Harmony and Flow: The essence of peace

My friend was showing me a recording of the sunset. It was the view from her summer home in Montauk, Long Island. She was on her porch looking out at the ocean, the round glowing orb sinking on the horizon as the golden rays receded on the crystal water. The deer grazed in the tall shoreline grass as the birds sang playfully from the trees.

She spoke of the feeling it evoked in her. She couldn’t quite process just how peaceful this moment was that she captured.

We both share the same fidgety nature. We both seem to be in a constant state of doing as opposed to a constant state of being. But this moment she captured gave her pause and it helped me articulate what peace actually is.

To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders
— Lao Tzu

Too often we only find peace when it presents itself. But when we search for it, we can never seem to find it. We know what peace feels like, but when we try to define it, we cannot find the words to form an accurate description.

Peace comes from convergence. It is when our thoughts, bodies, and environment are in complete alignment that we experience peace. Peace is about flow and harmony.

Harmony is passive because we feel it, we recognize it like an old friend on a crowded street. When we are watching the sunset, sitting with loved ones, listening to the birds, when we don’t feel compelled to think or worry or want, that is harmony. We are completely absorbed in the beauty of the present moment.

Harmony evokes peace because it doesn’t ask for anything from us but to listen and be present. The natural beauty of the world pulls us in to experience it. When you look back at the best moments in life, there is an involuntary sense to them. You weren’t merely witnessing; you were embedded within it.  

It is not peace of mind we want, but peace from mind,
— Naval Ravikant

The peace we get from harmony is also achieved in a flow state. Flow is the alignment of our thoughts and actions being channeled for a creative purpose. Flow is an active state.

When my fingers dance on the keyboard and I no longer hear the clicks or feel the sensation on my fingertips, there is no separation between my mind, body, and thoughts. I can no longer distinguish myself from my actions because everything in my experience is completely aligned, time becomes irrelevant. By embracing the creative force that flows through us, we are left with peace.

Flow creates our best work, although art is a better description because it doesn’t feel like work. What is crafted in a flow state has all the benefits and exertion of work without the drudgery.

All great endeavors require work, but when we get too fixated on the grueling aspects of it, we forget that it is art we want to create and not simply products. Art takes work, but not all work is art.

Mastering a golf swing, writing poetry, climbing a V3, playing the accordion, anything that requires practice creates flow, which in turn brings us peace. Engaging our entire being into creating novelty and meaning is the peak of active human experience.

It is when we stop seeking and start being, it is when we stop thinking and start creating that we find peace.