Do You Put Your Inner Peace on Hold?
“Ego says that when everything is alright then I will find peace;
Spirit says when I find peace, then everything will be alright.”
– Marianne Williamson
Sound familiar? How many times do we say things like, “When my schedule (work, family, kids) gets less crazy, the I will be able to focus on eating better and exercising.”
“I just need to get through (the holidays, work transition, my kids’ sports season) then I can find the time to focus on me, on what I really want etc….”
“When I lose weight, get the right job, get more organized, find the perfect home, fix my relationship etc… then everything will be perfect.”
I’ve seen this pattern up close and personal: frustrated, overwhelmed, unmotivated, waiting for something to shift, followed by fleeting moments of celebration only to find yet another objective to miserably pine over. The common theme: tying one’s inner peace to an external event or outcome. It’s rooted in a disempowering mantra that believes: “If this happens, then I will be happy and then and only then will I be able to live my dream life.”
We can get stuck in this all-or-nothing, perfectionist thinking. We tie our emotions to specific outcomes and we get seriously tripped up. In reality, we are finding all kinds of ways to not take responsibility for our own happiness. Sadly, by looking for fixes outside of ourselves, we can go forever putting our inner peace on hold.
For many of us, our compulsions, and we all have them, whether it’s overeating, binge eating, overworking, over-worrying, that’s become our normal. We get addicted to our frenzied lives and somehow believe that if we are always stressed out it will lead to greater success later on. Inner peace is not only something we can’t waste time on, but something that we believe comes and goes with the drama of our lives or even the lives of those we love.
So here’s what I’ve learned: when we connect our joy to anything outside of ourselves, we’re setting ourselves up for failure. Whether that’s weight loss, having the right body, the perfect job, house, bank account, or relationship, if we allow our busy minds to pin our dreams on any one outcome, we get forever stuck in limbo, waiting.
Over the last several years, my journey to create true health has taught me that everything we seek, we already have and we already are. We are beings full of creative and self-healing potential. What I teach and what I live is that instead of looking outside of ourselves, we simply need to tap into what’s already there. Your potential for health and happiness is resting inside of you waiting for you to unlock it.
You connect to this peace when you invite stillness into your daily life, like when you close your eyes and breathe deep, practice yoga, meditate or journal. One of the best ways to access your inner peace regularly is to write down or tell somebody the one thing you are grateful for every day. Research actually shows that it’s impossible to be stressed and grateful at the same time. We all have something to be grateful for every day and if you don’t think you do that’s a sign right there that you are sacrificing your inner peace for an ideal that doesn’t exist.
To sum up, if you are waiting for life to settle down to find peace, you’ve actually got it backwards. Life calls for us to take responsibility for our own happiness, embrace it fully and when we do every moment is simply an opportunity for learning and growth. I love how Wayne Dyer captures this, “Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.”
It’s a process not to look outside of ourselves and stay stuck in limbo. The first step is simply to ask and observe how do you put your inner peace on hold?