Missing Peace #1: Seek No Further
“There is no way to peace; Peace is the way.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
I used to cringe when a friend, family member, or client would come to me seeking help with their diet. Whether it was to lose weight or improve their blood sugar, I would get extremely frustrated. But not with them. I would get frustrated with myself because I couldn’t help them. Surely I prescribed a very sound meal plan and was with them every step of the way as a coach and cheerleader, but in almost every case, I noticed an eerily familiar pattern: they would follow the plan for a week or two and then fall off.
Why was it so difficult for them to stick with the plan? They were looking outside of themselves for better health--the next diet, health coach, exercise program-- you name it! They failed to turn inward.
I believe the reason so many of us struggle with making lifelong healthy choices and with our health in general, is because we have strayed off of our natural path to inner peace-- or what I call Home. This is a space you will only come to experience when you realize and accept that you are worthy beyond measure, when you understand that you are more than that suit of skin, bones and blood you wear. You are the living embodiment of peace and wellbeing.
You were born at peace, but just like layers of dried leaves and dirt scattered about a perfectly paved pathway, your path is there, it’s just been covered with years of false beliefs, forgotten power, and feelings of unworthiness.
Whatever higher power you believe in, whether you call it Divine energy, Universe, Source, God, Nature, or Spirit, you are directly connected to it. You are a piece of it, just like a fallen leaf from a majestic oak tree is indeed part of the tree. You can try to separate yourself from it, but that won’t change the reality of your origin.
Because this higher power is all peaceful and exudes wellbeing, you too must be full of peace and health. Do you hear the simplicity of what I am suggesting to you? You are whole and complete, just as you are. You need not seek any further. The peace and wellbeing you long for--that you believe is missing in your life-- never went anywhere! It isn’t something you achieve some day, after you’ve been good and followed your diet, lost those twenty pounds, and lowered your cholesterol. It is never ending and always available...when you are allowing it.
If you have been longing to reclaim the healthy and vibrant body you were meant to live in, you must catch up with this reality, stop seeking, and step into your divinity. You must allow the connection to your higher Self, and with this, peace and wellbeing naturally shine.
So how do you know when you are connected and in a state of allowing? By paying close attention to your feelings. The way you feel is your guide to whether or not you are Home. Home feels like pure, unconditional love and peace.
Understand that positive emotions are indeed our natural states of being, but sadly most people can’t relate to them. Our tendency as human beings is to seek health, happiness, and peace as something outside of us, something we must continually strive for. We might catch ourselves saying something like: “I’ll be happy and at peace when I pay off my debt, find a husband, lose these last twenty pounds, etc.”
Chasing happiness is a never-ending futile pursuit. Just like a dog tirelessly chasing its tail, you too will become exhausted as you continuously wait for the fulfillment of your next desire to be at peace. And sure enough, when you achieve it, you’ll most certainly have another reason to withhold happiness until the next milestone is achieved.
Let us turn to Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh for his thought-provoking solution to our endless pursuit of happiness: There is no way to happiness- happiness is the way.”
Complimenting this thought to encompass peace, Mahatma Gandi offers us the following words: ”There is no way to peace; Peace is the way.” Don’t you see? It starts with peace and happiness. They are your natural emotional states. When you seek first to find peace in your heart, no matter what your current state of health, body shape or external situation, you enter into a state of allowing and are in direct connection with who you really are. It is here you have the power to move mountains and everything you once chased after flows to you.
Allowing Peace: Stepping into presence
Make no mistake, no matter how out-of-control your life is, like a candle flame that never extinguishes, perfect peace is in you, always burning bright. But you don’t always see it.
At any given moment, accessing your true nature--where peace and joy rest--is not only possible, it is your duty if you wish to live in harmony with food and make wise choices to support your health. It's the only thing that will truly get you through a "weak" moment. And you know what? These moments aren't even weak- that's just a word we use to label something we don't have the proper tools to handle. That all changes today, because I am giving you that tool right now.
Lack of presence is the only thing preventing you from claiming these gifts, yet the present moment is something available to us all. Unlocking the door into the present moment, where all of your strength and power rests, requires that you do one simple thing: take a conscious breath.
If you stop and think about it, this really makes sense doesn’t it? You can’t breathe in the past or future; you can only breathe in the present moment. So the more conscious breaths you take-- particularly upon making a food choice or other decision impacting your wellbeing-- the more present you become. It is in this state where you are able to meet the larger part of you. And with this, comes the gift of peace.