LETTING GO SERIES: How To Achieve Inner Peace in a Chaotic World
The world is continuously changing. It feels like time has sped up, and for most, it is getting tougher to keep pace with it all. In our attempts to do/have/and be, we've made sacrifices; our relationships, sleep, and downtime have all been affected. But none more so than our inner peace. Thankfully, we are shifting out of busyness and "the work above all else" mindset, opting instead for more balance, as we continue to pursue our desires. The challenge, however, becomes consistently operating from a place of peace when all the stuff is still competing for your attention.
Today we conclude the Letting Go series, touching on the obstacles to achieving inner peace. Check out the previous posts in this series by clicking the links below:
A newfound or rediscovered understanding that this life is meant to be enjoyed, not just plotted as a means of getting from point A to point B is just the beginning.
So how does one achieve and sustain inner peace? That was one of the first things I wanted to know after struggling and failing to strike a realistic balance between everything I wanted to accomplish, what was coming at me during the day, and the desire to elevate my being to a place that I could handle it as if from on high.
Here are a few things that will help you as you learn to navigate your stress-filled, and expectation-laden landscape while remaining firmly in control of your inner peace and wellbeing.
#1 EXAMINE YOUR STORY
I'd built an entire story around the attainment of inner peace. I wish someone would have suggested I check into my own story, first. It would've drastically reduced my learning curve! In my mind's eye, when I imagined inner peace it meant elevating myself mentally to a specific place; like a holy man sitting high atop a mountain, in a state of bliss. Achieving peace required absolute quiet and no distractions. But, I'm no monk, and there aren't any mountains in my neck of the woods. I had to let go of the fantasy I created (and was trying to achieve) in favor of cultivating inner peace in the midst of my crazy life.
Save time and frustration by asking yourself some fundamental questions. What does inner peace mean to you? Is it walking around in a bubble of bliss, with a loving smile on your face, and kind words for everyone? Is it never experiencing conflict, or negativity, or fear? Perhaps, you envision incremental changes like not immediately jumping to level 10 anger when the barista gets your order for a half-caf/decaf almond milk latte wrong, or things don't go according to plan on that project the boss assigned to you. Honestly, it's best to start with the little things, like your coffee order. It's the little things, the things overlooked, that often derail us. Over time, small changes add up, and before you know it, you'll be the blissed-out girl whose inner peace is unshakable!
Life is a package deal, and with it comes joy, love, and peace. However, it also includes mega-doses of stress and struggles to overcome. Although you want to be the best you, every day, and at all times, it won't happen. Strive to be the greatest version of yourself, but accept that it is a process. One that does not mean achieving perfection or never being even slightly annoyed (or worse) ever again. You will miss the mark, but don't beat yourself up over it. You're under construction (and will be your entire life). Accept it.
#3 GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD - Everything is amplified in there!
Now that you know your story get out of your head. The mind has the ability to mess you up; making mountains out of molehills if you let it. If it seems that you are wrestling to gain a sense of peace about a specific situation, it's an indication you're too wrapped up in your thoughts. Inner peace occurs in moments. You can create more of it in your life by doing some elementary things - go for a walk (with no particular destination or time frame), exercise, spend time with a friend. A change of scenery, physical activity, or engaging with someone else -enjoying the pleasure of their company, and seeking nothing in exchange - is a creative act. These are easy ways to change your focus, to tune-in to pleasurable things. Living in the moment is one of the keys to achieving inner peace.
#4 BE SELECTIVE. DON'T OPEN UP YOUR LIFE TO EVERYONE
You've probably heard the saying, too many cooks spoil the pot. That's true, and not just in the kitchen. The more you share, the more advice you will receive - both solicited and unsolicited. All that chatter can get stuck in your head. After a while, it's hard to distinguish your thoughts from everyone else. It's wise to have good counselors, proven and trustworthy sources of support, but keep your circle of trusted confidants small. I would say 3 or less; yes women (that friend who, no matter what, agrees with everything you say) and fearmongers should not have a seat at the table.
#5 LEAD WITH YOUR HEART INSTEAD OF YOUR EYES
It may sound cliche, but your heart knows the direction to inner peace. Pay more attention to it. I'm purposely leaving this one short because it's worth meditating on for clarity about what is driving you. The conflict you feel is another key to your transformation. Make a shift here, and you'll see an uptick in peace, happiness, and your contentment.
The challenge will never completely go away, but minimizing the impact of outside influences is doable. Approaching your journey with intention and having the right tools makes all the difference! Remember, everything begins and ends with you.
Comment below to let me know what's working on your path to inner peace and by all means share the message. Inner peace is for everyone. Get the right resources for your personal transformation journey. Subscribe to Hue + Culture.
Cheers to your transformation!