even when you’re raw and washed up and feeling small.

You surrender to this confusing reality that you are actually loved…that you are actually enough – because it feels natural…because it’s only through surrendering that you can find space. Then, when you surrender to IT, IT surrenders to you. Anything that comes from love yields to you because it knows that you know it. Rays of light on white walls become your friends, prisms dance for you because you dance with them. A bird flies across the sky just as you glance out the window and your soul acknowledges this isn’t a coincidence. You feel happy because the bird is free and so is your soul.

You have peace. You have inner peace because you are living in a place of beauty. You are living in a place of universal consciousness and you know you are worthy because you recognize the worth in all other beings. Just as vapor rises up from the ocean and feeds the clouds…and the clouds drift and then release rain where rain needs to go…then the rain finds a humble creek to water, and the creek feeds into the river, and river flows back into the ocean…you recognize the truth. You are the drop of water, but you are also the ocean. You are worthy, created with purpose…you are light.

So my dear friend, let’s not try for world peace. Start where you are. Cultivate inner peace and then allow that light to connect to other souls by living LOVE, by surrendering to LOVE. You’re a bird. You’re star-shine and moonshine and sunshine and every kind of shine. Know, please know, that peace can never be a feeling. Peace is a knowing. Peace is acknowledging that you are part of it all…and so are they.

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