When I was growing up, my mother often tried to end battles between siblings by saying, “Peace begins at home.” In those situations she was referring to peace in the house. I think the statement is accurate, but I actually think “home” refers to our body. When there is peace and harmony within us, we can effortlessly weather storms and also be a catalyst for peace in others. However, when we are stressed or out of balance the process becomes more difficult.
Mitchell Gaynor in his book Sounds of Healing states that “…illness is disharmony–either physical disharmony or mental disharmony; the one acts upon the other.…” Stress, or the lack of harmony, affects our clarity, creativity, health, and ability to live effective and positive lives. Since life is filled with so many external stresses, is there a way to restore inner peace quickly?
Most people have at least one activity they like to do that helps them reconnect with themselves and reclaim a sense of inner peace, but is it adaptable or transportable? Let me give you an example: Lets say you discovered that you are able to regain clarity and reconnect with what is important or bothering you if you went for a bicycle ride. This is wonderful, but what happens if you are at work and something happens that throws you off balance? Your mind starts reeling, your inner peace dissolves, you lose your clarity, and you find yourself getting upset and maybe even reacting poorly. What can you do in that moment? You can’t get on your bicycle and go for a 10 mile ride—at least not until after work.
What you can do though is the next time you go riding, or do any other activity that helps you reconnect with your essential self and restore inner peace, is pay attention to what part of the activity is most pivotal. Is it the change in your breathing? The rhythm? The stillness? The movement? Physical exertion? One-point focus? Feeling of freedom? Or is it something else?
Paying close attention to your body’s sensations and emotions while you are doing it can help you identify what part of the activity helps you move out of stress and back into clarity the quickest. Once you have uncovered that information then take that awareness and use it in situations where you can’t use your bike.
I found that movement helped me shift my mind-state the quickest. I also discovered that with clear intention, the movement did not have to be as big or as physical as when I rode my bicycle. It could be as subtle as moving my pencil, my crayon, or my foot.
Now when I find myself in challenging situations, I purposely move—even if only my foot or pencil. This relaxes my body, changes my breathing, and subsequently my mind clears. We can’t control life or the behavior of others, but when we are aware of what helps us maintain clarity we can respond to external events in a manner that doesn’t disrupt our inner peace and also helps us generate more peace in the world.
If you don’t currently have a simple and effective way to restore inner peace, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE because they are a wonderful way reconnect with your true nature and create inner peace.