This is the second installment in a series of (eight) articles. In my first article of this series I shared about the structure of the body’s seven primary energy centers (chakras), their location along the spine, and each chakra’s God aspect as described in my book, The Eight Aspects of God: A Pathway to Bliss. In this article we’ll focus on the first energy center, also called the root chakra, and its key aspect—peace—and why cultivating more peace helps you develop resilience to adversity.
It’s easy to let adversity—traumas and setbacks—disturb your sense of peace. Even the most spiritual of us lose our way sometimes. And yet there are concrete ways to restore a sense of peace. But first, what does it mean to be at peace, anyway?
Peace is when mind, body, and spirit are in harmony, or balanced. Living with balance of mind-body-spirit is what I call your Trinity of Truth. The Trinity encompasses the three aspects of being: mind, body, and spirit, and Truth is living in a way that honors and respects each one.
We get back to basics when we tend to all three aspects of being, which is easy to do through an exercise I call the Mind-Body-Spirit scan.
The Mind-Body-Spirit scan takes inventory of your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Oftentimes, when feeling out of sorts and lacking a sense of peace, I find that mind, body and spirit are all being neglected to some degree, but most often one in particular. Knowing which element is most out of alignment gives you a starting place from which to choose an action to correct an imbalance.
Let’s try it:
Before getting into the exercise, let’s practice some breathing to get centered:
Sit comfortably. Close your eyes. Take a few cleansing breaths. A few rounds of full the yogic breathing is an excellent way to prepare for this exercise. You’ll find instructions for the full yogic breath on my website.
Once settled, proceed:
Mind: Do I feel at peace in my environment, surroundings, community? Do I have a sense of peace in all my relationships and attachments with people, jobs, and money? Is there something I am doing, or not doing, that’s robbing me of peace? Do I feel at peace inside my heart?
Body: Allow your breathing to be natural and easy as you imagine it traveling throughout your body, starting with your feet and moving up to the crown of your head. Notice any areas where your breath wants to pause. Contemplate why your breath is resting in this area. Is your body trying to communicate with you? Stay with this area of pause for a few breaths before moving on through the rest of your body, noticing any sensations, restrictions, discomfort, tightness, not just in muscles but intuitively. Notice any questions that come up or if your breathing becomes shallow or stuck somewhere. Ask yourself, “Am I making good choices that bring peace into my body?”
Spirit: Peace of body and mind is foundational for spiritual growth because when we are not at peace in body and mind we are too busy, distracted, or uncomfortable to sit for meditation or prayer, or to take a walk in the woods. We must first tend to our mental and physical needs, in that order, so we can make room for our subtler and tender spiritual energy to play a larger role in our overall human experience.
This is how we get back to our natural way of living, our Trinity of Truth; by tending to mind, body and spirit equally and regularly.
The AAA Plan
After the MBS Scan, consider using the below three-step action plan to help stay on course with the goal of getting back to a centered, peaceful state of living. This is called the AAA Plan:
Awareness: What are you aware of now that you weren’t before the exercise?
Action: What one thing can you do to cultivate more peace in your life?
Affirmation: Write an affirming statement to keep your awareness on cultivating peace in all areas of your Trinity. Here’s a favorite affirmation I learned in my yoga teacher training: “All good things come to me. They bring me peace.”
If you make an effort to stay in your Trinity of Truth, you will find that you are at peace no matter what the energy in your environment is like. You will be more resilient and less apt to absorb toxic energy from negative people and situations. Your peaceful, easy spirit will stand calm and poised. From this firm foundation you not only build more resilience, but your spiritual growth automatically flourishes.