We've talked about happiness lately. Let's talk about it's foundation, peace.
Google defines it as: freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.
Let's go beyond that. I think there is a different layer to peace than "simply" the absence of disturbance or the presence of quiet and tranquility. That description feels accurate but only to describe a fleeting version of peace.
When people come out to The Cedars, even now, without the buildings, they often say how peaceful it is. What is so amazing to watch is that they become more peaceful being here.
What is that? How do we trigger 'more peaceful' in ourselves and how can we work on the permanent version not just the situational version?
Some of you are so practiced at being in crisis or problem-solving mode that when a peaceful time presents itself it feels foreign and unsettling. (You know who you are!) The very absence of something to fix or do can feel like a problem because we have lived our life and found our identity and safety in being fixers and doers.
The kind of peace I'm talking about is a place we have to cultivate within ourselves. It is about being enough, about stopping doing and fixing and just being content in the moment with being. When we learn how to visit that place and practice going there, the trip to go back becomes shorter and easier.
There are lots of ways there. Of course the traditional mediation paths work. I love putting on music that moves me spiritually and just be and just feel and let the awareness of a life beyond the cares of the present moment wash over me.
What gets in the way of us being peaceful? Sometimes we have patterns that make it hard to learn the practice of deep inner peace. Here are thoughts on a few:
- 'Catastrophizing' - easily done - focusing on what can go wrong, how badly it can go wrong and how hopeless it is.
- Play the game - write out all the horrible things that could happen - get it over with, imagine the worst case scenario. This is a little like shining the light on the boogie man under the bed.
- Move from a place of paralysis to a place of action by selecting 1 - 3 very specific small things that you can do to move forward. Motion is the opposite to the energy of 'catastrophizing'.
- Write some gratitude entries in a journal - anxiety and gratefulness can't co-exist.
- Unresolved conflict - relationships that have things that need to be talked through and resolved. This can really rob our peace. Whether we are the person who was wronged or the person who mis-treated others deep peace can be elusive.
- Write a letter to the person you need some closure with - be they alive or not. This should not be a letter that ever gets sent. If you know it won't be and you can be raw and honest you will benefit more by it.
- Invite a third party to help you have the conversation you need to have if facing it is overwhelming.
- Thinking that something in the future will finally make you happy will rob you of the possibility of peace now.
- When I have more money I will be able to be more peaceful.
- When I'm less busy I'll be able to be peaceful.
- When this crisis is over I'll be peaceful.
So, what's stopping you from practicing deep inner peace right now?
What if your life right now was built on a foundation of deep peace that could not be shaken by circumstances?
Until Next Week,
Posted on Wed, June 8, 2016
by Marilyn Orr filed under