Protecting Your Peace

Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.

—Dalai Lama

I had the opportunity to attend an event that opened my eyes and my heart to the phrase “protect your peace”.

It was a conversation with a panelist of women who were diving deep into the importance of true connection with other women and the roles we play for one another. The host led the conversation by asking thoughtful questions that allowed the panel to unveil some deep-rooted experiences that helped them distinguish between nurturing and toxic relationships. The intent was to better understand, healthy connection and how we can take personal responsibility for how we show up in friendships.

A common theme erupted when discussing how to navigate relationships that at some points were crossing emotional boundaries. Simply said; protect your peace. I sat with the question of the definition of peace and the differences that we each hold for ourselves.

How do I know when I need to protect my peace?

How do I protect my peace in relationships or difficult situations?

What do I do if my peace is penetrated with anger, shame, or toxic energy?

Is my personal peace related to my mental health?

Interesting article in Psychology Today stated:

Toughing out situations that aren’t beneficial to our mental health used to be seen as a measure of strength. But these days, many of us recognize the changes we need to make in how we respond to life’s curveballs. Plus, responding to the pandemic in the last year or so led many of us to reflect on what really matters in life, and what no longer serves us. Many people are rethinking how they move through the world, and how they show up for themselves and for others.

Protecting your peace means caring for and safeguarding your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self – in ways that you define for yourself. Protecting your peace is a personal journey, where ultimately you make the decisions and set boundaries for yourself that you determine to be in your own best interests.

Is this something we know innately? Or is it learned?

I reflected on the life lessons I shared with my children on how to show up with authenticity, vulnerability, courage, and grace that I clearly had to learn first. Only in retrospect did I realize, these were ways that worked for me in ‘protecting my peace’.

Not everyone will think like you – Not everyone will agree with you and some people may not like you…

And this is what makes the world interesting. Step away from ego and own your confidence, without making the other person wrong. Gravitate towards those people who motivate and inspire you and be aware of those who drain your positive energy. Stay in the conversation and acknowledge the differences.

Listen with your eyes open

Listen with your ears and your heart open. Take a breath, move the monkey mind over and be present to the spoken word. It is easy to project, judge and create stories that are just not true. Be open to the possibility of a different narrative and always a positive outcome.

Own your voice…

Find your courage and strength to speak your words out loud with integrity and clear intent. Be honest, compassionate, and always come from a loving space. It may be scary and uncomfortable and that is OK. Your spoken word has unrealized intelligence and will fuel your power to show up as your most authentic self.

Stay engaged in the hard conversations

They are easy to avoid. Be brave enough and bold enough to be the one that starts the conversation. It takes mind muscle to place the ego aside, remove hard judgements and come from a common place of love. Speak your truth with a tender heart while having clear boundaries. Behavior breeds behavior: if you begin here… the outcome of a healthy conversation will follow. Be the one. And know when to walk away.

I have learned that the ways we choose to secure our personal boundaries are in fact based on our personal experiences and choices.

Protecting our peace is also protecting our energy. It is not just a saying but a way of being.

What do you do to protect your peace?


Carolyn Lebanowski
Carolyn Lebanowski
Carolyn began her professional career in retail and grew to become an experienced and respected senior-level executive with expertise in strategic development, organizational communication, and executive coaching. After nearly three decades of career growth in corporate organizational development, Carolyn was ready for a career change—and a life change. This led to a new role and the most challenging, enriching, and rewarding work of her life, as a Strategic Business Leader for nonprofit spiritual institutions. As Executive Director and Chief Opportunity Officer for 2 large organizations, it gave her the opportunity to fuse the professional and the personal, aligning her business acumen with her spiritual identity and passion for the development of human potential—in her colleagues, in her community, and in herself. Carolyn is a writer who seeks above all to share from the heart. Her impulse to write began 20 years ago with letters to her children and grew into journaling that was unedited and life-affirming. Today she writes with a focus on raw, authentic, and lived experience, to explore, express, and make sense of the pain and joy, and struggles and triumphs, of life. In all her endeavors, she champions connection, integrity, and radical positivity. Today, Carolyn is a published author and a Columnist/Featured Contributor at BIZCATALYST 360° and is living in Cascais, Portugal.

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    • Exactly Rev. Christie!
      It is not just something we say… It is something we live and practice every day and moment by moment.
      I love that you dipped into this conversation. xo

    • Thank you Eva, and I totally agree!
      I have a saying: “you don’t have to agree with me, just don’t make me wrong”. Just another way of protecting my peace.

  1. Carolyn – I love how you dvelop protecting your peace. It’s not to avoid conflict or differences of opinion, but to avoid anger, mean-spiritedness, and toxicity.

    To approach life with grace -I think one must first be at peace with oneself -acceptance of my imperfections allows me tro look beyond some of the imperfections of others.

    Thanks for sharing this. It opened my eyes to a source of disquiet I thought was outside myself -but perhaps not.
    Thank you

    • Thank you so much for your thought response Alan.
      Your comment here is a solid compass for a life well lived:
      “To approach life with grace -I think one must first be at peace with oneself -acceptance of my imperfections allows me to look beyond some of the imperfections of others.”
      This is absolutely protecting your peace.

  2. Your writing speaks your beautiful mind Carolyn mam.
    Speaking the truth is healthy to share and care for, and I completely agree. The compassion tone is a beauty to add.
    I believe that compassion should be acknowledged with grace by others. Rather than tagging it as a weakness.
    We individual differ as pointed out by you is the reason behind.
    Filtering and protecting our peace is key, I guess.
    Your writing is profound and necessary. Thank you and best wishes..!!!

    • Thank you so much for the read and the reflective feedback Aishwariya!
      Your words have landed so gently on paper: ” I believe that compassion should be acknowledged with grace by others.”
      The key word for me here is grace…. always.
      Blessings and more to you.

  3. Very timely post, Carolyn

    I find your words powerful and expressive to what we need today “Gravitate towards those people who motivate and inspire you and be aware of those who drain your positive energy. Stay in the conversation and acknowledge the differences,

    We need all to be honest to who we are and to our values. Being honest with ourselves means gravitating spontaneously to our values. This shall keep the integrity of our physical, mental, spiritual and .emotional health. These healthy needs are integral. If disintegrated then feeling inner peace will be lost.

    • Ali,
      Always so grateful for your thoughtful reflections.
      You have hit on a few key words here that are the cornerstone and foundation of ‘peace’ for me; values, integrity, physical, mental, spiritual and .emotional health.
      My sense of peace, starts and ends with me.