“Happiness, true happiness, is an inner quality. It is a state of mind. If your mind is at peace, you are happy. If your mind is at peace, but you have nothing else, you can be happy. If you have everything the world can give – pleasure, possessions, power – but lack peace of mind, you can never be happy.” ~ Dada Vaswani
“I’m concentrating on staying healthy, having peace, being happy, remembering what is important, taking in nature and animals, spending time reading, trying to understand the universe, where science and the spiritual meet.” ~ Joan Jett
I committed to making 2016 a year of joy-full lessons in order to help you expand you life.
As we enter December, I want to close with how you can give yourself the gift of peace. This is the greatest gift because it is in this space that joy, love, happiness, and heart-connection can take place. You can’t be very loving or joyful when you are harried, stressed out, overwhelmed, or at the end of your rope.
So here are three ways to give yourself a big gift this month. And as with all the gifts you give yourself, this one also positively affects everyone in your life.
Notice This Moment
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
This moment is the only time you actually have. No other time exists. Right now is all you have. So if you are not feeling peaceful, scan your thoughts and see if you are in the past or the future. The past evokes feeling of pain and the future evokes feelings of anxiety.
When you are feeling these things that’s your signal you’ve stepped away from the present moment. When that happens ask yourself, “Right now, am I ok?” The answer will almost always be yes. In this moment you have everything you need. Everything is ok. Take a few minutes to pause and let that sink in. When you do, notice the sense of peace that encompasses you.
Notice Your Story
“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” ~ Buddha
One of the quickest ways to avoid the gift of peace is to listen to your story about what things mean. You can have peace of mind or your story, so you need to decide which is most important to you. You can’t feel peaceful and listen to the story in your head of why Janice got that big project and you didn’t. In fact, you have no idea why, but that doesn’t stop you from thinking that you were passed over for something you should have gotten, or feeling slighted, or being miffed at Janice and your boss.
All these things rob you of peace, and they are all illusions. So the quickest road to peace is paved with trust that all things are working toward your good. The more you lean into the idea that the universe is on your side, always and in all ways, the less you need to create mind chatter to explain why each and every thing is happening to you.
Notice Your Awareness
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” ~ Buddha
Are you trying to make other things stand in for peace? Are you numbing out to gain peace? Are you hoping that that vacation will bring you peace? Are you masquerading happiness as peace? Finding a $100 bill on the sidewalk will make you happy, temporarily. Happiness comes and goes. Hoping things will bring you peace always disappoints. Looking for peace in too much TV, or that glass of wine, or those pain pills will not deliver what you seek. Peace is only able to exist in an alive awareness of this moment, your thoughts, and your natural defenses. Allow peace a foothold in your life.
“Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.” ~ John Lennon
December’s joy-full lesson is peace like a river flows, but only if you don’t dam it up. If you do not have the gift of peace right now, pause and scan yourself. Which one of these things are you not doing? What can you do in the next moment that would break the logjam and create a rush of peace into your life? Do you have an idea? Great, now go do that, right now. You deserve to give yourself the greatest gift of all this holiday season.