In the past I mistakenly thought lots of effort and action was needed to change my situation and solve immediate problems. I never contemplated looking at peace as another way toward achieving change. Back then I did many things the hard way - if it sounded too easy, there was no way it would work. Thus it became 'the hard way was my way'.
I'd move mountains to create change never realising the only change I sometimes needed was a change of perspective. The new perspective would have shown with great clarity the action required. Instead of moving mountains now, I create highways through or around them - so much easier.
Accessing the state of peace, or my 'happy place', so often now, has become part of my routine - I just 'get it' now.
This doesn't mean I'm not impacted by every day life - I am sometimes, but my recovery time is now thankfully pretty quick. Whereas in the past I'd wallow in my 'dark place' and gain some kind of perverse pleasure in doing so, when something rattles my cage now, I'm adept enough to turn the tables on a spiral down to that 'dark place'.
Coming from my 'happy place' I'm more centred, balanced, focused, and have firm boundaries. Previously my thoughts would often be scattered, I was easily distracted and too sensitive for my own good.
So what changes can peace provide?
Attachment for others and material things fall away, and fears dissolve. (Letting go of attachment for others and material things doesn't mean you no longer love or care for those things. My experience has been that the less attached I became the more of the same I attracted!).
Issues are dealt with in a more calm, centred, and focused way (I liken this to having a global view and seeing what needs to be done, and can be done - with focused action).
Acceptance of self and others becomes more apparent as well as feeling calm, warm, safe, and protected (notice the feelings within the heart centre - does it feel warm and open? Peace can be literally a warm and fuzzy feeling - it gives me the warm and fuzzies...seriously!).
You may, or not, experience all of the above in one sitting - from my experience it happens over a period of time. Of course your changes over time may include even more than noted here!
Okay, how does one get the warm and fuzzies going?
Because meditation has dramatically and profoundly changed my life, my answer to this is through daily meditative practise. Practise makes perfect practise!
Join a meditation group.
Get some meditation CD's.
Buy some meditation scripts and record your own sessions!
What? Meditation not your thing? Well maybe you could:
Cook a special meal whilst listening to your favourite CD - remember to also invite a friend you love to spend time with.
Sit on a park bench and observe your environment - I love watching ducks go about their business especially if ducklings are included!
Talk to the animals...well maybe cuddle your cat, dog, bird or fish...or maybe you could borrow one?
Write your thoughts in a journal. Write anything from how you're feeling right now to what your goals are, to what you're wearing and where you're going. You could even write about peace!
Do some finger painting.
Take a blanket, sketch pad and picnic lunch to your favourite park, or garden.
Do any of the above enough times for your body and mind to remember and you'll be able to access peace at will. Merely by remembering the experience will bring you peaceful moments. With peaceful moments comes peaceful change, and this change, however subtle or great, will expand much like a ripple effect.