Peace Is Everywhere

Photograph © 2018 Peggy Kornegger
Beneath the noisy thoughts in your head, there is peace. Underneath the emotional upset, there is peace. Behind every human action and reaction, there is an unwavering core of peace. It may be hard to perceive at times, but if you take a deep breath and allow everything to just be as it is, you are immediately brought to the peace that always lives within. I have learned the truth of this over time and through experience. That one breath changes everything, and I am centered in absolute stillness and peace, no matter what else is going on around me.

The world we experience every day is full of excitement and drama, all of it compelling. We are here on Earth to immerse ourselves in those diverse experiences and emerge on the other side with new awareness and wisdom. We may not know it consciously, but our souls are guiding us on our earthly journey. It is a journey through the polarities and extremes of life back to the center of all creation, which is infinite peace and oneness, which is God. To know peace in the midst of every experience—chaos or celebration—is to live in alignment with divine Source energy. It is why we are here (and where we came from), all of us in our uniquely diverse lives: to come back home to peace and radiate it out from the core of our being. More and more, we are coming into conscious realization of this extraordinary process and the transformative power it holds.

In the late 1960s and 1970s, antiwar activists used to chant “Peace Now” and “Give Peace a Chance.” (I was there; I remember.) John Lennon wrote: “War is over, if you want it. War is over now.” Beneath the slogans and lyrics was a truth that we have gradually come to see in the years since then: peace is present now, within each of us, and we can live it individually and collectively when we breathe it into the world with conscious awareness. It’s not about forcing anything to happen. It’s about allowing the peace of the universe to fully emerge from our souls and guide our daily lives, moment to moment.

That may sound “woo woo” and weird, but it’s actually grounded in the here and now. When you take a deep breath (which is spirit infusing human form) in the present moment, you align with the silent power of a “peace that surpasses all understanding” and are centered in the ground of all being. It can shift everything in a nanosecond. Within that living breathing inner peace, there is only love, compassion, and connection. Connection to God; connection to our fellow beings on the planet. When we pause and become fully aware of our breathing and the stillness at our core, struggle, judgment, and the need to build walls against everything and everyone falls away, dissolves. War, within and without, is over in that moment of completely conscious loving awareness.

This is where we are now on the planet, moving toward fully embodying that truth, that destiny. I feel it more and more powerfully every day in my own life and in the lives of people around me. But don’t take my word for it. As you move through your day and life starts to “get to you,” pause and take a deep breath, feel the sweet stillness at your center. Gradually you will begin to realize that peace is everywhere; it lives inside each and every one of us.

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Losing Heart and Having Heart in the Trump Era

Photograph © 2017 Peggy Kornegger
When you “lose heart,” you become discouraged and lose hope. When you “have heart,” you keep your faith and trust in spite of the odds. We are living at a time in which both of these options present themselves. The shadow side of our collective consciousness in the United States is coming to the fore, and we are seeing people fiercely hanging on to privileges and prejudices as if their lives depended on it. In truth, it is their identities, their egos, that depend on belief systems based in hierarchy and entitlement.

The 1% believe they have earned their place at the top of the heap and that those they have stepped on and profited from in order to get there are losers and leeches. Minorities and immigrants are targeted as threats to an elitist, white-male status quo. The exact opposite of the values of democracy and equal rights that this country is supposedly founded on. Of course, those founders were also white, male, and many were slaveholders, so the underside of American “freedom” has always existed.

When the rest of us look at this scenario, our hearts are tested. Will we lose hope or will we keep our faith that the imbalances will eventually right themselves? To paraphrase (and update) Thomas Paine: these are the times that try human souls. Can generosity, compassion, and loving-kindness eventually prevail in a society like ours where the accumulation and hoarding of monetary wealth and material possessions, as well as the oppression of entire segments of the population, is so widespread? Classism and racism overlay our so-called democratic society, to say nothing of sexism.

Everyone’s consciousness is affected by this skewed worldview. Many with more don’t want to give up what they have in order to assist others who have less. The media promotes consumerism and the lifestyles of the rich and famous, as if these were behaviors to aspire to. The artificially created “need” to buy and keep buying invades our daily lives. Unless we make a conscious decision not to participate. Unless we choose sharing over greed, caring over selfishness, simplicity instead of overconsumption. Unless we choose to live from our hearts and not our conditioning.

All the extremes and polarities are being displayed in full view of the world. The advent of Trumpism as a belligerent, self-aggrandizing approach to life is pervasive. There is an increasingly harsh and ruthless holding on to privilege, often accompanied by hatred of all those who stand up for their rights as equal citizens. Yet, there is a hollowness to these defenders of entitlement. Their hearts seem to be empty, their minds filled with delusions of superiority based on money and power. Appearance is more important than truth. But there is only so long they can maintain that facade. Their extreme behavior is the death rattle of an outdated paradigm, doomed to disappear like the dinosaurs.

Hope for the future lies with those who are, everywhere on this planet, now awakening to a conscious awareness that sees unity and commonality, not separation and divisiveness. People whose lives are lived heartfully and soulfully in deep connection with their fellow beings. Generosity of spirit prevails. You don’t hear as much about these individuals, because the media tends to focus on disaster and destruction instead of imaginative and inspired alternatives to power and elitism. But they/we are out here, and we are not going away.

Even though at times the odds seem overwhelming, we mustn’t lose heart. In having heart, in living heart, we open the heart of the world to greater compassion and caring so that eventually everyone, every soul on this Earth, can step out of separation and live in oneness. A critical mass of love and kindness has the power to shift everything. You never know when even the most recalcitrant of dinosaurs will have a change of heart. In the long run, hate can never “trump” love.

Hard-Wired or Habit?

Photograph © 2017 Peggy Kornegger
There is a trend lately to think of certain behaviors as immutable and impossible to change. We hear comments like “Oh, he’s just hard-wired that way.” Meaning, it’s in the genes; he (or she) can’t change. Really? That line of thinking can take us down a rather pessimistic path into entrenched fear. Fear of the external world, fear of change, fear of those different from us. Are these fears hard-wired in us or simply habit? Do our genes control our destiny? Maybe not. Perhaps our genes and we ourselves can be transformed by shifts in collective consciousness and the power of divine energy. By connecting through the heart with our fellow human beings and to the God/dess within us.

Biologist and author Bruce Lipton has written about “spontaneous evolution.” He cites scientific studies that show that “genetic determinism” is an outdated belief, and we are not victims of heredity. Signals from our external (or internal) environment ultimately control gene activity. Translated, this means that genetic predispositions can be overridden by real-world experiences such as those that open our hearts or connect us with our soul. Spiritual awakenings or other transformative moments have a power that can break through habitual personality patterns. As our awareness grows, we can also consciously choose to align with our soul instead of our personality self or ego.

New neural pathways are laid down in the brain with each change in consciousness or new experience that is consistently repeated (neuroplasticity). In other words, we are not doomed to replay old behaviors, thoughts, and memories over and over. As we allow accumulated emotions to be felt and released, space is freed up for the full power of the soul to take its place at the leading edge of our awareness and our lives. Within a regular spiritual practice, hard wires can be disconnected and old habits broken. Something as simple as meditating and aligning with your inner spirit on a daily basis, in your home or in nature, can open the door to this process. You begin to see the world and others with fresh eyes.

Right now, in this moment, breathe and let go into the inner peace and stillness inside you. Your soul is “wireless” and has no attachment to past experiences. Allow it, and the breath, to guide you to a totally present-moment experience of life, wherein peace alone fills your conscious awareness and defines your day. In doing so, you are no longer tied irrevocably to past behaviors and feelings that are fear-based. In the present, nothing exists except beingness and love, which is God embodied in human form. Fear cannot exist in the presence of love. Breathe in divine energy and breathe out old restrictions and preconceptions. In this state you are free, liberated from everything that has held you back in the past.

I find that when I consistently and consciously choose to let my soul lead the way, I start to recognize opinions and judgments, whether mine or someone else’s, for what they are: replayed past fears that separate people from one another. If I live from an open heart, I begin to think of people as doing the best they can with the awareness they have at the moment. This applies to self-recrimination as well. To see everyone, including myself, as being in the process of evolving allows for the possibility of transformation, individually and globally. No one is hard-wired for anything really—except love.

Saving Grace—Elephants, Dolphins, and Whales

Elephants, dolphins, and whales are three of the most intelligent, grace-filled beings on Earth. In this week’s video blog, I talk about my own experiences with them and offer a prayer/plea for their survival. May we humans open our awareness and step away from cruel and heartless behaviors that endanger the lives and well-being of these magnificent creatures we share the planet with. Save the elephants. Save the dolphins. Save the whales. Save all animals. And in doing so, save the sweet grace they embody in their lives.

The Transformative Power of “Me Too”

Photograph © 2017 Peggy Kornegger
It has become a social media phenomena, the #MeToo that says “yes, I too have been sexually harassed or abused.” Women’s voices are finally being heard and acknowledged in huge numbers after years of fear, shame, secrecy, and silence. We have endured hidden and overt harassment in our lives since childhood. Children of both sexes have also been subjected to sexual abuse, and women of all ages have been raped and traumatized. At last, the invisible is becoming visible, and the secrets are becoming public as courageous individuals shine the light of truth on sexual predation and disempowerment.

Presidents, priests, Olympic doctors, Hollywood moguls, and countless unnamed others are part of a worldwide epidemic of disrespect and sexual violation. With great bravery and integrity, women, and adults of both sexes who were abused as children, are speaking up and sharing the experiences they have held inside themselves for so long. Each revelation empowers others to speak up and say “me too.” Each voice that is heard adds to the collective transformation from personal trauma to liberation from fear and shame.

All these secret transgressions are being revealed because the time of rape and violation behind closed doors is coming to an end. The secrets are being revealed, and the collective voice of humanity is saying “no more.” “Me too” empowers each of us in our lives to speak up and stand with others who have been hurt and shamed by assault and harassment. Personally, I know of no one among my women friends (and a number of men, as well as gender fluid and transgender, friends) who has not experienced some form of sexual hatred or harassment. Me too.

From catcalls in the street, to unwelcome comments or touching from bosses, landlords, dentists, or complete strangers, to the violence of rape, we have experienced disrespect and disregard for our basic humanity. It is ending. The courage and strength of a few individuals has become an avalanche of shared stories and coming together. Yes, me too…and no more. We are stepping out of the old framework based in “power over” into a new paradigm of inner power based in compassion and respect for all—adults, children, elders, animals, plants, and Mother Earth herself.

“Me too” is about inner fortitude, resilience, and refusal to be silenced and subjected to the will of another ever again. It is also about compassion and empathy for all those who have been in that position. The larger “me too” helps individual women and children of both sexes say No to transgressions against the sanctity of their bodies and souls. For sexual abuse is a violation of the spirit not just the physical form. So many people are disengaged from the spiritual nature of humanity. We are God/dess in human form on this Earth. If this were universally understood, then everyone would see that our human bodies are sacred temples for the soul, never to be desecrated or violated. When individuals are aligned with their inner divinity, only love and compassion are possible in the outer world. The time has come for a healing of spirit and form, in all people.

The chorus of voices now speaking the truth shines light into a world darkened by soul-less actions and horrible violations of the human spirit. Awakening is occurring, on all levels. We are evolving, as individuals, as collective consciousness, into full awareness of who we really are at the soul level. The strength and determined truthfulness of the few is multiplying until it circles the world in numbers that ultimately will include every living being on this planet. When we say “me too,” we are opening the door to oneness and stepping into a more inclusive and expansive experience of life and the world around us. Finally we can live from love not fear. That is the transformative power of those two simple words: Me too.