1. Get into your body. When we’re not feeling peace, it’s usually because we’re not feeling at all. We’re thinking. And we’re believing all these non-peaceful thoughts. We’re also feeding them with more energy.
- So to stop feeding the thoughts, and feed peace instead, we drop away from the part of our brain in charge of thoughts and into the part of our brain in charge of physical sensation. Do some asana, go for a jog, wrestle with your dog, or just lie down and breathe into every space in your body. Feel that? Peace is in. Non-peaceful thoughts are out.
2. Become the observer. Once we return to our body, it becomes easier to go beyond our thoughts. It becomes easier to enter the space of the observer. You can do this either standing or seated—whatever works best for you.
- Bring your awareness to what you feel in your body, and then start to notice your thoughts. Noticing your thoughts does something powerful: it takes you out of them, and into the observer in you. The part of you that can watch thoughts and let them pass, instead of letting the thoughts race you around in circles.
3. Go easy on yourself. Can’t concentrate during seated or standing meditation? Try walking meditation. Or use mantras.
4. Activate powerful thinking. Question thoughts that make you stressed. Once you can come into your body, identify a belief as a thought and enter the place of the observer, you can activate powerful thinking. All in the name of peace. Ask yourself: Is this non-peaceful thought true? What might be a more true thought?
5. Listen to what’s right for you. Other people might not need or want peacefulness, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Give yourself permission to take time to do things that bring you peace.
6. Befriend your inner lizard. We all have these amygdala in the temporal region of our brain—and they’re pretty much in charge or fear-, anger- , and negativity-based thinking. That part of our brain is also called our lizard brain.
- Try this: Next time you catch yourself thinking a non-peaceful thought, imagine it coming out of the mouth of a lizard. What happens? Most people I get to do this end up laughing. Wouldn’t you love to be able to laugh at those thoughts?
7. Ask yourself, what would Buddha say? Or Shiva, God, Mother Teresa. Get a peace-inducing figure in your life and have a conversation with them whenever you need them.
8. Immerse yourself in the moment. Use mindfulness tools to help you become absolutely immersed in the moment—it’s saturated with sensation and imbued with peace.
9. Pursue joy. Go deeper. Joy is what happens when we go beyond the mind. Not as a result of recognizing that we’ve gone beyond thought, but simply as a result of entering into the Self that exists beyond thought. It’s a peaceful joy that nourishes and lasts.
10. Practice acceptance. Acceptance doesn’t mean we accept situations that aren’t right for us, or settle for less than we deserve. It means in any given moment, we choose peace over resistance and see how that transforms our experience of the moment.
Thinking of you,
Editor’s note: This was another guest post from the amazing Lindsey Lewis–life coach and yoga teacher. Stay up to date with her latest at www.libreliving.com, Facebook, and Twitter. Sign up by Friday, February 28, 2014, to join Lindsey’s 30-Day Happiness Challenge starting on March 1.