Last week I wrote about how many of us expend our precious energy on a priority list of things/people/activities that simply don't nourish, feed, or bring us joy. I suggested ways to begin taking action with the idea that in order to be successful, small, consistent steps work best.
This week I want to talk about peace. I don't know how your past week has been. Mine has been a test of how I maintain my inner peace when it seems there is a sense of unrest all around me. In particular, I have had many conversations where I have provoked others and have been provoked myself. You see, I love intelligent, conscious communication, in particular when opinions differ. I feel differences naturally bring up a certain amount of provocation in conversation and that often moves us to say our truth, even if it's painful for us to admit and for some to hear. What I notice is that often in the midst of these sometimes challenging conversations, the mind gets confused. The result is that some of us go into defensive mode and the wall comes up. Others get into offensive mode and launch an all out attack. Either way, what ends up happening is meaningful communication ceases- the ears close, and so does the heart. We often end up behaving in ways we later regret. In these "heated" moments it's easy to allow our mind to take over. When our mind does take over, it's hard to come to a peaceful place even with the best intentions.
There's good news!! For those persistent and willing to engage, it is possible to walk away with differing views and still feel at peace.
By having courage. I say this because over the years I have engaged in many "intense, challenging, uncomfortable, provocative" conversations in an attempt to create peace. The single ingredient that has enabled me to do so is courage-- the courage to trust my heart, speak my voice and commit to peace, above all else.
I sometimes refer to these conversations as "an experiment in conscious communication", which is an art. It happens when we are able to express ourselves from a place of love with the intention of both people walking away feeling seen, heard and respected. It's a powerful practice and one I will be offering as a workshop in the future.
In the meantime, reflect on an area of your life where you would like more peace. Do you have the courage to begin or deepen the conversation? Are you willing to share and show your heart fully? If not, why not? For many, fear blocks us. If this is true for you, acknowledge your fear and invite courage to join you.
It's often in my meditation practice where I find the words and the energy to embrace courage...and therefore peace.