10/31/2012 12:45 pm ET Updated Dec 31, 2012

Pick Peace Instead

We all ultimately root for peace. The trouble is, we are taught to believe that battles need to be fought and won to arrive there. But what if our steps toward peace were instead steps of studying and dismantling those battles? To do this, it is best to start with the most intimate ones we know and the ones we least want to address: the burning and entangled battles within us.

What are yours? Conversely, how are you stepping toward inner peace?

My most significant battle over the years has been with my body. Because of my history with allergies, eating disorder, acne, parasitic infection, and all the repercussions from the infection, it has at times been impossible not to think of my body as having turned against me. It has indeed been hard not to see my body as an enemy. As a result, a huge part of my work on my meditation cushion, my yoga mat, in my journal, and my therapist's office has been in uncovering peace or a profound sense of ease and friendship within this physical body.

Here's my path to inner peace and one that I hope resonates with you:

1. Commit to truly awakening peace and to no longer being in combat with yourself.

2. Create a safe space where you can bear witness to your struggles every day.

3. Be still with the peace that arises from your bravery and your willingness to look.

4. Carry this peace out into your daily life, where it is so easy to get tripped up.

5. Spread peace beyond your relationship with you into your relationship with others.

6. Live from and for peace in the world, and continually go back to step one.

Pema Chodron says, "If we want to make peace, with ourselves and with the world at large, we have to look closely at the source of all of our wars." Hopefully the steps above will encourage you not only to look closely at your wars, but also to recognize them as opportunities ripe in unearthing the sweet shadowed peace inside. We just have to be willing to not fight the fight and to not pick our battles. We just have to be willing to pick peace instead.

In sweetness and peace,


For more by Maggie Lyon, click here.

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