What is inner-peace?
A sense of peace is brought about by a sense of connection. This sense of connection is determined by our deepest values and is different for everyone. It even changes and evolves for each of us. We can feel a sense of connection to each other, to nature, to our work, to family and friends, or to the divine. We can feel a sense of connection to ourselves. This feeling of connection is what we call alignment, because it feels “right”. It feels great because it brings about a neurological response, which leads to the parasympathetic response. This feels good and right because it is what human bodies are intended to do after thousands of years of evolution. We are meant to be connected, to each other, ourselves, and the divine. It shows in our brains and our brain chemistry. Even if you don’t believe in any divinity, your brain responds to feelings of connection and peace in the same positive way.
Practices such as mindfulness, yoga, and meditation ( along with dozens of religious practices all around the world) are helpful in creating this feeling within us. Once we are able to activate this sense of alignment we can use it to help us “feel better”. When we experience stress, say from sitting in traffic, we can use our mindfulness practice to help keep us calm. This is powerful. When we practice activating this sense of connection often, we feel less confusion and turmoil on a daily basis. This allows us to be more creative and solve complicated problems.
Once you learn to activate your sense of peace, connection, and alignment you have a choice. You can stay there, at peace, or you can move beyond it.
There is something beyond your sense of peace and connection. Your sense of peace and connection is priming you with the ability to move through the deeper and murkier subconscious. This ability to activate your parasympathetic nervous system is a tool, it is not the prize.
Beyond the comfort our parasympathetic response provides, there is so much rich reward. But, it is scary. There is fear and the unknown. It does require courage to look inward from a place of non-judgment, there is no where to hide. Diving into this shadow space has awesome potential not just for ourselves but for our work as humankind. We can connect even more intimately to each other when we have faced our shadows and come out the other side. Again, and again. This work is never done. It is a practice and using beginners mind and the acceptance of how un-expert we are helps to open new doors each time we look. Enlightenment is a path, after all, not a destination.
We need to learn as much as we can about what helps us hold that sense of comfort, peace, and connection because it is the only way forward. It is the place we return again and again when we need to center ourselves. All that is required to move deeper is to remember there is peace beyond comfort. There is peace and connection in turmoil, grief, and pain as well. If we want to learn to wield our magic in the dark- we must have the confidence to step past calm, comfort, and control.