5 Lessons Learned from Evita Ochel on Inner Peace

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

“Inner peace comes from a state of being,” Evita Ochel told me in our chat. “This is the greatest aspect that differentiates it from most common personal growth topics. It does not come from a state of doing, but a state of being.

Anyone who has attended a personal development seminar or read a self-help book will know exactly what she is talking about. In an ever-changing world that seems on the verge of a breakthrough to a new state of consciousness, every coach, counselor, and self-proclaimed guru wants you to “take action.” “Grind it out.” “Step up your game.” In other words, do something.

By contrast, inner peace seems downright boring, even lazy. Ochel disagrees. “Although I feel it is our natural state of being, it [inner peace] takes great courage, discipline, and effort to foster and live out at all times in our modern society.”

Here are five lessons I learned from Evita Ochel on inner peace …

Tip #1. Realize You Have Nothing To Prove

“Many of us are very good at convincing ourselves that motivation and ambition are the spice of life,” Ochel said, “and anything that seems opposite to that is lazy or lifeless.”

Ambition and perseverance aren’t in themselves threats to inner peace as Ochel understands it. But if the urge to achieve comes from a place of old hurt, you might be pushing yourself to prove your father wrong … to outdo a sibling … to “show” some bully from your past who has no relevance to your present or future.

You will never prove what you need to prove to these people … so why bother? In a state of inner peace, you do what you do — or don’t do — for no other reason than to express yourself as a divine and infinite being. You have nothing to prove to anyone — not even yourself.

“Inner peace comes from finding the joy along the way no matter what you are doing,” Ochel said, “rather than suffering along the way in hopes of reaching some elusive, final happy place.”

Tip #2. Learn To Be Still

“Most of us spend the majority of our days in physically noisy environments,” Ochel said. “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.”

It’s not a new concept that we need to set aside the noise and exist with the stillness in order to find a state of inner peace, but Ochel stresses its importance. Moreso, she reiterates her belief that inner peace is far from laziness. It takes discipline to step outside of our distracting world — to make the time and create an environment where we can be still.

The path of least resistance in this fast-paced world is to take refuge in being “busy” … but in doing so, we dismiss what our inner voice is asking of us.

“The path to inner peace needs to include a balance of some stillness and silence,” Ochel said. “Reflect on, process, and clear out what does not serve you consciously, so you are not living from it unconsciously.”

Tip #3. Forgive Others 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,” Ochel said, “but is actually a gift we give ourselves.”

Wow. Talk about profound. We think of forgiveness as grace we give another, but it’s easy to see Ochel’s point when we think about the way that the anger we carry around burdens us. Punishes us. It’s like drinking poison in hopes that the other person will die.

Ochel encourages seekers of inner peace to forgive the people they hold grudges against — even if the person won’t accept your forgiveness, even if they feel no remorse, even if they are dead or inaccessible. Not for them, but for you. So you can stop carrying around the poison.

“Deep down, we are love and we want love,” Ochel said. “Inner peace comes from recognizing that and not holding onto any word or deed expressed by another.”

Tip #4. Master the Art of Allowing

“Mastering allowing means letting each person be as they are,” Ochel said. “Naturally, this is very difficult for us to do as it seems our nature is rooted in wanting to change and control people.”

Ochel raises an important distinction, though — there’s a difference between “allowing” and “tolerating.” We can allow people to be what they are, but that doesn’t mean we can’t set boundaries, and it doesn’t mean we have to remain close to them or preserve relationships with them if communication breaks down or boundaries cannot be maintained.

She brings up the example of a partner who smokes. She could accept her partner as a smoker, but if she does not want cigarette smoke in her life, she could communicate and negotiate with the partner to try and create consensus. However, if no consensus can be reached, inner peace means the willingness to let that partnership come to an end.

Tip #5. Know That Everything is Perfect

“When we look around at our world today, very few would exclaim that everything is perfect,” Ochel said. “I mean look at us.”

Nevertheless, in spite of the war, disease, famine, poverty, and climate crises, Ochel encourages seekers to look at everything through the eyes of the divine — even when it seems impossible. We never know what the long-term consequences will be for any situation we encounter, even if it seems to spell nothing but suffering.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t follow our heart and try to affect change or alleviate suffering. But we must become less attached to the outcome — in other words, less anxious to make the world more perfect through the force of our effort. It’s a losing battle anyway.

“Inner peace drives external perfection, and external perfection drives more inner peace,” Ochel said. “The two are intricately linked together.”

Key Takeaway

To Ochel, inner peace is a choice — one that we continue to make, over and over again. Fortunately, life gives us infinite opportunities to practice it.

“It may sound cliché, but we really need to be the change we wish to see,” Ochel said. “Instead of changing the external to get what we desire, look within yourself and be the joy, happiness, and peace you may be seeking.”

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14 COMMENTS

  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. 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. 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. @ 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. 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. 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. 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. @ 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. 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. 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. @ 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. 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.

  14. […] 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.” Read the original article here: […]

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