While my blog posts splay over diverse and what may appear to be unrelated topics, all themes in fact are connected through the core heartbeat of peace — which I define as theharmonious synthesis of seeming contradictions. With all our individuality and uniqueness, as people of distinct ethnicities, cultures, ideologies, religions, nationalities, and so on, we can step into the flow of this synthesis by respecting ourselves and others. We can know peace in every cell of our being when we live its spirit in our lives.

Peace is the state of partnership with God, Allah, Buddha, the great spirit — whatever name we pronounce through our vocal cords, it is the same loving presence that we yearn for and know in our hearts. In addition, despite our many cultural differences, there is a synergy between definitions of peace in languages around the world: From “harmony” to “freedom” to “wholeness,” international definitions of “peace” describe the embodiment of balance, alignment, and contentment.

Accept your power to create the harmonious state that is void of destructive energy. Take the following three steps to create your own sense of peace:

1. Create balance: 
Every exhale stimulates an inhale. Breathing is a balance of giving out and taking in. Appreciate your breath and learn from this fundamental, balanced dynamic. If you have been doing too much, whether for family, work or recreation, balance your activity with rest, water, sunlight, food and anything else that nourishes you. If you have been taking in too much, including wisdoms, material possessions, and services from others, then do something for someone with a need. In giving out too much, you can feel exhausted and miserable. In taking in too much, you can feel worthless. Either feeling is like a little alarm that asks you to create balance.

2. Develop appreciation: 
Be grateful that you have breath, because as long as you are breathing, you have possibilities. Then make a list of what you have. If you have a bed for sleeping, you have more than many people in the world. If you have family, you have more than many orphan children. If you have a job, you have more than many in developed countries. You can find things for which to be grateful.

3. Protect your peace: 
Develop awareness of balance in your life, and establish a daily diet of appreciation. With all the distractions that we have interrupting our focus, from tasks to advertisements to social media, we need to make an effort to notice matters of balance and appreciation. Decide on little reminders for yourself, such as when the clock reaches the hour, or when you see a particular color. (I myself have many such reminders!) At these times, check in with your balance and gratitude levels.

By following the above exercise, you can create a little island of peace. You can have peace at any given moment, and you can make it reoccur, until the peace becomes constant: the new normal. With this peace will come a sense of harmony and appreciation for the breadth and depth of life — making your life feel balanced, rich, and exciting.