A common phrase, one that gets tossed around a lot. It’s something most of us would agree that we want, and yet do we even know what it means?
Here’s the basic definition of inner peace:
Inner peace (or peace of mind or inner calmness) refers to a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress.
I like this definition, because it explains that inner peace isn’t just something that we experience when all is well in our world. It is also a state that we can experience when things aren’t going well. When we are stressed out, having a crappy day, or dealing with a major crisis.
It’s really not. It’s totally realistic, and accessible, for those who are determined to have it.
Here’s a quote from one of my favourite books, The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer:
‘The highest spiritual path is life itself. If you know how to live daily life, it all becomes a liberating experience. But first you have to approach life properly, or it can be very confusing. To begin with, you have to realize that you really only have one choice in this life, and it’s not about your career, whom you want to marry, or whether you want to seek God. People tend to burden themselves with so many choices. But, in the end, you can throw it all away and just make one basic, underlying decision. Do you want to be happy, or do you not want to be happy? It’s really that simple. Once you make that choice, your path through life becomes totally clear.’
Most people don’t dare give themselves that choice because they think it’s not in their control. But it is. And if your answer is ‘Yes,’ you have to mean it. That means you can’t qualify it, and say ‘I will be happy when this happens, or when I get this….’
It has to be an unconditional Yes. This is the highest spiritual path.
If you decide you’re going to be happy from now on for the rest of your life, you will not only be happy, you will become enlightened.
But you have to mean it.
And when you mean it, you are now in your place of power. When you mean it, you will no longer give your power away to others, or to circumstances. When you mean it, you are acknowledging that your happiness, your inner peace, is in your control. Of course it is. But we forget.
Here’s the thing. When you decide that from this moment until the end of your life, you choose to be happy, it is an unconditional answer. It has to be. This is a high spiritual path, and a road to enlightenment.
If you do make this choice for yourself, things will happen to test your resolve.
Your car breaks down on the highway. A loved one gets a difficult diagnosis. Your husband leaves you. The stock market crashes.
Now, you have a decision to make. You must decide whether you will break your vow or not.
Because, here’s the deal. Things are going to happen that are out of your control. The only thing we can control is our reaction or response to it. Choosing to be miserable isn’t helping you or anyone else. There is always a reason to be happy. We can be happy simply because we are alive, because we have been given the gift of another day.
This is not easy. It takes real intention, and awareness. It requires the courage to take a hard look at where we have been allowing circumstances and people to affect our inner peace. It is a choice that must be made daily, hourly, minute by minute at times.
And yet. When you make this choice, this vow, and you really mean it, something magical happens.Most folks are happy as they make up their minds to be. Abraham Lincoln #quoteClick To Tweet
You realize that you CAN choose to be happy, no matter what. That you are in control. And that no matter what happens, your inner peace is unshakable, because you have chosen it to be.
If you want to experience this for yourself, I have a couple of suggestions that will help you.
–Know the comfort zones in your thoughts. We all have familiar patterns of thinking that we gravitate to, especially during times of stress or difficulty. Perhaps it’s sadness, anger, self-criticism, or criticizing others. Understanding where your thoughts tend to go automatically is a big help. These are your comfort zones. They don’t feel good, but they are familiar and our minds go to these thoughts easily, just like a needle on the groove of a record. Bring awareness to the times when you go there. The more awareness you have, the easier it is to choose something else.
–Practice when things are good. Choosing happiness, or inner peace, is a practice. It’s like flexing a new muscle that you haven’t used before. It takes practice to get stronger. The more you can practice when things are relatively smooth in your life, the stronger you will get and the easier it will be to choose it when something challenging happens.
–Understand your inner energy. Notice what it feels like when you are happy. Your heart feels open, and energy rushes inside of you. When you aren’t happy, your heart feels closed and there is no energy inside. Pay attention to how both of these feel. When something bad happens, your mind is telling you that you need to close. But you don’t have to. You can learn not to close. The minute you feel yourself closing, catch yourself and choose to remain open.
–Meditate. Meditation is the practice of remaining open. It is the place where we relax our heart and bring ourselves to a state of openness and happiness and peace. This is the training ground for the rest of our day. Begin your day with meditation. Re-commit every morning to choosing happiness.
It is easy to get into a habit of being affected by everyone and everything. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can choose happiness for yourself, and experience it every day for the rest of your life. It’s your choice.
If you want to learn more about inner peace, happiness, and find support and further teaching and encouragement as you journey to your best life, come join me in my Facebook group, Women of Passion, Power and Peace. I’d love to have you be a part of a tribe of amazing women who are committed to growth and realizing their biggest dreams. Click the link below to join.