GIVE PEACE A CHANCE
Just as John Lennon wrote and sang, we all need to give peace a chance. Peacefulness is not something that we bring into our lives, it is a quality that we find within ourselves. As I have discovered we can move to the mountains to find solitude but if we have not learned to cultivate peace from within ourselves, it is only a matter of time until things happen beyond our control and we lose our sense of calm again. I read someone else's visualization to help cultivate his mind is to hold the vision of a monk sitting calmly in the middle of an earthquake with everything trembling around him, he does not let what is happening in his environment affect his inner state of being.
Life is always changing and is unpredictable. It can bring us happiness even if we can't always hold onto to it. This is what makes it hard to keep some situations pushed away in a special place because they will affect our peace of mind. No matter where we are, it is necessary to learn how to deal with life's ups and downs and stay centered no matter what is happening all around us. Rather than wishing a difficult situation to go away, we can move through the experience more easily if we take the opportunity to learn as much as we can from it. How?
Here are some ways that I have discovered and use in my own sometimes chaotic life:
Reminding myself to 'just breathe.' In a tense moment it is not always the easiest thing to do. That is when our breathing becomes restricted so it is wise to sit still and take 2 or 3 or more deep breaths. This releases tension and helps to center myself again. Then it becomes easier to express feelings in a calm and coherent fashion. It helps to bring a peace of mind to me.
Sometimes we have no control over what is happening around us. What we can control is how we respond to any given situation. This is the time to practice acceptance through breathing and expressing our feelings calmly so that it is easier to go back to peace of mind vs. struggling through it.
There are times such as when in a conflict with another that it might become necessary to set your own boundaries. There are times that you can just say no and walk away if you decide it is not beneficial. When we give ourselves the space to reflect on an incident it can bring us a sense of relief. I will caution that these times are usually in our personal lives. Not with a supervisor who has given you a task that you don't want to undertake. This is the time to breathe and move on and not allow another person to control your emotions.
When stress is taking over it just might be time to get up and move your body. Simple yoga moves or stretching exercises work wonders on a body both physically and mentally. Just move, even if it is a walk around a hallway at work.
When a certain situation is causing confusion it may be time to try talking to yourself or even getting support from family or friends...major problems could even lead you to a support group. There are many of them out there if you live in a metro area.
When troubled, this is one of the best times to be sure that you are taking time to take care of yourself. It is not being selfish. It is a way to nurture yourself back to peace of mind. There are many little ways to do this such as a DIY spa day or one with a specialist. Practicing yoga, reading a good book, painting or another kind of art work...just some YOU time.
There is something to be grateful for in every life situation. This is the way to help us return to a path of peacefulness. As John Lennon wrote and sang,
"All we are saying is give peace a chance."
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