In the middle of Pocahontas State Park located in Chesterfield, Virginia, I stretched out on my back on a quilt in the grass and stared at the monkey bread clouds against the blue sky. It has been a very long time since I stared so long at the clouds floating overhead in such peaceful surroundings. There was nothing else I needed to do except lay back and relax.
“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi ~
At first it was hard not to let my mind run away with guilt for taking the time to do nothing except relax. I seem to always have an internal voice that says, “Are you doing something productive? Are you working? What do you have to show for this use of time?” I must confess…I get sick and tired of that pushy voice. Today I used a technique called, “Faking Out Myself” in order to enjoy laying back watching the clouds.
The self-talk dialogue went something like this:
The inner voice: Are you doing something productive? Are you working?
The healthy voice: Yes! I am relaxing. My body needs a break! My brain needs a break!
The inner voice: You slept until 11:30 a.m. so you had enough of a break. What do you have to show for this use of time since you are just laying about doing nothing?
The healthy voice: I am doing something. I’m relaxing, meditating and learning how to control my unhealthy, pushy self-talk.
The inner voice: You need to get up. Go walk or start doing some exercises.
The healthy voice: Nope. I’m going to stare at the clouds and if I fall asleep, that is fine even though I didn’t get up until 11:30 a.m. because I am really tired.
Then I started singing in my head and that made the inner voice shut up because I can’t berate myself and sing at the same time. I also started to really relax. I saw all kinds of things in the clouds – a guitar, turtle, palm print, man’s face, and a stack of rocks.
A bird flew across the sky and my eyes followed it until it flew past all the trees. The bird was so high up there in the sky. I wish I could fly too. Where would I go? Right now, I wouldn’t go anywhere. My mind was free of shaming thoughts due to my unproductivity. I was doing the best thing for myself right then…I was finding inner peace.
I had just eaten a hamburger without a bun, but didn’t feel the least bit deprived. I had not accomplished everything I wanted to last week, but I didn’t feel guilty. I still don’t have a corporate job, but I didn’t feel panicky. I wasn’t doing anything other than relaxing on a quilt in the green grass at Pocahontas State Park, but I didn’t feel the need to get up and do something productive because I WAS being productive. I was allowing my mind and body to rest and relax. Even more than that, I was feeling content as a bit of inner peace settled on me.
“I am content; that is a blessing greater than riches; and he to whom that is given need ask no more.” ~ Henry Fielding ~
7 Steps To Obtain Inner Peace
So what exactly is inner peace?
Definition of inner peace: a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress.
Definition of peace: freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.
I did a lot of right things today when I relaxed at the park and incorporated some key ways to add inner peace to my life. You can do the same thing too if you…
- Stop doing everything that is chore and work related.
- Go to a peaceful place even if you can only do it in your mind.
- Close your eyes and even fall asleep without guilt if it happens.
- Listen to all the sounds around you.
- Breathe deeply and allow your body to relax.
- Pay attention to your self-talk and be sure that it is positive, reassuring and motivational.
- Release all the negative emotions or guilt from the past and live in this moment only.
That doesn’t sound too hard does it?