I've been noticing a radical change in myself over the past year. As I get older I find that I am becoming more peaceful, and over the course of this past year I feel like peace has become the foundation of my existence, it's my living state more often than not. On my quest to heal, I've often had difficulty carrying the emotional weight of the problems I have aimed to cure. I would internalize sorrow, and it would weigh on my soul, resulting in negative speech, obtrusive action, and general unhappiness. This lack of peace made it hard to truly connect with others, to help bring them into a shared vision of a better future. People do not remember what you say, but how you made them feel, and I was not leaving people with any feelings but guilt, and judgement.

The aspiring healer was in fact damaging. I was left with a question: how could I be progressive yet present at the same time? To be progressive means to look forward, to live with some level of discontent, to embrace a sense of dissatisfaction for parts of the present that are unhealthy, or that could be improved. Yet to be present, to be peaceful, one has to accept reality, and my understanding of acceptance seemed incompatible with a goal that required change. What I've found is that healthy change can not come from a troubled mind...to truly reach people's souls and talk to the beauty that you want to create and how it would benefit them, one must embody that beauty. So I lived with this conundrum, this duality, unable to bring them into harmony. But under the surface, with each step, with each thought, my mind began to work towards a solution. I came to the realization that to be peace is to create peace, and that is enough. One can live with the knowledge and feelings of struggle and pain, but remain strong in ones core. With practice, I'fe discovered healthier ways to give voice to my vision, to change the world in a meaningful way. It starts with me, but ripples out with each action.

When I think about it, I find that I am living a life with less volatility. My mind remains in a sober state for longer. I focus more on meaningful tasks. I connect myself to my purpose. I meditate. I exercise. These positive intentions spread, and create a space for true progress. Hate, cynisism, and pessimism can bring short term awareness, but they do not have the power to connect, therefore they solve nothing. Love, understanding, and optimism have true staying power. They speak to universal human traits, the soul within all of us, that brings us together. To live with peace is to live with progress.