By John J. Murphy
How long has it been since you held a negative thought or responded in a critical way? Think carefully. Consider all situations: a traffic jam, a slow computer, an unfriendly neighbor, a demeaning boss, a loss of money, an excessive bill, an ache or pain. Do you find that you experience criticism and judgment frequently? Do certain people and situations tend to annoy you? Are you someone who gets agitated and stressed often?
We all have "tests" like these to pass, sometimes daily and frequently hidden in disguise. It is one of the great wonders of life as spiritual beings in human form, fearless souls bound by fearful, negative ego thinking and doubt. As human beings, we feel anxiety and stress when we fear the future and we feel grief, guilt, and remorse when we hold thoughts of doubt or regret about the past. These thoughts of fear and doubt aiming at a time other than the eternal now weigh us down and distract us, often manifesting the very results we wish to avoid. Oh, the games the mind can play.
Thankfully, we have "tools" and methods we can use to free ourselves of these limiting beliefs and mental baggage. The Ring of Peace is one such tool. It is a four-step, ongoing, iterative discipline that we use to (1) Let Be, (2) Let Go, (3) Let See, and (4) Let Flow. Think of these four steps in a circular (ring) format that spirals upward as we ascend to new heights of awareness and consciousness.
We begin with the "Let Be" step. Here we learn to let be the traffic. If it is here and now, it is here and now. Take a deep breath. Chill out. Let be the slow computer. Let be the unfriendly neighbor. Let be the demeaning boss. Rather than try to change the situation -- which is already happening in the now -- try changing your mind about the situation. It is what it is. He is who he is. She is who she is. Relax. Appreciate the moment. Respect the contrast. Meditate on it. Breathe easy. Give thanks for the very breath you just took. Listen for your heart beat. Be mindful. Remind yourself that you have the power to respond differently. Challenge your "autopilot" thinking, your subconscious mind. Deliver yourself from ego. Be response-able. Getting upset, impatient, irate, or critical does not help. It only hurts -- you!
The tendency to allow dark, negative thoughts into your mind is dangerous. These judgmental thoughts carry a very low, potentially harmful vibration, a frequency that attracts to you the very dark, negative experiences you wish to avoid.
Let these thoughts and feeling go. This is step two. Let Go. To liberate ourselves, we must begin with the mind. We must release the clutter, barriers, and obstacles obstructing our view, the mental blindfolds and subconscious paradigms preventing us from seeing peace and love and joy in the world. It is here and now, abundant and infinite, always. The kingdom of heaven is indeed within. Seek it and you will find it. But we cannot see it if we are wearing blindfolds, or holding on to dark, negative thoughts. Infinite love and grace cannot be seen from an ego perspective. Thus, step three, Let See, requires that we let go. These steps are interdependent and dynamic. One without the others nullifies the entire model.
We know we are in the "Let See" mode when the world appears different to us. All living and sentient beings appear magnificent and beautiful. The traffic jam gives us time to relax and listen to soothing music on the radio or meditate or people watch. The slow computer gives us time to be friendly with a customer or catch up on another important task. The unfriendly neighbor and demeaning boss now appear to us as souls in pain, suffering, calling out for love -- perhaps without even realizing it. We see past the ego interpretation of the situation, with its skepticism and doubt, to the deeper, more compelling truth -- the oneness of us all. It is here that we begin to experience step four, Let Flow.
When we are in flow, we are in a highly productive, timeless, and spiritual state. This means that we feel no fear, no doubt, no grief or regret, no anxiety or stress. We are "in the zone," doing precisely what we are meant to be doing, almost effortlessly. We are harmonizing with life force. Here is the peace of mind we all seek, consciously and subconsciously. Here is our natural state of grace, our true home, and our essence. Let be, let go, let see, and let flow.
Try the Ring of Peace to free yourself from any doubt and despair, anxiety and stress weighing you down. Use the tool to liberate your spiritual Self and allow your true essence to shine through. Notice that each step begins with "Let." Let yourself be free. Let your Self be one with Source Energy, one with God. And when you complete it, remember to use it again . . . and again . . . and again. What we sow is what we reap. World peace begins with each one of us. The world cannot be at peace if you are not.
John Murphy is a spiritual mystic serving as a business consultant, leadership development teacher, process improvement expert, and management coach. He is the founder of Venture Management Consultants, Inc., a firm specializing in creating lean, high performance work cultures, and author of numerous books including Beyond Doubt: Four Steps to Inner Peace, from which this article is excerpted.
7/28/2010 4:00:00 AM