“There’s no way to peace, peace is the way.” This is the quote Deepak used in today’s meditation to describe achieving peace. In other words, it should come first, not be used as an end goal.
How many times have you told yourself, “I’ll get this one thing done and then I’ll relax” or “I’ll be happier when…” The problem with those statements is that you are actually using peace as a reward when it’s something you should have all the time – even when completing a task or in the middle of achieving a goal.
Without peace, there is an inherent imbalance in yourself. It means there’s a negativity inside of you that is blocking you from enjoying the present – whether it be vacuuming, being in a meeting, driving to or from somewhere, etc. Sure, those seem like menial (and oftentimes annoying) tasks but without coming from a place of peace, more and more moments of our day will start to seem like a burden.
Deepak calls us to take a series of steps to achieving lasting peace:
- Start with respect for everyone and find common ground. We are all humans – it doesn’t matter what we do or what we look like – we all have the same organs that keep us alive, we all breathe air, and we all have the same range of emotions. What separates us are our beliefs. In a world filled with toxicity, it’s easy to get caught up in another’s thoughts and hard to remember that everyone has feelings. You might not like what another says or how they say it (and you certainly don’t have to agree with them) but having respect for another’s life – the fact that they are human – is a common ground no matter what.
- Don’t show anger. I’ve stated this many times before in my posts. Anger literally solves nothing. Even in the most serious of situations, anger is one of the most powerful and infectious things to spread. It creates chaos, war, imbalance, poor and impulsive decision making, harm to others, and so forth. Regardless of what event occurred to trigger it, do your best to ask why something happened, look at it rationally, and then figure a way to respond that won’t set off more negativity.
- Uplift others instead of criticizing. There are times in this world when we want to shift all blame to someone else or a group of others. There are other times when we want to be judgmental out loud when we don’t like something. When something annoys us, we want to point a finger and tell the other to stop making us miserable in that moment. Instead, we need to figure out how to turn our small bout of negativity into a positive. We see a lot of body shaming on the internet today – people who outright express displeasure for how another human looks. People come in all shapes and sizes and so long as they are taking care of their physical well-being, it’s not up to us to judge. We should all be comfortable with who we are and that means helping others who need it. I’ve seen horrific comments from people to many women who are larger than what the criticizers would consider “perfect”. For every three criticizers, there are one or two people that will swoop in and uplift the woman by celebrating how beautiful she is. THIS is the peaceful way.
- If there is conflict, walk away. I really believe that this fits into #2. Conflict sparks negative emotion which in turn, causes fights, protests, war, etc. Because negativity is so infectious, people feed off the emotion alone, oftentimes not understanding why they are going along with whatever the angry people are doing/saying. The more people feed into it, the more the world becomes trapped and addicted to it. Instead of being one of those people, walk away from it. Tell yourself there is nothing you can do about it until everyone is in a place of peace.
- Remain centered, calm and respectful. Oftentimes, we tend to focus more on others than we do on ourselves. Focusing on ourselves, our emotions, and who we want to be keeps us from feeling anything else but peace. It centers us and grounds us into more peaceful and respectful humans that can do more good in the world than harm.
- Put love and affection out into the world. If you feel a positive emotion – put it out there. Show another human that you care about them – do something small for them, or let them know how you are feeling. Love is just as powerful as anger and can be just as infectious. The more peace and love we can spread in this world, the happier a place it will be.