Life hands us opportunities. For some, this means that everything we experience is something that must be “handled’, like a spilled glass of milk. When our life experiences feel like something has been taken away from what we assumed was a good day or a good life, this diminishes our peace. For others though, every experience is an opportunity to add something to an already full life. The spilled milk allows us demonstrate a new skill, a new attitude, or to view our world from a different perspective.
In the midst of a troubling event, it’s hard for us to conceive that this too is an opportunity for peace, love, or joy. And the reason we feel so disconnected from these (peace, love, joy), is that we have taken our eye off the ball, so to speak and allowed the situation to control us or distract us.
When you start your day and live each moment in fullness, meaning that right where you are this moment is exactly where you must be – then when opportunities arise, they become an addition to an already whole existence. Even in that moment you realize the horrible thing you just said, heard, or saw – when accepted, becomes the jumping off point for the next moments’ opportunity.
When we resist something we are experiencing with a, “Oh my – I can’t believe I just said that”, or “I hate when this happens”, or “I can’t put up with this” – then we give the experience more power. This immediate resistance to “what is” begins to create powerful feelings, which transpose into emotional reactions of fear, anger, sadness, or grief. But, by allowing the moment to unfold without judgment or reaction, we open ourselves to respond in authenticity, not from inflamed emotion.
Accepting EVERY moment as an opportunity without defining what the moment is (i.e. good, bad, horrible, exciting, scary), is not something we have a great deal of experience with and will take a little bit of practice. By giving this important life skill some attention, we can prepare ourselves towards any situation, no matter how we have defined it in the past. The key is acceptance, and allowing the flow of life to happen, and then observing and responding to the ebbs and flows of whatever it is we experience in that moment. And the beauty, power, and grace of restoring your peace is that you can do it at any moment, no matter how far you feel you feel you have dug your hole, it is always available to you. Here are 5 new practices to add to your day that can increase your capacity for inner peace and growth in every situation you encounter throughout the day.
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.”
Set priorities – When setting your days intentions, make sure that growth, peace, joy, and abundance are part of that intention. Do not overcommit on tasks and make sure your spiritual well-being is a priority in every day. Don’t get distracted by the busyness of your day – keep your focus on being present and complete the tasks you intend to do. Take frequent breaks throughout the day and always include a few moments in those breaks for rejuvenating your peaceful demeanor by being very still and allowing each moment to lift you up.
Make a commitment – Commit yourself to peace, growth, freedom, and grace. You can only express these natural qualities if you feel them and accept them. While you go about your day, recognize the peace you are experiencing. Recognize the joy or abundance. Expansion in our lives occurs when we appreciate (by being aware of) the qualities of peace and joy in our lives right now! Be a person of peace. Commit to it! Live it!
Practice giving yourself presence – In this case, your gift to yourself is presence in the moment you are in. Frequently check in with yourself throughout the day to ask yourself if you are present. If not, just release to the present moment and relax. The more you practice this – the easier it gets. There is nothing outside of the present moment. The past is a collection of thoughts (it is no longer real) and the future is only thoughts as well – so just stay where you are. Practice, repeat, practice, repeat, and so on.
Do your exercises – Just like exercising our body to strengthen and tone our muscles and bone, we must have a few set of exercises we do each day to strengthen our spirit and expand our soul. Practices like meditation, yoga, or martial arts accomplish both, but some others to consider are deep contemplation, journaling, or doing short exercises to shift your thoughts from one object to another (brain training).
EMERGENCY – Pull the cord – When you want to get off the bus or the train everyone knows that to request this you must pull the emergency cord and the train/bus will stop. To get off the pity, anger, fear, or sorrow train, put something in your life that you can relate to (like pulling the cord) to trigger your intention to get off this bus. The moment can shift immediately if you allow yourself to let go of every single thought you have had about this experience and allow the moment to be new and OK right now. When you feel yourself stepping back onto the train – pull the cord again. Look for ways to pull your cord, like a special prayer or mantra, deep breathing, light a candle, go for a walk. Make your emergency exit something that is special and meaning for you.