As I have been working daily for the past four and a half years on MAPS (the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary), I have been thinking a lot about peace and peaceful living.
My personal commitment to inner peace has been the foundation from which the vision for MAPS was born. It has also been the core of my choices as CEO, as I lead our all-volunteer team at Parvati.org to realize MAPS now for the good of all.
I encourage everyone on the MAPS team to approach tasks from a place of peaceful presence. When we do so, work is not only more enjoyable, but more efficient, effective and effervescent. We are more able to see opportunities, welcome possibilities and make clear decisions. Seeing the undeniable results of a peaceful, heart-centred approach, I have been crafting an online workshop for this blog space to support you finding your inner peace sanctuary.
The unrest we see in our world is not random, but a reflection of the agitation each one of us carries within. In order to create an external peace sanctuary that lasts, we need to also develop our inner peace sanctuary to sustain it. MAPS is not just a physical boundary around the Arctic Ocean. It is an invitation to change the way we think about ourselves, each other and the world.
As I develop the new content for Finding Your Inner Peace Sanctuary (my working title for the new blog series), here are some initial reflections about peaceful living.
One of the best places to start finding more peace in your life is in how you choose to respond to the moment. When you live in resistance to what is – by judging, complaining or trying to fix it – you, and those around you, inevitably suffer. In fact, what you are doing is perpetuating an inner war against the moment.
Most of us don’t see the moment as it is. We are busy filtering life through our perceptions and limiting beliefs about ourselves and the world. This tendency is usually fueled by our ego, which thrives on feeling separate and divided. We do this so we may feel in control. When we look deeper, we see that this resistance is rooted in fear of what this moment may bring. It is as though our ego has put up all those perceptions and beliefs as defensive barricades.
We buy into the stories our mind tells us: “This is good. That is bad.” Or “If I do this, I will get that”. Or “This moment is all wrong. It’s happening to me.” Do we not all think like this at times? Maybe even often? The problem is, in thinking this way, we affirm our ego’s distorted sense of who we are, whether that is “I am unworthy” or “I am extraordinary” or “I am helpless” or any other belief. For as long as we follow the directive of our ego, we continually categorize, divide and compartmentalize information as a way to temporarily feel better or worse about ourselves. This gives us a fleeting sense of meaning and purpose – only to leave us struggling against the next moment in turn
We have another option. When we drop our story, set aside resistance and humbly open to what is, our monochrome, ego-driven world transforms into a technicolour universe of boundless possibilities. We see that our limited self, our precious sense of “me” and “mine” that we have been trying to protect, is a mere passing illusion. We give it power by being attached to it.
Beyond our ego personality, a deeper, eternal self exists. It has been patiently waiting for our connection with it all along. It is fearless, compassionate and present for the moment exactly as it is.
Each of us is an integral part of an intelligent, loving whole, no more or less important than anything else in existence. We are literally one with the fabric of life. When we realize that we do not need to change, deny or hide from this truth, we take down the barricades and end our war on this moment. We have come to understand that it was really a war against our true selves and all of creation. We discover peacefulness, and support that same awakening for everyone and everything around us.
May we all find this peace now and in every moment, and be instruments of peace in the world.
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From my heart to yours,