I stumbled across this article I sent out in a newsletter in 2013. I wrote it during my first trip to the USA since I was born, and ironically, right in the midst of the dying throes of a relationship.... I guess you really can find peace anywhere if you choose! Please enjoy and I hope it contributes something to you today...
I am sitting in an apartment looking down as snow falls on Manhattan, New York (oh, wow, I am in New York!!!). I can hear road-works, car horns sounding several times a minute and the occasional person or workman yelling an exclamation. It’s a familiar sound-scape for a lot of cities I suppose.
And as I sit here wondering what I could write that would contribute to you and the world today, this sense of peace suddenly emanates and expands all around me and through me. Wow, being peaceful in a big, chaotic city – what a cool and unexpected thing!
I remember when I was in school, the concept of ‘peace’ was not really talked about as a being; it was presented as an opposite to ‘war’, so in my mind I defined peace as something external to me - like when your country’s army is not fighting with another country’s army. And from my parent’s point of view, ‘peace’ went with ‘quiet’, as in the peace and quiet of the rare occasions where my sister and I would not be running, yelling, singing, laughing and squabbling at the top of our lungs. So, in other words, peace was this rather boring (because what 6 year old wants to be quiet?) and generally irrelevant (as Australia was not a battlefield at war) idea to me. As I think back on it, it’s funny how easily we can create so many kinds of bizarre ideas and definitions based on what people say!
And today as I am sitting here listening to the sounds of New York, and inviting this totally different way of being, allowing a total sense of ease in my body, no thoughts, anxieties or worries in my mind (thankfully I have stopped going ‘oh my gosh, what’s wrong?’ when my mind gets empty these days!) and I am wondering if this is more of peace as it can truly be? It seems so much greater than how I defined it as a child.
A quick look at the online Merriam-Webster dictionary for a definition has yielded a few results for the “official” view of peace:
1. - State of tranquillity or quiet
2. - Freedom from disturbance
3. - Freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
4. - Harmony in personal relations
Now, it seems to me there is truth to some of that – not giving myself a hard time with oppressive thoughts certainly is a kindness to me, and it’s great when people get along in harmony, and who doesn’t love some quiet ‘me’ time every now and then, but is that really all there is to this peace thing? What does peace mean to you? Do you see it as a contributive energy? An escape? A political idea? A fantasy? A fallacy?
Perhaps if I had continued to go solely by the definitions of the dictionary and the people in my life, and never really questioned what peace could be in my life, I might have totally missed this amazing energy I am playing with right now!
The peace that I am aware of these days is where I have a sense of me as this expanding space (especially space in my head… which is a magical story in itself, but more on that later) and being totally connected to all things. Where I know that anything is possible. Where I have access to a universe of generative and creative energies that support, nurture and contribute to me and my body. Inviting peace allows me to have total gratitude and allowance for me and for everything that I have created - the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s pretty gosh-darn special. And I didn’t even know this was a possibility before I started doing some rather courageous seeking in my own life.
Another cadence of car horns has begun and the snow is now kind of falling horizontally in the wind past my window. I have just realized another thing that is neat about being peaceful - it kind of brings with it this ridiculously gorgeous happiness! Terrible, isn’t it?
I am grateful for the practical and fun tools of Access Consciousness that led me to consider peace as something of value to have in my life, and something that I could (and do) create in my world. It's pretty darn cool! If you are curious, come take a squizzy ;-) www.accessconsciousness.com/amandaholland
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