Sunday, January 31, 2010

Attaining and Maintaining Inner Peace ... No Matter What Happens

During this dramatic and emotional time in our country and the world, what we all need is a heaping helping of inner peace. From my experience, the challenge here is two-fold. First we must recognize that it is possible to attain this state even in these difficult times and then that it is imminently worth the time, energy and resolve it takes to get there. I know. It took me many years and many life upheavals, traumas and challenges before I was literally brought to my knees in desperation – with a willingness to do whatever it took to bring some inner calm into my life.

What I had to get past in order to open to this possibility of inner peace may sound familiar to some of you. Like most people I had heard about the peace that passeth understanding all my life. The rub was that I considered it a platitude, a carrot, a myth that was perpetuated by organized religion to keep members hanging in there. Actually, at that time I had never met a church-going person, or anyone else for that matter, who radiated inner peace, knew what it was, or claimed this was something that was attainable or desirable. While this doesn’t say much for my spiritual awareness back then, it’s just where I was.

As it turned out, the only myth I was wrestling with was the fact that inner peace is not and never has been the property of organized religion. What I have learned is that the universal life force-energy, which we call God, did not develop religion – humanity did – and God has no connection with its dogmas, rules and rituals. It was simply man’s positive desire to try to make sense of why he was on Earth and what he was supposed to do.

I find it interesting that Native Americans have been advising us for centuries that we will never find inner peace through overworking ourselves and rushing through life, which is what most of us do because we don’t know any better. The first step in finding inner peace lies in recognizing there is something in us that isn’t satisfied by the greed and $ucce$$-at-any-price culture that exists today. Many of us know this somewhere in our hearts and minds, but we seem to be stuck in the fallacy that tells us that if we can gather enough money and possessions we can make our own security and have peace of mind. That sentence concludes with the unspoken phrase … and the bloody blazes with everyone else.

The problem with thinking we are independent of everyone else is that it isn’t true. We are actually dependent and interdependent on all others. Whether we are aware of this or not, like it or not, we are one with all life on Earth and what benefits one, benefits all, and what harms one harms us all.

We are also one with the eternal and sublime energy that we call God, which is why when we turn within and consistently connect with this awareness we can cultivate an inner peace and calm that nothing can disturb. The Truth is that the Infinite-Life Force-God is always at peace, as there is nothing that can disturb it. And as we strengthen our link with the Infinite, which is the birthright of every human being, we share in that peace.

This process also opens us to the sanctuary of unconditional love that is the heart’s desire of every individual on Earth, as well as the guidance, support, wisdom and, yes, the peace that really does surpass our understanding.

I learned that maintaining inner peace no matter what happens is not easy but it is possible. The key lies in making it a daily habit to connect with our inner selves and to consistently forgive ourselves and others, which releases the past. Then when any untoward event or situation comes up in our lives, we remember that all life is change. Instead of condemning the incident, and as soon after the optional hissy-fit as possible, we then ask what is to be learned from this “challenge.”

As we continue to take this positive approach, eventually we come to a point where we can actually bless the event or situation and recognize it as an opportunity for soul growth. When we can do this, the time frame for learning the lesson is greatly decreased, and the gift in it – which is always to open us to receive more good in life – manifests much more quickly.

By consistently strengthening our connection with the Infinite within us, and letting go of the past by forgiving ourselves and others – we are on the path to lasting inner peace.
Copyright © 2010 by Fern Stewart Welch
[For details on how to develop inner peace, go to and click on How-to Lists – “Connect with God.”]

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World” and “The Heart Knows the Way – How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within” are available at, other online booksellers, bookstore chains, such as Barnes & Noble and Borders, and to the trade from Ingram Book Co., Baker & Taylor and other wholesalers.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Seven Sins of the World That Are Destined to Do Us In ... Unless We Take Action Now!

Every meaningful and rational conversation I’ve had recently centers on the overwhelming challenges facing our world today. The list is long, but at the top are such issues as terrorism, nuclear proliferation, religious and ethnic conflict, population, as well as the environment and world health. Those are in addition to emerging technologies and economic globalization, and all are linked to creating the greatest changes humanity has ever faced before.

With this astounding future in store, it seems impossible to know where to start or what to do to bring us to a new shared vision for humanity that includes a way to ensure sustainable life on Earth and that embraces goodwill, generosity, decency and order – for all.

As I focused on the mind-boggling global challenges we face, I thought once again of a recent speech made by Arun Gandhi, grandson of the late Mahatma Gandhi. Arun is one of the most respected and influential leaders of the peace movement today. In mentioning his grandfather he repeated a visionary pronouncement made at least a century ago by India’s “Great Soul:” There is a culture of violence permeating our lives, our country and the world.

Mahatma Gandhi then listed the “Seven Sins or Blunders of Our World” that he believed foster violence and that would eventually destroy us. Here they are as originally stated in their cryptic yet powerful form:

Wealth Without Work
Pleasure Without Conscience
Knowledge Without Character
Commerce Without Morality
Science Without Humanity
Worship Without Sacrifice
Politics Without Principle

In order to help myself and others more fully grasp the impact that these social/political conditions have had and continue to have on our world, I have added a brief descriptive comment to each issue.

Wealth Without Work speaks to the concept of getting something for nothing, and has spawned the greed and get-rich-quick schemes that focus on manipulating markets and people and turning a blind eye to natural laws and principles. Pleasure Without Conscience refers to the immature, greedy and selfish acts of those who seek only what pleasures and benefits them. Knowledge Without Character points up that intellectual development without an equally strong, principled character is as dangerous as allowing a child to play with a loaded gun. Commerce Without Morality highlights the fact that there is something covert and condoned in business transactions today that lack any moral or ethical sense of benevolence, fairness or goodwill toward anyone involved. Science Without Humanity concerns the higher purpose of humanity that is meant to be served by technology; not the other way around, which may bring great breakthroughs for science but little advancement for humanity. Worship Without Sacrifice means individuals may take on the surface trappings of a belief system without ever living it fully, which means realizing that we are here to help and serve others. Politics Without Principle means that absent an agreed-upon value system aligned with society’s will and with appropriate principles, the result will be a political system that is devoid of order and rules that will eventually become toxic due to distorted or lost values.

The list confirms what we’ve known for a long time. There is a great lack of ethics, honesty, integrity, morals and principles in our world today. This brings me to my favorite quote by Mahatma Gandhi: We must be the change we seek in the world.

Many of us are aware that collective change in the world will never be possible unless we each follow that dictum in our own lives. We must develop our own code of ethics, live it in our personal lives, role model it for our children and grandchildren and expect it to be mirrored in and reinforced on all levels of socio-economic-political life.

Additionally, we must open to the concept of using the power of our collective thoughts to make our world whole again. It is time to accept that we have everything within us to be co-creators with the eternal and sublime energy that is within us and everything in the universe.

As many of us know, there are millions of people around the world who are already living the concept that we change our lives by changing our thoughts. They are proving that this works and is what the great sages and spiritual leaders have been trying to teach us for many centuries. Consider: It is done unto us as we believe; and As we think, so we are. I find it extremely interesting that this information has surfaced again and is now spreading around the world. It is exactly what humanity needs to prepare for this evolutionary time.

Just because we may not be aware of the negative effect our thoughts have on others or the world around us doesn’t mean the reality doesn’t exist; it does. Every day we unconsciously focus on our anxieties, concerns, fears, needs, losses, pains and problems. If we’re honest, this is pretty much what we unthinkingly project out into the world. This is reflected back to us in our own lives, and we must judge whether what we are attracting into our lives is desirable or undesirable. Our collective thoughts are blatantly obvious as they are mirrored in the critical situations that exist in our nation and the world today.

Now is the time to heed Mahatma Gandhi’s visionary words. It is no coincidence that we came into the Earth at this time to help a world that is in the throes of transformation. For the first time in history, we are conscious enough to realize that humanity is being pushed by extreme circumstances to grow and expand into a new way of being. Forget about being saved by technology or friendly aliens. There is no other way – these are the facts, this is the time – and we are the people.
Copyright © 2010 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World” and “The Heart Knows the Way – How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within” are available at, other online booksellers, bookstore chains, such as Barnes & Noble and Borders, and to the trade from Ingram Book Co., Baker & Taylor and other wholesalers.