The Heart and Soul of a Peaceful Life

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”
~Norman Cousins

Is your daily life filled with struggle? Are you prone to feeling stressed, out of sorts, and just plain unhappy?

It is absolutely true that a peaceful life is possible for you. It’s not going to happen by magic, and it might take a while for the changes to settle in. But if you decide to make peace a priority, then you will start to notice that it seeps in everywhere.  Where you once saw disharmony and confusion, you now experience peace and ease.

Openness and Grace

A peaceful life doesn’t mean that challenges and difficulties don’t arise. It is not about creating a perfect life or engineering things to be exactly as you want them to be. After all, how much control do you really have over what happens?

The heart of a peaceful life has everything to do with how you receive what you experience. Circumstances arise, and you have emotional reactions to them. You get laid off, and you feel angry. The love of your life shows up, and you are filled with joy.

Peace comes when you say “Yes!” to the reality of all your experiences with openness and and grace.

When you stand squarely in the possibility of peace, anything can arise, and you – peaceful and accepting – are not disturbed.

Discovering Peace

Are you ripe for a peaceful life? Ponder these, and let your stress melt away.

Live without expectations.

If what you expect doesn’t happen, you are primed for disappointment or frustration. Expectations are in conflict with life and make you resist what is naturally offered to you.

But if you don’t expect anything, you are open to receiving life as it unfolds naturally.  You are in sync with reality.

Recognize when expectations have taken over your thoughts. Reconnect with your longing for a peaceful life, let the filter of expectations go, and take things in exactly as they are.

Don’t take things personally.

If you evaluate everything according to your needs and desires, you are bound to feel hurt. Rarely, are people actually trying to hurt you. The situation has simply triggered an old feeling that you are lacking something.

Explore this feeling to its root by letting go of the story and experiencing the sensations in your body. You will find that underneath the sense that something is unfulfilled in you is an ocean of abundance. Life is always so generous with more love available than you could ever imagine.

Use feeling hurt as an opportunity to explore within, and your relationships will be so much more harmonious.

Feel the pain of judging and criticizing.

Judging and criticizing thoughts are so harsh. By repeating them, we do a kind of violence to ourselves and we feed separation from others.

Rather than trying to stop judging, which may be hard if it is a habit, let yourself feel the effects of these thoughts. When you judge, how do you feel inside? How do others feel? What is the effect on your relationships?

As often as you are aware, feel the pain of judging and criticizing. Then you are in a position to make the intelligent, peaceful choice.

Give up your need to be right.

Arguing your viewpoint brings suffering to your everyday life. If you need to be right, you will see others as wrong. You will react to their opinion and try to change their perspective. Needing to be right is all about resistance.

Instead, bring to mind your desire for peace. Does needing to be right serve? What options do you have besides pushing your point?

Try deep listening to understand the other’s point of view. Lovingly, with an open and generous heart, let others have their way. Decide to be close and connected instead of right.

Peace will pour into your life like a waterfall.

Don’t hide from your feelings.

When feelings are too strong or painful to experience, they go underground and wreak all kinds of havoc on your life. This is the source of addictions, complicated relationship dynamics, and general anxiety and dissatisfaction.

The road to peace is to be kind and friendly toward your emotions. Welcome them like a gracious host, and allow them to be present without acting on them.

Avoiding or indulging your feelings gives rise to endless dramas that are far from peaceful. Instead, simply take your stand as loving awareness and let them be.

Your Peaceful Life

A lovely, peaceful life is available for you. Commit to being aware of your inner life to see how suffering appears. Clarify your understanding of how you turn essentially neutral occurrences into problems. Then turn away from the battle with yourself and the world, and let things be.

You will know the heart and soul of the peaceful life.

Are you doing war with yourself? Have you discovered peace? We’d all love to hear…

 

 

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