Hexagram 11 -- PEACE
Last night I was talking with my brother on the phone; we were discussing what our minds habitually do when we feel anxious, stressed, overwhelmed. I told him how yesterday began: I staggered out of bed after only two hours' sleep, kvetching and complaining from the moment I opened my mouth. My dear husband gave me a wide berth while I growled. There's nothing like a restless night to make the mind fume and snarl ... While G. drove us downtown to his workplace, I reined my mind in while gazing with intent on every tidbit of beauty my eyes could find. I told myself, "Girl, get it together right now. Change your mind."
By the time we reached our destination, I was smiling and pointing out flowers, cavorting dogs, and a toddler in a stroller who was arcing his little body and waving his arms at everything while his mother ambled on, coffee in hand.
I'd changed my mind ... and I got on with my day. Yesterday evening, as I spoke with my brother, we discussed the anxiety we've both long struggled with. He's beginning to realize how his thoughts alter his moods and actions; he's marvelling at the capricious human mind and wondering at its whims. Eventually we moved on to the state of the world ... and I intuitively spoke up.
"War and peace start with ourselves," I told him. He paused, took in a breath, and paused some more.
"You...really got me there, sis...Wow." He took another breath. "You really got me there," he repeated. I could sense his mind grappling with a novel idea; I could almost feel him thinking, War and peace start with...me...with me.
"Yeah," I went on. "It starts in your own mind, and from there it moves out to whomever you're with at that moment...and goes on from there...from one person all the way out to an entire nation. It's a choice, little brother." And I told him how my mind began its day by snarling at everything around me; how I corrupted the morning's beauty with morose and nasty thoughts ... and how I chose to turn the mess into coherence and kindness during my drive downtown with my husband.
It's that simple, really. With every thought, we move our minds in a warlike or peaceful direction. Heaven and Earth are already in perfect alignment, only awaiting our choice to join with natural harmony. The hexagram PEACE might, to the untrained eye, appear to be upside down or "out of whack," given that the trigram of Earth is above Heaven; but here, they are in a correct place, working together according to their natures and reminding us that PEACE is a mutual process. We can renew the PEACE in ourselves and in our spheres of influence with our every intention, word, and act; the natural elements assure us that this is not only possible, but that it is one of the essential facts of existence. After all, every child smiles in the same language...