Really looks like peace disappears sometimes though doesn’t it? So how can anyone say it doesn’t?
“Quite simply, the peace of Mind is your true nature. You can never lose it, because it’s the very core of your being” Michael Neill
On a course with Clare Dimond last year, that photo of the two women fighting in the supermarket aisles over toilet roll caused much confusion when Clare stated — ‘also peace.’
“Whaaaaattt!’ says the mind. She must be crazy!
But this is what Michael’s also pointing to in Chapter 4 of his book The Space Within. Peace is not something that comes and goes. It’s not something that is here when we feel calm, our mind is quiet and we feel ‘at peace’. It is the underlying and pervading nature of life — all of life. It’s just that sometimes capital P Peace appears as what we call ‘peace’ and sometimes it appears as what we call ‘not peace’.
The more we see this, the less we try and make the outside world (including in our heads) ‘be peaceful’; and yet paradoxically, in the natural reduction of this trying, what we call ‘peace’ appears more often and more reliably.
Last year I wrote this post along the same lines: ‘Calm isn’t in the Avoidance of Chaos’ because the Peace and Calm we seek isn’t found by segmenting our lives into allowed and not allowed, it’s in being with the ‘not allowed’, going right through the mental battle of allowed-notallowed, being honest about our resistances to not-peace and not-calm, and falling out the other side into the wide spaciousness of the Peace and Calm that was always there.
So what about those chaotic, unpeaceful football fans?
I had the chance to see this process in action on Sunday night as I felt sick, horrified, embarrassed, scared and upset at the football ‘fans’ in London causing chaos, fighting, litter everywhere. My first reaction was to look away, to judge it, judge them and shut it all in a cupboard. Make it go away! I could feel the desire to tweet my disgust, and yet I could also sense that this was no more peaceful than the not-peace I could see in them.
In the morning it was there again, as I saw there’d been racial abuse towards the England team members of colour, and abuse and attacks towards England fans of colour. Now a sadness and heartbreak.
Then, as I got ready, clarity. Peace was revealed again. I saw the thinking about them and the ideas of how terrible they are drop away, and saw the innocence in all of us. The fear we feel when it seems like we’re disconnected from the whole. The reaction we throw ‘out there’ in defence when it looks like ‘out there’ is hurting us. So much confusion, so much apparent not-peace, and all from the innocence of misunderstanding who we really are and where our experience is coming from. All from not knowing the Peace we already and always are.
And then clarity of action comes, which for me on this occasion, was to share this story with you. But it could be anything. Literally anything — a yes, a no, a new creation, a perfect ending, a new anti-racism-in-football campaign. Anything. Just done as Peace.
Notice how this has already happened for you.
Think of any time there’s been an argument, a disagreement, upset — anything that represents ‘not peace’ to you. Notice that at some point the story of ‘not peace’ disappeared. Maybe you saw through the story of it, maybe it just settled of its own accord, maybe you went to sleep and the next day it all looked OK.
This is it. This is the very ordinary, everyday nature of falling out of our heads and into the direct experience of the Peace that never went anywhere.
The more you see this, the more you walk with Peace as a known permanent baseline and then ‘peace’ and ‘not-peace’ can appear within that — as they always have and always will. Nothing to resist.
And funnily enough, then the ‘not peace’ shows up less.
With love, Helen
This week is the 3rd week of a new book group where we’re reading Michael Neill “The Space Within”. Follow along with the blogs here which will align with the chapter(s) we’re reading that week.
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I coach and guide smart, passionate, curious people who care about improving the lives of those around them. Often coaches and leaders, they’ve worked hard all their lives to be the ‘best’ them and it doesn’t seem to have delivered the happiness, security or freedom they expected. Now they’re wondering what else is available. I guide you back, prior to stories, to remember the real you because that’s what you, me and the whole world really wants! Find out more here.