What are people really saying when they say they want peace?
I hear it all the time. I ask clients what is it that you really mean when you are ‘seeking peace’ and what would peace look like if it could be granted right here and right now? Blank faces stare back at me! Sometimes I hear that funny turn of phrase ‘stop the world I want to get off’.
To many, the world seems fast paced, busy’ness is rife and we live in suburbs with kids that have a lot of activities and adults with no time for rest.
The 40 hour working week (for Australians) was granted mid twentieth century, but seems long gone now as many routinely work hours in excess of that. Is a personal sense of peace still possible? Yes!
The free online dictionary says peace is freedom from disturbance; quiet; tranquillity - all good, but can you find these without the need to remove yourself from the world? Yes you can.
From listening to many clients’ ideas of what peace means to them, I believe peace may not be what they seek at all. It often sounds like their schedule is too full or they take on too much and don’t know how to say no.
I guess it’s not peaceful to realise the lack of peace is probably your own doing, sad but true.
Peace could be to laze for a time to recouperate after years of hard physical work, for another it might be a night of good sleep and for many many others it is best they stop watching the daily news. But is that peace or taking action to limit the amount of chaos invading our lives? Because that won’t necessarily bring peace will it? I believe peace needs to be more long standing, it needs to be sown and cultivated regularly - lovingly tended.
Peace is a choice and it costs nothing except a change of habit. Even when you are busy you can be peaceful, it just means you have to learn to take notice of where your mind is. The mind has a habit of leading you to unrest and you should consider changing that for long lasting peace.
Regarding the peace being sought from the noise of the world, there is little we can do to limit that but we can use ear plugs. We can turn off the telly and instead listen to music or we could get up and go for a walk. We could learn to relax our mind that way, now that’s a peaceful being change of lifestyle.
We are bombarded with the news of wars and atrocities and it is so easy to feel for those who are suffering as a consequence. But peace can be found at home or in the car or train, because we are not at the point of atrocity are we? No, we are in our own piece of the world. Peace will come to us when we realise that, and notice where our feet are planted and become aware of our surroundings. That’s becoming peacefully aware.
Do what you can for others in the world, make your voice heard by joining those who help put a stop to such things, (Amnesty for example) but in the everyday, do what you can to ensure you are living a life that cultivates peace of mind and body.
Becoming aware of your whole self will help and if you slow down a bit, others around you might too – it all begins with one, you.
The Dalai Lama said, "If you think one cannot make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito". So true.
Your actions will bring peace! But if you are always looking for it, guess what? You wont find it, because it takes action. It might be stopping some things and taking up others to bring you to a state of peace, but you can achieve it.
So many are looking for peace because it is a rare commodity. Why is that so do you think? I think it might be because we are just not used to sitting still anymore. It's uncomfortable at first to just sit and do nothing - try it - how long can you last with nothing to do and nothing to occupy your mind?
You know you want it or need it, but peace takes a silent kind of action and some getting used to.
Some words/actions to consider (when you are looking for peace) might be any pursuits that bring to you a state of
Tranquility Calmness Stillness Quietude Serenity, and they are different for all of us, one person's peace is another's dread.
Do you find your self saying you want peace but can’t find it? Is it what you are looking for or do you seek change from what is in front of you? That may be a different thing from peace, it might be more that you need to rethink your life plan. There are people that can help you with that; counselling for example.
Try scheduling peaceful pursuits into the week instead and make it happen. Peace is after all just a word, saying it wont make it happen.
What will you be doing to find peace today? I wonder if you even care about being peaceful - some don't. How about trying an hour of Peaceful Reiki? More info on that here
I'll be going for a walk, booking a facial and then catching up with my son to share a Twinings and Tim Tams!
Until next time, keep well.