Four Ways to Grow Inner Peace
Peace is a fundamental quality of our deepest nature, the essence of every human soul. We lose touch with this truth through the development of our ego selves and the conditioning we experience as infants and children. By the time we reach adulthood, the fast pace of life, responsibilities of work, family, relationships and day-to-day living eclipse our awareness, making the experience of our peaceful nature even more elusive.
If we are lucky, we get a rare moment where we feel at ease, contented, still, unruffled. Usually we long for “that time” in the future when we can settle, when we believe conditions will be just right for us to feel relaxed, at peace with ourselves. Unfortunately, getting “there” does not satisfy us for long before we begin our search once more.
Inner peace is experienced in the moment, in the here and now. And, like a seed that’s planted in us, it needs a nutrient rich soil, sun, rain and protection from pests and weeds.
Each of us has the capacity to nurture this seed by paying attention to:
Self-care: Healthy eating, exercise, hydration, positive mental input and self-talk, emotionally supportive relationships, meditation, quiet time, spiritual practices, etc. These practices are the soil that supports the emergence of peace in our lives.
Awareness and being present: This is the sun that helps us find and illuminates the truth in our experience.
Acceptance of what is happening in the moment brings an ease of living, a flow, like water that seeps into the soil, nurturing the seed.
Challenging, understanding of and compassion for the voices of the inner critic (itty bitty shitty committee) and our limiting and misinformed beliefs loosens the hold of the pests and weeds, allowing more space for peace to grow.
While this process requires our participation, it cannot be forced, coerced or rushed. Like being a gardener, we are not in charge. We can only support or hinder the process. Support takes waking up to our conditioning, especially how we see ourselves and the ideas we have about who, where or how we think we or life should be. Hindering means keeping the status quo and wishing for that time in the future that will never come.
Which do you choose?