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From A Mind In Pieces 2 A Peace of Mind

Peace of mind is something we all seem to want and want more of. Few of us get it, and when we do it tends to be fleeting. I think the reason has something to do with how we think of peace of mind. It is not something we can have and hold, but it is certainly something that we can learn to cultivate and allow to grow.

Having peace of mind can be one of the most freeing states of being. It takes work to acquire it and to sustain it. Many times, we allow people, places, and things to get in the way of us achieving peace within. Until one acknowledges, appreciates, and respects themselves; peace of mind will be hard to acquire or easy to acquire, but hard to keep. I truly feel that when one has peace of mind, it equips them to easily handle and combat stress, or any negative situation. Peace of mind is a state of mental and emotional calmness, with no worries, fears or stress. In this state, the mind is quiet, and you experience a sense of happiness and freedom.

When you think of the times you have experienced real peace of mind, have there not been times when outwardly there were problems? Peace manifests, when the incessant inner chatter of the mind slows down. When it appears, anxiety, stress, worries, fear, mental and emotional restlessness, nervousness and impatience disappear. It is a state of inner calmness, tranquility and serenity, which brings forth happiness, tolerance, inner poise, inner balance and self-control. Peace of mind is an acquired skill, which requires time, practice and perseverance to develop, just like any other skill. With the right training, and with desire, motivation, patience and perseverance, you are sure to attain at least some degree of inner peace.

You don’t have wait for the perfect circumstances to start working on gaining it. You can start here and now, regardless of the kind of life you are living, and irrespective of your circumstances. This might require some effort on your part, but it is a worthwhile project and the rewards are great. The restless mind jumps from thought to another, allowing thoughts to come and go incessantly, from morning till night, giving us no rest for a moment. Most of these thoughts are not exactly invited; they just come, occupy our attention for a while, and then disappear, making place for others.

Thoughts are the like clouds drifting through the sky. Like the clouds, they are not permanent. Due to their incessant movement, they distract or attention and disturb our focus. This activity of the restless mind occupies our attention all the time. Now our attention is on this thought, and then on another one. We spend a lot of energy and attention on these passing thoughts, most of them being unimportant, wasting our time and energy.

When you do not have a peace of mind, you aid yourself in being vulnerable to high levels of stress. I think that minimal levels of stress are important and can be essential. You can utilize various tools you’ve learned as far as stress management, you can see just how strong you are, you can see who is really in your corner, and many more. However, high levels of stress aren’t good for no one. Stress can kill you. Many ailments and illnesses can be acquired or worsened by levels of stress.

A state of peace of mind leads to better emotional and physical health, increased energy, stronger mental powers, improved memory, and a better ability to learn and study. It also helps you handle your daily affairs of life in a more efficient manner, eases stress, and enables you to act calmly and in a poised manner in difficult situations. We live in a world where worries, strain and restlessness abound. You might think that there is nothing to do about it, and therefore, accept this situation as an inevitable evil, but you don't have to. You can experience inner peace even under stressful conditions and circumstances, but it does not come instantly. It is developed gradually, through training.

In my life, I’ve had sporadic and quick bouts of having a peace of mind. It was always so difficult for me to have a peace of mind because I would:

1. Trust the wrong people

2. Be in desperate situations and make the wrong decisions

3. Give people too many chances after they’ve already showed me who they are

4. Strayed away from my basics

5. Lose focus

6. Be too guarded and hold too much inside, thus not allowing myself to heal or release

It wasn’t until the end of my early 30s, when I finally experienced what it was like to have peace of mind for an extended amount of time. That doesn’t mean I don’t have trials, tribulations, highly stressful moments, or negative moments. I still have all of those occurring, but not as often. I am able to handle situations so much better. I am able to live a freer life. I’m more conscious about taking care of myself internally and externally, no matter what.

Lord knows it took a long time for me to get to this point because I had a lot to deal with, to acknowledge, to release myself from, and to admit. After so many years of not having a peace of mind, of not being happy, of being so broken and numb internally…how was I able to get to the point that I’m at now? In short, the things I had to do…and in no particular order, were:

1. No matter how uncomfortable something was I had to talk about it

2. I had to acknowledge and be accountable with anything I did wrong to myself or others

3. Realize the ones who I needed to keep at a distance or completely remove them from my life

4. Find out what makes me happy and keep that #1 in my life no matter what

5. Like I have to feed myself physically every day…I needed to feed myself spiritually everyday

6. Stop seeking validation in other’s needs or opinions of me

7. Saying no and not feeling guilty

8. Understanding that some people come into my life for a time and a season. There may be certain people that I want, or thought would be in my life forever. I have to accept that for some the season is over and I need to let them go or let the chips fall where they may

9. Go to therapy

In doing research on this topic, more so to see if there were any thought processes I wasn’t aware of…or even some beneficial concepts that I could learn from, I came across 2 websites. The 2 websites are Psychology Today and Success Consciousness. With information I learned from both websites, here are some tips in acquiring and sustaining a peace of mind:

  • Allow yourself time to just sit, without distractions, without something to do, or a place to go. No multitasking.

  • Use that time for you and get curious about your mind and experience just as it is. Look into your experience and just watch the goings on between your ears and in your heart. There is nothing to do, no state to achieve. Just practice being exactly where you are just as you are.

  • If it helps, you can breathe into each moment and imagine leaning into it with a sense of curiosity and with a kind intention to just watch and be at peace. As you do that, you can watch and let go with each in breath and out breath.

  • Notice the urge to change the experience or to pull out. These are the red flags that your old history is showing up, with all the old habits that compelling you to change your mind and body. In short, to be something other than you are. These habits are the fuel for struggle, and if you practice just noticing them as thoughts and urges, reminders of the past --"ah, there's my old history, or there's a thought that..." -- you interrupt the old programming and disarm it.

  • Stay away from negative conversations and from negative people. You don't want their thoughts and words to sink into your subconscious mind and affect your moods and state of mind.

  • Stay away from negative conversations and from negative people. You don't want their thoughts and words to sink into your subconscious mind and affect your moods and state of mind.

  • Accept what cannot be changed. This saves a lot of time, energy and worries. Every day, we face numerous inconveniences, irritations and situations that are beyond our control. If we can change them, that's fine, but this is not always possible. We must learn to put up with such things and accept them cheerfully.

Love and peace of mind do protect us. They allow us to overcome the problems that life hands us. They teach us to survive… to live now… to have the courage to confront each day.” —Bernie Siegel

“You’ll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart.” —George Michael

“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

“If there’s no inner peace, people can’t give it to you. The husband can’t give it to you. Your children can’t give it to you. You have to give it to you.” —Linda Evans

“Peace is a day-to-day problem, the product of a multitude of events and judgments. Peace is not an “is”, it is a “becoming”. —Haile Selassie

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