Underneath all the stress of daily living, the anxiety of dealing with your family and the burden of your past, lies a river of inner peace. Inner peace isn’t something that you find “out there” and it has very little if anything to do with changing jobs. Inner peace and the joy that comes along with it, is in fact your inner most nature. Inner peace is already there, and no matter what you do you can’t get rid of it, but it can be obscured by negative thinking, intense negative emotions and by a gross misconception of the nature of reality, in other words the ego.
For example: Two women are on their way to their first appointment of the day, both are top level sales representatives and both are stuck in morning rush hour traffic. The first woman is listening to her favorite music station on the radio and considers her long morning commute a part of her day. She is experiencing very little stress and anxiety. The second woman is listening to the morning traffic report, talking on her cell phone and is cursing the fact that there are so many people in California, she even flips the guy off in front of her for letting yet another car into their lane. She is experiencing a high level of stress and anxiety. The traffic is the same, but it’s each woman’s response to the situation that determines her experience of reality and subsequently each woman’s level of stress and anxiety. Intuitively however, you may be thinking or feeling that there is something deeper to each woman’s response to her morning commute and you would be right.
A response to any given situation whether it be a physical action or a mental attitude will arise from either two places, the ego mind or the divine mind, (for a more detailed explanation of “The Three Minds,” please refer to last month’s newsletter). The Divine aspect of mind is the river of inner peace and when you are in alignment with it your response to any given situation will be one of acceptance, non-judgment and humor. When you are in alignment with the ego aspect of mind your response to life will reactionary, negative and judgmental.
This month’s mindfulness practice is to uncover the river of peace within you by practicing acceptance. When ever you find yourself complaining about the traffic, your job or the fact that there’s nothing to watch on television, stop take a deep breath, and accept the situation as if you’ve chosen it. In other words say “yes” to the traffic, to your job and to life and don’t judge it. Journal how this makes you feel.
Photo Credit: Gerrit Vermeulen