We are living in times of great change and inner peace is eluding many people. As we move through 2021, the external world shows up in waves of new and conflicting information that is threatening to divide family and friends. How do we find inner peace? How do we nourish our relationships when we seem to have divergent beliefs and opinions?
As I write this article, I find that several doors in the house are open. I’m frustrated that mosquitoes are being let in and they all seem to be converging on me. Back at my desk, after grabbing a snack, I discover a handful of new bites. I’m irritated my requests to keep doors closed and standing water eliminated continue to fall on deaf ears. My skin is inflamed and itchy, leaving me flustered and without inner peace.
All in all, the open door is a minor incident. Yet these small things can set us off, which can lead to a downward spiral of negativity. Physical discomfort preoccupies our mind and distracts us from our awareness of what’s going on. So how do I recover my inner peace?
- Acknowledge how I feel. Become aware of my bodily sensations as well as emotions. What thoughts are attached to these feelings? What fears are triggered? With this awareness, I focus on my breath. When we are stressed, we tend to hold our breath or take shallow breaths. This means that oxygen and life force energy is not circulating throughout the body.
- Be compassionate and self-loving with myself. Humour also helps. “Here I go again” is something I say to myself, acknowledging my humanity and laughing at the patterns I still hold. As I decondition from beliefs, I come to see the deeper layers of patterns in my life. I also come to recognize the freedom I have gained from the other layers that have been excavated.
- Choose my attitude. Faced with petty tyrants, we can choose to be victims or we can choose to be free. The more we default to certain patterns of thinking, those neural pathways become stronger. The question is what do we want to wire together? Check out this article about how to wire for more joy.
This may work for small incidents, you say. What about the larger themes at work? What about finding inner peace in times of change?
Actually it is the same. It’s about us, not the other people. It’s about how graceful we can sit with discomfort. Do we scratch it, like I’ve been trying not to with my bites? How violent do we get with ourselves and others, physically, verbally, and emotionally to protect ourselves? Like mosquito bites, the discomfort eventually dissipates.
It’s also about our perception and our filters. How we receive information is dependent on past experiences which determine the filters we have. Other people cannot make us feel/be safe if we don’t feel it ourselves. What’s going on at this moment is increasing censorship of information, a battle of my expert is more expert than yours. The thing is, we will find sources and resources that reinforce what we believe. The key then is to keep an open mind and release our prejudices. Healing past trauma also changes our brain and helps is feel safe again within our body. Many people have found success with EDMR, tapping, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Nutripuncture, and Biofeedback.
If you are struggling with “agreeing to disagree”, think back to why you are friends in the first place or why you have love for your family. Remember all the ways you appreciate them. Accepting ourselves as we are and others as they are is the big lesson. One question I’ve been asking myself is “is this how I want to use my life force?”
Finding inner peace is being at the centre of who we are. Being centred in our energy allows us to better navigate times of great change.