“I want to feel more at peace.”
That is one of the top two needs expressed by my clients, preceded only by “I feel stuck and I need more clarity about what’s next for me in my life”.
If I were to ask you “When was the last time you felt really at peace?”, what image comes to mind for you? Where are you? What’s different about that space vs. your day-to-day state of being?
For most of us it means reducing the head chatter and the anxiety that goes along with it.
As you’re moving through a life transition, or creating any kind of change in your life, one of the first and most important steps is to create a greater sense of inner peace. Because without it, you lack the connection to your inner wisdom and to what’s right for you or to what are the best next steps for you.
To define it in simple terms, inner peace for most of us means a stillness of the mind.
You can get there a lot of different ways. We’ve all heard of meditation as one avenue. But I find that for many of my clients, particularly in the beginning, meditation is difficult if not impossible. When they come to me they express frustration or even embarrassment at their inability to do something that seems to be so easy for some people.
The fact is there are other non-traditional ways to generate a similar state. For some, it is activities like walking on the beach, playing the piano, painting, gardening or even immersing themselves in challenging activities such as jogging or working out in the gym.
The fact is anything that gets you so involved, and focuses the mind so intently, that the head chatter stops or at least tampers down a notch or two is supportive in creating more inner peace.
The next question is how do you incorporate this into your daily life?
For many of us, integrating the activities that might normally get you into that state (such as those mentioned above), don’t fit well on a daily basis. They require longer periods of time.
So, what are some alternatives? What are some things you can do in less than 30 minutes, or even 10 minutes, on a daily basis to help promote that state of being for yourself?
In answer to those questions I just created a quick guide called “The Top 5 Tools to Increase Your Inner Peace”. It’s kind of like a cheat sheet to get your juices going as to what might work for you.
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind for starting a stillness practice:
- Focus first on consistency. It’s more important to integrate a stillness practice on a daily basis for small periods of time then to focus first on the amount of time you are doing it. Studies have shown that over time the impact of a daily stillness practice actually begins to have greater and greater impact on you.
- What time of day can you most consistently integrate into your life? Is it right after you get out of bed? For most of us that is when our mind is the quietest so that is usually what I recommend it if at all possible. If not first thing in the morning, think about a time of day when you are more likely going to be able to commit to doing it on a daily basis. Perhaps it would work best for you right before going to bed, or at lunch time or as mid-afternoon break. Look at your own schedule and think about what might work best for you.
- Ask yourself, “What’s the smallest amount of time I know I can commit to on a daily basis?” Is it 5 minutes? Or is it 10 minutes? Begin at your easily attainable commitment point. The last thing you want to do is aim for 30 minutes and then not do it consistently and then beat yourself up because you weren’t able to stick to your goal. That doesn’t do anything to help create more inner peace! Instead, focus on the smallest amount of time you think you can possibly commit to and build from there.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. This is a new habit. And like any new habit it takes time to build consistency. At first you will have to give it more conscious thought but over time it will become so much a part of your life that you won’t even think about it.
Check out my handy one page guide “The Top 5 Tools to Increase Your Inner Peace” and let me know what you think!
It’s free. Doesn’t get much better than that right? Let me know what activities work for you that I could perhaps add to the list for someone else as other juicy ideas! I love to hear them.
With good energy,
Debra Wilson Guttas, Mid-Life Transition Doula™, HTP
Author of the forthcoming book “Personal & Business Success through the 7 Gateways – Spiritual & Practical Tools for Crafting Your Life from the Inside Out” and co-author of the book “Women of Spirit“.