By Holly Davis, CPCI, ABD
I asked my 7-year-old son, “What is peace of mind?” His answer was easy, “I don’t know. I don’t care.” It struck me as curious that this is an adult thing to want peace of mind. We seem to be suffering from confusion, whereas it once was so simple. For a child, simply being in life and living one second at a time is a simple, peaceful way of life. So, I asked my husband, “What is peace of mind?” His answer was, “It’s when you have so much on your plate and mind, but you are able to center.” Perhaps, putting too much on our plates is where adults have gone wrong?
I did some further exploring on social media and put together a panel to ask about peace of mind and these were some of the answers: “I do not know,” “death,” “having my bills paid,” “music,” “exercise,” “animals and nature,” and my personal favorite was, “a beer garden and fresh cut grass.”
Peace of mind is different for everyone. One thing is for certain: we know when we do not have it. Having our needs met is assuring, but it does not really bring peace of mind. Peace of mind is the calm that can be carried with us everywhere we go, no matter what situation we are in. I like to think of peace of mind as being in the eye of the storm, or that space above the storm in the clouds; the higher perspective on life. I liken it to having the world around us rage on, but on the inside, there is stillness. A secret place; a place that one can go to with personal mastery over thoughts.
How do you get peace of mind?
Thoughts will never cease, but we can change them to be more conducive to peace with a little training. All the concepts of peace taken from my social media consensus equate to the feeling of lack of resistance and strife. Having one’s bills paid, smelling fresh cut grass, with puppies bounding about, under a sunny sky are instances in life that we can take that tone, that vibe, that feeling and remember it through marinating on it, or quite simply meditation. I lead my life with my thoughts, creativity and quiet. It is a loud, gritty world and taking the time for stillness is where I feel like most of us could benefit. Taking just five minutes a day to shut the eyelids and let thoughts flow is a powerful tool. Once you start on the journey of quieting the mind, you will get better at it as you go.
This little bit of mind work allows me to get more done because I feel refreshed and get more answers. The quiet for my brain is like a muscle; it requires being exercised to produce more strength. I make my mornings a time to consider the day, or the week, that is ahead. I think about how I would like to see myself in each situation, rather than allowing life to knock me around like perpetual waves that I merely survive. I do not let life happen to me; I tell it how I want it to be through my mind’s eye.
When you don’t have peace of mind, don’t ignore it.
Do you ever think, “It’s not so bad?” That is a sign that indeed it is that bad. Why suffer? Why lie to yourself? That is human heartbreak defined, staying in places that are not congruent with your values. Relationships, jobs, towns, homes, cars, cell phones can all be tolerated way too long. I had a friend once who said, “Why don’t you just get rid of the struggle?” It was revelatory…because yes, we can look at all the areas of our own life and make changes. The most important aspect to change for peace of mind is changing ourselves.
How do I change myself?
Start small: Order something different, go down a different street on the way home, explore the opportunities elsewhere, exercise, seek wisdom and education, get up and go out more, and invest in yourself. Listen to yourself. Ego says, “You can’t do that, who do you think you are?” Or “If you do it like this, people will like you,” but the heart says, “I can do what I am supposed to do, for no one else but me.”
What are you supposed to do here on earth? Get quiet and remember. What were you put here for? What if you don’t know? That is okay. Look for the signs, remember what you love and do more of those things. When was the last time you sang? Do the things you love for peace of mind, like swim, dance, get artsy, be social, read and protect yourself from negative outside influences.
Don’t confuse peace of mind with being comfortable. Following your heart is not always comfortable, but it is the right way for you, which always equals peace. Direct your life, bring about what you think about. Lack of peace comes from allowing life to happen to you; be responsible for your own peace of mind.
What Brings You Peace?
✤ Ask yourself how you feel about your life in every area and analyze (not beat yourself up) and ask yourself what do you feel needs change?
✤ Write down what you want.
✤ Make some auto suggestions daily, for example: “I am so grateful and thankful every day, and I receive and accept the offer of life that I may truly live.”
✤ Read good books like “The Prophet,” “The Alchemist,” diaries (“The Diary of Ann Frank”), and biographies, or “The Happiness Project.”
✤ Stop allowing so much input by monitoring and limiting the use of electronics, TV, cell phones, laptops and social media that can be a source of distraction.
✤ Be around people who make you feel good.
✤ LOVE yourself by seeing more of your goodness.
✤ Heal the inner parts by seeking professional help and stop ignoring them.
✤ Offer help to others by using your gifts.
✤ Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
Holly Davis is a private practice counselor in Las Vegas, mother of five, and Ph.D. candidate in Human and Social Services. Holly is a yoga teacher, author and host of the weekly show, “Good Medicine,” aired weekly on hwwdbtv.com/good-medicine.html.
Learn more about Holly by visiting her website at hollydaviscounseling.com. You may contact her directly at Info@hollydaviscounseling.com or 702.626.9400.