Have you ever sat down in a park on a sunny, but not hot, day? The birds chirping peacefully in the background as a gentle breeze sighs across the field? The trees rustling gently and the grasses making a soft chatter as if to applaud the friendly wind?
That is a moment that I would call serene. And it is also a great way to start yourself on your own journey towards inner peace and serenity. I’m not referring to sitting in a nice park, although that is still very nice, but to being able to define what serenity means to you.
For some people, when they think of serenity they think of a scene not too different from what I described. Others might find peace in quiet meditation alone in their house. Still, others might find cozying up in their blankets watching videos, having fun with their Grande Vegas no deposit bonus codes, or playing video games on their phone to be their form of sanctuary.
Despite almost everyone seemingly being able to paint a vivid picture with words as to what that tranquil moment of theirs is, it seems that to most people actually achieving that moment of peaceful relaxation is a goal that simply keeps illuding them.
For all I know, most people might simply not even be looking for their peace. After all, most people talk about wanting to be happy. How many people have you heard say they simply want to be at peace?
Yet, from my own personal experience, finding peace with yourself and the universe is a much longer-lasting form of happiness. Perhaps not as strong as a sudden burst of joy, but as you might know, a hot flame will simply burn what you are trying to cook. Stronger isn’t always better.
So, without further ado, what can you do to help yourself find your own peace in life? How can you really find yourself in that park with the breeze and the trees and the birds?
A couple of weeks ago, or perhaps it was months, I was walking from my classes back to my dorm room. It was rather late at that point, probably somewhere between 22:30 and midnight. Maybe even later, I don’t exactly remember.
In any case, it was a rather windy night. I remember the gusts tugging at the trees that lined the path to either side of me. The cacophony of the leaves rustling and shaking made a natural orchestra for me as I walked, my own footsteps being the percussion.
I suddenly stopped, as I realized no one was around. It was just me, the wind, and the mighty tree giants shaking their arms at me in the winds. I suddenly felt a wave of tranquility wash over me.
It was just simply beautiful. The dim street lights cast a gentle glow on my surroundings, the trees dancing and swaying in the breeze, and me, standing there in the middle of it all. It was such a simple thing, yet so… inspiring.
A moment of beauty in what could have been described as an otherwise average day. Not great, but not a bad day. Yet here I was, standing like a rock in a stream as the wind flowed passed me and blew the plants like instruments.
That is how you find your serenity. A big part of being able to find peace is to stop and pay attention to the world around you. Notice the little things that bring beauty to something as simple as the room you might be sitting in.
I suppose an apt term for this would be to live in the moment. To feel time pass around you, and not have it slip passed hour by hour while you focus intently on doing. Sometimes it is important to stop, take a deep breath, look around, and simply be.
I heard a good tip once in this regard about how we can sometimes go on autopilot while we do things. For instance, how many people are very conscious of what they are doing in the shower?
For most, it is probably a motion they have gone through literally thousands upon thousands of times in their life already. So, the old autopilot kicks in, and you daydream until you realize you finished showering and move on with your life.
But, the more we can save every precious moment of our lives, the more we will value the time and life we are given. So, pay attention to the world around you.
If you ever find yourself slipping away from the here and now, try this exercise out. Look around the room (or wherever you are), and try and find at least 3 things you didn’t notice before. This will keep your mind active, and help you appreciate the world around you.
The more we can appreciate the little things in life, the more will simply find happiness and peace in our lot in life. There is always at least something that we can be thankful for. It’s important to recognize it, and not always crave what we think we lack.
Water Under The Bridge
There are plenty of things I could look back on in my life and cringe about. I don’t think it would be too wild for me to say that you, dear reader, probably do too. It’s simply a fact of life. We do things we wish we hadn’t, and don’t do things we wish we had.
We feel bad we didn’t pick X instead of Y and lost out. Maybe we chose to go to a university that we didn’t like, picked the wrong lottery number, or maybe you had a sweet joke back in 9th grade that you could have had everyone rolling on the floor if you told it, but chickened out.
These are all examples, some more universal some less, of things that make us feel sad or disappointed when we look back on them. However, if our goal in life is to find peace and tranquility, feeling disappointed about every bad choice we make is no way to go.
I once heard a piece of advice that, to be completely honest, helped change my entire outlook on life. To be disappointed is to make up a fake reality where you got what you wanted, and then be jealous of that alternate reality.
However, that form of event never happened! Let’s take our lottery for example. Why are we disappointed we don’t win the lottery? Because we can see an alternative form of events where we did win and become jealous that didn’t happen.
Yet, that’s not what happened. The only form of existence there is, is the one where you didn’t win. Nothing changed before or after. There is no point feeling bad about it, because you never won, and you never could have won because you didn’t!
Okay, I can see that this might be a bit complicated to understand. However, the ultimate concept is rather simple.
Whenever something happens to make you feel bad, know that it is your choice to feel bad or not.
The world doesn’t force that emotion on you. It is just how you relate to the events that unfolded. Even if you did have what most people would call a really rotten day, if you don’t let it get you down then your day cannot ever be bad.
I know, this may seem very hard, and it certainly takes a long time to get it to work in practice. However, if you truly desire to find serenity in life, then this is probably one of the most important things you can try to work towards.
Never let life get you down. Flow with the passage of time, and appreciate the sights and sounds around you. If something doesn’t go your way, if you fall, that’s okay. Simply pick yourself up, think about what you can learn from what happened, and move on with a smile.
Simply let go of the gripes and pains of the past, and let the water under the bridge wash them away. Do not forget them completely, otherwise, we would never learn, but don’t let them drag you away with them and drown you.
One last thing this touches on is grudges and being upset by people. A wise man once told me, letting someone upset you or make you feel bad is just punishing yourself for someone else’s stupidity. They did what they did, they can think what they think, but they can never make you feel a certain way. You are the ruler of your own body. You are you, and they are them.
One of the biggest things that make people feel bad is wasted time. When someone lies down to fall asleep at the end of the day and thinks, “wow, I did nothing today,” it can be one of the worst feelings.
Some might even begin to feel like their life is just some endlessly monotonous trudge where they do the same things day in and day out. Sadly, some people might begin to simply feel like maybe there is no point to all of it.
But this isn’t true! Every single human has potential! You have something that no other person on Earth does. You have your own unique experiences, abilities, connections, and life. In other words, you are you, and nobody else has that beautiful opportunity.
This means you have unique opportunities to affect the world that perhaps not a single other human will ever have. Think about the people around you. How do you affect their lives, how could you affect their lives? Or, how could you affect your own life?
The point I’m trying to make here is meaning. Find meaning in your life. Search for something that gives your life a feeling of necessity. What are you doing that makes you feel like your life has meaning to it?
Whether you want to help other people, invent something, give a service that you see a need for, or simply be the nicest person you can be, meaning is the number one thing that people need, but don’t realize it.
Think about the times when you have spent your day on your phone, or just hanging around. How did you feel at the end of the day? How did you feel the next day? Now think about times when you felt like you did something good for yourself or the world.
Maybe you did a nice favor for a neighbor, did some volunteer work, or simply exercised. How did that make you feel at the end of the day? I would be willing to bet that those days made you feel a lot better than the other ones.
So, here is something you can try. Every day, before you go to bed, sit down and write about things that you are proud of from your day. Think about what you did well, and what you could do better. In a positive way, of course, we don’t put ourselves down.
From here, we can make sure our days will always have at least something in them that we can be proud of. If you can find that thing every day to give your time a feeling of meaning, then I can assure you that you will be one step closer to not just finding value in life, but peace in life.