Where is peace to be found? Where is harmony to be fully experienced? And when will we ever ‘get there’?
How about right now?
Where is your attention in this moment? Is it in thought (which is often so compelling that we often do not even realise that we are thinking), or is your attention in a deeper place – in your body, in your sense of feeling, of being, of present-moment awareness, free of thought?
You see, often we find that we are thinking about peace rather than simply feeling it, experiencing the sense of inner spaciousness and harmony that comes from relaxing our body and moving our attention into our physical sense of presence.
There is only this moment, and in this moment you are either experiencing harmony or you are not. You can feel this for yourself. Is there tension within you right now, or do you feel calm and balanced? Is your breathing shallow and irregular, or is it flowing as it should? This moment is the only access point to the harmony and peace that we all wish to experience.
Thinking usually creates tension and disharmony within our being, and if you watch you will see this. If you notice that thoughts have created disharmony, you are easily able to restore harmony, simply by taking the time to relax your body and breathe fully and naturally. It is not complicated. Only thinking about matters makes them appear complicated. This is why we need to remember to be practical – to come back to our body, to its relaxation and harmony, where we are always guaranteed to find peace.
So now let’s come back to an awareness of this moment. You have a simple choice right now (and in every moment). To choose thinking – as we often do unconsciously – or to consciously move your attention into your body, into feeling your bodily presence, and the sense of inner space and freedom which exists there. We do this by becoming aware of our breathing and relaxing our body.
Thinking only keeps us stuck on the superficial level of being – a conceptual approximation of reality – whereas feeling takes us out of thought and into our present moment experience of reality – an much deeper, richer and enjoyable experience.
Here you become aware of what is going on within you, the inner degree of harmony or disharmony, the energy of your life-force as it flows through your body. It is only here where we can truly feel a sense of harmony, peace and even the ecstasy of simply being alive! It is not fuelled by thought, it is fuelled by your attention being present in your body. This is what joy is. It is the vibrant flow of energy through the cells of your body, unencumbered by the heaviness and disharmony which thought creates.
This is why physical activity is so important to us, because it makes us feel healthy and strong. It brings us into our body, and we feel and experience what life is about, rather than endlessly thinking about it.
It is the same with food. Certain foods fuel this body-awareness – like vegetables for example (especially green ones) which are very grounding, mineralising and nourishing for our cells. In stark contrast, sugary foods (even natural sweeteners & dried fruit) give us a different energy, an energy that more feeds the mind, and fuels thought. A more unstable energy.
Experiment for yourself. Be aware – after each food you eat – of the energy which it has given you. Green vegetables have a very balancing and calming energy, which we feel in our body. It is a very harmonious and pleasant energy. Sweet foods however have a very different energy. It is often quite volatile, fractious and ungrounding. You can see this in children. Sweet foods almost guarantee mood swings and sometimes aggression, as the sugar leaves the child’s blood stream. Balancing vegetables and non-sweet fruits (avocados, cucumber, tomatoes etc.) do not do this. We can never blame a child when they are merely expressing the energy of the food which they have just consumed. We are exactly the same.
Alcohol is an extreme example of this. Sometimes we see violent behaviour in those who are in the grip of alcoholism, and this is because it’s just the way excessive alcohol consumption has on the body. A ‘good person’ can seemingly become a ‘bad person’ just as a result of what they have consumed. The body just expresses the energy of what we put into it.
Sometimes we think “I am depressed” or “I am angry” and so on, but it is often just the energetic effect of what we are eating. Like eating a lot of heavy or cooked foods, for example, is likely to bring our mood down, and our energy levels. Whereas eating more raw food – fruits, salads, smoothies & juices etc. – will naturally lift our mood, make us feel more energised, more naturally positive and cheerful. If you watch, you will see this very clearly.
Deep peace is only to be found in the body. It emanates from our heart and we feel it flow through our body, especially when we are relaxed. And when our heart relaxes – and it is most vital that it does so – we remember the wonderful depth of feeling that we are always capable of – the depth that we simply cannot access when stuck on the level of thought.
We cannot underestimate the importance of relaxation, and everyone knows this. Yet still we make life difficult for ourselves by voluntarily creating tension and stress within our body.
For example, have you ever tried drinking coffee and then trying to relax, to be calm? It is the same with sugar. We simply create stress for ourselves, and when there is stress in our body, the mind becomes more active, and starts to direct proceedings. We make more rash decisions, we become less sensitive to the people around us, we lose our patience more easily. These things happen simply because we are not grounded and balanced – not in a harmonious state of being. It is very simple.
We simply need to make wiser choices – choices that nourish and support the grounded, balanced and harmonious energy that we all enjoy, which in turn nourishes and supports us to lead a more peaceful, compassionate and tolerant life. Then we will not judge others – we will understand them. Because all hostile, judgemental or unfriendly behaviour comes from a lack of harmony within a person. We can see this in ourselves, if we look earnestly. When we are out if balance, we find it more challenging to be patient and understanding with people. No one is a ‘bad’ person. They are just suffering from inner disharmony, to varying degrees, usually as a result of their choices.
Often we are quick to blame others for upsetting us, for doing or saying something that we did not like, and we project our disharmony onto them, hoping they feel bad and making ourselves powerless to return to a state of harmony. This in turn keeps us in our mind, as we continue to mentally blame another person (or group of persons) for the disharmony we are experiencing. We feed a mental picture of events, which simply keeps us separate from the present moment experience of inner harmony and peace, experienced within the body.
We are all capable of experiencing and feeling a deep level of harmony, irrespective of external events; a harmony which is strong, grounded and unshakeable. But we need to support this experience with grounding, balancing nutrition, excercise and activity, and grounding practices such as relaxation, yoga and meditation and other harmony-inspiring practices.
Peace is not complicated. It only seems that way when we are not experiencing it and lost in the realm of thinking, as we often are. Peace is simply our natural state of relaxed, positive and harmonious being, accessible in this very moment if we choose it.
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Read the life-changing book: How To Live in Love by Alexander Bell