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It has been a very peaceful week.

I recently gave a talk on the Steps to Inner Peace, and really chose to put the information to use in my own life. I thought about when people ask me how I am, I usually say, “it’s been a hectic week,” or “life is so crazy,” or something like that. I decided that this weekend, instead of saying what a hectic week I had, I wanted to be able to say I had a peaceful week.

I had a peaceful week. I really did.

Does this mean I felt peaceful all the time?
No. I was actually pretty stressed out – my mom, who has been having trouble recovering from a surgery for a broken hip had to go to the ER (for like the fourth time now), and then was admitted to the hospital. I was having difficulty getting information from staff, and at one point, I really thought I was going to lose my shit.

As I experienced this stress, I had to remind myself to breath (a little thing, but really very helpful). Then I had to choose peace. It’s a choice. I told myself I could call my sister, and get support. We’d get this handled.

Inner peace is not about only ever feeling peaceful; it’s feeling stressed, then choosing peace, or feeling the fear, and then choosing peace.

Does this mean I felt happy all the time?
No way! There were days I was utterly depressed. I am worried about my mom, and I feel bad for her. There are also a lot of changes happening in my personal life, and they are scary because they are requiring me to step out of my comfort zone and literally do something I have never done before. I love guarantees of success (don’t we all), and so it’s really scary to move into a zone where there are no guarantees.

So I chose to honor my feelings; the fear and the sadness, and I allowed myself to grieve the parts of my old life that are falling away.

That felt very peaceful, and I discovered I can feel peace and grief at the same time.

Does this mean my week was easy?
Oh god no! I have not been sleeping well, so go through each day feeling exhausted! And then Thursday afternoon I got a flat tire. Friday morning, I got another flat tire! At that point, I had to laugh – and my kids helped me to do that. So we went home and decorated our tree – and had some amazing family time. Seriously, it was the perfect way to end my week!

I used to believe that having inner peace meant being happy and positive all the time, which meant I had to find something to be happy about in difficult situations.

But over the last few months, as I’ve felt like I’ve had the wind knocked out of me, over and over again, by both external events (like my mom being sick), and internal events (releasing beliefs that no longer serve me), I’ve discovered that having inner peace means accepting the events without judgment. It’s giving up the struggle to change something into something I think it should be.

Inner peace isn’t about life being how we think it should be so we can be happy. Inner peace is what gives us the space to have clarity to shift direction, and to choose to move toward well-being rather than away from it.

 

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