Inner Peace Is Not An Escape From the World. It’s How You Become More Present Than Ever.

A popular phrase, “Take me away”, is the title of more songs than I can count. This phrase is even used to sell bubble bath! It seems as though faced with the stress and suffering in our world, we all desire to escape to an idealistic place. Yet, I have found that inner peace does not happen through escape. Instead, it is here and now, waiting for us to touch it in this very moment.

Before I traveled to the North Pole and just after I finished my university degree, I had the great privilege of living for a year in India. In the online video series “Our Superpower”, I have been sharing teasers for my upcoming book about how you can co-create with nature for an amazing life. One of my recent posts was about how I traveled to India to deepen my understanding of nature. I was looking to find greater connection with myself, others and the world through yoga and meditation.

Finding Myself

However, I soon discovered that no physical distance could remove me from my self. I had brought all the intensity of my stressed-out-college-student, new-to-the-workplace attitude with me. Inescapably, I approached my yoga and meditation practice with the same driven determination to reach excellence as I had brought to everything else in my life. This misguided zeal unfortunately brought with it severe health problems, culminating in a life-changing near death experience. The universe was showing me in no uncertain terms that I needed to learn to live with earnest humility and practical groundedness in order to evolve and truly serve. After all, self-love and self-respect are the foundations to inner peace, so that I may love and respect the world.

Wherever You Go, There You Are

I realized during that year that it is impossible to cultivate inner peace with an attitude of stress, willfulness, or drivenness. Those only block the possibilities available to us in each moment. Einstein said it perfectly: “A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.” We experience a lack of inner peace because we feel disconnected, which causes us stress. Trying to connect from a place of feeling disconnected, then stressing about it, will not bring us any closer to peace. Like being stuck in an eddy on the edges of a great body of water, repeated thoughts whirl around our minds as we worry that we cannot flow with life. Caught up in our internal chatter, we have lost sight of how we are already within the majestic oceans of being that we seek.

“Wherever you go, there you are,” says Jon Kabat-Zinn, the American professor of medicine and the creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine. We may run from situations we find challenging. We may try to avoid them. But, as I learned in India, no matter where we are physically, we bring our total selves with us.

You don’t need to go off and become a hermit, take an extended holiday or be without action, in order to experience a peaceful life. Those may help you bring awareness to the painful habits that pull you away from inner peace. But ultimately, peacefulness is a reflection of what you choose in every moment, whether you live in an apartment in a busy city or in a monastery on a distant mountain top. It is through meeting what is with openness, alertness and ease, that you find your inner peace sanctuary.

Practice Inner Peace Now

As you move through the week ahead, see if you can meet the moment by tuning into its underlying stillness and quiet. No matter how busy, even hectic your life may be, that peaceful place is there. Open to it. By engaging with noise, you end up feeling agitated. But by choosing to focus on the quiet underneath it all, you become still. In that stillness, you will discover greater possibilities, and feel refreshed and energized. Peace within is your home. Go there.

From my heart to yours,
Parvati

PS: Inner peace is the foundation of a peaceful world. Please sign and share the MAPS (Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary) petition today.

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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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AWAKENED LIVING

When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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I AM LIGHT

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SHARE YOUR YOGA
I am light!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
Gone, gone beyond. Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
I am the light, liquid gold light
I am in delight! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

I am the light (gate gate), liquid gold light (paragate)
I am in delight (gate gate) transforming the night (paragate)

Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Oh what awakening! (paragate) (I am)
Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight
I am light, dancing through the night
I am light, in delight
I am light, dancing through the night

I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (gate gate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (paragate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light

I am light!

© 2015 Parvati Devi
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