September 21 is celebrated as International Day of Peace, and the United Nations has set this year’s theme “Shaping Peace Together”. With the outbreak of a pandemic, peace is possibly the last emotion on people’s minds today. So how can we come together to shape peace globally, when restoring peace in just our neighbourhood seems difficult? Answer is that we don’t need to do anything to bring peace in the world, country, city or neighbourhood. We just need to create peace in our mind. Our peace will then radiate, create a ripple effect and raise Global Peace by a notch.
Peace is a common goal of humanity, as it empowers us to see ourselves, other people, our situations and the world positively. But the biggest barrier to peace is our incorrect beliefs about it. Someone said finding peace was the goal of life, someone else said it takes lifetimes to realise peace. Accepting their words, we thought of peace as an exclusive emotion that cannot be part of daily life or social activities. We assumed it to be somewhere out there—to be felt in solitude during meditation, amidst nature or at a retreat. We also thought peace will dawn upon us when we will have a perfect house, perfect job, perfect health, perfect relationship or a perfect world around us.
Peace is our original quality. It is an energy we can create and radiate under all circumstances. It has nothing to do with what we have or what happens to us. Every time we create a nice thought, we feel peaceful. This is because every thought gives rise to a feeling. If our thought is nice, we feel nice. This nice feeling is peace. Simply put, when we are not angry, upset, jealous, competing, blaming or anxious, we are peaceful.
Thoughts are the foundation of our words and actions. Ever since the Covid-19 outbreak, thoughts of fear, stress, insecurity and anger have dominated our minds. Consequently, our words and behaviours have not always been pleasant. But now we have an opportunity to tap into our inner reservoir of peace, as most of us are confined to our homes and do not have the usual distractions. Following are simple ways to do so:
- Meditate every morning by connecting with God and charging the self with peace, love and happiness. Visualise yourself being peaceful and loving throughout the day.
- Remind yourself that people and situations have the power to affect everything that is outside of you—your work, possessions or your body. But none can affect your emotions. They are your choice. Protect your peace by responding to scenes through your original qualities of compassion, patience and love.
- Value, appreciate and accept yourself unconditionally. Don’t create guilt or criticism over any flaw or failure. Live by your moral compass, ignoring pressures and public opinions.
- Check your thoughts about other people. Loving yourself helps you to accept others easily. Your relationships become harmonious and peaceful.
- Validate your beliefs. Peace is blocked if you wrongly believe: Anger is necessary, happiness is in achievements, stress is natural, or life is a competition. They make peace a fleeting emotion.
- Set healthy boundaries in thoughts and conversations. Focus on the good in people and situations. Turn down temptations to gossip, blame, judge or control others.
- Programme your peace and happiness to be independent of people and situations by accepting them as they are. Acceptance does not mean you let people do what they want. It only means your mind does not create anger or hurt if they are not your way.
- Use peace, assertion and discipline with yourself and others. Notice how you use anger and irritation selectively, only with few people. When you can choose peace with one person, you can extend it to everyone. Create a No-Anger zone at home and workplace.
- Drop the emotional baggage of past hurt, understanding that pain was your creation. If someone was not right to you, it was due to their perspective, nature or mood.
- This life is your journey as per your capacity and values. So, refrain from comparison or competition. Co-operate with everyone. The positivity that gets created within and blessings from others, keep you peaceful and successful.
As you create these thoughts, visualise and feel them. Repeat them a few times every morning and night. Also reaffirm them every hour, or you can revise it before every meal and each time you pause for your glass of water. Within a few days, peace becomes your natural response in every situation.
“I am a peaceful being… I am always relaxed… I understand that situations and people will not always be my way… I remain unaffected by situations… I influence situations with my stability. My peace brings out the best in me and others. I am assertive… I get work done… with respect and dignity. People might make mistakes… I remain peaceful… I instruct with an intention of transformation… never anger, criticism or comparison. I protect my peace… after every hour I pause to see how my mind is feeling… I counsel my mind and release any disturbed emotion. I am peace.”
Now we have an opportunity to tap into our inner reservoir of peace, as most of us are confined to our homes and do not have the usual distractions