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 I have been searching for inner peace for all of my life and for many years in all the wrong places!   I looked outside of myself to people, places and things for peace, but it didn’t work, and I found that nothing would fill the hole in my soul, no matter how hard I tried. 

 I suspect I am not alone in this and that the same may be true for you.  Did you hope that the perfect relationship, career, house, financial security, car would bring you the peace you so desire?  Of course, there is nothing wrong with any of the above and we all want love, abundance, good relationships and fulfilling careers. This is our spiritual birthright.

The peace I’m talking about is the “Peace That Passes All Understanding.” It’s the peace that comes from within.  It is the peace that the world cannot take away.  It is peace in your mind and in your heart that allows you to be at peace with yourself, and at peace with others.  You are peaceful because you have a deep “inner knowing” that all will turn out for the good of all concerned and you feel safe.  It is trusting in a Power greater than yourself that loves and cares about you.

You will be at peace when you choose to be at peace, no matter what is going on in the world around you, so make your daily intention to be peaceful.  Every morning my daily ritual is to get on my knees,  say the serenity prayer and pray my intention to be peaceful, loving and to be of service. 

Peace is an inside job and I believe that connecting with your Source, whether you call that God, Universe, Buddha, Love, Spirit, Intelligence, Higher Power is the answer and the way to inner peace.  So, what does it mean to “go within?”  It means spending time with yourself, meditating, discovering what you like and don’t like, what you are passionate about and what your dreams are.  It’s discovering who you really are on the inside, which is a magnificent spiritual being that is loved and cherished just as you are.

What do you think keeps you from going inside?  Is it fear?  Are you afraid of what you will find on the inside that you may not like?  You may encounter feelings of shame, guilt, self-hatred, abandonment, rejection, low self esteem or depression, and one of the ways women avoid and deny what’s inside,  is through drinking, drugging or eating sugar.  The other way is through addictive behaviors such as people pleasing, approval seeking, perfectionism, control, workaholism, gambling, internet, excessive TV, shopping, not good enoughism, rushing and staying busy.  All of these addictive behaviors medicate and numb the awareness of your feelings.

If you want to have inner peace, you need to take time to listen to your feelings and not dismiss or avoid them.   It takes courage to be yourself, to feel and express your feelings.  Feelings are the gateway to who you are.  They are there to help you know yourself and know what you need to do next.  They give you clues if something is wrong, to help you protect yourself and keep yourself safe.  They are part of the human condition and we all have them. Feelings are a gift from the Universe. 

The way I used to avoid my feelings was by staying busy and rushing.  I had to be producing something or I felt anxious. Rushing was my addiction and a way of life for many years.  On the outside, I looked peaceful, but there was an “inner rushing” that was pervasive and intense. I never rested or went within for my answers. I believed that others had the answers for my life. I constantly raced around, going from one thing to another.  If I rushed and stayed busy, I didn’t have time to feel my feelings and go within. I felt energized and powerful when I rushed. It gave me the illusion that I was in control. I rushed to medicate painful feelings from my childhood. I never felt good enough and didn’t know how to relax and just BE. Doing is what made me feel strong and bolstered my self esteem – the little that I had. It almost killed me because I was so disconnected from myself, Spirit and the people I loved. 

Over the years of practicing going within and having a daily spiritual discipline, I have learned to slow down, honor myself and rest when I need to.  I allow things to happen organically and I trust my inner guidance, intuition and wisdom. I have learned to receive my answers through prayer and  meditation and by connecting to the Divine guidance within. Creating a peaceful life is of great importance to me and I do whatever I need to do to maintain that peace. Learning to live peacefully has been a process that I practice every day. If I do get caught up in the drama of my own or someone else’s experiences and lose my sense of inner peace, I re-connect with Spirit and practice these 6 Tips to Live in Peace.      

                                   6 TIPS TO LIVE IN PEACE

  1. Show up: Develop a daily spiritual practice of prayer and meditation, yoga, nature.
  2. Ask for what you want – expect an answer and be clear about what you want. Visualize and believe.
  3. Be grateful – An attitude of gratitude is the key to make things manifest and to live passionately.
  4. Forgive yourself and others –Holding onto anger and resentment blocks the energy flow.
  5. Have faith – that your life has meaning and purpose and you can live peacefully.
  6. Let go of control – trust the process and surrender to “what is.” You are exactly  where you need to be.

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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

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