Want Peace of Mind? Answer This Question
Calm contended peace … a life free of struggle … everything flows with ease. Who doesn’t want that?
We all aspire to have less struggle and more peace in our lives. But often, in the process of seeking growth, trying different methods, reading books, and taking courses, our search expands, and we’re no closer to finding the missing piece of the magical state of being.
Instead of having peace, we create more struggle and overwhelm for ourselves—the antithesis of peace.
How does this happen?
In today’s society of constant marketing and connectivity the wordsmiths of the copywriting industry are more influential than ever.
Just like we get ads to buy a certain product with the promise of happiness and fulfillment, we’re bombarded with countless offers of programs, courses, seminars, or retreats that are seductively worded to play on our need for a calmer life.
Instead of going through a process of inner discovery, we’re barely keeping up with the information out there.
In effect, marketing has turned our desire for peace into another product to be marketed and consumed. So self-help and spirituality became another form of entertainment, not enlightenment.
Instead of looking for the prefect way to have more peace, today I invite you to drop everything (at least for a moment) and contemplate this one question:
What would I need to do today to be able to sleep peacefully at night?
If you answer this question honestly, you’ll learn more about peace than most of the information out there.
This doesn’t mean you can’t read and pick a few good ideas from all the available resources. Of course you can. But do it from a place of strength and inner knowing, not from a place of desperation and lack.
The peace question method
The following five-step process will help you live each day with peace as a motivation.
Once you’re motivated by peace, you’ll become more aware of the areas where you struggle in your life, and, more importantly, the deeply rooted negative thoughts and feelings that run subconsciously.
1- Answer the question.
What actions would you take so you can go to sleep without (or with less) worry, and regret?
The answer to this question can be simple or complicated, depending on your emotional state and mental programming.
The answer also will vary from day to day, based on the things you feel you need to do.
Regardless of when you’re reading this article, pause for a moment and answer the question. What are the things that will make you sleep in peace … tonight?
Keep your answer as simple as possible and focus on just this day.
Here is a personal example. It’s broken into two segments: productive actions, and characteristic behavior.
I’d sleep really good tonight if I got these things done:
- Wrote an article
- Completed XYZ research
- Practiced the piano
- Exercised for 25 minutes
- Did all of my routine stuff
I’ll feel good at night if I behave in a positive way by:
- Doing things with love and care
- Paying attention to my family
- Not engaging in drama
Most of the answers you’ll come up will be in relation to actions you want to take, and how you want to behave and feel.
So after you answer the question, what will you do?
2- Act with your answer in mind, to the best of your ability.
Do the best you can, and keep reminding yourself during the day of the things that give you comfort and peace.
3- Reflect at the end of the day.
Now that the day is done, how did you do? What things do you feel worked? Where did you fall short?
Back to the example
Following the list I made above, here is how I fared.
Actions: I managed to write, and complete the research, but not the other stuff.
Behavior: I did well with caring and taking my time, paid attention to my family, but a minor incident got me sucked into drama and negativity.
4- Look within, and feel whatever comes up as you think about the outcome.
Some results will give us satisfaction, and others will lead to disappointment.
Look into each thing you did or didn’t do and feel whatever comes up as you think about it.
I felt empowered and really good about writing. I can breathe and smile and allow sensations to pass through.
I felt regret and sadness about engaging in drama. I allowed the emotion to be fully felt by sitting with it and following the sensations in the body, until the sensations subsided.
5- Let go of the emotions as you wrap up the day.
As you’re probably aware, we all experience ups and downs every day, to varying degrees. So if we want to sleep peacefully at night, we need to learn to let go of everything.
It doesn’t help us to hold on to the emotional residue of the day—positive (for example excitement and pleasure), or negative (mostly guilt and regret).
Why would we let go of positive feelings?
Because they may lead to doing things for the sake of feeling good, not for the sake of being at peace. Feelings come and go, being, on the other hand, is what’s always there—whether we feel good or not so good. Being is an inner state that doesn’t care about ego, or social convention. It’s our fundamental truth.
It goes without saying that the sooner we learn to let go of negative feelings the better. They serve no purpose other than weighing us down with needless suffering.
How do you let go of residual emotions?
Notice what comes up and then follow the sensations in the body, till they fade away. Keep noticing until nothing comes up.
In the beginning it may take longer, due to the negative emotions that have accumulated over the years. Letting go of even the slightest feelings and sensations is better than allowing the build up to continue.
Let go with the thought that tomorrow is another day with a new beginning and a different answer to the peace question.
We can be grateful for the things that worked out, and choose to be forgiving of the things that didn’t.
This process may feel like a lot of work—it really isn’t. We’re always thinking and feeling, but without much conscious awareness. And that’s much harder than deliberately moving towards peace.
Being at peace should not be rocket science. Ask the question, follow the answer, and let go. That’s it.
Peace is your true nature. The rest is just noise that needs to be noticed (with love) and then released.