The Practice of Peace

Japanese Maple, Oregon Photograph by Fred An, National Geographic Photo of the Day

So, I started an Experiment in Peace. Here I am, after 9 days. Some things I have noticed:

* Beauty and Joy are always available… but do we notice them? I had been practicing changing my emotions to ones of peace and joy whenever I noticed anything different surfacing. I was driving a sort of bland stretch of road that I had driven a hundred times. I noticed flowers blossoming everywhere on the walls and around the otherwise bleak stretch of road. Had they always been there?
I’m sure they were always there… I just hadn’t noticed. It seems as though peace, joy and love are always present, but we don’t always notice.

* Gratitude is the key. When I am grateful for each and every experience, person and situation exactly as it is, I am at peace. It is only when I create a story in my mind that things “should” be any other way that I suffer. When I Practice gratitude I notice the blessings that each situation brings.

* Peace doesn’t mean I don’t feel any emotions. It means I am open to whatever shows up. I allow the full experience of each moment. When I make space for all emotions to come through… they do just that. They show up, express themselves and move. I am able to have an acceptance of each moment. I am open to each experience rather than saying I need x,y,z to happen in order to be at peace.

* An entire new world opens up. I realized how much strife was created due to my beliefs about something or someone. I have been able to relate to people in a whole new way… with gratitude and acceptance.

It’s a powerful shift in perception.

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