INNER PEACE SYMPTOMS — The Stack

INNER PEACE SYMPTOMS — The Stack

[Header photo credit:  “Connection” by Przemko Stachowski via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

I began doing these aphorisms and bits of pithy postulates and pomposities at the beginning of my quest for more meaning and mana in my life. I shared a lot of them on Facebook and friends liked them. They still make me smile….

 

One IPS (Inner Peace Symptom):  a tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than act in response to fears based on past experience.  [The goal is to get to being a Conscious Innocent, which really feels like a dumb thing to do, but seems to work out just fine when you step back and see what-is after the hoo-hah dies down.  It is a really strange phenomenon.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 2:  an unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 3:  a loss of interest in judging other people.  [Frankly, you’re too busy watching what happens when they do whatever it is they do and the show can get pretty impressive.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 4:  a loss of interest in judging oneself.  [Watching where you’re walking and seeing what happens when you go wherever you go turns the whole thing into a travelogue.  You’re busy watching the story unfold….and if you’re lucky you actually get the lessons sometimes.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 5:  a loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.  [People’s motivations are always a surprise.  They do what they do and then put the best face on it they can.  It’s kinda interesting listening to their stories, but.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 6:  a loss of interest in conflict.  [I notice that all conflicts tend to degenerate into arguments about WHO IS RIGHT.  I started wondering, why can’t EVERYBODY be right?]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 7:  a loss of the ability to worry.  [If I hadn’t lost a bunch of this ability, I would probably be very worried about this one right now.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 8:  frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.  [HEE!]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 9:  contented feelings of connectedness with others and with nature. 

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 10:  frequent attacks of smiling.  [This is getting so bad that I get the feeling other folks sometimes think I don’t understand “the problem.”  I figure THEY don’t understand that I am looking for possibilities and solutions, and “the problem” just blocks my vision.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 11:  an increasing tendency to let things happen (rather than make them happen).  [This tendency dramatically increased after I resigned as General Manager of the Universe.  As a recovering control freak, it is a Biggie…continues to be.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 12:  an increased susceptibility to love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.  [Love, I think, is the way we manage to merge the energies of Earth and Heaven in this World.  It’s our job as humans to do that, you know.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 13:  enjoying an inordinate number of hugs.  [This is my absolute favorite symptom….]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 14:  feeling other people’s smiles inside you.  [This is my second-favorite symptom.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 15:  feeling there’s time enough to do what you like.  [A Hawaiian healer explained the literal translation of the word “ho’omanawanui,” which Hawaiians today use to mean, “no worries.”  “Ho’o” = “to make.”  “Manawa” = “time.”  “Nui” = “big.”  If you can make time big, you have lots of room to play.  Put in breathing spaces too.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 16:  an increasing tendency to try new things.  [From a place of peacefulness and sanctuary, new doesn’t look so scary.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 17:  an increasing tendency to spontaneous generosity and performing random acts of kindness.  [When you’re full, it just naturally overflows.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 18:  frequent episodes of wonderment and delight in the beauty in the world and in other people.  [Joy arises naturally when you can see how beautiful it all is, and you only get to see beauty when you can take off your fear filters.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 19:  frequent episodes of empathy for other sentient beings — people, animals, trees, even rocks…hey, where does sentience begin and end?]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 20:  an increasing tendency towards radical trust in the Universe.  [It’s a cool thing to feel that there’s a conspiracy afoot to enhance your well-being.  Hawaiians say, “Akua take care.”]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 21:  a decreased capacity for indulging in developing catastrophic, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenarios.  [Trusting that you CAN handle most of the things that come up is a benefit of getting older, I think.  After all, you got this far, didn’t ya?]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 22:  a feeling that you are a favored child of the Universe (and not guilty about it one bit)!  [When this thought occurred to me, I smiled for days and days….]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 23:  a loss of interest in temper tantrums — mine or other people’s.  [Temper tantrums just mean the Baby in there is feeling all helpless and frustrated.  It’s a body-thing.  If you don’t release all the tight energy in more positive ways, it comes out as stomping around and yelling.   Feeling stupid afterwards is a really painful consequence.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 24:  an increasing curiosity about how to help things work out for the highest good of everybody involved.  [It’s a funny thing, when you make THAT your intention, you can very often find a solution that works out pretty good.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 25:  feeling enfolded in a big warm hug as you walk around.  [That is a really cool feeling….]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 26:  an inclination to foster sanity whenever it comes into your life.  [Because, for real, being human can sure make you crazy!]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 27:  an understanding that all things are impermanent, but the cycle of change remains eternal: arising, becoming, passing away, new arising.  [There really isn’t anything else, and when you feel everything falling away, THAT is the time to be looking for the new, next thing and inviting it to come closer.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 28:  a decreased capacity for suffering over your suffering. [This one’s a major asset.  So much time and energy gets freed up.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 29:  a growing disinclination to loll around in piles of guilt and a reluctance to sling it around.  [It’s a major relief to realize that a lot of the sucky things that happen are NOT YOUR FAULT.  It can also be a major pin that bursts the bubble of your self-importance, but that’s another story….]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 30:  a growing ability to dissipate guilt and shame attacks by other people.  [Whew!  This one’s an asset!  When you realize that each of us walks in our own world, since we only connect in spots,  and that you don’t need to take what others do personally, it helps you listen to your own voice, keep focused on your own self-definition.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 31:  an increasing tendency towards feeling tenderness towards others and yourself.  [The big trick is being tender to yourself.  Every one of us is SO good at attacking ourselves.  It is so easy…we know the weak spots and we’ve got the ammunition.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 32:  a tendency to focus on solutions. [It helps to remember that any situation that makes you aware of your dissatisfaction with the “how-it-is” always holds the resources to foster what you really want.  The trick is noticing that these resources are there.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 33:  a tendency to accept each moment as a gift from the Universe and to savor the whole thing.  [This one tends to make you so grateful all of the time.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 34:  a tendency to luxuriate in the senses.  [“Savor” is just one letter away from “Savior.”  There’s gotta be a reason why.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 35:  a loss of interest in making comparisons between yourself and other people.  [Hmmm…I’m not really sure WHY this is happening, but it is.  Maybe I’m so busy looking at what I’m doing and seeing where that goes, it leaves little time to check out how other folks are walking their walk.  Don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad one.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 36:  an increasing acceptance of the fact that the Universe really is full of plenty for everybody.  [This is a really good one….]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 37:  an increasing ability to be truthful with yourself.  [I notice when you stop believing the lies you tell yourself, it makes it easier to see where you are and what would be good to do next.  I also notice it’s hardest to let go of the lies about motivation.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 38:  a tendency to be humble.  [Mostly, that’s because I’ve got a heck of a lot of reasons for being humble and most of them are about being just human…which is not a bad thing to be, actually.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 39:  an unwillingness to play with petty-philes) (or be one).  [“Petty-philism” is a word I’ve coined and it means the love for all the little things in life…all the myriad little concerns and dust-mote details of the World.  Petty-philes are often afflicted by major anxiety caused by massive overload of petty details and trying to get it all JUST-RIGHT.  Poor things.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 40:  a fascination with the under-story in the mundane, consensus world.  [I’m reading Clotaire Raaille’s THE CULTURE CODE: An Ingenious Way To Learn Why People Around the World Buy and Live As They Do.  Rapaille is the man who helped Chrysler develop the PT Cruiser, the most stylin’ car in recent decades, and helped keep the Jeep Wrangler from being turned into another SUV.  He did it by decoding the thoughts and feelings of people raised in a specific culture for certain basic life components — health, love, work, money, and so on.  He then translated his research into factoids about how people relate to products.  Fascinating!  It seems to me that if you know the under-story, the story behind people’s way of thinking, very often you can hold on to your equanimity when folks raised in a different culture react to things in ways that make no sense to you.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 41:  an unwillingness to suffer over my suffering.  This one increased when I discovered that “suffer” means “to undergo.”  THAT’S ALL.  All the rest of it are add-ons.  Reminds me of the Country Western song lyric:  “When you’re going through hell, just keep goin’….”  Maybe if you get through it fast enough, the song says, the Devil won’t even know you’re there.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Syndrome) 42:  an expanding clarity of vision and a better acceptance of what-is.  [Molokai people have a mindset that can best be summarized as ‘as how….that’s-how-it-is.  It allows you to see what is in front of you in all of its many aspects, and if you don’t rail about it and protest, and you don’t waste energy doing trauma-dramas, then you’ve got more energy to figure out how to respond.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 43:  a growing tendency to live according to your own self-definition.  [Nobody can tell you how to get to your joys.  Nobody can tell you what your joy “ought”/”should” be.  Your job’s to find your joy and follow it (or them — if you happen to be a greedy-guts like me.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 44:  an acceptance that all things are impermanent (even you) and that the only constant is change.  [It’s a funny thing how being able to stand quietly in ambiguity allows you to notice stuff better.  Trauma-dramas tend to be very distracting.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 45:  a growing understanding that emotions and moods pass through like the weather.  [While they are as useful as radar and sonar blips of where things are trending, they really are only “fingers pointing at the moon.”  Living in the middle of constant trauma-drama is exciting and all, but not real fulfilling and driving into potholes all the time ruins good vehicles.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 46:  a growing awareness that all phenomena are empty and illusory and the only meaning and mana in any situation is what the people involved bring to it.  [It’s a cool thing to realize that we humans are the arbiters of the meaning and mana in our own lives.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 47:  a growing understanding that the “enlightenment” (freedom from delusion) that the wise guys talk about all the time is kinda like snaking out the toilet plumbing….

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 48:  a growing ability to face transitions and change with equanimity.  [Most of this seems to come from being willing to see what-is and perceive where it could lead.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 49:  a tendency to see good as well as bad.  [Every calamity and horrible thing that happens in this world is balanced by something that’s inspiring and beautiful.  The trick is developing the eyes to see all of it.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 50:  a growing tendency to take yourself lightly.  [Hauling around a dump-truck load of issues sure makes it hard to dance!]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 51:  a growing ability to stand up whenever you fall down.  [I figure it’s a given:  you will always fall down or else you don’t learn anything new.  It’s how you learn.  Standing up again means you got the lesson.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 52:  an inclination to walk in the middle.  [“Me first” often means you get to be the soggiest carrot in the stew.  (Not a pretty picture.)  However, going last is only an advantage if you use it as an opportunity to learn from other people’s mistakes.  Otherwise, all it means is waiting, waiting, waiting for your turn…because you know all the me-firsters are going to cut in line.  (Sigh!)]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 53:  a tendency to be truthful.  [I figured out you need a way better memory than I’ve got to be a good liar.  If you never lie, you’ll never have to remember what you said….]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 54: an inclination to let somebody else be Number One.  [It seems to me Number Ones come and go, but a Number Two can last forever.  Longevity for Number Ones depends on fresh product, new winning moves and fancy dancing, all of which gets really tiring after a while and Number Ones tend to get adamant after a while that their way is THE way.  Then there’s a palace rebellion, or else boredom sets in.  Then there’s a new Number One…the King is dead, long live the King.  Being support crew, on the other hand, only depends on lending a hand and cheering, which is a lot easier and makes you very popular with everybody so you get to hang around longer.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 55:  a growing ability to learn from other people’s mistakes.  [There’s a lot less wear-and-tear if you don’t insist on D.I.Y. — repeating other people’s mistakes your own self, figuring it’ll be different because YOU did it.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 56:  a growing tendency to stay calm when faced by yet another setback, and to keep on moving forward one-step, one-step, one-step.  [A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  It ends after taking many steps one at a time.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 57:  a growing ability to evolve in response to change.  [A lot of that, I’ve found, is letting go of what happened BEFORE — good AND bad.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom 58:  a disinclination to get stuck in what you’ve already done.  [“Been there, done that” is all well and good.  “What’s next?” can work better.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 59:  a tendency to walk away from “quick” — get rich quick, get thin quick, get out of debt quick…  [The older I get the more I notice that shortcuts are very often the longest distance between two places.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 60:  a growing understanding that happiness and joy only come to you when you’re deeply committed to making or doing something excellent.  [What’s really cool is that you get to define “excellent.”]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 61:  an understanding that the low points in your life are actually opportunities to do something else that will make you happy.  [The trick to that is focusing on the success that is just around the corner rather than on the latest skinned knee.  Mostly, I figure that one’s a head-game to make yourself keep doing one-step, one-step, one-step until you get out of the Valley of Gloom.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 62:  a growing understanding that life is all about “multiple bottom lines,” and the way you balance all of them either promotes inner peace or inner chaos.  [If you start getting frazzled, you know something’s gotten out of whack and you have to go hunt it down and bonk it back into line…which doesn’t SOUND particularly peaceful, but is kinda fun.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 63:  an understanding that without communication you lose the love.  [I always have to remind myself that it’s my fence to mend, even if I didn’t break it….]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 64:  an inclination to surround yourself with people who are optimistic and nurturing.  [Maybe vampires can be optimistic and nurturing, but I’ve never met any like that.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 65:  an understanding that you CAN control your memories.  [Cultivate long-term memories that nurture and sustain you; develop short-term memories about insults and injuries.  It works better that way.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 66:  an understanding that laughter’s just there, waiting.  [You can make a rainbow when you take a piece of broken glass and turn it to the light.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 67:  a tendency to avoid striving for the high places.  [I notice those who walk on a high tightrope always need to look for balance points.  Someone who walks on the ground really doesn’t need an open parasol or a long pole…unless they are for stylin’ purposes, I suppose.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 68:  an inclination to go deep.  [Think of the deep ocean.  The depths are not disturbed by the waves on the surface.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 69:  a tendency to value sincerity and faithfulness.  [Water always flows toward the sea…and that’s the most valuable thing to learn from water: it holds to its true course.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 70:  a tendency to deal gently with other people and with yourself.  [Water moves gently…and overcomes the hardest obstacles under Heaven.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 71:  a tendency to focus on cooperation rather than competition.  [But, I think it only works if you stay clear about who you are and where you stand.  It’s another water thing.  Water can fit what is square or what is round.  It keeps its true nature in any containment or circumstance.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 72:  a tendency to take action opportunely.  Not tied to past accomplishments, not attached to any outcomes, you’re free to take effective action.  [It’s another water thing, I am thinking.  If you watch a stream, you notice that the water moves the best way it can over, under, around…and gets to the ocean eventually just doing that.  Cool.]

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Another (IPS) Inner Peace Symptom 73:  a tendency towards generosity.  [Water is the most generous substance there is.  Where there is water, there is life.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 74:  a tendency to look for the Divine in every person and the potential in each situation.  [This seems to be an outgrowth of the premise that each of us is born perfect and that life is an ongoing slow process.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 75:  an understanding that Freedom is the basis of this Universe and that the Real is that you are so free that you can choose bondage — or not.  [This one sorta puts you on notice that it really does not matter what other people do or don’t do.  That’s not yours.  How you respond — that’s yours; you CAN choose or not choose.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 76:  an understanding that the moment of power is Now and that Now is the platform from which you can launch into what is Next.  [It’s really an amazing thing how easy it is to lose sight of Now.  Past successes and future maybe-downers suck out your eyes; future benefits put stars in them.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 77:  a tendency to trust other people to do what comes naturally to them.  [It’s a cool thing when you surround yourself with folks who are into hugs and laughing and looking for the beauty and good stuff in every situation (i.e., Winnie-the-Pooh clones).  It ain’t so hot when you surround yourself with Eeyore and Rabbit clones.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 78:  a growing awareness that the only thing that abides is the way you walk.  [It’s a proven fact that the way you walk down the street increases your chances of being a victim, a target for challenge, or a welcome addition to a group.  If that’s so, it seems to me, then all your behaviors evoke responses from the people around you and tend to determine how you’ll be treated.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 79:  a disinclination to carve rules in stone (especially with dull chisels),  [Rules have always been the bane of my life…mostly ’cause I am SO good at making up more.  I bet Moses started down that mountain with The 56 Commandments, and he kept dumping the dumb tablets ’cause they were so heavy!  If the mountain had been higher, maybe we’d have ended up with the One Commandment:  Love one another.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 80:  a tendency to talk less.  [When all is said and done, it seems to me that more gets done when less is said.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 81:  an understanding that while all emotions taken too far bring pain and suffering, moods pass.  [Even the grandest passions get kinda mundane after a while.  The trick is always finding a way to reactivate the enchantment.  As Einstein said (more or less) it’s either all a miracle or none of it is.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 82:  an understanding that we are all building dreams on shifting sand and we might as well get used to walking around inside buildings that tilt some.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 83:  an understanding that while enlightenment may be a release from delusion, being the one-eyed guy in the country of the blind mostly means you’re bumping into all these blind guys who don’t know there’s a shortcut.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 84:  a realization that you cannot live somebody else’s lessons for them and you cannot love somebody else to safety.  [The World’s a hairy place sometimes, but every one of us is a warrior fighting our own fight, and the best we can do for each other is to recognize this and catch each other’s back as needed.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 85:  an acknowledgment that EVERYBODY has an opinion, and that those opinions don’t necessarily hold true for your path.  [It’s also a truth that your own opinion might not hold true for your own path.  Reality checks are a good thing.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 86:  a growing sense of curiosity about how others see the World we share.  [Oh, you see it THAT way?  Cool!]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 87:  a growing understanding that the Beatles were right:  Love is all you need.  [The problem, of course, is figuring out whether what you love is worth all that effort.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 88:  a feeling of respect for every person one meets.  [If every person is a conduit for the Creative, and if, as the Buddha says, the learning that comes from experience is the highest form there is, then every person is a repository of such learning and knowledge that the only response CAN be respect.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 89:  a tendency to listen for each person’s heartsong and honoring it.  [Listening, according to Mark Nepo, is the best way of knowing]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 90:  an inclination to become involved in situations that contain potential for beauty and benefit.  [It seems to me that involvement is the best persuasion.  If you start lending a hand, other hands join in.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 91:  a feeling of compassion for all sentient beings.  [Compassion opens you up and you are seeing What-Is without passing judgment.  Sometimes you can see a way to help; sometimes not, but always, I find, compassion is an appropriate response.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 92:  a feeling that love is the best way to decipher the meaning of life.  [Looking at the origins of all situations with a warm and loving eye allows you to see where and how each one came about and what (if anything) you can do to help foster a good resolution.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 93:  a tendency to appreciate all you have.  [When you know that you are responsible for creating your own life out of the way you respond to the world, it does free you to enjoy and appreciate the good things and to look at the rest with at least a hope that maybe you can alter them so they match the picture in your head.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 94:  a growing understanding about the difference between helping and interfering.  [It boils down to knowing everyone has their own journeys to make and the ones you love want and need your permission to work on their own happiness in their own way. ‘Course, I’ve never figured out how to handle it when the one you love decides to head down some scary path that you KNOW ends up heading off a cliff.  I have NEVER managed to be calm about that one. Mostly, I do tackles and strangleholds and stuff like that, with a lot of screaming and hair-pulling and so on.  It ain’t pretty and it ain’t peaceful, but I figure even peacefulness can be taken too far.  I’m not letting the Dumb-Ass eat up people I love!]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 95:  a growing tendency to forgive.  [Old resentments clutter up your heart-space and take up room that could be used for loving better.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 96:  a growing understanding that inner peace is always a choice.  [You can get all bent out of shape because other people aren’t doing this and the World isn’t like that, or you can choose to sing your own heartsong and share THAT with the World.  One leads to constant turmoil, the other makes a solid road along which you can travel lightly.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 97:  an understanding that nothing stands alone.  [Hawaiians have a concept regarding aka threads — the connections between every single thing and sentient being in the Universe.  Any being, action or event is connected to every other.  This is another good thing to ponder, but it always makes me pause.  I figgah it means that you are never alone and everything you do affects everyone and everything else.  (Kinda scary when you think about it…every dumb-ass thing I do lands on everybody else’s plate.  Yeesh!)]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 98:  an understanding that the need for “making peace” can interfere with having peace.  [A major problem with perfect peace and harmony is it gets really boring after a while.  Humans seem to have this innate tendency to stir things up, rationalizing it all by saying matters could be “new and improved.”  I’ve gotta watch that my own self.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 99:  an understanding that peace is an absence of “againstness.”  [Making a circle that includes the one who shuts you out is a most effective way to open them up more to the possibilities you see. ( It’s also really sneaky.  I like that.)]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 100:  an understanding that directing your energies AGAINST something traps you in what you think is wrong and separates you from what you want to achieve.  [This one’s such a weird head-space, but it seems to work.  All the anger and outrage fuels indignation and heart-burning…which distracts you from your walk and keeps you stuck.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 101: an understanding that your wants and needs are as valid as other people’s, but not MORE valid.  [Self-interest is not a bad thing, as long as it ain’t the ONLY thing.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 102:  an understanding that every day there is beauty in the world and in every person wandering through your life.  [You have to be ready to see it, but.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 103:  an understanding that you are in a procession, walking through this time, this place, to who-knows-what.  [I am the fruit of my ancestors.  I am the seed of my descendants.  I am only one in a procession, but I am still one.  Without me, without my song, the line is diminished.  There is a blank spot nobody else can fill.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 104:  a growing tendency to make choices that support your own growth and development — whether you or anyone else is inconvenienced or not.  [Heartsongs can be most insistent about being heard, and really disruptive when they’re stifled.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 105:  a growing tendency to hold off on being self-righteous.  F’r real, self-righteousness arises out of a need for others to validate your viewpoint.  [The only one you have to convince of the validity of your viewpoint is you.  Throwing tantrums and making dire prophecies because others disagree does not help make you more right.] 

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 106:  a growing understanding that the World will NOT live up to your highest expectations all the time, but it can be okay anyway.  [“Okay” can be good too, you know.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 107:  a growing tendency to yield to other people’s process without losing sight of where you’re going.  [As long as you’re all headed in the same direction, it probably doesn’t matter if some people walk funny.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 108:  a growing tendency to make sure the rabbit you’re chasing is real.  [Mutual fund magnate John C. Bogle, in his book, ENOUGH: True Measures of Money, Business and Life, retells an old story about the old champion racing greyhound who quit racing because he found out that the rabbit he was chasing around and around the track year after year was not real.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 109: An understanding that the world has its own balance, which can look REALLY unbalanced to your eye.  [Your job’s keeping your inner balance even when the world goes nuts on you.  (Sigh!)  Nothing’s easy]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 110:  a growing understanding that even when you know your best effort will not be good enough, it is important that you do it anyway.  [Maybe your not-good-enough best efforts will combine with everybody else’s not-good-enough best efforts and roll that big boulder of an obstacle out of the way.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 111:  a growing inclination to ask for what you need.  [The more you know about what makes you peaceful and peaceable, the easier it is to ask for what fosters that.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 112:  a growing understanding that you will find peace in the world only if you can find it in yourself.  [The World is a mirror of your mind.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 113:  an understanding that forgiveness is NOT about denying or pretending away something that hurt you.  [Forgiveness is about releasing the anger you feel and that need of yours to retaliate.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 114:  a disinclination to let life harden your heart.  [This from Pema Chodron’s THE PLACES THAT SCARE YOU:  A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times. She quotes an old woman sitting in the sun as she (Pema) slouched along feeling put-upon by the world:  “Little girl, don’t you go letting life harden your heart.”]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 115:  an acknowledgment that a decent ego is not a bad thing, and allowing yourself to be debased to show how “good” you are is just a fake-out.  [Cultivating your ability to nurture your own self keeps you on course through your days.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 116:  a growing understanding that there really is more than one way to do things [and most of them are NOT your way].

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 117:  a growing appreciation of process.  [Creativity moves through every situation you encounter.  Enjoy the ride ’cause there ain’t no going back!]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 118:  an appreciation of the power of kindness.  [Kindness comes from a full and open heart.  Thank you, all you kind people!]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 119:  a tendency to choose to face life as a conscious innocent.  [Zen guys tell you that Beginner’s Mind — alert, open, with no preset prejudices — is the best kind there is.  You have to be brave to do it, though.  Not being afraid of looking like a fool (as Trungpa Rinpoche says) IS a requirement.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 120:  a tendency to let everybody wandering around in your life go their own way.  [Suffering fools to come unto you (and STAY there) does not make you a saint.  It just drives you crazy.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 121:  a tendency to honor and respect time.  [Ho’omanawanui, make time big, and you’ll have all the time you need to do all you need to do.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 122:  a tendency towards optimism.  [The alternative’s kinda like a seedling trying to bury its growing tip back into the ground.  It ain’t natural!]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 123:  a growing ability to recognize good habits and practice them.  [Habits, like beliefs, are built one repetition at a time.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 124:  a tendency to work to please yourself.  [Your heartsong’s the only real one you can sing.  F’r real, Ego’s got a TERRIBLE voice, and singing someone else’s song is a waste of your time.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 125:  an appreciation of the fact that the imperfections of humanity add to the beauty of our natures.  [It’s funny how you love the people you do partly BECAUSE of their flaws, which help define them as their own selves in your heart.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 126:  a recognition that there’s a magnificent order that’s already in place and it will continue — with or without your agreement or willing participation.  [The whole “let-it-be” thing used to make me irritable and snarky.  Funny, but…the buggah works, more often than not.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 127:  a tendency to use your intention to enjoy yourself WHEREVER you are in the scheme of things.  [It’s a lot more fun for everybody.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 128:  an acknowledgment that while excellence is a good thing and is certainly achievable, “perfect” is too much to ask of anybody — even yourself.  [It seems to me “perfect” just sits there being perfect.  It’s not funny and it’s not fun either.  What good is it?]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 129:  an understanding that the need to achieve goals and be “best in show” is a preference, and NOT a prerequisite for your adequacy or worthiness.  [It counts that you try with all your mind, and heart, and self, and if you don’t get to the ultimate whatevah…maybe you went farther than you would have otherwise.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 130:  an acknowledgment that your achieved competence only means you can help more.  [A superiority complex cuts you off from other people just as thoroughly as an inferiority complex does.  Everybody’s good at SOMETHING, and a focus on connection allows you to see other people’s competence.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 131:  a disinclination to continue flogging yourself for not measuring up to some high-flying standard or other.  [It really HURTS!  Ouch!  Ouch!  Ouch!]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 132:  a tendency to check where you’re putting your success-ladder BEFORE you start climbing up it.  [Nothing’s quite as sad as the person who realizes she’s the “queen” of the wrong heap.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 133:  a tendency to recognize and appreciate what you’ve managed to achieve.  [You’re the one who knows where you started from and what it took to get where you are, and nobody else quite gets it.  How could they?]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 134:  an acknowledgment that the sweetness in life is always available to you.  [All you have to do is notice.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 135:  an understanding that not everything can be fixed (or should be).  [That one’s REALLY hard for me.  Ms Fix-It jumps on her white horse and takes off in every direction…accomplishing not too much of nothin’.  Ah, me….]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 136:  a tendency to believe that it’s okay to be joyful and tender NOW…even if the world-as-we-know-it implodes tomorrow.  [Mourning is supposed to happen AFTER, not before, and mourning is the shadow side of surviving.  It “comes with.”

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 137:  an understanding that tenderness is the antidote for alienation.  [If you’re feeling snarky at the world, maybe it’s ’cause you put on the wrong pair of shades this morning.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 138:  an acknowledgment that this is a learning planet and we’ve all got lessons we’re required to learn.  [One of the best exercises is scooping up all the joys you can and throwing them all over everybody — smiling.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 139:  an understanding that the best intention to hold is the one about working towards the highest good for everybody.  [It’s a bonus that plans that grow out of that intention are the most fun implementing.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 140:  an understanding that taking the long view tends to make the road a lot easier.  [You can see the potholes better if you look at what’s ahead instead of staring at your toes being all depressed.]

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Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom) 141:  an understanding that getting outside your own self-involvement allows you to catch glimpses of the Creative in the World, in other people, and in you.  [The Creative, I notice, is only visible in small bits that flash by.]