How would you define peace?
When was the last time you experienced a sense of serenity, a piece of peace? Where were you? What did your surroundings look like? Who was there with you or were you alone? What did you hear, smell, see? How did you feel? Let’s take a deep breath and relive that moment of peace. Wouldn’t it be great to have more of those moments in our lives? Let’s have a look at peace.
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How would you define peace?
What I did at the start of this blog article was a way of defining peace for you personally. Here is an example. The way I would personally describe peace is a moment at the beach. Bright-blue skies, sun on the skin and an ocean with waves as soft as the breeze. A feeling of everything-will-be-fine in the air and inside of myself. Thankfully though, there’s no need to constantly travel to countries with deserted beaches to experience this peace (although it always helps;). We can call back and cultivate this quality in our daily lives.
Peace of soul vs peace on the surface
Personally, I’ve experienced quite a transformation when it comes to peace. For more than twenty years of my life, I used to engage in yoga, meditation, mindfulness and other modalities that are supposed to bring peace. On the surface level they did. But underneath the surface, I always had a sense of restlessness. I was searching, and traveled the world to find something without even exactly knowing what. When I unexpectedly found Christian faith while in Bali, my whole world turned around, literally. From that point onwards, I had peace beneath the surface that never left me again, peace of soul. While on the surface things might still shake me, underneath there is an unshakable sense of serenity.
Have you found this beneath-the-surface level of peace for yourself too? If you haven’t, I can encourage you to keep on searching, because as it says in the Bible “keep searching and you will find”. And if you have found it, yay for you! Now all we need to do is remind ourselves to dive down to that deeper place of peace within ourselves from time to time 🙂
What I didn’t mention in the video, by the way, is another area of ourselves where we might need to find peace. Peace of mind. Our mind can be a battlefield and oftentimes we are our own enemy. The moment we become aware of the way we put ourselves down and hold ourselves back in our thoughts, we can start replacing our internal lies with truth, just like Lauren Daigle does in this song.
What is your body trying to tell you?
Closing your eyes.. take a moment to bring your attention to your body. Doing a quick -scan, find out how your body is feeling. If it is hurting, ask it what it is trying to tell you. Trusting and welcoming instead of judging whatever comes up. If we do this regularly, we release built-up stress and emotions, it is like cleaning our car. We may also be able to receive valuable insights into ourselves, our lives, our behaviors that allow us to make healthy changes.
Every body is different – what does yours need?
Food is fuel, they say. But opposed to our cars, we don’t just have two-three types of fuel to choose them. Our bodies unfortunately don’t come with an owner’s manual that tells us what to feed them. It’s up to us to find out what works best for us and what doesn’t.
There are thousands of diet and nutrition books out there telling us how to eat and what to avoid. Have your read them? Have you been influenced by other people’s view on food? What would it be like to leave behind those external sources of information for a while, and start relying on your best internal source of information again?
Trusting that your body knows what it needs. Paying attention to how you feel before and after eating certain foods. Giving in to your cravings instead of suppressing them. But also if some foods give you unhealthy cravings, to see how you feel if you detox from that food for a while. Seeing it as a discovery journey. Creating your personal food guidelines and the same goes for the way we move our bodies.
“Life is like riding a bicycle.
To keep your balance you must keep moving.”
Einstein was brilliant even when it came to life wisdom. So yes. Let’s start with a literal look at movement. How often do you move your body? Do you have a way of moving that makes you happy, or do you literally go through the motions because it’s meant to be good for you? In order to bring peace to our bodies I can definitely recommend finding a way of moving that moves your spirit too, to put it that way 😉 A way of moving that’s fun.
Do you like to run or walk, dance or hike, play beach volleyball or basket ball, play tennis or lift weights? Do you prefer a group or is exercise your way of getting some me-time? Once you find a way of moving that works for you, it will help you release stress and bring your body back to a state of peace. And if you haven’t found it yet, I encourage you to keep on searching, you’ll eventually find it and may have some unexpected fun along the way.
Allowing, Accepting and Asserting our Boundaries
Above, I mentioned a few ways of finding peace internally, that is, inside of ourselves. Another important part of peace however, is the way we relate to the world around us. And before we even get out of our house so to say, it’s important that we first feel safe inside of it. In order to achieve that, boundaries help us to choose who and what we let in and don’t. Boundaries help us block behavior that is unacceptable or unhealthy, they protect our peace.
There are three words to help you remember how to set boundaries:
1. Allow yourself to have boundaries. This is the foundation because believe it or not, too often we are raised consciously or unconsciously to think that we should always be nice, helpful and giving to everyone. In that case saying ‘no’ can make us feel like the worst person in the world. Just like a beautiful house is protected by a wall, fence or alarm system, boundaries make sure that your beautiful qualities are protected too. Boundaries can make you a better person!
2. Accept the fact that you have certain boundaries. They may not make sense to others or even to yourself. You may not be happy about having those boundaries, but you do need them. An example for this may be a former alcoholic who at no cost can have that first sip. This person may wish wholeheartedly to be able to drink like everyone else, but deep down inside they have accepted that it is best for themselves and everyone else if they don’t.
3. Assert your boundaries. This may be the hardest part regarding boundaries. It doesn’t help to allow and accept our boundaries if we don’t express them to others. We may receive negative reactions, we may be called all kinds of things, from party-pooper to lazy or selfish. Remember that these reactions say more about the other person than about you. If you have honestly accepted and asserted your boundaries, in the long-term, it will benefit yourself and others.
“Speaking the Truth in Love”
This was one of my biggest eye-opening Bible verses. It’s the perfect definition of assertiveness gone right. I love it. Because in the end we all want a loving relationship with people around us, right? Boundaries help us prevent our peace from slipping out the back door. But we do have a front door. This is where we choose who and what we welcome in our lives, people, but also behaviors, by ourselves and others.
We set the tone by speaking the truth, in love. If we communicate our needs, with love and on time, we prevent pressure from building up so high that it explodes like a volcano spewing emotional lava on everyone and everything we love. When we speak the truth, in love, we allow others to do the same and we create relationships where all parties are safe to be themselves. When we know where we stand and where the other person stands, we build a bridge for peace to freely pass back and forth over.
The Bigger Peace Picture
Now that we’ve touched on themes that promote peace internally and externally in our daily lives, there are also the big subjects. Have you heard of the Wheel of Life? You can easily google it and you will find a few life themes depicted in a circle that you can rate. This will give you a good overview of the good areas and the growth areas in your life. You could use peace as an indicator as you give your grades from 0-10. This will give you a good idea on where you stand in terms of peace in your life.
Your Next Step on the Path towards Peace
All of the above said, is there something that resonated with you? Is there an area in your life that could use a small dose or a super-size portion of peace? I would love to hear from you in the comments: what is one thing that you can do right now to bring more peace to your life?
No matter where you stand on the path towards peace, it helps to remember that we’re all walking on it. Some may be seem to a little further ahead or others may currently be walking on a smooth path while you’re hitting a rough patch. It’s all part of life.
If you find yourself too stressed or stuck though, it’s important to take a good look at what can get you moving (in the right direction) again. Sometimes we can involve our loved ones by asking for support as we ‘speak the truth in love’. We may also realize that we need some extra, external support. That’s ok too.
If you are wondering whether you need someone to walk beside you for a while as a life coach, feel free to contact me or schedule a FREE Clarity Call. We will see if we click and connect 😉 and if so, I look forward to forging a path towards more peace in your life, and if not, peace too 🙂
Wishing you a peaceful rest of your day!