We often use the term ‘I am a peaceful soul’ or a ‘peaceful being’ to refer to a state of mind in which the soul is undisturbed, completely calm, cool and still inside. Yet there is an even deeper soul state to experience on the spiritual journey, which is defined as being ‘at peace’.
To be completely at peace with everyone and everything around you is the final stage of the yogi; a state in which there is no pull or desire in any direction. The soul is completely comfortable, balanced and content with every area of his life, physically, emotionally and spiritually. This state of fulfillment brings happiness and a deep sense of contentment in the soul. Before we ask how we can arrive at this stage, let us look at what takes away our peace of mind and prevents us from being ‘at peace’.
The main thief of our peace has to be the inner conflict between the head and the heart, the restlessness we feel when we are not in alignment with ourselves. Very often it has to do with what we desire versus what we feel we should be choosing according to our highest spiritual morals, values and conscience. An example for some would be a tug of war between flying economy class as opposed to business class or purchasing an ordinary handbag versus a designer bag. In both cases one is caught in the struggle between using the money for a better cause or indulging in one’s comfort and luxury. Other simpler examples would be economizing on paper and using pedal power to save the planet whilst compromising comfort. Or opting for simplicity and risking being mocked for your plain lifestyle. The ultimate question is how do we find the fine line between being responsible and being comfortable. Should we listen to our conscience or pander to our ego and image? Ultimately the fine line disappears and we can be totally comfortable and totally responsible.
Too many unrealistic desires can also be a cause for internal upheaval. One desire gives birth to another and another, and we are forever trying to plug a bottomless hole. The accomplices of desire are very often anger, greed, attachment, ego and lust. They all create an illusion of happiness and power when in fact they make us more peaceless and restless. Learning to take a closer look at our desires, and checking whether they are helping us achieve our greater goal of peace and happiness will save us a lot of suffering. Over-worrying and thinking too much also takes away our peace, as does holding onto unresolved feuds and past grievances.
Taking responsibility for our lives and deciding not to join in the blame game, forgiving, letting go of grievances and cultivating acceptance all give us a deep sense of being at peace. Learn to imbibe every spiritual principle as a master and not blindly. Understand the repercussions of your decisions, embrace them and do not submit to the ‘poor me’ syndrome. We then realise that as we let go of certain things on the path, we receive a lot more in return. Hence there is no feeling of being deprived. Learning to come to terms with all areas of your life will bring a greater sense of fulfillment and happiness. True satisfaction will come when you are indeed making the ‘right’ choices.
Someone I know chose to fly economy class rather than his usual first class. He checked himself as he boarded and turned right towards economy class instead of left towards first. Rather than suffering he gained a sense of victory over his ego. He realized that real freedom is when we can control our inner experience rather than allowing the game of position and possession to control us.
Until you arrive at that state of peace, there will always be an inner conflict. The more inner work you do, and the more you act from your higher self, the less the outer world will influence you.
And once you arrive at that state of peace, all inner conflict ceases. There are no extra thoughts of doubt, worry, fear and you are free to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of every situation, no matter which way you turn!