When you try to get "there" to find peace, it never works out. You just end up realizing that what you thought you wanted, doesn't feel as great as you thought it would.
Ego says, "Once everything falls into place, I'll feel peace." Spirit says, "Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place." - Marianne Williamson
I used to be so hard on myself, when it came to my body "flaws." When I walked past a mirror and caught a glimpse of myself, all I could see were the things I wanted to change. Rarely could I look at myself and find something to appreciate.
I spent years chasing a number on the scale. I thought that once I hit that magical number, I could be happy and focus on living my life as the confident woman that I wanted to be.
I thought that once I reached that perfect place, I would finally grant me permission to love myself and the "skin I'm in."
It took some time to finally realize that getting "there" was not the answer. It was not going to bring the peace I craved.
What I figured out, is that when peace comes first -- when you learn to love yourself on the way to whatever goals you want to achieve -- then a lot of the unfixable "bugs" tend to work themselves out on their own.
Peace breeds success, not the other way around.
How do you learn to love yourself first before you reach your goals? Here are seven steps to finding peace first, which allows everything else to fall into place.
1. Forgive and Release
It takes a lot of energy to carry all the resentment, anger, and pain you've collected over the course of your life? We tend to hang on to these old stories of victim-hood and tell them repeatedly to ourselves to justify where we are in life.
What if it was okay to release their hold over you and choose peace. because in every moment you really do have that choice.
We choose to feel anger and resentment, and we choose to feel peace.
It is possible to give ourselves permission to feel the joy and ease we deserve to feel right now.
2. Look for Reasons to Appreciate - Gratitude
Appreciation is one of the most powerful emotions. Yet we often forget that we have so much to appreciate. We may have many things going well and one thing going wrong yet we put our attention on that thing that is going wrong so that we can "fix it" rather than all the great things happening.
Try this: Each night before bed, make a list of five things you appreciated about the day. Anything counts. Your fluffy pillow. The nice cashier at the grocery store. Your hilarious co-worker. You spouse doing the laundry without you asking.
The more we look for things to appreciate, the more things appear for us to be grateful for. Like attracts like.
3. Practice Unconditional Love
Over the years I've honed my ability to practice unconditional love and unconditional happiness, meaning nothing must change for me to choose to feel good.
Being able to look in the mirror, and feel unconditional love for myself, even though I am a perfectly imperfect human being, has been one of the hardest and most liberating gifts I have ever given to myself. I like to think of myself as a conduit for love. I AM love, allowing it to flow through and all around me.
4. Practice Positive Expectation
Our expectation affects the results in our life. What we perceive, we receive.
One of my favorite mantras is, "Things always work out well for me. I am always supported. I believe that wellbeing abounds, and since that is my belief... circumstances, people, and opportunities line up to prove this to be true.”
The amazing thing is when I changed my expectation to a positive belief and expectation, things began to work out!
5. Soothe Yourself
We are taught to look for answers everywhere but within. We google symptoms and read what "they say" instead of having a genuine conversation with our body and the wisdom that comes from inside of us. You don't need to have all the answers, you just need to learn how to quiet your mind so you can tap into that all-knowing Source within you.
Be easy. Breathe deeply. Close your eyes and slow down. Choose to soothe over stress and the guidance necessary to achieve what you want... will come.
6. Be in the Receptive Mode
Being in the receptive mode is what comes next, after you soothe yourself. It's as if you are a transistor radio, and you are tuning into the signal that guide the way. When we learn to receive (answers, guidance on what to do next, etc.) we begin to realize how true it is that peace comes first, and then the rest follows suit.
Getting what we want doesn't have to be hard or an uphill battle.
Alignment, peace, ease, receptive mode... this is the key to building the life of our dreams.
When you try to get "there" and THEN feel peace, it never works out. You just end up realizing that what you thought you wanted, doesn't feel as great as you thought it would.
Start with peace first, and the rest will fall into place... in ways far better and more thrilling then you could ever try to make happen through working harder, longer, or more forcefully.