About Inner peace
Inner peace is the real goal of life. For moments of genuine happiness come but rarely, and quickly fade. Inner peace is a state of self-acceptance in which you stay in present moment awareness, keeping your focus on what you have ready to hand. In this mindful state you remain calm and untroubled.
Here are ten easy ways to find that inner peace, based on my stay on the planet so far.
Declutter your mind
Change your relationship to the mind so that you cease to be a slave to it. Rather than your thoughts driving you, you drive them. Learn to watch as thoughts come and go, defusing from the ones that don’t serve you, and focusing instead on the ones that do. Cut down on distractions and trivial pursuits: social media, apps, newspapers etc., so that your mind remains clear. Cut out multi-tasking, for not only does it make your mind less efficient but it will leave you feeling tense and hurried.
Live in the present moment
This one goes with the one above. Do not dwell on thoughts about the past, or the future. For your memories of the past are selections created by the ego, while thoughts about the future are a worrisome fantasy. You have no power over either. All the possibilities and actions available to you exist right now, in the present moment.
Detach from the Ego
The Ego is your false self, created by conditioning. It lives in the past or the future, and is the enemy of inner peace. Inside it is a craving for things to be different from the way they are: worries, judgments and demands streaming through the mind like an endless torrent. Fuelling your anxiety, rage and self-pity. Giving you the illusion that everything that happens is all about you. Cease to identify with it, and treat it as you would an unwanted guest in your house.
Meditation for inner peace
No doubt you have read this many times before, but mindfulness or meditational practice really is the key to developing inner peace. Research demonstrates that it carries multiple benefits, including enhanced attention to the present moment. And it is entirely free and available to you right now. You can seek out thousands of tapes on YouTube, or on a free app like Insight Timer. If guided (spoken) tapes are not for you, then try sound tapes. If those don’t work then experiment with binaural beats. Not keen on tapes at all? Then find a teacher who can show you how to meditate on the breath. Or work with yoga, tai chi or qi gong.
Focus on the process, not the outcome
This is another ego-trap, in which we worry about the end-product rather than staying in the present moment and giving our best attention to the task in front of us. We imagine that we might not be good enough, or we hurry through the job so that we can move on to the next ‘urgent’ deadline. Or else we fantasise about the ‘happiness’ that will come to us when we complete the goal, and are angry, bitter and resentful when it proves to be illusory.
Always do your best in the moment, for that is its own reward.
Treat misfortunes like the weather
The Ego complains about its lot; peaceful people accept that suffering comes and goes. One day it will rain, and perhaps it will continue to rain for weeks to follow. Or else the sun will return in a few minutes, Hot, sunny weather may persist for months, and so a drought comes on. Misfortunes are like that: they may be with us for a short while, or for longer than we might like. Either way we practice acceptance and work with the possibilities open to us. By degrees circumstances change, and we go on our way in peace.
Slow down your speech
This one simple tip could transform your life. Rapid speech leads to rapid thoughts. And rapid thoughts to restlessness, and loss of present moment awareness. The faster you speak the more you speak, thus wasting energy on words and thoughts without purpose. Years ago, when I was learning hypnosis, I discovered that the ultra -slow rate of speech used by hypnotists had a personal application. When speaking at fifty per cent of the usual rate in everyday life, I felt calmer and more grounded. My thoughts were fewer and to the point, and I communicated a lot better than I did before.
The improvement in inner peace was remarkable. Try it yourself: I recommend you practice speaking as slowly as you can into the recorder on your mobile phone.
Be kind to yourself – and to others
Very few people are capable of unconditional love for other human beings (that may take a lifetime – or several lifetimes to accomplish). For most of us it is enough just to practice kindness to others. But to do that we first have to exercise self-compassion. We are all of us suffering creatures struggling to make sense of life, and getting waylaid by weaknesses, mistakes and misfortunes of various kinds. Practicing self-acceptance leads to acceptance of others, and indirectly to peace of mind. For in acceptance we learn to tolerate the unfortunate behaviours of our fellow human beings.
Simplify your life
Complicated lives lead to cluttered minds. The more possessions and ‘needs’ we carry around with us, the more anxiety we create, and the harder we feel we have to work to earn it all? Do you really need that new iPhone, or would a budget phone work just as well? You don’t have to be a hermit to make your life simpler; just to learn to give up a few ‘must haves’ that you don’t really need.
Connect to the Source
Whether you call it the Source, Being, Universal Mind, The Creator, God or Goddess, there is an intelligence that runs through creation and flows through you. Accessing that deeper intelligence will give you peace. You can achieve that through meditation, prayer or incantations. Another way of approaching it is through developing field consciousness, in which you focus on the vastness of creation, and your minute place within it. You can also find it in when you are out in Nature: in the fields, forests, mountains and seas. Or in your temple, your church, or your mosque.
When you are connected to the Source your ego will fade into the background. When that happens you will start to see more clearly into the heart of peace: that it comes when we let go, and let our deeper intelligence guide us.