”It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”
Do you live your life from a place of inner peace? Have you found inner peace? Do you think inner peace is something you can find, or is it already in us waiting to be uncovered?
Whenever I ask these questions I get varied answers, which is par for the course I guess.
We all have different perceptions of what we consider inner peace. To some, inner peace means lying on a beach in the sun minding their own business listening to the waves. Others say listening to music and relaxing is a way of finding inner peace. It can vary so greatly.
To me, those examples are ways of momentarily achieving inner peace, with the knowledge they have to end at some point. And what happens when it ends? We begin searching for the next thing to find temporary fulfillment.
The 12 steps I’d like to share are things I continually do to add more inner peace without the need to go anywhere to find it temporarily. I see these steps as crucial inner life skills which create a harmonious balance on an emotional, psychological and spiritual level.
I hope they benefit you as much as they do me.
1. Value Yourself.
If you ask ”Do I truly value myself?”, what is the answer that comes to you immediately? Majority of people say they don’t, which isn’t at all surprising.
Negative self-talk and constantly beating ourselves up will never allow us to find the inner peace that is waiting for us. Don’t settle for less, and know your worth. Give yourself a pat on the back for even the smallest of achievements, as we tend to shun them off as they’re nothing.
All the small things add up. Observe how easy and nonchalantly you put yourself down without a second thought.
If there’s any habit to form, it’s becoming more mindful of and stopping negative self-talk, which will start to shift towards valuing yourself on a greater level.
Meditation is a great tool to help you find your inner peace.
There’s countless ways to meditate, but the one I find that really allows me to go inwards is ‘no mind’ meditation. This means allowing everything that comes into your consciousness whilst you’re meditating.
So allow every thought, emotion and sensation you experience. Let it do its thing and offer it no resistance.
You are the awareness and observer of all that you experience, and not the experience itself. Your growth and freedom lies in understanding this.
Be still, go within and experience the beauty that lies waiting for you.
3. Do not suppress emotions.
If you’re wanting to add more inner peace to your life, suppressing your emotions won’t get you there.
I see it all too often in people, and many have become that skilled at shutting themselves down that they’re not aware they’re in suppression mode.
Give your emotions the respect they deserve and learn to feel each and every one of them. When you feel emotion, that is your body’s way of talking to you – so listen and allow.
Feel like crying? Do it. Sit with whatever wants to come up and be very open to it. There’s not many people I know who feel comfortable doing this, and I understand why, but it’s also worth understanding the more you are open and willing to feel and allow your emotions, the greater the inner peace you will discover.
4. Choose your environment wisely.
We pick up and often absorb the energy we surround ourselves in, so it’s really important and wise to be selective who we spend our time with.
For those who suffer negative energy associated to their job with no option to change environments; then it comes down to working on acceptance. Either that or leave if it’s an option.
We don’t have to be the over the moon about an environment we’re in, but to reduce the impact of it we can accept it, but at the same time choose not to absorb it.
See it for what it is without taking it personally.
Aside from work, choose wisely who you spend your time with outside of work too. If you’re falling out of alignment with your friends due to how much you’re growing mentally, emotionally and spiritually – it can have an impact on you. I speak from experience here.
Look after yourself, as the discomfort you feel will only increase the more your self-awareness does, so if needs be, protect your energy by reducing your time spent with those who aren’t lifting it.
5. Be honest.
Being honest with not only yourself, but others too, is the route to discovering inner peace.
Whereas lies and dishonesty is the route to avoiding inner peace.
Justifying the use of dishonesty as being worthwhile at the time, truly isn’t in the long run. What feels justifiable and peaceful at the time is temporary, and ultimately must come to an end. The ‘justifiable’ feeling ends up as an energetic block, which is then usually projected externally in the form of negative emotions towards others.
Don’t be frightened of speaking the truth. Know that you’re not going to please everyone, and some people aren’t always going to like what they hear, but this is for them to deal with. Don’t carry the responsibility of neglecting your own inner peace by protecting someone else’s emotional reactions.
6. Remove distractions.
Distractions are one of the biggest culprits in avoiding inner peace.
It’s backward thinking, but most people think the more they have, want, achieve or do, will find them inner peace; though most aren’t consciously aware of this.
Distractions are actually taking you further away from inner peace. The mind is always seeking – it doesn’t want peace.
Are you always busy? Do you always have plans at every opportunity? Are you on with the next home project or planning the next holiday?
These are things we don’t give a second thought, yet these are the things that are guilty of taking us away from our inner peace.
7. Follow your heart.
Do the things that your heart yearns for. Nourish and satisfy it. Watch your inner peace blossom.
Going against your heart is made apparent by the feeling of emptiness it leaves us with. It’s like a lost child looking for its parent.
Do what feels right and follow it through until you get there. Ignore it and you will suffer, remaining free from inner peace.
8. Admit you’re wrong.
Hold you’re hand up when you’re wrong.
Wanting to be right is the ego. What feels satisfying at the time ‘winning’ the war, is soon gone. The ego inflates like a balloon, but is then burst a short while later. What goes up must go down; the same applies to the ego.
Feel the sense of inner peace wash over you when you admit you’re wrong. Keep repeating this practice and your inner peace will never be more apparent.
9. Face your demons.
It’s not easy facing our fears, but most of us avoid doing so.
It can be painful, and we like to avoid discomfort wherever possible thinking our life will be more blissful if we have things exactly as we want them, but we are delusional if we think that.
Know that the very fact you’re living life in avoidance mode, means you’re existing, not living. You think you’re safe, but the reality is that you’re quite the opposite as you’re living in fear knowing your demons are always there left unattended to.
And when they rear their ugly head, you revert to type and run away from them; and so the cycle repeats itself.
This isn’t inner peace. This is a living inner torture.
Confront your insecurities, demons and fears head-on. Befriend them. Show them love. I have tackled many inner demons, and in doing so it has quite literally transformed me as a person.
10. Let go of the past.
Time itself – in a psychological sense – has never, nor will ever exist. Tell me one person who has ever touched the past? It cannot happen. The past is a memory, that is all.
Everything happens in the same moment; the only moment there is, which is now (I will do an article at a later date explaining why psychological time doesn’t exist and how knowing this will keep you in the present moment) .
What has happened cannot be undone and re-written how you would like it to be.
You cannot change the outcome of World War 2; it has happened – it has gone.
The same thought process should be taken into account when it comes to clinging on to any past situation of yours.
It cannot change. Let it go. Be free.
You will never find inner peace if your mind is living in the past.
11. Forget the future.
This is a similar process as the point above about the past.
Just like you cannot touch the past, you also cannot go forward and grab the future, as it doesn’t exist either – not in a psychological time perspective sense anyway.
Obsessing over the future is worry. You cannot speed anything up by thinking about it incessantly.
You also cannot tell what the outcome will be by running through the situation in your head repeatedly. It will happen when it happens, which isn’t a moment before it’s ready to.
Stay present and don’t stress about the future. You inner peace loves staying in the Now.
12. End disputes.
We’ve all had the uncomfortable feeling of unsettled disputes lingering within us.
What happens to them? Where does the energy go?
It stays inside us, that’s what happens. We don’t deserve to be lugging around dark energy like that inside us. Settle any disputes clinically, efficiently and as peaceful as possible.
If you don’t, you’re left with feelings of potential guilt, shame, anxiety, resentment, anger, hurt etc – all of which are polar opposites of the feeling inner peace provides.
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