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Eternal Life, Part 2: My Path to Inner Peace

June 22, 2012 2 Comments

Earlier this week I shared my recent thoughts about immortality in a blog entitled “Eternal Life, Part 1“.  I also mentioned I would follow up with “part 2” and share the ways in which I am reminding myself of our real home (Heaven) so that I don’t get caught up in what I see “in the world” on a daily basis.  I am currently experiencing the “peace of God that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) and I just want to share it with the world :-).  Here it goes…

Over the last 6 months, I have been very intentional about taking “every thought captive” and “demolishing any arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God” (2 Corintians 10:5).  Prior to my decision to deliberately “live in the light”, I tried just about everything in order to feel temporary happiness or peace during my down moments (vacations, alcohol, food, workaholism, TV, shopping, the Internet, etc.), but none of these has ever left me feeling a long-lasting state of peace.  I have always needed the next “fix” in order to help myself feel better again.  I know I am not alone in this.  That is how many of us are trained…we’re trained to think that to have more is to be more (a big paycheck, a nice home, nice clothes, etc.).  For so long I had it backwards and didn’t even realize it.  I was going through life unconsciously – totally unaware of the real intention behind my decisions.  I really believed that the next high-paying job…getting out of the “terrible twos” phase with my son…being settled in a new house…or [insert another desire here] would bring me peace.  Boy was I wrong.  There is truly nothing outside of you that can bring you peace – nothing.  I know this is true because I had it all (six-figure job, husband, new house, healthy kids, etc.) and still didn’t have inner peace.  I was stressed all the time and was so frustrated with people and the little annoyances that happened throughout the day.

When I went on a personal retreat in January, I really got that the “Kingdom of Heaven is within” – that is the only place we can look to find true peace.  God created each and every one of us in His image and likeness.  The almighty power of the Spirit is moving through us all the time, guiding us if we would only be still and listen.

I decided to devise a plan to remind myself of my Divine nature and to experience true peace.  I didn’t know for sure how to access the peace within for a sustained period of time (in the midst of day-to-day challenges), but I pulled together what I thought was the most clear path to peace based on the books I had read and classes I had taken up to that point.  Well, after 6 months of dedicated practice, I can say that I have noticed dramatic improvement in my mood, stress level, and just my overall state of mind (and so have my husband and close friends that have been around me lately).  I am more joyful, peaceful, playful, kind, compassionate, forgiving, loving, and more!  In addition, none of these feelings are dependent upon anything outside of myself!  Who doesn’t want that?  My “plan” isn’t anything new that someone else hasn’t said before using different language, but this time it resonated with me in a whole new way.  Also, it didn’t take the full 6 months for it to begin to work…that probably only took a few days (the retreat kick-started it).  But, the difference I’m experiencing now is the constancy of the peace.

So….****drumroll*****, here is my action plan for inner peace.  Hope you enjoy it and maybe even give it a try!  I’d love to hear what you do on a daily basis to remind you of the everlasting love and peace of God.  There are many paths to Truth – this is just the one that worked for me at the time when I was ready to go “all in”.  I’d love to hear yours!

Prioritize God

Evoke the Spirit

Always Forgive

Choose Heaven

Expect the Best!!

1.  Prioritize God

I have heard  the phrase “put God first” all my life, but it never really had much meaning for me.  It was just an overused saying in my book.  What does it really mean to put God first?  I had to define it for myself.  For me it meant allotting time for prayer and meditation every morning and evening (even if that means getting up early or going to be early to make it happen), posting notes around the house to remind me of the spiritual qualities of God that I was looking to express through me (love, forgiveness, compassion, patience, kindness, joy, etc.), setting aside time for yoga, reading spiritual text daily, signing up for classes to further my spiritual study, etc.  In short, there is nothing that I put in front of my time with God…nothing.  This is the first time in my life that I’ve tried that for an extended period of time.  I always said “I don’t have time to meditate” or “I’ll just pray on the way to work” or “I don’t feel like getting up that early” or “work is really busy right now” :-).  The reality is, there is always enough time – it’s only a matter of how I’m willing to prioritize that time.  I decided on no more wasted hours mindlessly surfing the internet…no more sitting on the couch for extended periods of time watching TV….you get the picture.  So, I can’t tell you what’s happening on the latest reality TV show, but I can tell you what peace of mind feels like.  I also have more energy than ever before even though I’m getting up at 5:30 in the morning to meditate and pray.  God will absolutely make a way if you and willing and have faith.

2. Evoke the Spirit

The word “evoke” has many meanings, but the one that most stands out to me is “to draw out”.  It’s so fitting for the Spirit because it is in us already – we just have to call it forth and draw it out.  I do this during my meditation and prayer time.  I really commune with the Spirit to listen for answers to questions I place on the “altar”.  I don’t have a tangible altar, but I do this in my mind – I make an offering of all thoughts that are not aligned with God and all uncertainty and then I sit still and listen for an answer (thanks to my spiritual bootcamp teacher, Jennifer Hadley, for this “making an offering” practice, the sticky notes idea, and her daily prayers which truly “evoke the spirit” for so many).  It’s amazing the clarity that comes with listening instead of always bringing my “problems” to God and asking that they be resolved the way I want them to.  I realized the reason I was doing that is because I feared what would happen if I didn’t get what I wanted.  Marianne Williamson once said “the presence of fear is a sure sign you’re trusting in your own strength” – I love that!  God always has the highest plan for our lives…all He needs is for us to be willing and to trust in Him.

3. Always Forgive

Forgiveness is the healer of the world.  I made a practice of not going to bed with unforgiveness on my heart – this includes myself and others.  I have a sticky note with “forgiveness” written on it that I keep by my bed so that before I go to bed I remember to forgive.  This forgiveness applies to all things – someone cutting me off on the road…someone telling untruths about me…not completing my work for the day…my kids breaking something…any and everything.

I also began practicing total non-judgement (as discussed in prior blogs).  I have no authority to judge anyone and, further, all it does is leave me feeling judged by others (like the great quote that goes something like “judging someone else is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”).  I have made the conscious choice to replace judgement with forgiveness in all situations – no matter what.  I know this is one of the most significant contributors to my peace of mind.  There is no chatter in my head about what should have happened, what didn’t happen, what someone should have done, etc….there’s just peace.  And when there’s not, I know I have some forgiveness work to do.  Everyone is doing their best based on their level of understanding at the present moment – As Oprah and Maya Angelou say “when you know better you do better”.  Give people a break and you will give your mind a break!

4. Choose Heaven

I have experienced the worst of what happens when I choose the world over heaven.  When all of my focus was on getting more and doing more in the world in hopes of experiencing peace and happiness someday, I was miserable.  Sure, I experienced temporary moments of happiness but, whenever I achieved the next goal or milestone, I always wanted the next best thing to make me feel even more accomplished.  All the while, I didn’t realize that all that I was looking for (and more!) was right inside of me.  Now, I know that I have a choice.  I can choose to go after the desires of the world or I can choose to unleash the peace and love from the Kingdom of Heaven that is right inside of me.  What is the Kingdom of Heaven you might be thinking?  Well, it’s unchanging love, peace, joy, kindness, abundance, serenity, harmony, prosperity, compassion, wholeness, oneness, and all of the other spiritual qualities.  By choosing Heaven, we choose to serve as a healer of the world.  We choose to be the change we wish to see in the world (Gandhi).  Jesus, Gandhi, Buddha and Martin Luther King are some of my master teachers – they were all non-conformists.  They did not make a choice to follow the status quo of the world and neither will I.  Jesus, for example, was so connected to the kingdom within that he said “I and the Father are one”.  I used to think that meant that Jesus was the only one who was one with the Father…now I know that we all are.  We just have to connect to that Divine union through the Spirit within and remember to see only that in others – that is who we all really are.  So powerful.

“The greatest good that can come to anyone is the forming within him of an absolute certainty of himself, and of his relationship to the Universe, forever removing the sense of heaven being outside himself.” ~Ernest Holmes, Science of Mind

5.  Expect the Best!!

“Expect the best and God will do the rest” – I love that saying (I’m not sure who said it).  You can’t doubt and trust at the same time.  It’s impossible.  I know that everything has always worked out for the best throughout my entire life – no matter what I saw in front of me at the time.  Why would I trust in my limited vision when God can see all that has happened, all that is happening now, and all that ever will happen?  It sounds so silly when it’s put that way, but how often do we think we know what’s best for us and when it should come?  I know I used to think so.   What also helped me with expecting the best, is staying in a state of gratitude.  I have continued my practice of writing down what I’m grateful for and this reminds me that God is always at work.  I have another sticky note by my bed with “gratitude” written on it so that I remember to be grateful before going to bed.  Why should I expect anything less than greatness in the future when that is all God has given me thus far?

I used to think you had to give up something in order to truly dedicate your life to God.  I used to think it would be a boring life and that I would miss out on the “fun” of the world.  I read something in A Course in Miracles the other day that beautifully expressed how “insane” that thought is (totally worth reading if you’re really interested in experiencing the peace of God and have even thought that would be giving up something by de-prioritizing the things of this world):

“It takes great learning both to realize and to accept the fact that the world has nothing to give.  What can the sacrifice of nothing mean?  It cannot mean that you have less because of it.  There is no sacrifice in the world’s terms that does not involve the body.  Think a while about what the world calls sacrifice.  Power, fame, money, physical pleasure…God’s teachers can have no regret on giving up the pleasures of the world.  Is it a sacrifice to give up pain?  Does one whose vision has already glimpsed the face of Christ look back with longing on a slaughter house?  No one who has escaped the world and all its ills looks back on it with condemnation.  Yet he is free of all the sacrifice its values would demand of him.  To them he sacrifices all his peace.  To them he sacrifices all his freedom.  And to possess them must he sacrifice his hope of Heaven and remembrance of his Father’s Love.  Who in his sane mind chooses nothing as a substitute for everything?” 

I had to laugh out loud when I read that this week!  Jesus has a great sense of humor :-).  He’s right though (as always)…”who in his sane mind chooses nothing as a substitute for everything?”…not me.  I choose the Kingdom of Heaven…not later in the afterlife, but right now.  I am having more fun now than ever before because I am in tune with my true Self  and have released the false self (the self that I build up to “make it” in this world) that was draining my energy.  I now want to help as many people as possible remove any blocks to their awareness of the love and peace that resides within!  Who’s in?

Keep Shining!


About the Author:

I used to live life shackled by fear, doubt, and worry. I put on a happy face while navigating my day-to-day duties, but I was emotionally drained, stressed, and unhappy. When I hit rock bottom, and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I was determined to live life differently. I knew there had to be another way. Out of that determination, and guidance from Spirit, the "Living in the Light" blog was born. It documents my spiritual journey out of the darkness and into the Light. After nine months of publicly sharing my journey, and consciously releasing my attachment to the ego, I experienced a powerful spiritual awakening. I went from living in fear, doubt, worry, and stress to complete inner peace. My greatest passion has become assisting others on their own journey to inner peace. My spiritual memoir, From Stress to Peace: An Intimate Journal on the Journey from Living in Darkness to Living in the Light, is available now on Amazon and Click the tabs at the top of the page to learn more about the From Stress to Peace 21-Day Challenge, Living in the Light Retreats, 1:1 sessions, and the Living in the Light Community - all of which are designed to support your journey to inner peace. I appreciate you taking the time to visit the blog and look forward to supporting you in any way I can!