By September 5, 2011 Read More →

5 Practical Tips for Living in a State of Inner Peace

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“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Evita Ochel on finding your inner peace. Evita is is the founder and editor of EvolvingBeings.com.

According to Wikipedia, inner peace, (or "peace of mind"), is "a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress." What a wonderful place to be.

I asked Evita to share her best lessons learned on finding and living with inner peace. I know a lot of people that will greatly benefit from her wisdom on this topic, and I know Evita has plenty of precious insight to share.

Without further ado, here is Evita on finding and living with inner peace …

Awakening to a Higher State of Consciousness

Many people today are feeling the great change on our planet. The conditions are ripe for awakening to a higher state of consciousness than we have previously known as humanity, on both a personal and collective level. In the midst of this, we have seen what seems like an exponential increase in self-help and personal development resources, especially over the past couple of decades.

As we aim for increased abundance, efficiency or success, we cannot dismiss that the foundation for the most meaningful life comes from something else.

This something else cannot be taught or received in the typical sense of the word. It can be inspired or exemplified by others, but ultimately it has to come from within you as a state of being.

Inner Peace Comes from a Stake of Being

This is the greatest aspect that differentiates it from the most common personal growth topics. It does not come from a state of doing, but rather from a state of being. What we are talking about here is living from a state of inner peace.

For some whose interests revolve around action and achievement, the thought of inner peace may quite frankly sound boring. It may appear as taking the docile approach or being inactive to what life offers. Ironically, inner peace is anything but docile or boring. Although I feel it is our natural state of being, it takes great courage, discipline and effort to foster, and live out at all times in our modern society.

To help explain this further, I will share with you some tips of what I found has worked for me when it comes to making inner peace a state of being from which to live.

Tip #1. Realize You Have Nothing To Prove

Regardless of whether you had a tough childhood, a sibling rivalry, or you measure your worth based on the success of others, each of us tends to have experience in living like we need to prove something. What makes this worse, is that often this driving force can sabotage our life by being completely unconscious. Many of us are very good at convincing ourselves that motivation and ambition are the spice of life, and anything that seems opposite to that is lazy or lifeless. Some people go after a certain career to prove something to their family. Some acquire products to prove something to their friends. Some participate in a certain activity to prove something to themselves. Whatever the action may be, it tends to create a lot of turmoil, pressure and/or anxiety within us.

There is nothing inherently wrong with being motivated to do something. It simply all depends what is the driving force behind that motivation. This life, this race, this game or however you see it, is only and always with yourself. It is about your personal evolution, not anyone else’s. There is nothing to prove to anyone, not even yourself. We all reach the finish line and along the way we all create, express and experience ourselves. The sooner we realize that and make it real in our lives, the more inner peace we attain. Know that you are everything and you can do anything. Therefore, it would be more valuable to put your efforts into creating for the sake of expressing yourself as an infinite being, rather than creating for the sake of proving some final outcome. You are magnificent regardless of what you do, or do not do. Inner peace comes from finding the joy along the way no matter what you are doing, rather than suffering along the way in hopes of reaching some elusive, final happy place.

Tip #2. Learn To Be Still

I find that a big challenge of living from a space of inner peace is that many of us do not allow for the right environment to nurture it, due to the constant noise in our lives. Our minds are on, all the time. Most of us spend the majority of our days in physically noisy environments. To make matters worse, most of us are caught up in a perpetual state of doing. There is always something to do, and there is never enough time. This is the opposite of what inner peace is all about.

This is why learning to be still is one of the central tenets of achieving inner peace. Although it would seem like an easy task to be still or be in silence, the actuality is far from it. This is why as I stated in the introduction, attaining and living with inner peace is not some easy or boring task. It takes discipline and an active creation on one’s part to live beyond the norm of modern-day society. This can make life very exciting and rewarding.

To experience inner peace, we need to have stillness in our life to at least have the chance to consciously “be” with whatever turmoil may be going on within us. When we are running around and “busy” all the time, it is too easy to dismiss or ignore what our inner being is asking for, or trying to tell us. Therefore, the path to inner peace needs to include a balance of some stillness and silence. Reflect on, process and clear out what does not serve you consciously, so you are not living from it unconsciously.

Tip #3. Forgive For Your Peace of Mind

I will never forget when I had the great realization in my life that forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person, but is actually a gift we give ourselves. So many people still live with the notion that they will not, or cannot forgive another, for whatever the other may have said or done. In actuality all this means is that they are refusing to forgive themselves, thereby creating pain and tension in their own life.

The key ingredient for peace-filled relationships is forgiveness. When I speak about forgiveness, I am not talking about it from any religious perspective, but from a look beyond and let go of perspective. This becomes easier when we understand that no one ever does anything wrong given their model of the world, and that most people live from a habitual place of unconscious words and actions. From that perspective, how can we find fault or blame in someone who does not realize what they are doing? This is where seeing beyond the word or action helps. One person in the relationship must have more clarity, or more emotional maturity, or simply more consciousness to see beyond what may have been said or done. Deep down, we are love and we want love. Inner peace comes from recognizing that and not holding onto any word or deed expressed by another.

Tip #4. Master the Art of Allowing

Various authors and teachers talk about the art of allowing. Some people have heard about it, some get it, while others yet may find the concept completely foreign. Mastering allowing means letting each person be as they are. Naturally, this is very difficult for us to do as it seems our nature is rooted in wanting to change and control people. We learn this firsthand from our parents, who seem to think they always know what is best for us, and how or what we should be. Very few people grow up fortunate enough to have had parents who allowed for freedom of expression, while being supportive guides along the way, rather than entities who seem to think they own us. As we get into relationships, we then model this behavior on our loved ones. Although it can spill onto our friends, our family members seem to get the worst of the brunt.

What confuses many people about allowing is making it synonymous with tolerating. Mastering the art of allowing means that we respect each person’s right to self expression, but it may include us not being part of that expression. For example, if I had a partner who smoked and I did not want smoking to be a part of my life, there are numerous ways I could approach the situation to maintain a level of inner peace. Starting from clear, honest communication about how and why I feel a certain way, which may be enough for the person to realize that this is not actually a habit they are consciously choosing, or re-evaluating why I feel as I do and whether I want to sacrifice the quality of the relationship over it, to temporary or permanent removal of myself from the situation. Bottom line we have choices in every moment to act from a place of inner peace, or cause ourselves and others turmoil, pain and suffering. The choice is always ours.

Tip #5. Know That Everything is Perfect

I find this last tip the most challenging to explain, and for people to put into practice. When we look around at our world today, very few would exclaim that everything is perfect. I mean look at us. Regardless of where we live, wars, turbulent economies, job losses, illness, famine, poverty and weather cataclysms, paint the backdrop for life on our planet today.

Despite all this, there is something so sacred about the state of the world and our lives. Some people get a glimpse of it at times, and know the deep value of the phrase, “everything happens for a reason”. In the midst of what society calls a crisis or disaster, naturally this is hard to see. And yet, the more we live in a state of true inner peace, the more we look at the world through the eyes of perfection. Normally, none of us know the bigger reason for why something has happened to someone, a group of people or geographical area. This makes a lot of people want to be activists and stand up or fight for some group or cause. It may seem noble, but often all we are doing is identifying ourselves with some future outcome which we believe is better than the now. This does not mean that we should just sit back and do nothing, for clearly a lot of people are hurting and can benefit from our help. Yes, go out and do what you feel your heart calling you to do by all means, but make sure you do not attempt to impose your will on another or think you know what is best for them. Act from a space of personal expression, rather than personal identification. Attachment to, or a strong identification with something brings inner turmoil, anxiety or pain, for we live from a state of fear for self or others. In the end, you are not technically saving anyone, but evolving yourself through choices of personal expression.

What makes this more challenging is that we need to have a certain amount of inner peace to see the world and all that takes place as a perfect state of things. Inner peace drives external perfection, and external perfection drives more inner peace. The two are intricately linked together, where normally as we attain one, we attain the other.

Concluding Thoughts

I know in my life, nothing tastes or feels as good, as living with inner peace. It immediately changes your perspective on everything, giving your life a different pace and meaning. Therefore knowing how good it feels, it is my intention to inspire others to create the same in their life. As I mentioned above, no one can teach you inner peace, or give it to you. Yes, you can read about it and hear about it, but ultimately it has to be your choice and come from within you in all that you are, and all that you do.

Inner peace is a lifelong choice. It is a choice we have the opportunity to make over and over again. This is the other thing that I find so exciting about it. Life is always giving us many opportunities to practice it, in every possible context. You are constantly evolving your mastery of living with inner peace.

In the end, it may sound cliché, but we really need to be the change we wish to see. Instead of changing the external to get what we desire, look within yourself and be the joy, happiness and peace you may be seeking.


Evita Ochel, B.Sc., B.Ed., CHN – is the founder and editor of EvolvingBeings.com – an online publication to awaken and inspire people to grow in consciousness and connect with a heart-centered way of life. She is also a nutritional science expert, and the author of the newly released book Healing and Prevention Through Nutrition, as well as the editor of EvolvingWellness.com – an online publication featuring numerous resources to help people attain optimal health and wellness.

14 Comments on "5 Practical Tips for Living in a State of Inner Peace"

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  1. Hi Evita,
    I consciously started my personal development journey back in 1997 because I felt an inner need to change from the inside out. I am at the point where I feel like I don’t have anything to prove to anyone else.

    Life for me is about asking the questions “Who do I want to be” and “What do I want to experience.”

    I totally agree with the need to forgive as a gift that we give ourselves. To hold onto anger just weighs us down.

  2. Dia says:

    Hi Evita,

    Many people experience stress and anxiety on a regular basis which is why millions of people look for ways to achieve inner peace. I agree with you forgiveness is one of the best tools to achieve peace of mind. When we forgive ourselves and others, then we are letting go of the resentment and the negative feelings. I also love to use meditation and visualization to achieve inner peace. They are great source to calm our minds. Thanks for sharing Evita

  3. Sean Cox says:

    Hi Evita, I really appreciate your thoughts and tips. I sense the depth of your soul. I liked your comment that inner peace comes from a state of being rather than doing. Right on–in order to “do” different, we have to “be” different comes to mind.

    I also am so glad that you mentioned forgiveness. I don’t see this talked about nearly enough, yet it is often THE key to emotional freedom and inner peace (this opinion is based on having had the privilege of working with people for over 20 years as they push through very difficult issues).

    Thanks for the dose of inspiration Evita!

  4. Evita says:

    @ Hi Justin,

    I love the questions you are asking! Curiosity, wonder and questioning opens up so many doors. By asking, we are showing a desire to understand, and the answers flow to us. Sometimes in obvious ways, and sometimes cryptically ;) But they do start coming.

    Thank you for sharing about your journey.

    @ Hi Dia,

    You are most welcome, it was a pleasure to share here in JD’s wonderful space. And thank you for sharing some of your insights on this topic. The levels of stress and anxiety today are vast, and I truly don’t know how people do it when they experience it over and over, and not change something. But to each their own journey. I know everyone chooses what is most right for them in any given moment.

    @ Hi Sean,

    Thank you for your kind feedback. Indeed, so many people choose to hold onto things that others have said or done, or not done when they should have done, etc… which causes them, so much pain. We can let go at any moment, we can forgive and we can be free. We just have to choose it. That is the part that comes with free will… no one else can do it for us.

  5. Evan says:

    Hi Evita, I don’t think children dying of preventable diseases or people of all ages dying from remediable famine in any way perfect. Not to the tiniest degree. And yes I would prefer a future without these things – I’m even willing to put myself to personal inconvenience to do something about them.

    I agree with your other points wholeheartedly.

  6. Bern says:

    I loved and appreciated your tips towards greater awakening Evita in the grand process of attaining inner Peace.

    Awakening appears to be an ongoing and evolutionary process, although there are opportunities for quantum leaps of receiving potential spiritual awareness.

    For instance, there are those who feel victimized and feel they can not get what they want. They may then awaken to another stage or arena of life where they finally obtain what they think they want, or that which they have been conditioned to see value in.

    Another level of awakening then occurs when people are getting the things they want, but are still not satisfied. They inherently know something is wrong and where they feel empty inside as if something is missing. They then are awakened by asking questions which then results in a quest and thirst for knowledge and Truth. They then become awakened to seeking information and ideas and concepts to live by.

    Others, knowing that something is not right externally then fights for that which they think is wrong or how a particular system had conned them into being checked and therefore taken advantage of. They then are awakened to fight the cause for a brand new external effect.

    Yet another stage of awakening, as you clearly describe Evita, is that of abandoning the search to find and feel that sense of Stillness within. From this place of acceptance, one then allows for the world to be as it is, because they realize that everything is dancing with one another in the process of releasing emotional and mental tensions. One then begins to realize and are awakened to the sense that everyone lives in their own universe, in their own bubbles, attracting people, environments and events to play out a drama or episode that will allow all parties involved to see themselves as reflections of each other all the more clearly. By finding resolution and peace with each other, they too then awaken to another dimensional existence as they open up new doors which leads to more releasing of ancient fears.

    One then seems to finally awaken beyond that which has been fated, where karma has finally been resolved. From this fresh slate one then has the power to achieve destiny by entering into the realm of their soul related genius. From this unique stance in stillness, one then visions their future and steps into the Now as all wishes finally come true in the process of attaining their greater dream where their soul contract has been satisfied.

    Perhaps from Here, there is nothing to achieve where imagined purpose has been resolved, where one then releases their soul tension altogether and returns to spirit where …..where….. nowhere and no outer wear exists. There is then no depository or warehouse to store anything. One simply then is everything.

  7. Hilary says:

    Hi JD and Evita .. I just need to see your photo Evita and feel peace settle over me .. it always conjures that feeling of quiet and stillness.

    This is a great guest post – and really compliments your work, JD .. and your book Evita (though I haven’t got it) has always seemed such a wonderful way to think .. to evolve our beings – in today’s age we need so much of that to happen for us all.

    I recently found two short trailers (6 mins each) on wisdom and music by the film-maker Andrew Zuckerman which I posted here (they originally came from Brain Pickings – a site I love receiving)
    http://positiveletters.blogspot.com/2011/08/wisdom-music-fear-of-failure-and.html

    Jane Goodall in the Wisdom one says that every decision we make should be based on the effect that that decision will have on those around us for the next 7 generations … we’re constantly making short-term remedial choices .. that won’t help long term. So wise.

    JD – perhaps another section under resources .. short films like these ..? They are truly uplifting .. and have some wise words in them.

    Thanks so much .. have enjoyable Autumns … Hilary

  8. Evita says:

    @ Hi Evan,

    Yes, I completely understand Evan for it is very hard for most people to see how any of the “horrible” suffering on our planet can in any way be perfect… but how we see things, all depends on which world we live in, how we understand life, etc… This is why as I mentioned in my post, seeing everything as perfect, is one of the hardest points to talk about, as most people share a different reality for why things happen, and what should be done about them.

    The biggest thing that I would say, which goes along perfectly with what you stated about even putting yourself through inconvenience, is that even though the situation may not be perfect from your point of view, it is a gift that is given to you, for you to express yourself as a kind, compassionate or other quality human being. It all works together for our personal and collective evolution.

    @ Hi Bern,

    Thank you for your in depth comment and insights. Yes, I totally agree that awakening and evolution, or even enlightenment are not a one-stop event, but rather an ongoing event, with as you mentioned quantum leaps along the way.

    You expressed so beautifully the levels of awakening that can be an example for many. And in the end, there is the realization that it all has been an intricate dance of life, where everything that captured our attention was a by-product our creation, for our personal soul evolution. In end, each of us realizing that indeed we are the all.

    @ Hello Hilary,

    Oh Hilary, I feel likewise to share in your energy, which is always so warm and welcoming, and so full of gratitude. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and the link. I look forward to taking it in.

    The wisdom in that line about us constantly making short-term remedial choices is so right on. We do this in our health care system, our political, economical systems…. all around us. Even the products that we buy today are all meant to be a short term solution…instead of being of quality to last for generations, reducing the amount of unnecessary resources that are wasted each minute. Thank you for sharing that, it was very meaningful to me.

  9. Evan says:

    If you are happy to say that evil is a chance to respond perfectly then we agree completely. This doesn’t legitimate or approve of the appalling things that happen.

  10. Lance says:

    Hi Evita!!
    Great to see you here!

    And you know what – maybe this sounds weird, but I feel an even deeper sense of inner peace, just reading your words. I guess maybe it’s because your words reach deep into my soul – and that touches that space where everything is connected to something Higher.

    As I read this, I think the most challenging for me is the “art of allowing”. And while I like to think I do this – the truth is, I can be more allowing – I’m sure of it. Anyway, that’s a great take away for me today – to be more conscious of this…

  11. Evita says:

    @ Hi Evan,

    From my experience, when we leave the world of duality, evil ceases to exist. One no longer looks at things as bad or good, right or wrong, good or evil. It just all is. This does not mean that we approve, accept or condone a particular word or action. It simply empowers us to work with the energies that resonate with us, and be part of creating what we feel represents us most at any given time.

    Thank you Evan again for having the courage to share your thoughts on this issue. I know it is not an easy one to come to a common understanding on—and the best part is we don’t have to. All of our collective ideas continue to shape the world as we know it.

    @Hi Lance,

    And so great to see you here too :)
    Thank you for sharing your comment. Any of these areas can offer each of us a life long journey of personal evolution. And this is wonderful…there need not be a finish line reached at any given time, or some goal to keep in mind. How far we are willing to go, all depends on how much inner peace we want to have.

  12. Hi Evan,

    I am new to your site. But glad to have found another like minded person to communicate with.

    I like the concept of duality when it comes to seeking and living inner peace. Very often when I am facing a state of distress, I will imagine myself sitting on a fence high above my earthly self in the sky and watching what the earthly Jimmy is doing and feeling. The angelic Jimmy will start questioning like “Why is he angry or sad now?” Once I grasp that state of consciousness that we are simple experiencing something in this world, things seem to calm down again. New perspectives come online and all negative emotions start to subside.

    I guess that is how I deal with myself when it comes to seeking inner peace. The ways your suggested gives me great encouragement and resources to try new things as well. Inner peace is not a good to have it is a prerequiste to a higher life.

    Cheers

  13. Evan says:

    Hi Jimmy, this isn’t my site, I’m just a commenter. The site belongs to JD – pic in top right hand corner, and this is a guest post by Evita – pic in the top right of the post, Evan.