We can’t have global peace until we learn to cultivate inner peace. Peace extends from wherever it’s present, so when we know peace in our hearts we will naturally extend that peace into the world around us, both on purpose and without even trying. Here are four small ways to spread peace every single day.
“We need to take action to develop compassion, to create inner peace within ourselves and to share that inner peace with our family and friends. Peace and warmheartedness can then spread through the community just as ripples radiate out across the water when you drop a pebble into a pond.” – Dalai Lama
No matter how comfortable our lives might be materially, we can still suffer internally, unhappily living out our lives depending on the tide of our circumstances. Peace and happiness isn’t about having everything we want, but being deeply moved by the gratitude for being able to experience life.
One of the best ways to spread peace in the world is to recognize your own capacity to bring peace into the little things you do every day. For, as Annie Dillard so beautifully says, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
Each small pebble you drop into the pond of humanity radiates out into the world with untold potential. Here are four easy ways to spread peace; I hope one prompts you to look inside yourself, rediscover your inner light, and expand that peace into the world around you.
4 Subtle Ways to Spread Peace in Your World
“If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
It can be really difficult to smile sometimes, but the more you smile, the more natural it comes to you–you might not even realize that you’re walking around with a slightly more pleasing look on your face, but the world will notice.
Every time you see someone without a smile, rather than imagining the worst about their personality or demeanor, just see them as someone who needs a smile. We probably don’t know the whole story about their life, their sorrows, or how their day is going, but we can offer our smile and shine a little light on them.
Though it’s nice when our light is recognized and even appreciated, sometimes it’s not (at least not at that very moment). Even so, that little ray of sunshine could mean a lot to someone–we just never know. In any case, it will make you feel good, and that’s conducive to peace.
Give thanks in a gratitude circle.
The idea of a gratitude circle introduced itself to me in Barry Neil Kaufman’s book Happiness Is a Choice. The idea is similar to saying a prayer before a meal and offering gratitude for the food on the table, and for the friends around the table.
The concept is simple: Each person, before enjoying the meal before them, offers up thanks for something or someone in their day. This thanksgiving makes its way around the table (or circle) until everyone has expressed their gratefulness in some way.
Families can do this at dinner each night, during holiday gatherings, while sitting around a fire at night, or really any other time that seems appropriate.
Bring higher intentions to conversations.
Gabby Bernstein shares a really great video on the topic of being a “high vibe friend.” She shares three simple ways to bring more light into relationships by showing up with higher intentions, redirecting the conversation from negative to positive, and redirecting yourself in any given moment to a more peaceful place.
It’s natural that we all show up on different levels depending on how we’re feeling and experiencing our world at any particular moment in time. We can gently and gradually become more and more willing to be the positive light in the crowd, instead of feeding into the drama, gossip, and negativity.
If someone is complaining, bring higher intentions to the conversation: redirect to a positive aspect of their situation, give them a compliment, praise them for what they can do or do have, etc.
Once you let go of the belief that meditation is hard, impossible, or not for you, it becomes so easy, so accessible, and something you can’t get wrong.
Meditation helps me (and so many other people) tap into a deeper wellspring of inner peace, one that’s unaffected by outer circumstances. It’s a reminder to quiet down inside, and it immediately gives me a sense of relief, joy, and calm. Meditating brings me back into the moment when I’ve lost myself in the past or the future, and it makes the peace in the present moment easier to access.
By bringing people closer to their own peaceful inner state, meditation enables people to connect with one another on a more peaceful level.
I love the free 21-day global meditation experiences offered by the Chopra Center Meditation (with Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey). It’s a wonderful way for thousands of people all over the world to come together and join in meditation. The next global meditation series begins on October 31, and it’s appropriately titled Creating Peace from the Inside Out: The Power of Connection.
- What helps you tap into your own inner peace?
- Are you willing to show up in the situation or conversation with more light in your heart?
- Are you fond of any other ways to spread peace in the world?
- Is there someone who brings more peace and light into your life?
Please share your thoughts, gratitude, peaceful practices, lessons, and experiences with me in the comments.
Share this post with someone who would love to be at peace more often.
Be the peace you wish to see in the world.