Although it sometimes seems like a good, even a great idea, we do not need to move to the desolate woods and live like hermits to know peace.
Peace of mind, peace in action, peace in our hearts. We can do it right where we are. It takes some thought and practice.
It also takes some special restraint once you set out to live a peaceful life, as an interesting side-effect of seeking peace seems to be the number of people who want to bother you goes straight into orbit.
While most of us are not happy being upset, stressed or worried, there are some who actively resist attempts or suggestions to help them cope. I suspect they’re not among today’s readers.
It seems some people not only don’t particularly want peace themselves (although they’re always bemoaning its lack), they don’t like it in other people.
We’ve talked about people who self-disturb. There are those who actively seek to wreck your serenity. Do not let them. You don’t have to give up serenity!
Now, back to getting that serenity. Peace is not a concept that most philosophers imagined as taking place only in the desolate wilds.
Stop reacting. In the majority of situations, you do have some control. You may only be controlling how fast you’re running away from catastrophe, but you do have that bit of control.
When we are constantly reacting, we’re always being rocked back on our heels. Remember all that mindful awareness I’ve been preaching? Yes. You can use that immediately to decide how you want to affect a situation, even if the situation is emergent.
Step back, take your deep and controlled breaths, and observe the thoughts that rise from the recesses of your mind.
This is not the thing to do if you’re under attack by zombies. However, in most other situations, taking a few minutes to let the wave of panic and anxiety pass over you and through you is a grand idea, and it’s rooted in mindfulness.
When you’ve redirected your attention and your awareness to the present moment, you can deal much more effectively with whatever is going on.