20 Feb Mindful Monday | Peace is an inside job
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
What does peace look like to and for you?
Will you find peace when you’re organized? When everything is finally put away and you can always find your keys and cell phone in 30 seconds or less?
Will you find peace when you have a magic number in your checking or savings account?
Or is it even simpler than that: will you find peace once you buy the perfect top to complete the outfit you bought 3 years ago?
Where exactly is peace hiding and why has it been so elusive?
If you’ve been spending your time seeking peace outside of yourself, it’s likely you’ve only caught glimpses of it slipping in and out of the shadows.
It may be challenging to acknowledge that part of your discomfort is due to where you’ve been seeking relief.
Sustainable inner peace has little to do with our jobs, our bank accounts or the way our houses are decorated.
It has everything to do with how we settle into the human condition.
We live in a exaggerated externalized world. We are fed images throughout the day that send us scurrying off in search of something, some event or some person who is going to be the missing piece to our peace puzzle.
Sadly, those searches are being encouraged by people in the business of keeping us unhappy and on edge.
Because then we are primed to be good and steady consumers. We’ll keep buying more stuff in the hopes that something will magically fix whatever it is we think is wrong with us.
What’s wrong with us is that there’s too much noise and stimulation happening out there and the only way to turn it off is to turn it off.
Don’t bring your cellphone into your bedroom at night.
Disconnect from social media at least 2 hours before bedtime.
And get your face out of catalogs and websites selling things you don’t need.
Don’t worry that you can’t seem to sit still for more than 30 seconds. Sit anyway.
Don’t worry that your mind keeps racing ahead with worries about paying the bills, work deadlines or contentious relationships.
Meditation teachers [Susan Piver] and [Sharon Salzberg] tell us we’re not supposed to stop thinking.
In fact, they say, it’s impossible NOT to think.
What they do suggest is to just watch yourself thinking instead of getting attached to WHAT you’re thinking.
If you let go of the expectation that you’ll stop thinking, you may be less stressed out by your thoughts. They are just thoughts. And in 3 seconds, you’ll be thinking something else. Just like that.
In as little as 5 minutes a day, you can reap the rewards [hyperlink to an article outlining the quantifiable benefits of meditation] that meditation offers.
It’s non-denominational, you don’t have to believe anything. You just have to breathe. Something you’re already doing. You’re just going to pay more attention to it.
As you settle down and settle into just breathing, you’ll feel many of the things you are worrying about fall away.
Other worries may rise up and grab your attention … you can just watch those too. No need to do anything.
Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy AND completely portable.
Early for a meeting? Meditate.
Late for a meeting? Meditate.
Stuck in an airport? Meditate.
There isn’t anything you’re doing that a clear and relaxed mind won’t improve.
And you’re sure to find peace quicker and have it stick around longer if you’d only look for it where you’re always sure to be. Right where you are at any given moment.