Start with “I accept”.
Your inner peace will follow.
Setting off on my ultra-run across Asia, I imagined a fabulous running experience. I would pass through a number of countries from one beautiful place to another. Meet lots of people on the way, eat local food, and take pictures in some of the most beautiful places in the world.
But for the first 7 days, there was a torrential thunderstorm and flooding in Vietnam. It literally rained constantly. After 5 days I was the only person on the street, running in heavy rain. All shops and restaurants were closed and the streets turned into rivers with water up to my knees.
Sitting down on the side of the road I decided to give up on fighting with circumstances. I took a camera from my backpack, started recording the journey and chose to accept two things.
You can’t control everything.
You can control how you respond.
For me, that’s inner peace.
In this blog post, I’ll be diving into my knowledge and experience of inner peace and hopefully help you to find your own. We’ll be touching on the following;
- What is Inner Peace
- The Tough Road to Acceptance
- 4 Tips to Find Inner Peace
What is Inner Peace?
Learning how to accept what is out of your control, and focus your energy on things you can control. You will enter a state of psychological or spiritual calm despite external stressors. This is inner peace in a nutshell.
Our modern society can block our access to inner peace. The working culture can overwhelm us with 9-to-5 life. It is at this point where we need to realize how we’re reacting to the fast-paced outside world. Take a step back and try to reach a balance.
In the book, ‘Steps Toward Inner Peace’, Peace Pilgrim explains “there are those who know and do not do”. These are people who are lost in the materialistic age. We have false factors by which to measure success. It is easy to get swept up in these. But happiness and inner peace are not in that direction. Understanding this will help you to focus on things you can control.
This is obviously easier said than done. The power of acceptance can be very positive, but if you’ve had a difficult past, then part of that journey will be an acceptance of past emotions.
The Tough Road to Acceptance
I don’t believe in good luck, only consistent hard work. I learnt this from my father. He was always saying ‘Tomasz, the job must be done.’ I respect him a lot for this lesson, but there was still something missing in my professional career.
It was too difficult for me to deal with my emotions because many of them were painful. I would choose the easy option. Push them away, put them in a drawer and try to make my life as easy as I can, with a flat line of happiness. But in reality, I was trying to protect myself from childhood trauma.
Ignoring negative feelings and trying to feel good at all times is definitely not recommended. If you do this, it’s as if you’re lying to yourself. Try not to pretend to be in a state of ‘okay’.Try not to pretend to be in a state of ‘okay’. Click To Tweet
Accept the journey
Life is meant to be a journey, full of ups and downs, tragedies and celebrations, tears and smiles. We are supposed to be hurt; we are supposed to feel pain, experience mistakes and failures. Life is supposed to be an uphill hike and a windy climb.
We should fill our hearts with sadness and happiness, our chest with short and deep breaths and cover our skin with terrified and thrilled goose-bumps.
Life is not meant to be one long period of happiness which will calm us down and keep us on the same emotional level forever. Accept your failures and prepare to fail in the future. My failures are part of me; I don’t exist without them. It’s what keeps me feeling alive – and that’s what was missing for all those years. My attitude to accept who I am and to embrace my journey.
“Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.” — Wayne W. Dyer
4 Tips to Find Inner Peace
1.) Write things down
Sounds simple, right?
Try writing down how you’re feeling, as often as you can. This is a great exercise to recognize your feelings. Over time you will begin to understand how you express yourself.
After a month of doing this, look back on what you wrote down and compare your 1st week’s notes with how you’re feeling now. Do you understand yourself better? Do you feel completely different after a month? The more you recognize your feelings, the more in control you’ll be of your body and mind.
2.) Focus on what you can control
To worry is easy, but to worry about things outside of our control is pointless. If you had the choice, would you rather be stressed than calm? I think I know what I would choose.
Anything beyond your control will usually hold you back. Let it be and focus your attention on the controllable parts of your life.
3.) Eat the good stuff
Plant-based foods, natural sugars, Marmite (great source of B-12), fortified oat milk, free-range meat = the good stuff. Your body and mind will thank you for eating these kinds of foods. Maintain a good balance, research which foods are good for brain development, manage your portions. All of these are great habits to get into. They will bring you clarity and help you to function at your best.
4.) Be in nature
Tap into your natural state (similar to the innocence of a child). Go out into nature on a daily basis and be with your thoughts, free from mental noise. It’s an opportunity to check in with yourself. Ask your mind, ‘how are you doing at the moment?’. Listen to your surroundings and embrace natural beauty, both in the outside world and in your mind.
To truly escape, some people will commit to regular weekend retreats or silent weekends. These can be a great experience to revive your mind. Away from the busy corporate world, you can take care of your inner peace. I like to run, that’s my method. It’s time to find yours!
I hope you’ve found this insight into inner peace helpful. Finding inner peace is a very personal journey for everyone, which is why I have included a number of my own experiences. Some of the best snippets of advice to take away would be to recognize your feelings and focus on what you can control.
If you’ve got any stories, ideas, or questions about inner peace, please feel free to leave a comment below. For more blog post like this one, sign up to my newsletter for regular updates!
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LEARN HOW TO RECOGNIZE AND RELEASE HABITUAL NEGATIVE THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS
TED TALKS TO WATCH
The habits of happiness by Matthieu Ricard
Making Peace On Your Inner Battlefield by Anne Gottlieb
Finding inner peace by Marisol Meyers