“Why can’t we just get along?”
That is one question that is oft-repeated these days, but the answer is as elusive as smoke on a windy day.
Many see peace – from the level of personal relationships to nations at war – as the search for the holy grail, and flat out decide it will never happen.
We want it badly– but how do we get there?
My first question would be: do we even know what peace is? How do we define peace? What does it look like? Must people feel it as well as see it?
Defining peace is difficult because we would need to amalgamate the wants and needs of many unique individuals. And most of us cannot agree on anything.
But what if peace wasn’t about an outside picture or agreement?
What if peace began inside each one of us, and that was all it took? What if peace was a state of mind and heart?
What if we could cultivate integrity into our being and way of life that would translate into some semblance of outward peace?
Martha Beck, in her new book, “The Way of Integrity: Finding the Path to Your True Self” defines “integrity” as being intact, whole, and undivided. (This makes the case for peace right there, in my view).
She says that the way of integrity is resolving the places where we are internally divided within ourselves, to come into more coherence and alignment.
When we can bring all our meaning-making faculties together (heart/mind/body/soul) and get them to tell the same story or to be on the same page, we get to inner peace and serenity that spreads through one’s whole life and helps to create everything we want.
That’s some wise stuff.
My work with the HeartMath Institute is about doing just that. When we access the heart’s intelligence, we are guided to what is right for us in wholeness and integrity. Other terms for heart intelligence include inner guidance system, intuition, inner integrity, divine guidance, and the higher self.
The foundation of HeartMath (which stands for the melding of intuition, emotions, and feelings with the mind and its logical processes) lies in medical research on neuro-cardiology. In other words, heart-brain balance.
The state of coherence is achievable when we understand our physiology and learn to command our heart rhythms to bring balance back into our Autonomic Nervous system. In other words, when we create a peacetime economy within our bodies, we find an alignment among our mind, heart, emotions, and body.
This is not about morality or opinion; this is about structural integrity. A machine will not work unless all its parts work symbiotically. The human operating system needs coherence in the system to achieve wholeness and integrity.
Where has the heart been in world decisions and the emotional climate that has been created these days? Where is truth – another component of integrity?
Truth is another elusive term, as we cannot seem to agree on that either. What if truth simply means what feels “right” to all our meaning-making faculties and in the space of a coherent system?
When we fail to clean up our backyard, how is it right that we judge others? When we see that we are all just doing the best we can, with what we have, from where we are, we develop compassion and understanding.
As His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama counsels, you “must not hate those who do wrong or harmful things; but with compassion, you must do what you can to stop them-for they are harming themselves, as well those who suffer from their actions.”
Maybe peace is less about what we say or do but more about the energy behind it all. When we are in alignment with ourselves, we see the peaceful resolution because we feel it in our hearts.
Years ago, His Holiness was asked about the invasion of Tibet by China and why he did not counsel war. He replied that in his mind, what was done was wrong and that war would have seemed the right thing to do. But then, he said, his mind would have disagreed with his heart, and he would have been at war within himself.
When we manage to cultivate peace within ourselves, we may just find the world we have all been anxiously awaiting.
If you are looking to cultivate peace within, I would love the opportunity to support you!