17 Nov 2016
The Secret to Creating a Peaceful Life
When we think about living in peace we often think of all the things on the outside that need to change for this to happen, but Mother Teresa knew the secret when she said “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
The truth is that peace starts with us, even more so, it starts within us.
Here are 5 ways to start living a more peaceful life.
“Possession of material riches, without inner peace, is like dying of thirst while bathing in a lake.”
Simplifying surprisingly brings a sense of security, freedom, and peace. You can begin to simplify today by starting to ask the question to any new thing you are deciding on bringing into your life, whether it is an item, person or commitment
“Will this add any real value to my life?” If the answer is ‘no’…let it go.
2. Do what you enjoy.
“Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you’ll have more success than you could possibly have imagined.”
Work takes up a large part of our day, so it is definitely an area that can play a large part in cultivating a peace filled life. When you do what you are enjoying what you do there is an effortless and spontaneous peace that arises within. This is because you are in alignment with your inner world as you participate in the outer world.
I have spoken with lots of people who really dislike the work they do and my thoughts on this is that we live in the 21st century where we now can choose to experience the freedom to explore options like never before and most work or business opportunities are not closed off to us because of our class, race, background or gender. What really determines our opportunities is our courage to take a risk and get out of our comfort zone, be prepared to put all your passion and energy into it, don’t care about the opinion of others and go out an explore what options are waiting for you!
How can you find out what it is that you would love doing? Start by being open to life. Get out there with an open mind, give everything a try at least once – whether it is trying a different type of food, going for a drive or exploring the shops in a different part of your city, taking a surf lesson, belly dancing class, seeing a different genre of movie and most importantly take time to have conversations with people you don’t always interact with – strangers often are the universe’s divine messengers. The point is to be curious and consciously engage with life. Then observe where your energy an attention really enjoys going and ‘follow the breadcrumbs’. Meaning as you become more aware of what you enjoy you will notice more doors opening for opportunities to experience more of what you are enjoying. All you need to do is then take the action of stepping (peacefully) through that door. There is no struggle when you are doing what you enjoy.
3. Forgive the Past
When we are practicing inner peace, accepting what is it in the present moment is much easier to let go of things and to forgive things that have happened in the past.
Being able to truly forgive is considered the master class lesson for all those interested in their spiritual development. It is an important practice because when you don’t forgive someone don’t forgive someone you are forever linked to that person with negative energy – your energy, and it is you that is filled with negative energy, not them.
When you are spending your precious life energy by creating negative thoughts to return to the person who wronged you and what s/he did over and over again, you are literally draining (wasting) your time and energy to keep that link alive. Think of it like an energetic telephone wire running between you and the people you need to forgive.
When you forgive another you are releasing yourself from pain and agony.
Another secret I wish to share is that , one person who desperately needs your forgiveness is yourself. Make peace with yourself by letting your past go – whether that is something you did yesterday or 10 years ago. You did the best you knew how at the time, you know better now, so give yourself a hug, cry, say sorry and promise from this moment on the slate has been wiped clean to move forward with love and trust for yourself and be at peace with the past.
4. Accept the present
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” The Serenity Prayer
When you accept ‘what is’ you stop feeding energy into resisting the reality the present moment.
When you focus on labelling something as be ‘a problem’ you give it more power, and so the problem grows.
Even though it may seem counter intuitive, when you practice accepting what is it without judging it, situations or people that where previously labelled ‘problems’ seem to transform or disappear and you are just left with the peace of accepting each moment as it comes with a sense of deep inner peace.
This doesn’t mean that you become a completely passive person who accepts anything and everything in their life. It is about developing the wisdom to ‘accept the things you can not change and the courage to change the things you can.’
5. Stay in the Present Moment
“There is a criterion by which you can judge whether the thoughts you are thinking and the things you are doing are right for you. The criterion is: Have they brought you inner peace?” Peace Pilgrim
How much inner peace is lost by people worrying about their future, if they will be ok, if they will have enough – love, money, security? The answer is a lot.
We can get ourselves into states of great anxiety or depression focusing on all the negatives things that may or may not happen. What if I lose my job or don’t get that promotion? What if I can’t pay off my home loan / credit card? What if he / she breaks my heart? The different thoughts can be endless.
The best remedy when you find you are losing your inner peace to worries about the future is to firstly breathe and bring yourself consciously back into your body and notice where you are and what is around you at present because usually our minds have taken us to a fantasy / nightmare realm and we aren’t even aware of where we presently are.
Then ask yourself – Am I alive and safe right now? Do I have enough money/things/love in my possession to cover my needs right now (or at the most for the next hour)? Do have enough energy, love and trust in myself that I can do the next immediate thing I need to do right now? If the answer is yes, then focus solely on living that next hour to the best and highest of your ability. If the answer is no, then ask yourself – what can i do right now that will immediately change that state (eg. leave the area, get to a hospital, call a friend)
What you will find is that 1 hour lived to it’s best will add up to a day, a day lived well can add up to a week and a week to a month, a month to year and years to a lifetime of peace.
The great truth is all we have to do is live this present moment to it’s fullest giving it our best and the future will take care of itself, because there is no future. There is only the now, so be at peace with the present because that is the only place where peace can exist.