I received such a sweet gift the other day. It’s a sweater (Cashmere of course, “the way to a woman’s heart.”) that says, “Peace is Courageous.” Honestly, when I first opened the present and read the sweater I thought it read, “Peace is Contagious” which I completely agree with. Yet, I quickly realized that I had read it wrong.
“Peace is Courageous?” I thought to myself. Interesting, right? The more that I’ve thought about it (and nestled up in it while I write in the early AM hours) the more I truly resonate with its message
Courage is about living with your whole heart, wide open and present to whatever “is” in the now.
The word for peace in Sanskrit is “shanti.” In the Anusara school of Yoga, they define the word shantaya as “The realm of peace – an ultimate peacefulness that is complete and all-pervading.”
In my personal experience, “keeping my peace” (dwelling in the realm of shantaya) is one of the most courageous things I do everyday. In order to stay awakened to the ever-present perfection of peace inside of me, I must continually make the courageous choice to open my heart and accept whatever is. This isn’t necessarily as easy as it sounds because multiple things are happening at once...
“Keeping your peace” means staying anchored into your center, a place that is unaltered by whatever is happening outside of you. Living courageously means accepting whatever “is” and “allowing it to move through you – instead of rejecting or deflecting emotions, inviting them in.
Let's use the example of a close friend of yours happens to hurt your feelings. Regardless of what your friend said or did to hurt your feelings, you are still completely responsible for how you feel. Period.
No one has the power to make you feel a certain way.
I love how the Presence Process by Michael Brown describes this:
“If you are upset, it is the Universe setting you up.”
“Don’t shoot the messenger, get the message.”
(Especially since the Universe has an endless supply of messengers!)
When we wake up and claim our responsibility of how we feel inside, we can finally own the power to “Keep our Peace” in any situation or experience. This frees us from unnecessary worry, fear, anxiety, or blame in relationships. Having the power to “Keep our Peace” opens us up to profound connection and new depths of intimacy. So how do we do this?!
Keeping Your Peace:
First off, ground in the present moment and turn into the “realm” of peace inside that is profoundly complete and full. This can be done through visualization, breathwork or meditation.
In the example of being hurt by a friend, aligning first to the peace inside of yourself allows you to bring peace to the situation with your friend. Nothing is found outside of yourself – if you strive for resolution and peace in a relationship, first cultivate it within yourself.
After having found your peace, your realm of shantaya inside, your willingness to bring this peace and open heartedness to resolve conflict, tension or hurt in relationship is one of the most courageous things one can do.
Open Heart = Vulnerability
Vulnerability = A Doorway to Deeper Dimensions of Love
Keeping your heart open doesn’t involve pushing away feelings of hurt, rejection, abandonment, betrayal, fear, anger, etc and only focusing on the "light." Peace is cultivated by accepting all emotions for simply what they are – felt resonances containing information – and nothing more.
What you feel has absolutely nothing to do with another person. Feelings originate from inside of you, not outside of you.
In order to maintain your peace people, you must cultivate the courage to accept whatever “is” in the “now” and allow it to cleaning pass through you without clinging to or pushing away any emotional signature. This ensures that no sticky residue is left behind in your energy system. Emotions are just energy – keep the energy flowing by having the courage to open your heart and “keep your peace.”