7 Steps to Complete Inner Peace

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    7 Steps to Complete Inner Peace

  

     Inner peace is one of the most valuable assets that we can cultivate.  Nobody can give us inner peace, but our own thoughts can rob us of our inner peace.   We can experience inner peace right now, exactly where we are.   One does not need to travel to a sacred temple to find it.  The most important criteria is to value the importance of inner peace.   If we truly want inner peace, we will strive to make it a reality.

 These are some suggestions for bringing more peace into your mind.

  1. Limit your time reading negative material and watching the news.

     It is true, that we can try to detach from this negativity.  But, in practise, we will make our progress easier if we don’t spend several hours ruminating over the problems of the world.  Once I limited, if not completely removed myself from watching the news and reading the newspapers I found my energy levels and outlook on life became more positive.

    It has become too easy to automatically switch on the TV or surf the internet when we have a few free minutes.   Take the opportunity to be still and enjoy a relaxed state of mind free of conflict and responsibilities.  As a writer I find when I turn off the television and the internet my mind tends to become more aware and more creative.

 

 2. Control of Negative Thought Processes:

    It is our thoughts that determine our state of mind and body.   If we constantly cling to negative and destructive thoughts, inner peace will always remain at a distance.   Begin by turning these thoughts around.  If you feel you failed at something look at what you learned in that situation.  Train yourself to think,  “I did the best I could” and forgive yourself as well.  This requires practise. – We cannot attain mastery of our thoughts overnight. But, at the same time we always have to remember that we are able to decide which thoughts to follow and which to reject.  You are NOT a helpless victim to your thoughts.

 Somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.”

 ―    Elizabeth Gilbert,    Eat, Pray, Love

 

3. Simplify Your Life & Home:

 

    Learn to say “No”.   We can feel that we never have enough time to fulfill all our tasks. Take time to simplify your life; there are many things that we can do without, quite often we add unnecessary responsibilities to our schedule.  Do the most significant tasks, one at a time, and enjoy doing them. To experience inner peace, it is essential to avoid cluttering our life with unnecessary activities and worries.  Organize our activities and appointments in daytimers, use a filing system to find important documents.  We also may want to purge ourselves of things, perhaps clothing and items that we no longer use.

     I have learned many ways to maximize my time, such as running a few errands together.  I balance household responsibilities and time I need to ensure I stay healthy – going for walks with the dog to prevent back pain and keep chronic pain at bay with my free-lance writing and my coursework as a student.  Yet, I am still able to spend time with loved ones and friends.

   The things I do not desire to do I do less of.  It all comes down to priorities and what really matters now.  Will it matter if the laundry gets done tonight or another day?  So what if the sink is full of dishes that will wait until tomorrow.

 

4. Spend time to cultivate inner peace.

   Most weekdays we spend 8 hours a day at a job, surely we can find time to spend 15 minutes to cultivate inner peace?  No matter how much money we have, it will never  bring us inner peace.  I am able to sneak in at least an hour a day to do things alone that allow me to maintain a state of peace in my busy life.  I enter my office ( sanctuary) and listen to music, burn incense and listen to my waterfall and the world falls away.

    One can get creative with this one, so maybe you can’t find ten minutes a day for inner peace at home.  Maybe our lunch break at work might be a place we can slip away for ten minutes to meditate.  Some friends I know take a little drive after work and sit at the park for 15 minutes to unwind and meditate while others demand 30 minutes when they get home from work to be left alone.

 If all else fails listen to some  relaxing music in your car on your way to and from work.  This can be a great stress reliever as well..

 

5. Avoid Criticizing People:

    If we want inner peace, we need to be more accepting of others.  If we are indifferent to the feelings of others, then it is impossible to have inner peace for ourselves.  What we give out comes back.  If you offer a peaceful attitude to others you will find that this will be returned
tenfold.  Not everyone will return a peaceful attitude and those people that prefer not to, let them worry about it, that is their stuff.

 

6.  Let Go of Perfectionism:

 

We are not perfect nor is the world or anyone else.  Stop being so hard on yourself.  Nobody ever died from a messy living room.  It can be quite freeing to let go of having to do everything perfectly.  When we do this we also allow others to help us if we ask.

 

7.  One final point, stop worrying.  This serves no purpose; things are going to happen as they do.  We can convince ourselves we have all this control but we often don’t.

 

Peace

 

Namaste

 

 

 

 

REPOSTED FROM 2012.

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The Random Acts of Kindness Challenge Update Nov 29th

It has almost been a month since I posted this blog.  Officially, this week marks Random Acts of Kindness week.  As we move closer to the Christmas season many of us are seeing  requests from various charities for their financial support.  Why not take the time to buy some non-perishable food items and drop them off at a local Safeway or buy a child a toy or teddy bear and donate it to a store collecting gifts for children.

If you have any winter coats, blankets, gloves or scarves you no longer use wash them and donate them to a local charity collecting winter clothing items.

I challenge you, the reader to commit a random act of kindness once a week for one person or family until Christmas.  One can get really creative with this but you cannot divulge who you are or take credit for ir.

Some ideas I came up with are:

Shovel someone’s walk before they get home from work.

If you go through a drive thru coffeeshop or fast food place, give the person at the window a $5,00 bill and tell them to use it for the next person.

Leave an envelope of money in a grocery cart.

If you know someone that is really struggling financially leave them a grocery store card in their mailbox or a box of canned food items, some used clothing, whatever you think they need.

Buy some cookies for some aged people in your neighbourhood and leave them on the step, ring the doorbell and run fast as to not get caught.

Drop off a bunch of older VHS movies to a senior center or nursing home.

This can be a fun way to help someone else and boost your level of happiness knowing that you made someone else fell good too.

Buy a few teddy bears, some fancy pencils, some children’s books and donate them to a school in your community where the kids are from low income homes.

Buy a christmas ornament, wrap it and leave it in the library with a card that says for you.

Got any old coats or blankets, take them to a local shelter drop off box and let someone who needs it, use it.

Give someone a plant in the spring.

Get some flowers delivered to a widower, include an uplfting quote on the card.

Anonymously donate money to the library for two yearly library cards for people who are low- income.

Please comment with your experiences and ideas.  I would love to read what you did.  Enjoy yourself and you will because you will be making someone else feel good to.

A Family That Writes Together Bonds Forever

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and the upcoming Christmas season I want to wish all of my readers a safe and blessed holiday season.

 

In the constant hustle and bustle of life it is easy for one to lose the closeness with our loved ones and families. Why not start a new tradition this year by writing as a family about your family holidays and extend that to a daily journaling session.  Each member of the family can take a turn writing about their daily events and activities.  One can include photos and artwork in this journalling too.

 

Things have changed and families do not always eat meals together and talk and if we do someone is attache to some gadget.  Kids are texting friends at the dinner table, parents taking calls, maybe brothers playing video games, the list goes on.

 

Memories are made by us being present, physically and emotionally involved in the moment.  What is the worst thing that could happen, that you all get to know each other a little better?  That you kids will have gained a valuable tool by writing their experiences rather then texting?

 

One can use sentence prompts to start the writing process and once the family has enough material, say a year of daily adventures, one can put it in a time capsules in the backyard for future reference.  Decide on a rewar the family can enjoy together such as a trip, concert or movie night.

As a special needs teaching assistant and a behavioural therapist, I spent many years helping children with learning disabilities emloying similar ideas/strategies in which the family would also work with their child to improve reading and writing skills.  Even a few minutes a day could help a child attain a world of knowledge and gain confidence within themselves.

Even in my home since I began writing daily (blogging almost daily as well) my partner and I have become closer via my writing..  He has a fantastic imagination and is a good sounding board with ideas I have.

I cost one nothing to try write, many of use have a hidden talent we might not yet have explored.  It is always fun when we write something together and we always laugh at some point.

Most importantly we gain time together as a family, we learn about each other, we keep a bond strong.

 

Yoga Benefits

Increased energy. Do you feel completely drained out by the end of the day? Shuttling between multiple tasks through the day can sometimes be quite exhausting. A few minutes of yoga everyday provides the secret to feeling fresh and energetic even after a long day. A 10-minute online guided meditation benefits you immensely, leaving you refreshed and recharged in the middle of a hectic day.

All-round fitness. You are truly healthy when you are not just physically fit but also mentally and emotionally balanced. As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar puts it, “Health is not a mere absence of disease. It is a dynamic expression of life – in terms of how joyful, loving and enthusiastic you are.” This is where yoga helps: postures, pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation are a holistic package.

Stress relief. A few minutes of yoga during the day can be a great way to get rid of stress that accumulates daily – in both the body and mind. Yoga postures, pranayama and meditation are effective techniques to release stress. You can also experience how yoga helps de-tox the body and de-stress the mind at a Sri Sri Yoga Level 2 Course.

Inner peace. We all love to visit peaceful, serene spots, rich in natural beauty. Little do we realize that peace can be found right within us and we can take a mini-vacation to experience this any time of the day! Benefit from a small holiday every day with yoga and meditation. Yoga is also one of the best ways to calm a disturbed mind.

Yoga and Creativity: Catch the wave!

Start the day with yoga

Dawn marks a new day’s creation. Morning is a great time to start the day with a quiet hour of yoga and meditation. An effective morning yoga routine can end with a yoga breathing technique called the Sudarshan Kriya, taught by The Art of Living Foundation. Practicing Sudarshan Kriya has shown to reduce stress and calm anxiety over time, helping the mind relax naturally into creativity. After morning yoga practice, the day ahead is like a fresh canvas to paint on. At the end of your yoga session, take a journal with you and write down any creative ideas that come up.

Make your own creative yoga space

Yoga and creativity can meld together for an inspiring environment at work and home. To make your space for yoga ready, gather some recorded guided meditations, a favorite chair to sit on, a yoga mat, and some pillows. Now, to add creativity, place some art supplies or musical instruments near your yoga space. Allow yourself at least 15 minutes a day to write, draw or play music in your own “creative yoga corner”.

Forming friendships with creativity and meditation

To catch the biggest waves, a surfer has to learn how to dive into deep waters. When you are ready for more than surfing on the waves, dive into your creativity. Take the challenge to learn more about an interesting sport, or an old love of art. Join a workshop. Couple this with a meditation practice, and you can find yourself picking up new skills and possibly uncovering hidden talents you didn’t know you had. Here’s a tip: Sit for meditation just before your creative class, then start your creative work for best results.

Be inspired by nature

Sometimes in the afternoon, I find my creative well starts running dry. That means it’s time for a nature walk. There’s a walking path nearby that meanders into fields of dense brush – great for taking in deep breaths of air and creative ideas. When I get there, I find a favorite place to sit and watch nature. What flowers are growing there? What birds’ songs do I hear? At least ten to 15 minutes of observing nature revives up my mind with a fresh new creative start.

Meditate through the day

A surf rider’s day isn’t complete without a few memorable moments on the waves. In between each new wave is the silent, quiet wait. The surfer has a chance to gather energy and notice the surrounding scenery. In the middle of the day, a meditation works like the ebbing ocean wave. Your chattering mind gently drops back into its quiet source. When your mind feels overwhelmed and no creative thoughts are materializing, a 10-20 minute meditation can calm the mind so new ideas can naturally surface. Before lunch, or at the end of the day, meditation can help you feel rejuvenated and ready for your next creative task.

Finding your flow with yoga

The surfer grabs the ultimate wave. A tunnel of water spirals forward, almost threatening to circle around him. No problem – the surfer has found the flow and sails right through to the other side. A good flow of ideas is effortless like breathing. Here is one yoga breath exercise to help you find your flow. Sit quietly with eyes closed. Slowly, take a deep breath in. Breathe out slowly. As you breathe, notice the flow of your breath. Does it seem to shake, or is it slow and steady? Do you find that you stop in between to take a bigger gulp of air to complete the breath? Continue breathing slowly and deeply for ten breaths.

Now, take out your journal. On the page, write down a central theme and circle it. For the next few minutes, keep writing down any thoughts that come to you relating to your central theme. Circle each new word and draw a connecting line to the main word. When your mind comes to a natural stop, you have completed the exercise.

Yoga helps you do what you love

Practicing yoga, we gradually build more awareness about our own creativity. We can move toward doing more of what we love. Yoga and meditation help focus the mind. With a more focused, calm mind, we can move more directly toward what we really want, toward the deep yearning of the soul, kind of like the tunnel opening at the end of the ultimate wave.

Inages: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

References:

http://www.artofliving.org/in-en/yoga/excel-with-yoga/yoga-and-creativity

http://www.artofliving.org/in-en/benefits-yoga-asanas

Blogging on the Open Road from Edmonton to Las Vegas Part 1

Ok, we are either insane or die hard travellers as we are about to embark on a trip to the US by car from our home in Edmonton, Ab, Canada.

The road at this time of year can be a bit more treacherous and so far Old Man Winter is not giving us a real break here.

It will be a good time to see a  variety of terrain from the prairies to the desert,and to the beaches on the Pacific Coast.

I love little gift stores in small towns and the storytellers we meet.  Everyone has a story and there are so many good ones.

I love cities too that are all unique in their own way.  Down home cooking will await us in Montana and the meals are huge.

Montana

Til we meet again, peace and blessings be with you

Angi 🙂

Opportunity awaits!  CARPE DIEM!

All images : http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Unleash Your Authentic Self

What exactly is the authentic self?  Let’s begin with a definition of authenticity which has been described as Authenticity means being real and genuine when you communicate.  We can add trustworthy, loyal and sincere as areas that are part of our authentic selves. The truth should guide you on your path.

Michael Kernis and Brian Goldman defined authenticity as “the unimpeded operation of one’s true or core self in one’s daily enterprise. (1)

Writers tend to agree that authenticity is something to be pursued as a goal intrinsic to “the good life.” And yet it is often described as an intrinsically difficult state to achieve, due in part to social pressures to live inauthentically, and in part due to a person’s own character. It is also described as a revelatory state, where one perceives oneself, other people, and sometimes even things, in a radically new way. Some writers argue that authenticity also requires self-knowledge, and that it alters a person’s relationships with other people. Authenticity also carries with it its own set of moral obligations, which often exist regardless of race, gender and class. The notion of authenticity also fits into utopian ideology, which requires authenticity among its citizens to exist, or which claims that such a condition would remove physical and economic barriers to pursuing authenticity.

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” ―    C.G. Jung

To know ourself, our authentic self, is to embark on the greatest journey of all. Author, Hermann Hesse and psychologist, Carl Jung were pivotal influences in my own journey of discovery and both continue to be touchstones for my path in life.

In self-analysis we stop looking outward and focus inward. In doing so, we begin to strip away the compressed layers of conventional attitudes we are taught as ‘reality’, or how we should be, and begin to think for ourself, as we are, with all variables in play and in doing so we come into our authentic self. We do this not in a narcissistic way, where we use the world and others to inflate and gratify an immature grandiose-self, but quite the opposite, in a whole, non-fragmented way where we are functioning on all levels – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We detach from the world, just as we detached from our birth mother when we were born, in order to find our true identity and thus embrace the person we are.

http://asheham.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/carl-jung-journey-to-self-discovery/

 

 

The Authentic self is who we truly are or are aiming to be.  Those that choose enlightenment and want to be better people do so but now we add the public self to the equation and everything changes.  The public self is what “society” expects us to behave like, how we act, talk and our opinions are greatly influenced by what we should do.  This is not necessarily a bad thing for if we did not follow laws and behave in a civilized manner there would be repercussions for our actions.

Many people present a persona on Facebook that is contrary to who they truly are, is this to follow some norm?  Is our authentic self truly what we are projecting to the world of social media?  Or are we inclined to be pretending to be someone else just to fit in?

 

 

 

The authentic self is the soul made visible. – Sarah Ban Breathnach

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Behaving authentically means acting in accord with one’s values, preferences, and needs  as opposed to acting merely to please others or to attain rewards or avoid  punishments through acting ‘falsely.’ . . . Authenticity is not reflected in a  compulsion to be one’s true self, but rather in the free expression of core  feelings, motives and inclinations. (2)

Don Miguel Ruiz shares centuries of Toltec wisdom in his book The Four Agreements.  To apply this wisdom, choose to create these profound agreements with yourself:

1.Be impeccable with your word. Carefully examine what you tell yourself, what you tell others, and when you decide to speak. Use your word consistently to express and strengthen your values. Don’t employ or overlook factual errors, fallacies or, distortions during communications. Express yourself authentically. Earn trust. Do what you say.

2.Don’t take anything personally. It’s not all about you. Reject the fallacy of personalization. Rely confidently on your own well-founded self-concept; it is the only evaluation of your worth that matters. Challenge and balance your first-person viewpoint.

3.Don’t make assumptions. Suspend judgment. Readily acknowledge what you don’t know and have the courage to ask questions. Carefully examine the evidence. Don’t attribute intent to others. Retain a healthy skepticism as you avoid cynicism. Develop, refine, and constantly apply your own well-founded theory of knowledge.

4.Always do your best. Do all you can while you recognize you can’t do it all. All you can do is all you can do. When you have truly done your best, there is no reason for shame. It’s ok to goof off if you do your best when it matters the most. Apply your time and effort toward your well-chosen and enduring goals.

If you are ready to explore and unleash your authentic self start with these three simple tasks and see where they take you.

1.  Sit in silence with yourself every day.

Living an authentic life means taking action from the inner confidence of intuition. Most people have no idea what their intuition feels like because they are so busy. We do not stop to listen to what we truly desire.  Our culture values productivity over peace and tranquility.   Cultivate and harness your voice of intuition.  it will always lead you to where you need to be.  You need to be able to actually hear it,  practice the art of silence every day — even if it’s only for 5- 10 minutes at a time.

2.  Be vulnerable. That’s Where The Real Power Lies.

If we want to live an authentic life, be more real, feel more alive, empowered, and fulfilled then we need to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable is facing these emotions of shame, fear, guilt, frustration, and grief.  It’s only when we connect with our pain and move through it that we connect with the emotions of love, joy and happiness on the other side.

Have the courage to be still and feel what you feel, don’t run from it. Being vulnerable is real strength. It’s the ability to honour your boundaries. It means having the confidence to be the real you even if it’s not pleasant. Being vulnerable is the path to authenticity.

3. Fulfill Those Dreams.  Write out the steps you will need to take in order to live that dream and take your first “next step.” It won’t feel overwhelming if you focus on one step at a time.

Images: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

References:

1. Wright, Karen (May 01, 2008). “Dare to be yourself”. Psychology Today.

2. Kernis, M. (2003). Toward a conceptualization of optimal  self-esteem. Psychological Inquiry, 14, 1-26.

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