Friday, 8 October 2010

Control is the mind outside: Peace is our inner home

We love to have control.  Indeed we are obsessed with it.  We imagine it will bring us freedom.  We imagine it will bring us Peace.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Imagine a hurricane (this could be emotional as much as mental or physical).  The chaos that is caused by such personal 'hurricanes' is often due to our attachment as to how things 'should be'. 

In other words, the mind: it wants control over others, over events, over life.  It seeks to impose itself and its order.  It looks outside for control.  And this is the crucial element: control can never be found outside.  It is a distortion, it is a poor substitute for Peace, which is what our soul is really craving in times of chaos, stress, confusion and over-stimulation.

Peace, on the other hand is found inside.  It's not external.  It is personal.  No one else can create our peace.  We expand into peace.  And that peace gives us the strength to stay centred during hurricanes, to accept the decisions and actions of others, knowing that they too are on their own path (not the ones we think they should be on - and that's a big difference!).

So, how do we create Peace?  There are a couple of basic things we can do to facilitate and increase our sense of peace.

The First Step is letting go of the mental story - 'how it should be'.  This is an illusion, a story created by our mind, and it has no reality beyond the reality it has in our thoughts.

The Second Step is to accept what is... surrender to it.  We can fight What Is, but What Is always wins!  It's far wiser to allow What Is to move around us, rather like the wind stretching and bending reeds.  When we can flow with What Is, we create less resistance and less resistance creates less distortion.  Acceptance and surrender ultimately allow us to generate more ease and grace in life, and less chaos, strife and striving.  Acceptance and surrender also allow others to find their own inner balance more quickly and easily than if we tell them how they 'should be'.

The Third Step is harnessing the physical mechanism to root that experience of peace within - and it couldn't be simpler.  It's our breath!  
We breathe in peace.  
We breathe out acceptance. 
And Out. 
Our breath refocuses us on the present moment.  On the essence of life itself.  And away for the mental 'story' we would otherwise be tempted to impose on the world around us.
As with so much of life, it's often harder to remember the easy steps!  And yet, as I sometimes panic and worry about the huge life change approaching, I am grateful for the opportunity to remember to surrender.  To remember to Breathe.  I am grateful for the understanding that I have a choice in how I choose to respond to my fears and fantasies.  I can soften into acceptance.  I can surrender control and embrace peace.  One breath at a time!

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