“There is a criterion by which you can judge whether the thoughts you are thinking and the things you are doing are right for you. The criterion is: Have they brought you inner peace?” Peace Pilgrim
Ever since I was a little girl (elementary school age) growing up in Jersey City, NJ, I was drawn to The Novelty Shop which used to be near Journal Square and on my way home from school. I was drawn to all things peace and love related, incense, oils, beads, etc. They also sold pipes, bongs and rolling paper, which is probably the reason my strict, Cuban mother did NOT like me frequenting that store. Who knows what fear-based “story” she was telling herself and getting wrapped into.
So, it’s no wonder that I’ve always been a love, peace and gratitude junkie- and even more so as I’ve become a “woman of a particular age.” As we all come to learn at one point or another in our lives, it all boils down to “choices” and “lifestyle.” For me, there is no other way. Anything and anyone that disrupts my peace has to go. Now that may sound cruel to some, selfish to others; however, it is called self-preservation and part of the self-love, compassion and respect we establish for ourselves. It’s also part of healthy boundary setting. I don’t know about you, but I guard my inner peace like it’s nobody’s business.
Why? Because like many of us, I have the battle scars to show for the times I wasn’t knowledgeable, conscientious and skilled at the importance of guarding my inner peace like a precious gem or sacred temple. Guarding our inner peace is an art we must learn to master. Like Maya Angelou is known for saying, “When you know better, you do better.”
Since December is a mere 3 days away (where did this year go?), and people are already feeling and expressing the anxiety and stress that sadly comes with the holidays (shouldn’t we all be ENJOYING the holidays?), I want to share with you some principles that we can look at, contemplate and practice each day in December (and throughout the new year for that matter). I happened to come across a little book the other day, and it was the inspiration for this blog. I purchased it in 1999 when I was up at Yale, in New Haven CT, for some training. This little 4×4 gem was written by J. Donald Walters and is titled Secrets of Inner Peace.
For several years after purchasing this book, I kept it on my bathroom counter and looked at it every single morning and in the evenings. I made a concerted effort to practice these thoughts/concepts…many which were new to me given my age and where I was along my spiritual journey at the time. As with affirmations and mantras, the key is to go back to them throughout the course of our days, look at them, say them out loud, repeat them silently and, as the author suggests, “While falling asleep, carry the words into your subconscious, absorbing their positive influence into your whole being. Let it become thereby an integral part of your normal consciousness.”
My darlings, below are 31 precious thoughts that we can all contemplate and utilize each and every day starting December 1st. Over time, you will see and feel a shift in your be-ingness, thoughts, perception, disposition and even your actions. These statements/thoughts are tools we can refer to continuously. Over time, and with active practice, they become integrated and are part of our operating system. Furthermore, they are seeds that we can choose to water each day and watch them blossom into the most beautiful expressions of love and inner peace.
The Secret of Inner Peace
- …is self-control: not scattering your energies, but holding them in check and directing them usefully.
- …is giving full, interested attention to everything you do.
- …is to live fully in the moment, releasing past and future into the cycles of eternity.
- …is inner relaxation- physically, emotionally, mentally then spiritually.
- …is non-attachment; being ever conscious that nothing and no one truly belongs to you.
- …is contentment: consciously holding happy thoughts.
- …is desirelessness: realizing that happiness is within you, not in outward things or circumstances.
- …accepting things as they are, and then, if necessary, acting calmly to improve them.
- …is realizing that you cannot change the world, but you can change yourself.
- …is cultivating harmonious friendships, and shunning the company of peaceless persons.
- …is projecting peace outward into your environment.
- …is a simple life; reducing your definition of “necessities.”
- …is a healthy life: exercising regularly, eating properly, and breathing deeply.
- …is a clear conscience; remaining true to your highest ideals.
- …is acting in freedom, from your inner center, and not in bondage to the world’s demands.
- …is accepting truth, in all circumstances, as your guide.
- …is not coveting what others have, but knowing what is yours by right will find its way to you.
- …is never complaining, but acknowledging that what life gives you depends on what you give, first, of yourself.
- … is accepting responsibility for your failures, and realizing that only you can turn them into successes.
- …is found in self-conquest, not in the mere cessation of hostilities.
- …is practicing willingness, even though your mental habits urge you to cry, “No!”
- …is smiling in your heart, even when others scowl.
- …is giving joy, rather than demanding joy of others.
- …is including others’ well-being in your own.
- …is harmlessness: never deliberately hurting anyone.
- …is working with others, never against them.
- …is meditation, and tapping into the wellsprings of soul-peace.
- …is raising your consciousness: directing energy to the brain, then centering it at the seat of higher awareness between the eyebrows.
- …is self-acceptance: not blinding yourself to your faults, nor hating yourself for them, but claiming your higher reality in Infinite Light.
- …is loving God, and striving to be worthy of His love for you.
- …is loving others impartially, without selfish motive.
As I was typing, I surprised myself by how I was able to finish, or come close, to finishing each thought. I even recalled certain circumstances, events and people whom were challenging me throughout different times and how I was practicing these principles. It’s a testament to the power of affirmations as well as the power of conscious choice-making. The more we practice affirmations and act on them, the more we re-wire our brains and the more these affirmations become our default setting. These Secrets of Inner Peace will change your life. Wouldn’t you agree that we Can all use a little more peace in our every day lives? Remember, the power is within you!
In the days, weeks and months ahead, may we all find ourselves tapping into the plethora of tools and practices that we have cultivated over the years, and may we “choose” our thoughts, words and actions wisely. I hope these Secrets of Inner Peace will be your trusted companions and guide you along your journey.
Inhale Love & Light…Exhale Grace & Gratitude, JTC