This is the title of my next Sunday workshop in March. Why? Because I am often guided by looking at what is going on around me, what people are managing and working through. And so, I’ve been exploring the energy behind this title and what “war” and “peace” mean to me.
One of the outcomes of this last year since the pandemic came into and somewhat hijacked our lives, and the resulting state of minimal socialization, has been a lot more time and space for reflection, self-examination and introspection.
Prior to the pandemic, the pace of life was increasing steadily. The technological advances of recent years having launched us into this accelerated lifestyle.
For example, gone are the days of sending out a written proposal in the mail, waiting the few days it took for it to arrive at its destination, waiting more days for that proposal to be read and decided upon and then more days as the signed contract or rejection was returned in the mail.
The slower pace of life COVID19 has enforced upon us brings to the surface inner conflict that might previously have been unrecognized, buried or overridden. It has brought us to revisit ways of living and being that were becoming lost and forgotten in our 100 mile per hour kind of days where much is missed or overlooked.
Those who are new to meditation, often speak of how painful it is initially. Holding the body still in one position and simply focusing on yourself can indeed be uncomfortable and that’s why meditation becomes a lifelong practice for many. It takes time and practice to become familiar and comfortable with the process. It takes practice and patience to slow down and move through the pain that arises. Not unlike physical strength training or undertaking a new course of study.
Life as spirit in a physical body is all about opposites: the limitless nature of spirit versus the limitations of the physical body structure.
It is also about the full spectrum to be experienced between polar opposites: black and white and all the many shades of grey that connect those; hot and cold and all degrees of temperature between; male and female and the myriad gender expressions that are becoming increasingly apparent and slowly more accepted.
And so, back to war and peace. Where are you at war with yourself and where are you at peace? First, it is important to recognize that it’s possible to experience both ends of the spectrum at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive.
Take for example your physical body. What parts or aspects of your body do you resist, fight against or see as the enemy? What parts or aspects of your body do you enjoy, embrace or feel comfortable with? When you begin to ask yourself these questions, you clear the path to greater awareness and self-healing. Picking and choosing our battles or what wars to wage, can bring about newfound peace.
Looking from another angle, where is the spiritual part of you in conflict with your body? Is your body too slow to make the changes you desire or in resistance to your spiritual agenda of growth, development and change? Again, this recognition provides the opportunity for acceptance and reconciliation – in other words a state of peace between the different parts of you.
So, where you might initially consider war and peace as being something external, or separate from you, the fact is that war and peace exist within each of us all the time. When war is waged in a part of our community at large, an area of the world, it offers us the opportunity to examine the internal war we may be living or experiencing.
When there appears to be a state of peace within our community, nation or globally, we are offered the opportunity to look within ourselves for a state of peace and what we may need to change in order to achieve that.
There is no “perfect” state of being, only a continual process of finding balance between the polar opposites of life on this Earth, recognizing and accepting both our strengths and frailties and embracing the whole.
I hope you will join me for this upcoming “War & Peace” workshop on Sunday, March 28th, from 1-3pm (PST).