Increase Your Peace With Elbow Grease!

What is Peace Really?

Peace: peacefulness, the absence of mental stress or anxiety, an absence of aggression, violence or hostility, freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession, etc.; tranquility; serenity freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions, safety, harmony in personal relations, freedom from quarrels and disagreement, inner contentment; serenity, silence; stillness, peace of mind.

We keep looking for solutions to so many problems “out there”, yet do you realize the impact of understanding that the solution comes from within your own mind? Being spiritual or religious does not have as much meaning if your own mind is not at peace. If your mind is not at peace you are at war with yourself, first and foremost. This is why it is essential that you first look to your own mind, regardless of your belief systems.

Your mind is so powerful. It creates based on your beliefs and most of us allow our minds to run amok where they will, wherever and however they have been taught. In a sense, our minds are like children, where they are doing just as they were told. We have forgotten that our minds, like children, need discipline and guidance. Your mind is an extremely powerful mechanism that is within your control; it just needs different education.

Why Aren’t We All at Peace?

As adults we continue to allow our minds to run rampant and unchecked and out of control. Most minds are rarely guided in a direction that brings peace of mind. We just have never been taught how to do this and for most the idea is obscure. No matter what your age, it is possible to become more at peace.

Some people believe that simply crowding the mind with much information, that just having that information is supposed to bring peace. But all That does is fill up the mind so much that it leaves little room for that actual peace that we all crave and seek. The test for peace is what thoughts are in your mind? Is what you say and do congruent with what you think? How do your thoughts make you feel?

But in reality not all people consciously crave peace. To them, peace is symbolic with boring nothingness. A fear exists that if you are at peace, then you stop feeling and experiencing a full range of emotions. I can guarantee you that those people have never felt true peace of mind!

In a nutshell, being peaceful is being open to all experiences without judgment, staying in the role of the observer. You still feel emotions, but you do not go into emotional reaction. Your happiness just exists within you; it is not dependent on external factors.

There is yet another category of people, who have developed the ability to move into meditative states or access peace through meditation, prayer, contemplation, etc. Yet that is not enough. Unless you can bring that sense of peace into your everyday life and into your interaction with other people, then you are not fully at peace, you have only learned how to escape your mind.

How Do I Find Peace?

Peace of mind is being able to experience peace instead of emotional reaction. It is the ability to choose your thoughts, to choose conscious responses instead of having subconscious or unconscious emotional reactions that you mistakenly believe are “out of your control”.

It may sound like I am being a hard taskmaster, but this is not an impossible or even hard to reach goal. It is a goal that requires dedication, effort, and patience. Peace of mind is available to everyone, but few people choose it. It takes hard work to change what you believe. Are you ready for it?!

If you think: great, that’s all nice to hear you talk about, but how do I actually get peace? That is your first lesson in what you need to change in yourself, that you think you need to get it somewhere, be somebody other than who you are, change your circumstances, etc. That peace of mind that you are curious about or are seeking is already there inside of you.

Peace lies under all the “stuff” that you are currently experiencing. It is underneath all the judgment, all the meanings, and all the assumptions. Then add to that any limiting belief systems, the need to be right, the belief in conflict, etc. Peace lies underneath all those many layers of fear.

As you work on yourself, each one of these layers is lifted away from you. When you are born your spirit is light and buoyant. Over time all these heavy weights of so many thousands of different belief systems are thrust upon you. Over time they become heavier and heavier as they suppress your being. You lose your sense of self, of your spirit. That light heartedness may only come in fleeting moments.

As you raise your self-awareness and lift off those weights, unlearning what you have taken for granted as the truth if you will, you become lighter. Over time you examine every single belief that you have. You examine every single fear that is in your subconscious mind. Sometimes you challenge instead of examine when the belief or fear is strong. You do what you have to do to change. Anything except believing in and validating your fear.

Fear as the Real Barrier to Peace

“I don’t have fear” I have heard so many (too many) people say. Well, let’s look at only a few of the more common forms that fear takes on (borrowed from my blog): phobia, dread, anxiety, panic, angst, worry, insecurity, stress, depression; fear of: change, death, constancy, pain, confinement, illness, loneliness, not having a (good) source of income, etc.

My goodness I think we have only hit the tip of the iceberg because don’t forget about: anger, annoyance, bitterness, hatred, resentment, irritability, prejudice, judgment, being "right"; fear of: getting hurt, being misunderstood, being wronged, or just of somebody being different than you (our partners being no exception..).

People can also have fears of beneficial aspects of life: love, commitment, success, public speaking, self actualization, the future. Fear can also be subtler and come in the form of: doubt, needing to be liked/admired, how you look, what others think of you, needing to please (at home, work, socially, etc.), getting older, and so on.

Even the most successful and powerful people experience fear. How we define our value is a prime breeding ground for fear. If you define your value externally and feel your value lies in being a good partner, parent, accomplishments, physical abilities, looks, etc., what happens when your circumstances change and you no longer have those qualities with which to judge your value? How many of you have experienced fear or doubt about your value?

How about speaking the truth about how you feel in all situations? This includes relationships, family, at work, friends, social environments, etc. Do you have a fear of conflict? How do you handle an aggressive personality? Are you what you would call a peacemaker for others? What subtle or not so subtle fear is underneath that?

I can imagine the thoughts and comments already..but being a peacemaker is a "good" thing. Well, not the way most people do it and usually done for the wrong reasons if it is out of any form of fear. How self-aware are you and how honest are you with yourself about this? Do you want deep, lasting peace or don’t you? What do you have invested in staying right where you are?

Making Peace a Personal Goal

When a child questions a parent’s authority, a common response is “because I said so”. Do you realize that most of your beliefs that you take for granted are currently there in your mind only because somebody said so?! If you really knew how many of those thoughts were limiting or invalid you would be horrified. Yet your beliefs are a large part of what stands between you and peace.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why you haven’t made achieving peace a goal to date.

  1. I don’t have the time. Did you know that an average person thinks about 12,000 and up to 65,000 thoughts a day for deep thinkers? Most of these thoughts occur unconsciously or subconsciously. Most thoughts are mindlessly repeated over and over. You must have noticed that part! If you can afford to spend even one minute worrying, you can afford to spend one second questioning the value of that worry.
  2. Other things are more important. What really is important to you? Have you considered how much your efficiency and energy increases when you are relaxed and happy? If you have children, what are you teaching your children? If you don’t have children, what is the quality of your life? Is this how you want to feel for the rest of your life? Or think of the old cliché, do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?
  3. I can just read about it. (That will be enough). If you do not do the work on yourself, nothing will change. The snow globe of your life will just get shaken over and over and over. When you have peace you are the table that the snow globe sits on. Adding more to your mind without being able to apply it to yourself, your relationship, and to your experience of life strips the value out of what you have read or heard.
  4. What you are saying is nice in theory but is not practical. So what, worrying is practical? Being stressed is somehow making you happy? This is where an abundance of self-honesty needs to appear. What you are choosing is not working. The sooner you come to this conclusion, the sooner you will be on the path to peace. Honesty and willingness are the first steps.
  5. I can’t afford to get help. If you are reading this, then you know I have a website. On that website are numerous Ezines that give you many tools to use. Read my Blog. There are a zillion (!) self-help books in the library. My favorite authors are Dr. Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle, Don Miguel Ruiz. Read A Course In Miracles if you really want to challenge your mind. Just keep trying all avenues and never give up looking for new resources. Search the internet for non-judgmental guidance. There is a vast amount of information.
  6. I don’t know how. Well you have come to the right place. Again, read every Ezine I have written. Then use the tools I give you. By the time you practice using the tools in each one you be ready to go back to the first one. You will understand it very differently than you did the first time because you will have changed that much! Again, there are almost unlimited resources these days for how to’s. Just keep trying and never, ever give up.

Ultimately the power to change is in your own mind by changing your mind about what you are choosing to think and believe. Once you start the journey you will be surprised at how it self perpetuates. After overcoming the initial inertia to change, it becomes easier and easier to do.

All you need to do is start planting seeds of new thoughts in your mind and then giving them fertile soil to grow in. Check daily for weeds, pulling them out as you see them, making sure the seeds are well watered, and fertilize regularly. The peace will grow as you make even the smallest of efforts. The results are wildly worth it!

If you want to Increase Your Peace With Elbow Grease or if you want help with any other issue, contact me to get The Help You Need. Right Here. Right Now.

Ewa Schwarz

Thank you for your continued support.

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