Life can be so incredibly confusing. The ups, the downs. The bliss, the pain. The achievements, the adversities. Where is it all going? When do we get to simply relax and enjoy?
For whatever reason, I was born with an intense desire to make sense of all of this life confusion. I knew there had to be better ways and maybe even “THE WAY” to living a great life. It has been my sole lifelong obsession and led me to my current career as a Life Coach & Writer.
In my earlier years, I attempted to tackle this pursuit by working aggressively to maintain all of the signs of outward success. Through the “gift” of much adversity that is always given when we try to control, I learned that this approach was futile. No matter how many boxes I could check off my checklist, there was always more to do. No matter how much I did, I never felt satiated, fulfilled…nowhere even close to blissful. I was regularly left depleted and the short bursts of happiness were never enough to make my time on the hamster wheel seem worth it all.
Exhaustion finally had its way with me, which took me to my knees…and as is always the case – to a place of beautiful surrender. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, we all begin to win when we fully accept that we are not the Masters of the Universe; that we are mere mortals incapable of truly running the show. Our greatness lies not in what our confused and limited minds can conceive, but in a far more powerful connection that can be accessed only through our heart & souls. When we stop trying to control and allow a greater wisdom to lead us in our lives, FINALLY a chance of true peace arrives.
We stop looking for our happiness without and go within. We focus our attention on developing our personal power and worry less about the list of material and external pursuits that will never accompany us after death. We allow our Heart & Soul to lead us. We focus on being kinder; being of service. We recognize how negative thoughts, words and deeds prevent us from true progress. We work to eliminate gossip, criticism and other negative habits. With time, all of the things we once worked so very hard to “get”, are now gracefully gliding right into our lives.
So where to start?
For me, I found my way with the following Keys to a Peaceful Life –
#1 – Know Thyself
Work to understand what your true desires are for your life. Anything that leaves you feeling passionate and excited is your Soul’s way of communicating the path that leads to ultimate happiness. Google the words “Vision Board” and read or listen to books around the subject of Manifesting your Dreams. Make it a priority to discover and be very clear on what you really want your life to be about. If you enjoy reading, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho does a great job of inspiring one to reawaken to the power of our dreams.
#2 – Work to Eliminate Negativity
Nothing can be gained with negativity…ever. Gossip, criticism and other types of negative communication and habits keep you stuck in the cycle of constant “yuck.” Whether it’s you, or those around you, take the time to deeply recognize how impossible it would be for you to beautifully blossom, when you are regularly inhaling toxicity. I could write pages on this, but if you want to address this in your life, a gazillion resources are out there. You may want to consider reading A Complaint Free World, by Will Bowen. It includes a 30-day “No Complaint” challenge that you can take with your friends/family/colleagues.
#3 – Take Time for Yourself
Make a commitment to take 5-30 minutes each day for YOU (meaning your Heart & Soul). Journal, pray, reflect, meditate, do affirmations…do whatever helps bring you closer to this greater connection I mentioned. REFUSE to live on auto-pilot. Check-in with yourself. Are you living with intention? Are you working on creating a healthier (less negative) life? What’s holding you back? Is there something more you need to be doing? Is there something less you need to be doing? This goes hand-in-hand with the first key (Know Thyself). This is your time to evaluate how it’s all moving along.
One additional word of advice here – I highly recommend you choose an amount of time that is SUSTAINABLE. If you tell yourself you will do this for an hour every day, you may completely give up if you skip a few days. Better to do 5-minutes successfully every day, than to completely abandon the pursuit because you feel like it can’t be done with a bigger amount of time. Start small and once the habit is ingrained, you can go bigger, if you like. No stress! PEACE ONLY!
#4 Stop the Debate
Maybe it’s just me (since I don’t recall this being referenced by other teachers), but I feel one of our BIGGEST problems in life is our obsession with debate. We hesitate to embrace any type of self-improvement method because we are so wrapped up in immediate skepticism and judgment about what’s right and what’s wrong. It is classic analysis-paralysis. Rather than jumping in and just TRYING something, we do NOTHING because we are so busy with discrediting various theories. It is the ultimate constipation. Just LET GO…give it a shot. If something doesn’t work for you, simply adjust. If you don’t agree with a message because it messes with your spiritual beliefs, dismiss that piece. Just realize deeply that you need to get started NOW, if you want to have true life peace. Don’t get so caught up in it being perfect. Once you start to really “Know Thyself” this will all come very naturally and the ONLY message that will be guiding you is the one that is powerfully orchestrating from your Heart & Soul…now THAT is peaceful baby!
#5 Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
It can be SO HARD to make any progress when our life is cluttered. It just feels heavy and way too overwhelming. Whether it is too much stuff, too many commitments, or too many people in our business, there is only ONE person who can ever change that…yep, that would be US (YOU).
It feels unnatural at first, so start with baby steps. Start by evaluating how you FEEL about the people, the things and other commitments you have in your life. If you feel energized and uplifted by something, this is GOOD…keep it. If you feel depleted and negative about something, this is a sign that you need to consider letting go of it (or at least start to create distance or find an alternative). If you feel neutral, you can decide if it serves you best to keep it, or to let go.
The PEACE comes in, because you can REST knowing that you are making the right decision. If you are adjusting to have more that uplifts you and less that depletes you, this is not a selfish act. It is for the protection of everyone involved. When you are uplifted, you can uplift those around you. Forget goals and feelings of obligation…those were conceived with your mind. Your Heart & Soul knows what is TRULY the right way, and your feelings here will always guide you. (Pretty awesome GPS.)
Work diligently to protect yourself…surround yourself with that which uplifts you and work to let go of anything that depletes you. As you do this, you will be rewarded with greater peace and happiness that you can in turn, share with your loved ones and the world around you. Again, this is a subject I could write pages on, but if you really want to make this change, do the work. Reflect on it, keep it as a goal, and find the resources out there to better work towards this goal.
#6 Be Gentle with Yourself
Human = Imperfect. EVERY SINGLE LAST ONE OF US. It is so crazy to ponder the fact that so many of us are so hard on ourselves. Perfection is not only impossible, it is also NO FUN. Instead, go for PEACE. When you have peace, you will be the most perfect you have ever been anyway! You will be more physically attractive to all who encounter you, you will be more loved/liked, you will more gracefully manage business & money and MOST IMPORTANTLY, you will be MUCH HAPPIER.
We are SUPPOSED to mess up. We are here to learn. We never came here to have it all figured out from birth. Realize deeply that EVERY LAST ONE OF US regularly experiences adversity and failure. Try to laugh at it…enjoy the craziness of life. Forgive yourself. When you can deeply accept that you are an imperfect human and that NO ONE will ever be perfect, you can finally relax. Commit deeply to loving yourself, to knowing failure and adversity is SUPPOSED to be a part of your life to help you learn…and enjoy the ride.
Hope these 6 Keys to a Peaceful Life were helpful. I can only speak from my experience when I say that I have never been more peaceful, and thus, never been happier.
Wishing you all a beautiful day!