It has been said that peace of mind is to be sought more than gold itself for it is an unsurpassable riches.
But being deliberately serene, consistently, in the face of most circumstances, is not part of our culture.
In fact, it is considered normal to react and to be very affected by circumstances, on a regular basis. It is accepted that we may stay stuck in a rut if the event was "bad" enough.
It is "human" after all.
And one doesn't want to become detached and cold now, does one?
Here I'll ask : when did indulging in overwhelm ever help us?
Most accidents, suicides, crimes and outrageous behaviors are committed in a state of overwhelm. Loosing one's control, getting upset, reacting, being depressed, loosing hope... all these mental states and their accompanying physical feelings are usually making things worse at all levels for us and others.
In fact, the more we let our emotions run amok, the more powerless we feel, the narrower becomes our vision and the worse results we get, which feeds the aggravating loop of coping and surviving instead of living from a creative standpoint.
It has been studied that fear and worry, anger, resentment, shame, all negative emotions, when indulged regularly for an extended amount of time, have a noxious effect on our very cells and turn on genes that ultimately bring on disease. They also create a chemical dependence in the body for more of the same! As a result, toxic thoughts become chronic, felt as "natural", part of one's comfort zone.
Then what can we do to break the loop...?
I dare say: we need to practice inner peace and make it a priority.
Equanimity and peace of mind can be developed exactly like any other skill, by repetition.
It requires awareness and willingness to be at the helm of our mind. It takes will and desire. It takes doggedness and persistence.
We step in our power when we practice serenity and train ourselves to respond, instead of reacting.
When I know what I feel and how I want to feel, I can redirect my thoughts, help my body handle what emotional upheaval is going on, and choose to stay poised in a very lucid manner.
From a physiological standpoint, peace of mind translates in an organized and harmonious brain activity which optimizes all our vital functions and a greater state of consciousness.
Peace of mind is healing, at a personal and at a global level.
Keeping a flow of positive, serene, optimistic thoughts and a joyful curious attitude, is a powerful support for health and a source of more positive experiences in the outer world.
It opens doors, brings unexpected solutions and new insights, it defuses resistance and reconnects us to the source of Life itself.
Above all, it really gives us access to profound happiness.
The kind of bliss that comes from within... and brings new outer circumstances accordingly.
How can we practice inner peace ?
From my personal experience it takes a sequence of steps that goes more or less like this:
1/ an ardent desire for a greater life in general, or a particular healing in one area
2/ the understanding that our emotional state and the thoughts behind it are pivotal for that healing
3/ commitment to do what it takes to harmonize our inner world and to focus on harmony itself
4/ taking time to sit or lay quietly in gratitude for all that is good, at least twice a day for several minutes, in meditation or in contemplation, usually at wake up and before sleep. Minding our Breath.
5/ growing awareness of what we feel and how we can always reach for highest ground throughout the day. EVERY day. (Using support as needed: mentor, books, audios, workshops, groups, yoga, etc...)
6/ celebrating small achievements and one's life in general with unlimited appreciation
The wonderful part is what we become in the process and the realization of how the way we feel affects the world...
James Allen says it best:
"Tempest-tossed souls, wherever ye may be, under whatsoever conditions ye may live, know this: in the ocean of life the isles of Blessedness are smiling and the sunny shore of your ideal awaits your coming. Keep your hand firmly on the helm of thought."
May the season be propitious to your practice and to your fulfillment...
May you feel at peace.