Peace in You. Peace in the World.

by Paul Sherman

I read the following passage this morning from Byron Katie's "A Thousand Names for Joy" and it really struck a chord. "Until there is peace within you, there is no peace in the world, because you are the world."

Rationally I get the argument. If suddenly everyone on the planet had a sense of inner peace, then there would be peace in the world. We must model what we want to see in others, right? Like the song says, "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me."

But wait. How can there be peace in me when I'm witnessing all of the injustices happening all around me?" Racism, war, terrorism, discrimination, refugees, hunger, murder, homophobia, child abuse---just to name a few. Inner peace? Hell no. More like outrage, resistance, battle-ready!!

Here's the thing. The world is in tough shape. It isn't going to get better by itself. To think that by merely adopting a sense of inner peace will alleviate these atrocities is a form of denial. We need more than inner peace. We need action.

For some, corrective action must be precipitated by outrage. By anger. By a sense of defiance. Whatever it takes to get the cortisol and adrenaline flowing. You may believe that your cause requires you to perpetually be in that state. You are adamant that there is no room for calm in the midst of atrocity. This is a matter of life and death. Fight or flight.

However, as someone in the business of well-being, it's my job to make you AWARE of the physiological and psychological consequences of being perpetually and uncontrollably overtaken and hijacked by these emotional states. Well-being begins with AWARENESS of potential outcomes. Heart disease, ulcers, migraines, sleep deprivation. Irrational thinking, diminished impulse control, depression, anxiety. Just to name a few.

My job here is not to judge. As a well-being coach, my role is to ensure that you are actively CHOOSING this state of being. In short, the first step of well-being is AWARENESS of potential consequences. The second step is CHOICE. As long as you are in 100% choice and that choice comes from an empowered place, you are living your best life. If it's a not a choice, but an uncontrollable compulsion, there are tools out there to help you get back into the driver's seat. That is, unless you don't want be calling your own shots and prefer reacting to the world around you.

Which brings me back to the quote that started this all. "Until there is peace within you, there is no peace in the world, because you are the world." Inner peace without action is a cop out. So, please take action to make your world and our world better. However, for the sake of your well-being, David and I encourage you to actively cultivate some semblance of inner peace as you do your part in evolving us forward. Otherwise, be aware of the personal consequences of the state of being that you are choosing. Life gets better when you dare to choose!

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