10 Keys to Inner Peace and JoyBy Dr. Margaret Paul
December 21, 2008
We all want to experience inner peace and joy, yet many people spend much of their time in anxiety and depression instead. Discover the choices you can make to consistently experience inner peace and joy.
Peace and joy exist in this present moment - not in the past or future. If you are in your left-brain ego programmed mind - your wounded self - you are likely thinking about the past or the future with a desire to have control over something. The moment you are out of the moment with a desire to control, you cut off access to the spiritual gifts of peace and joy, as well as to the gifts of love and truth.
The heart needs to be open in order to receive the gifts of Spirit. Nothing opens the heart faster than deep gratitude - gratitude for your life, your soul's journey, for the body your soul lives in, for the food you eat, for friendship and caring, for shelter, and for anything else that you are blessed with - eyes that see, ears that hear, arms, legs, health, and so on. Being truly grateful for your particular blessings opens the heart to the gifts of Spirit.
The opposite of compassion is judgment. When we choose to judge others and ourselves, our heart closes and we get stuck in our wounded self - our left-brain programmed ego mind. Judgment cuts us off from the gifts of Spirit, while compassion opens our heart.
It is not enough to be compassionate toward others - you need to also be compassionate with yourself, with your own feelings, your own woundedness, your own mistakes and failings. You will feel a sense of emptiness within that comes from inner abandonment when you judging yourself rather than being compassionate toward yourself.
When your mind is open to learning about truth and loving action toward yourself and others, you are open to receiving the love, truth, peace and joy of Spirit. Choosing the intent to learn rather than the intent to protect against pain with addictive, controlling behavior is essential for receiving the gifts of Spirit.
Accepting what is regarding people and events supports you in being in your open, right brain, loving adult state. When you do not accept what is, then you get stuck trying to control that which you cannot control - events and how others feel, think and behave. The moment you try to control others and events, you move into your closed, controlling wounded self, which cuts you off from the gifts of Spirit.
Surrender to the wisdom of Spirit is the opposite of living out of your left-brain controlling ego wounded self. When you open to learning with the Guidance that is always with you and always all around you - the Guidance that is both imminent and transcendent - you know that you are never alone. You receive a true sense of inner safety when you open to being guided by the wisdom of Spirit rather than by the learned knowledge and programming of your wounded self.
As you open to your Guidance and begin to receive the gifts of Spirit, you are able to move more and more into faith that you are truly not alone - that what we often call God is here always supporting you in your highest good and always manifesting your thoughts and beliefs. Faith that you are loved and that you are in co-creation with God supports you in thinking the thoughts and taking the actions that open you to the gifts of Spirit.
Choosing to live through accessing the truth that comes from your spiritual Guidance, rather than from the lies and false beliefs of your ego wounded self, is an invitation to all the wonderful gifts of Spirit.
Choosing to live in alignment with the goodness of your soul - which means living in integrity with your own and others' highest good - is essential for keeping you open to receiving the gifts of Spirit.
While many people choose the above some of the time, few people make these choices most of the time. Yet openness to receiving the peace, joy, love, and truth of Spirit requires consistency in your spiritual practice. When you consistently, moment by moment, make these choices, you will discover the deep inner peace and joy that are your birthright.
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When being loving, we are not grasping, demanding, needy or clingy, because love has nothing to do with getting or taking. We give freely, to ourselves and to others. We also receive graciously when the gift is freely given. When being unloving, we may try to manipulate a gift - whether it be of time, money, attention, emotional support, approval, sex or affection - but when we are loving we know that a gift not freely given is not really a gift. Notice when you are being loving or unloving.
By Dr. Margaret Paul