It doesn’t matter what magazine or newspaper you pick up these days, there it is—the
evidence of violence: the killing of innocent people, the terror
of aggression and destruction. How do we, as caring, compassionate,
conscious people maintain our inner peace in the face of war? Is
it responsible to turn from the glaring headlines, close our eyes,
go within to connect with that place of inner peace?
What if those headlines have stirred up our visceral fear reactions
and we are disturbed and angry? When outer circumstances create
worry, helplessness and judgment, how do we shift our inner attention
so that we send peaceful thoughts, rather than more anger and hatred?
The Nature of Shifting
Have you ever seen a Magic Eye picture? If so, you know what it’s
like to stare at a page of little dots, blinking and wondering,
“When am I ever going to see the hidden picture?” Frustrated,
you take a deep breath and draw the page closer, then farther away,
but still all you see is dots. Only upon softening your gaze and
letting your vision become fuzzy do you catch a glimpse of the picture.
Seeing the hidden picture demonstrates the potential we have for
glimpsing beyond any issue, belief, feeling or situation about ourselves
and our world. Accustomed to believing the worldview we see around
us, we fail to realize that another might exist. Or we may know
there’s another worldview but struggle to create, maintain
and live it in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.
Shifting our ‘seeing’ involves intention, attention,
practice and willingness to look beyond our current point of view
(POV). Like the hidden picture that comes into view, we may glimpse
another way of responding, but we must also choose that alternative
to begin showing up in our world differently.
The first step is a willingness to shift.
My cat, Emma, does not shift easily. Trained, by her, to feed her wet food at 8 a.m., whereupon she exits the house by the kitchen door, is an act repeated by me in the late afternoon with dry food at 4 p.m., when Emma is let out the front door. Everything goes as scheduled when I am home. But what about when I travel and someone else is taking care of Emma?
Her routine is completely disrupted. She goes hungry if she does
not ‘shift’ into a new routine. In other words, the
pain becomes greater than the position.
Is your experience similar when you are holding a negative position?
The pain of maintaining anger, fear, hatred, self-righteousness
or judgment becomes excruciating. We hunger for the cessation of
againstness. We long for our inner sacred sanctuary of well-being,
where the heart is open, the life force is flowing and we sleep
at night. When the sweet nectar of acceptance and compassion reminds
us that peace is possible, even in the midst of disruption, then
the willingness to shift creates the ability to shift.
Intention: Human Nature versus Divine Nature
Discovering the difference between the intentions of my human and
divine nature can be liberating. I’ll explain.
I’m driving along on a busy thoroughfare, courteously minding
my own business, when a large SUV cuts me off. I spend the next
half hour ranting and raving about ill-mannered drivers. Then I
pull into a grocery store parking lot, innocently thinking about
food for dinner, and another driver steals the space I’m cruising
into. At this point I declare war on the next person I see, which
turns out to be young man happily stacking apples in the produce
section. I am not a pretty sight.
In this example, my human nature’s intention is my personal
agenda. It also feels right about the appropriate driving etiquette,
wants everyone else to follow the same set of rules, is quick to
react when things are unfair, and feels justified in venting frustration
upon whoever’s there.
My divine nature’s intention is growth, expansion and revelation.
For example, my divine nature asks me to focus on how quickly I
reacted with negativity and look deeper to see if there’s
something bigger going on. I might ask myself if fear or hurt is
present. Anger can be a mask for both.
When I can shift out of the mind’s antic of weaving its web
of illusion and put my attention on what will bring me happiness,
I move into new territory. Looking beyond the surface upset, I see
with new eyes and give up my “right” position. My growth
is my willingness to shift, my expansion becomes seeing beyond the
dots on the page, and my revelation shows where my true peace and
Our hearts, the energetic center of compassion and loving kindness,
play a pivotal role in our ability to shift and find peace. Staying
impersonal, open and impeccable with our energy and loving all at
the same time is self-mastery.
Peace is present in every moment if we know where to look.
Human nature’s intention is concerned with ‘me.’
Divine nature’s intention focuses on ‘we,’ so
that I take myself and my life less personally and focus on the
greater good. Holding my greater intention is an act of loving.
This level of loving comes from beyond us but resides in us. It
is the essence of our divine nature. Small miracles open the heart
everyday. Larger miracles—the kind that change lives—happen
with expanded vision.
Because I choose to be a carrier of peace I practice the presence
of peace daily. My inner toolbox includes self-acceptance, observation,
compassion, self- forgiveness and loving kindness. If I am quick
to respond irritably to a phone call, I take a deep breath, step
back and observe my reaction. Then I might accept that a part of
me is in disturbance. Reminding myself that everything outside is
really taking place inside, I begin my investigation with compassion
for myself. If my disturbance is a judgment I forgive myself for
that judgment knowing that self-forgiveness opens up my heart to
see with new eyes. If fear has crept into the background of my day,
I choose loving-kindness to comfort my upset and ask for truth.
When I practice liberating myself from everyday stresses, global concerns become opportunities for greater and greater mastery.
The following list is suggested for your consideration:
1. When you read the morning paper, read with the eyes of your soul. Send light, compassion, loving-kindness or a “God bless
you, Peace be still” instead of upset, worry or negativity.
2. Place the world leaders that you have an issue with on your
altar. During your daily meditation, prayers and spiritual exercises
send your light/love/compassion/good thoughts to them. Begin to
look for a growth opportunity to accept a disagreement rather than
3. Visualize places of terror, war, destruction and killing filled
with light. Send light frequently when listening to the radio or
watching the evening news. Practice seeing through the eyes of the
inner Master – with great compassion and loving for all.
4. Closer to home, take inventory of your own place of inner war,
devastation or terror. Make a commitment to weed out those limiting
fears and beliefs that create destruction in your everyday relationships
and career. If you choose to carry peace then use the daily practice
to liberate and strengthen your mastery of your SELF…even
waiting in the grocery store checkout line.
Peace-sharing, no matter how it unfolds, reveals what we have been
searching for all along: our magnificence and the ability to improve
our life, our neighbors and help build a peaceful world. Turning
away from the headlines for a moment to reestablish our intention
and calm, becomes a sacred responsibility.
As the French novelist Marcel Proust so wisely observed, “The
voyage of discovery lies not in finding new landscapes but in having
new eyes.” These are eyes that see beyond illusions forged
by a limited understanding of who we are—eyes that see beyond
the dots, eyes that see as God sees.
||Rebecca Skeele, a minister, life coach and professional speaker, is the author of You Can Make It Heaven: How to Enrich Your Life with Abundance and Loving. For more articles by Rebecca and to sign up for her free online ezine, “Make It Heaven,” visit www.makeitheaven.com.
She can also be reached by