We live in a fast paced, stressful, and demanding world full of paradoxes, contradictions, and dilemmas. All these push and pull forces can keep us off balance making it hard to find inner peace. Yet when we meet someone balanced, we are naturally drawn to their confidence and contentment. They calmly glide through life regardless of what is being thrown at them with a sense of inner peace.
It doesn’t mean they live a problem free existence without difficulties. We all have challenges and issues. We might face divorce or financial insecurity, miscarriages, or disease. Yet, when threatened, provoked or uncertain some can maintain composure and a positive outlook. They capability handle one crisis after another, always staying calm under pressure.
Furthermore, they can work harmoniously with everyone, even those they don’t prefer. Rather than second guessing themselves they have fewer worries, fears, and anxieties. Things flow naturally for them, and they always seem to know the right time to act.
A historical character that demonstrates this balanced calmness in today’s books and movies is the detective Sherlock Holmes. He is constantly exposed to multi-faceted problems with no easy solutions and despite this he always keeps a cool temper and even demeanor.
He needs to think logically to analyze situations to act on them quickly and he couldn’t do that if he were out of balance. Instead, Holmes moves cases forward using his keen observation skills small and nuanced baby step movements. Nothing is done to excess as that would throw him off balance and that’s not how cases are won!
Benjamin Franklin also believed in these small step movements saying that self-monitoring was the path to becoming noble. He advocated for thoughts and activities moving together in tandem- not using one without the other.
There is a lesson in here: small incremental movements without wild extremes keeps us balanced. (Think of the tightrope walker).
Some of the many benefits to balance are: increased energy, less drama, a better outlook, less concern about others’ opinions of you, more confidence in your decisions, more harmony in your life, less concern about material things and even a better sleep each night!
How to get there? It’s individual – what works for you may not work for others. It takes trial and error and it’s a process. But one thing I know for sure: inner peace starts with loving yourself.
When you love yourself, you practice self-care and that means looking after your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. When you practice self-care, you feel good about yourself and and you project this positive energy towards others. It improves your relationship with yourself as well as the people around you.
So, recharge during the day and systematically restore your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energy to keep it balanced. Don’t lean too hard into anyone of these areas. There is no ‘either/or’ with inner peace. It comes from balancing all four energy centers.
With Physical Energy you must give to get. Expend physical energy to get more back. We have to move our bodies. Some are energized by the efficiency of a gym, some the motivation of playing on a team, while others are stimulated by a sensuous sunset stroll or a centering Tai Chi class. As I said, it’s all individual. Some people think that if they don’t exercise for an hour, it’s not worth it but even 5 minutes of taking deep breaths while stretching can get you back in balance. Remember the value of small increments!
For Mental Energy visualize success and focus on positives. Practice- no regrets! Look for lessons in perceived failures and see the growth you’ve achieved from past mistakes rather than having regrets. Accept that mistakes are part of moving forward and accept that there will be more in the future. Let go of black and white thinking as it drains your energy. Instead of thinking “I am competent or incompetent, fair or unfair, good or bad”, it is much more helpful to expand your thinking by saying, “I can be wrong AND competent”. That’s the working in tandem recommended by Benjamin Franklin.
For Emotional Energy practice gratefulness and appreciation. Inner peace comes from loving what you have rather than complaining about what you believe is wrong or missing in your life. A grateful heart results in greater contentment. Happiness comes from looking for things to be happy about. I am a big believer in the value of humour to elevate my emotions. Find the funny in things. Laugh easily and laugh often. Also, look for the beauty in things. When stressed look for a beautiful object to admire. Appreciate your friends and forgive their imperfections.
For Spiritual Energy connect above yourself and beside yourself. To connect with something greater than myself I meditate. Because this is all very individual you might prefer yoga or listening to a guided meditation on an app or podcast. To connect with others, I practice thinking positive thoughts about those I work with, especially those who might be adversarial. Before speaking with someone about a problem I always silently bless them and that changes the energy between us. Spirituality at work is about being mindful of the highest good for all.
Restore your energy deliberately throughout the day (consider it like a vitamin pill). For example: Having lunch with a friend gives you emotional energy? Schedule it! For physical and emotional energy plan time in park with the kids after dinner. Read a book of poems or daily meditations before bed for spiritual energy. Practice affirmations or do Wordle for mental energy.
Each of these activities not only keeps you balanced it will create work/life balance as you get up from your computer to do things to systematically restore your energy centers. As you become balanced people will automatically be attracted to you, and you’ll confidently know exactly the right thing to do in every situation. You will feel inner peace.