When I strip everything else away, what's the only thing I truly desire for my life? At the end of the day, it's peace.

The pain that you create now is always some form of nonacceptance - resistance to what is. Every negative thought is triggered by some form of judgement - which at an emotional level creates unwanted emotions. The key is to accept it all unconditionally without judgement.

I experienced this once before: It was the morning after a especially powerful evening at Landmark. When I went down to get my car, I discovered it had been towed. I wasn't the least bit upset. I had accepted that I was the cause (by parking somewhere I shouldn't have), and instead of wasting energy getting upset, I worked to resolve the situation as quickly as I could.

The lesson I learned is one I share whenever I can. The person who called to have me towed felt bad - he told me that if I had just put a note on the dashboard with my name and number, he would have called me before calling the towing company. Now, whenever I park somewhere that might result in me getting towed, I put a note in the dashboard explaining why I parked there and how to reach me.

There's a chapter in The Miracle Equation entitled Becoming Emotionally Invincible. For me, it was the best chapter in the book.

Choose to accept life unconditionally before it happens and you will always be at peace.

Hal explains that our moment of peace is found in the space between our emotions.

Key takeaways:

Were we get off-track is by believing that the event or circumstance is the cause of our emotional pain, when in fact, it's our reaction to that event or circumstance that is causing the emotional pain.

By accepting everything (and everyone) unconditionally, you give yourself the gift of peace. You are a peace with what is and it helps to recite the mantra: "My life is perfect. I am always where I need to be, and every experience in my life unfolds perfectly - teaching me the lessons I need to level up my life and realize my full potential as a human being." (Hal is big on mantras).

This reinforces my Triangle of Contentment (toc) - the triangle consists of 3 main drivers in life: 1. Our desire to fulfill our potential and become more than we are. 2. That our 'born on' and 'died on' dates are predetermined before we started and 3. Trusting in the perfection of the moment (that everything has ever happened or will ever happen to me is perfectly part of a grand plan).

Level 1

"Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace..." - From the Serenity Prayer.

I am learning that hardship is the pathway to the one thing I desire most in life: Peace.

Level 2

When do I experience the highest levels of peace?

When I awake. When I am not worried about something. When others are not waiting on me. Without obligations. When all is quiet. Often in the early morning.

Level 3

And then it him me...

When I am at peace. When am I most fully content?

I awoke at 4am. It was too early to get up. I meditated. About 20 minutes later, I returned to bed, still exhausted. As I fell back into a state that is best described as between being asleep and being awake, I had a sense of peace rush over me. It's happened before. In fact, these kind of mornings are what I live for! Not stressed about anything. Not feeling incomplete in anyway. Not feeling I need to be doing something more. Feeling I have enough. That not only this moment, but that my entire life is enough. Everything else is icing on the cake.

All I need to do is make it till the end of the day. Peaceful sleep being the ultimate reward of life. I feel blessed that now I know what I think a lot of older people discover - the secret to just enjoying this life as it is. The pay off of a life will lived being that peaceful rest that we get and knowing that when our number is up, we've done our part while we could.

What if we all received validation that we are doing the best we can with what we can, and that everyone is enough. Imagine an entire planet where every person on it had a sense of peace at the end of the day and were rewarded for a days work with a nights sleep - and that reward was enough.

Beyond having a home, people who love us, and the comforts of modern living, what more do we truly need?

What is it that impedes a sense of peace in our lives? Identify what it is an get to work on eliminating.

I am reminded of the quote by BKS Iyengar: "Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured."

I feel that quote in fact points to the purpose of life. To fix what we can and live with what can't.

Pegging this concept to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, it pretty much sums up the priorities in life: 1. Take care of your basic needs: Food, shelter, sex and sleep. 2. A sense of stability & security: Knowing you can pay your rent/mortgage. Knowing you have basic health coverage when you get sick. 3. Love & sense of belonging: Social intercourse - friendships, family, and intimacy.

Assuming we have those 3 met - we can explore going further - but it's optional.

Level 4

If you won't be satisfied until you have: * The admiration of your peers * Significant accomplishments. * Respect by others.

It's when we let others define our success that we begin to get tripped up.

"Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful."

Level 5

According to Maslow, the top end of the self-actualization hierarchy is creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, not judging, and accepting what is.

Here's where I pivot from the traditional model.

If you have to get through level 4 to get to level 5, then you'll be stuck in level 4. What's funny to me is how all those states in level 5 reflect exactly what mindfulness teaches us.

I get that people want to aspire for more. And many are driven to do something significant - more significant than their own life. But if we understood reaching the summit of the 3rd level was enough... then more or us could live with far greater peace and contentment. We would see that all we need is what we already have.

What I believe is a more accurate category for level 4 is livelihood.

Once you've reached Level 3 - you have enough to live in peace. You can go to bed each night and sleep peacefully. Anything beyond that is highly subjective. It's why some of the people who've achieved so much still feel unfilled in life. It's subjective.

While we are bombarded by messaging that we are not enough,

For me, I've discovered keeping music, yoga, and mediation in my life is more important than anything else. Travel, material goods, fancy meals, social status.

What if the reward for living was sleeping? You don't sleep to live, you live to sleep.

Is there truly anything better than a peaceful rest?

Maybe the goal of life ought to be to live in such a way that you are able to go to bed each night and have a peaceful nights rest. To be free of stress when we go to bed is ultimately what I think we all strive for.

Why do we feel a need to do so much, to be so much?

The path to peace is within you. Becoming one is the path to peace.

When you see all is one and you are one with all, you will discover peace is simply the absence of believe we are not one. Reflect on this statement:

"If we are all one, when we are at war, who wins?"

When you become one with the world, you become the cause of all conflict and all resolution. When you are your own creator, all of it is your doing - good and bad. To believe otherwise is duality. To live in peace, seek non-duality.

When you live in the NOW, there is no conflict. When you live in the now, you you are one with all. Your thoughts arise and life is unfolds simultaneously. It's only when we have thoughts of separation that conflict has space to exist. Eliminate the separation, and you will eliminate the space for conflict.

For the creators, there's no gap between what they want and what they have because all you'll ever have is what you've got. Everything is temporary. Feelings will come and go. It's only when we get wrapped up in this idea of duality that we get hung up. It's when we forget everything is impermanent.

When you truly live in the moment, you are never in conflict with the moment called life. The only conflict with life is death.

How does conflict begin? By resisting the moment. By resisting what is. By believing this moment should be anything other than what it is. By believing that we are somehow separate from this moment. To believe that we are separate from anything in our experience. To believe that we are not creators. Awareness defines our reality.