Inner peace is often viewed as a somewhat elusive experience that comes and goes of it’s own accord, one which we have very little control over. Inner peace, or lack thereof, is directly related to our levels of bad stress. Yes, there are good forms of stress too! Bad types of stress such as chronic stress have been proven scientifically to be debilitating to our mental, emotional and physical health and well being. Therefore, learning to achieve some inner peace and calm and sustain it really isn’t optional if we truly care about our health and the quality of our life and of those who we spend the most time with.
Everything we think and feel are the product of various choices we make whether we realize it or not. I know that may be hard to understand for some people, but it’s the basis for being able to actually take charge of your life fully. In taking charge of your life more fully you will be increasingly empowered to experience life as you wish to far more often. I’m not speaking of changing the outer circumstances of your life either, although these may indeed change to some degree as you take charge of your life more fully.
In my use of the term ‘taking charge of your life’ I am referring to your inner life, your inner responses and reactions to all of life’s circumstances and situations. You, and only you, have control over your inner responses and reactions. This is always true, even though it may seem that something external to you must have some mysterious power over you to control your inner responses and reactions much of the time.
When this seems to be true, it’s only because the choices we’re making that lead to our inner responses and reactions are not fully conscious, if at all. They instead are mostly being instituted from the level of our subconscious mind. A lot of our subconscious mind is instinctive and works on patterns that get replayed like an old vinyl record that has a scratch and keeps skipping back to replay the same music over and again. We could also call these patterns habits.
Habits can be helpful to have when they serve some fruitful purpose. Like when you learned to ride a bicycle, it was tough at first until your body and subconscious mind learned the patterns necessary to maintain balance while pedaling and steering the bike. This habitual development then allowed your conscious awareness to pay better attention to where you were actually going on the bike so you could ride safely all by yourself without any training wheels or an adult hovering nearby. The habit developed served the purpose of making a bike easier and safer to ride.
Earlier in life you also adopted patterns regards how you responded and reacted to various things that you faced in life. Some of these were gleaned from your parents and other adults which had some type of authoritative role in your life. As a child, however, another person just being an adult sort of makes them an authority anyway. As a child watching how adults in your life or in movies and on television responded to various situations became deeply embedded into your subconscious mind and being.
Subconscious patterns being embedded within you are not limited to your childhood experiences either, that’s just where it began. Where all these patterns come from and how they got there is a complex topic. I only address it here briefly to elucidate why our inner reactions and responses are in fact choices largely being made from our subconscious mind and being.
The good news is that you do not have to know what these patterns are or where they came from to be able to update them so they become patterns that can truly serve you, and which feel much more in accord with HOW you really wish to experience life as a human being. The word HOW is capitalized in the previous sentence because it’s very important. The what’s, where’s and when’s of life are what we naturally tend to focus on as the most important elements of life.
When it comes to achieving a sustainable state of inner peace, however, the most important thing to be focused on for success is HOW we do things and HOW we respond. Another way of saying this is that HOW we show up in life for anything that we engage is what’s most important. Everything else is circumstantial and to some degree controlled by things external to yourself. We can’t control everything ‘out there.’ We can, however, learn to control what’s inside of us.
I’ll go more deeply into this in the following parts of this blog series. To conclude this one and prepare you for the next, I will ask you to ponder this simple but profound question:
What would your life be like if you could experience inner peace in the form of REAL (not feigned) peace, calm, centeredness and balance, REGARDLESS of what was happening in your life?
Share your thoughts on this question in the comments just under the ‘Next Post’ ribbon below!