“We cannot hope to experience peace in the world if we do not have peace in our own life. Inner and outer conflict are not so different. And so this peace begins with transforming our own mind.” —Andy Puddicombe
People. A singular term referring to more than one person, but the key is that the term “people” is defined as many persons.
The global population is a number derived from the total tally of people living on the Earth. Peace on Earth can only come from the people living on Earth as we are the inhabitants that create war, end war, bring peace, prioritize peace or prioritize control, and each of us plays a role in contributing or detracting to that desired peace.
I often and for many years have contemplated this simple truth, and over the years through my studies, research, readings and exploration of sociology and psychology, as well as neurology to better understand the mind, including also my continual learning about the practice of Zen mindfulness, continue to return to the self, and how when we choose to be a student of all of the potential within us, all the mechanisms, tools and abilities within us that our body and being provide, yet we have to choose to understand, that that is where we find the foundation of a peaceful world. It begins with each one of us, and it must be a choice.
And so with this knowledge, and choosing to forever be a student of our individual selves, it is the practice of cultivating contentment through strengthening a daily mindfulness practice that we found to be the starting point, and arguably the most important part, that without, a peaceful world cannot materialize.
Andy Puddicombe continues to explain how this works:
“If we can bring a sense of peace and happiness into the world no matter where we live, we are in some way contributing to peace and happiness in the world. [This] doesn’t mean it’s going to necessarily change conflict in a certain area, but it has an impact in the world. So that really is the place to begin.”
So our choice is to know that our peace, should we invest in finding it, will make a difference when we find where and the ingredients within ourselves that bring forth inner peace. Our influence will begin likely very small, but it will still make a difference infusing peace, little by little, into the world. And then it cannot help but expand because with each person you interact with, how you engage in your daily routine both with others and in your own company creates energy, reveals what is possible, demonstrates how to live lovingly, with kindness, with openness, with acceptance, with courage that may not roar, but holds so much strength, and with consistency, that the lives we touch experience how enriching such a way of living can be, how supportive and liberating to explore and thus discover all that awaits us to find if only we would have the courage to go within.
The courage to go within involves all of the tools we talk about regularly here on TSLL and on the podcast when we talk about contentment and mindfulness (explore these two categories – here and here), as well as in my books (specifically and directly in my 2nd book where the detailed toolbox is explored in-depth), and it isn’t an easy snap-of-the-fingers fix. If we don’t currently have a sense of deep inner peace, we will not find it and experience it tomorrow, but we can experience it in glimpses throughout our days in moments where we practice self-awareness, yet again, one of the many tools to learn along the journey to inner peace, and thus contentment. And then with time, intention and consistency, inner peace becomes our daily experience each day, the entire day, so long as we keep toning our muscle which comprising of these many skills and tools.
At the moment, I am and have been creating a new video master class that will teach students who enroll how to cultivate contentment, experiencing the fulfillment and deep joy that living in such a way will bring to our everydays. While this project will take time until it is finished and be ready sometime next year, I want you to know, first, that I am working on it, and second, that if any of the concepts, such as what we are talking about today, inner peace, seem too vast or vague as to how to cultivate or what they actually are, you’re not alone. I felt this way also.
However, the fact that you are wanting to explore what inner peace is and are curious about living and experiencing a life of more depth, fulfillment and enrichment is a good sign that you indeed will have the persistence to have the patience that will be needed in order to eventually experience what is being talked about in today’s post, because it will take consistent intentionality, thoughtfulness and a choice to be brave.
As I have shared before, unconsciously, this knowing I knew there had to be more to life, it had to be possible to live more deeply, experience more fully and not live on the surface began as a young girl, and then eventually and with more intentionally, it became a conscious and very deliberate exploration in my late 20s and early 30s as I began to be a student of myself, the world and all that is possible when it comes to living in true peace, and thus contentment. So yes, it took some time, and as I mentioned above, it didn’t happen with one quick read of a blog post, but that is why I feel more motivated than ever to share what I have learned and know to be true with you about how to live a life that you love and also that the world will become ever more peaceful, no matter how small or large in amount, because you are being true to you and contributing as you uniquely can.
Let me share one more quote from Andy Puddicombe who addresses what happens when we utilize the necessary skills and tools, that while we have to choose to learn them, are what contribute to finding and living a life with inner peace:
“Recognizing the practical steps we can take in the world. Understanding that sometimes we’re not able to change things, but knowing we can always come back to training the mind, to finding a place of peace in our own mind where we’re not in conflict with ourselves, we’re not in conflict with other people around us, we’re not resisting thoughts and feelings that arise in the mind. Instead, we’re cultivating a space of openness, of kindness, where we allow thought to be heard, acknowledged and let go of. Where we allow emotions to arise, to be processed and let go of. And in training the mind that way, we don’t just transform our own lives, but we also start to transform the lives of those around us.”
Today, wherever you are on the journey of tapping into your inner peace, know that any effort you give, whether it is through beginning a meditation practice, reading a book on mindfulness (start with this one that I recommend as you can read it in one hour and gain a taste of what mindful living looks like in your everyday), prioritizing rejuvenating rest, tuning in to caring well for your health, letting yourself play and lose track of time, or any of the 11 ideas I share in this post (see below), you are one step closer and so long as you live with the intention of cultivating peace within you, you will achieve it.
If each of us did something as simple as set the intention of living with deepening our inner peace every day, oh my goodness would we make amazing strides toward the world peace we have been talking about for oodles of years. It all begins with each of us. From the deepest depths of my being I know it can occur because my own life has changed in ways I only dreamed and hoped would be possible more than twenty years ago. And while I am still a student, still learning, catching myself when I regress to old, unhelpful default mindsets, at least now I am aware of the regression and can more quickly correct myself. And after all, your world, my world, at any given point in our life journey consists of simply the people and environment around us that we are engaged in, and so yes, peace is absolutely possible in each instance where we find ourselves, because you and I are there.
Here’s to finding the courage to cultivate and find the inner peace within ourselves. Take care and wishing you a beautiful start to the new week. Bonne journée.
SIMILAR POSTS/EPISODES YOU MIGHT ENJOY
5 Ways to Live an Examined Life, episode #10