Inner peace is an experience of inner calm and harmony—“all seems right with me and my world.” This state of awareness is possible each time we stop our incessant negative judgments, work with what is happening now and let go of striving for a desired outcome. These strategies are not new; however, I have linked them together to create a path to serenity.
A change in awareness begins with “time out.” “Time out” works for children because it removes them from a disturbing situation, allows them to calm down, changes their focus and transforms their behavior. Once adults emotionally disconnect from the turmoil of a problem, they are better able to shift their negative perceptions to peace-affirming ones.
In the quiet stillness of a mental “time out,” you have the opportunity to disengage from negative emotions and thoughts in order to see and experience the situation differently. My three-fold inner peace practice suggests that you look at a troublesome situation without 1) judging yourself, others, life or a Higher Power; 2) resisting what is happening now; and 3) feeling attached to having it your way. When you can integrate these strategies, you are lifted into a higher perspective and able to perceive the situation through the “eyes” of Spirit.
The path to inner peace boils down to this: 1) no judgment, 2) no resistance and 3) no attachment. Let’s look at each part more closely:
Accept instead of condemn a person or situation. Acceptance empowers you to take appropriate actions without making anyone or anything “bad or wrong.” As you replace your judgments with acceptance, you will feel more positive, your body will relax and your relationships will improve. The rational mind thrives on judging and analyzing, and this is appropriate some of the time. However, the intuitive mind thrives on inner harmony. You are able to break the habit of critical judgments when you perceive yourself, others and life with an attitude of unconditional positive regard.
You can choose to leave a relationship because it no longer works for you, or you can leave it making the other person your enemy. The first leads to empowerment and harmony; the second to resentment and bitterness.
Be with what is happening instead of struggling against it. When life situations or relationships are turbulent and may not be leading you where you want to go, they are taking you somewhere. The more you flow with the current, the easier it will be to see clearly, feel empowered, plan your next move and experience moments of inner peace. When you embrace and are willing to work with what is happening, you are choosing peace. You might eventually understand the reason something or someone showed up in your life.
When you arrive at the hotel you reserved, the hotel has just been painted and the odors affect your health. You call another hotel in the area and get a free upgrade to a suite in a better part of the city for the next three nights at the same price.
Observe and allow instead of trying to control people, situations or outcomes. A level of emotional non-attachment is necessary to become an objective observer of your life while fully participating in it. As a non-attached observer, you will be able to experience moments of inner peace in the midst of a troublesome situation or on your way toward accomplishing a goal. Once you step out of an “emotionally-driven story,” you will be able to let go of striving and controlling and know when to surrender the situation or outcome to a Higher Power. Do your best in any situation then trust that the Universe will do the rest!
Your adult child has a large credit card debt even though he has a good income. He asks for your help. Instead of getting stuck in anger, you calm down, hear his story and choose not to get pulled into his “drama.” You decide to loan him money if he hires a money management coach.
Life is challenging, but you can choose to use this integrated mindful practice and achieve moments of serenity in the midst of turmoil. You will feel empowered, uplifted and at one with yourself and life. Life will begin to feel sacred. This approach is not right for everyone. It requires the ability to become an objective observer and trust in a Higher Order.
If you can briefly let go of your emotional investment in a negative situation, you will be lifted into an oasis of harmony and peace. Apply this mindful practice to minor situations at first and work your way to the ones that cause you the most stress. With practice, you will be able to accept more and condemn less, flow more and resist less, and surrender more and control less. Inner peace is possible; it is just a shift in perception away.
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