Peace is first and foremost an Inner Experience, an Inner Journey. So outside events can be pretty screwy and it is still possible to create inner peace, in principle, as long as the focus is on it and not primarily on controlling outside events.
Some events, of extreme stress cannot be controlled – inside or outside. The minute you are run over by a car you cannot be ‘at peace’. But in most instances you can be at peace a lot more than you thought you could, if you practice it.
The key is to focus on controlling Inner Events first.
This I have found out through trial and error over many years. My error included one trip to the mental hospital for 6 months in 2005, so I feel I’m quite experienced in this matter:
What inner peace is and where it comes from. And where it does not come from.
Today a lot of stuff happened, as usual.
I did a free workshop on WordPress and it got off to a bad start because the microphone did not work as intended …
I felt stuck in Christmas rush hour and hated it …
I worried about whether or not I would be able to earn money enough per month when J gets a little older …
They are still looking for that guy in Berlin who drove a truck into a crowd …
So I was not at peace all the time, but I had a place of peace to fall back on, because I’ve nurtured this place for years – inside myself.
I try first and foremost to take a break and breathe and be still. Not do anything.
Then remember what I believe to be true, namely that I am more than all of this. I don’t know exactly what, but some would call it a Soul.… Read more
Today, I had the feeling that our unborn son was now 'in our lives' - more than before. Like he was more real. Already living with us in a sense. It could 'just be psychological'. We're halfway. We're getting more and more used to the thought of having a son. Whatever the case it was a good feeling. It doesn't need further explanation of its foundations.
In spite of Char’s job at a charity and my intention to create a business with a social purpose, we are both so deeply occupied with our day-to-day-routines that we rarely talk about this kind of Big Hope that a charity or social business actually stands for. What it looks like, what it feels like. No wonder that we sometimes feel like even the most meaningful work in the world doesn't matter any more. Purpose has to be felt. And feelings have to be kindled, like a hearth that need attention in order to continue giving off heat.
Sometimes it's good to have your prejudices about people - and who they are - turned a little upside down.
Certain friendships and certain stories, have a very powerful effect on us in childhood and we keep coming back to them, hoping to find the heart from long ago in them. Even when our minds tell us it’s long gone.It is a testament to the power of the heart which is both a blessing and a curse.
It is a blessing because the power of heartful experiences by and large is what makes life feel full and rich.
It is a curse because the initial experience can be so powerful that it keeps us locked in.
It keeps us looking for the faint glow of the original experience. It keeps us looking for new embers which might use to fan the old flame ...
... long after we are supposed to let it go and kindle a new fire in another place.
But on average, perhaps, it is a blessing that remains. For that is where it started.
Acting on the fear, putting something in motion, even if you don’t solve the fear … that probably has a positive effect. I’ve felt so on my own a number of times. Like when I make myself feel more mentally calm and ‘on course’, by just doing the dishes. Not frenzied action to escape unpleasant feelings. Orderly calm action with purpose, even if it doesn’t change anything right away or is substantially relevant to the feelings at hand.
Doing all the dishes doesn’t solve my unemployment problem, but it makes me feel that maybe I have what it takes to solve it myself. Even if that is only proved, when it is proved.
Whatever makes you tick - that big grand Purpose you are searching for - it can never be Pure Forms, pure goodness in your mind - and especially not in reality. There is always this shatteringly real Wind-of-Messy-Fears blowing around you. And it seems to blow harder when you aim higher and try to do something Big with your life, like searching for and realizing a Purpose that will make a lot of difference to many people.
Making order and focus in my surroundings tend to gradually pull me back to a feeling of order and focus in my mind.
At the very least, I will feel some sort of accomplishment.
And that actually counts for more than I first thought.
What do I tell my son when he gets old enough to understand a bit about war and injustice of the world? Problems too big to be changed in his lifetime. So big that most give up in advance. Perhaps I tell him that all that matters is that you still try. That you do Something. Never nothing.
I’m not a zealot, but isn’t it ridiculous that for so long I insist on my coffee x 4 per day even though I know and feel how it is too much? How it unhinges my mind? That’s the power of addiction. And it hides and excuses itself and infects in all sorts of clandestine ways.
I think, when all things align, that is what children do for you which is the best: They make you tired and yet wake you up at the same time.
Start by ordering that part of the outer world which you can, like cleaning your room. Then connect with the energy that you get from that feeling of having made order - so as to be better able to order your inner world next.
I feel I do have colleagues and a cozy 'job' by temporarily attending the same workspace as other want-to-be entrepreneurs. When I feel like that it is damn important to remember that feeling cosy doesn't matter as an entrepreneur. Only results do.
Remembering moments of pure friendship is necessary to swim that extra mile in the grey drone of everyday life.