Peace, Love & Happiness

We all want to live more fullfilled lives, but just how do we find it? Here Austin-based enlightenment expert Mary Schneider shows how to end your year on a high note, with a little added insight from Eckardt Tolle, Byron Katie and Oprah Winfrey…

What do you do when you get into a heated discussion with a family member or a friend? How do you respond in a way that communicates how you feel and doesn’t annihilate the other person? In the last issue we talked about expressing our feelings and stating our needs. There are also ways, however, that enable us to moderate our strong, negative feelings so that we can create the space for the state that we are all trying to attain – the state of inner peace.

External peace is also a highly-valued state of being and is directly proportional to our internal level of feeling it. I think that the way to peace in the world is first finding peace in our hearts. There are really two very significant ways to peace.    The first one is to accept reality for exactly what it is. And, love that reality. Byron Katie, the great enlightened teacher, says that when you fight and argue with reality, or what is, “You lose. Only 100% of the time.”

Accepting reality as it is really is a spiritual practice. It takes vigilance and clear intention to recognize that the way God, or whatever Source is for you, runs the world is far superior to how we think He should. It means that even though things may look as if God is nowhere to be found, we trust that there is a higher reason we are not privy to as to why things are happening the way they are. And, that this is perfect. Piece of cake, right?

In a serious and stressful situation when the mind overtakes our ability to sustain a state of peace, accepting reality as it appears is extremely challenging. We attach deep meaning to the thoughts surging through our brains and we become completely convinced that they are, in fact, true. When these thoughts are stressful and agitating, the attendant emotions engendered are difficult, at best, to handle. At times, we engage in all manner of outside activities to try to avoid the negative and uncomfortable feelings that arise because of these thoughts.

Author and enlightened expert Eckhardt Tolle says that these thoughts are our ego and we need to tell our egos to step aside and instead allow the feelings we are avoiding to surface. We will always be able to process them because God never gives us anything we cannot handle. In addition, he says that our divinity within is wholly capable and equipped to deal with these feelings. He says to just allow yourself to feel them. In my own experience, when I remember to engage in this practice, those agitating, uncomfortable feelings are replaced by a state of peace in a relatively short period of time just by allowing them to be.

I think that what really happens when we engage in this practice is that we bring ourselves back into the present moment. And, being present is all about empowerment. Being present and feeling empowered often creates a state of peace.

The second significant path to peace is just as challenging. It can also be as rewarding. In this practice we learn to recognize that we do indeed create our own reality: it is that the world is actually just a reflection of our own internal state. If our internal state is that of peace, peace is what we will experience out in the external world and vice versa. What we see “out there” is what we experience inside, too.

For example, if our partner is constantly irritating and annoying us because of their critical, judgmental behavior, we need look no further than our own critical, judgmental tendencies. We ask ourselves, “Where am I being critical and judgmental myself? Is it my partner (this is the first place I go); my children; my boss?” If these don’t become the obvious targets of our criticism and judgment then it might be helpful to see where we are being critical and judgmental of ourselves.  As Oprah Winfrey aptly declares, “You spot it; you got it!”

When we engage in the practice of this recognition with the intention and full awareness that we are being shown something valuable and important about ourselves, a lesson if you will, it will become very obvious what is being mirrored back to us. This practice is a humble form of pure surrender and is no walk in the park. I was working with a client applying this type of technology to one of their family issues and they just looked at me and said, “Oh no! We don’t have to go there, do we?” We did and they found a place of peace. Making everything be about the other is usually really not what’s happening and it’s disempowering to both of you.

Simply put, recognizing that the world is a mirror enables us to see the source of these negative, agitating feelings within and to heal them and let them go. If we are in the midst of an argument or heated discussion with another person, remember to try not to point the finger at them. When we point the finger, it just turns around and points back at ourselves. Try to stay away from “you” statements. Generally, when using “you” in a conflict situation there is blame involved. It’s best to just talk about ourselves and what we are feeling and experiencing. This helps us to see our own responsibility in the situation.

In every practice where peace is the ultimate goal, it’s always about letting go. And, healing. Ultimately it’s about contributing to peace in our hearts and peace in the world to end the year on a high note and approach next year with the best frame of mind possible.

More information on Mary Schneider and the Holographic Reppaterning Institute at Austin by visiting