Today, I want to talk about finding inner peace in a turbulent world.
Peace starts within.
Peace is who we are, who we choose to be.
Peace flows outwards to carry a ripple effect into this turbulent world.
When you yourself are at peace, there is also a little peace in the world. When we share that peace with others, we spread even a little more peace in the world. World peace is then a reflection of our own inner state.
The crisis in Ukraine is heartbreaking. It is sending energetic shock waves of grievance, immense sadness, depression, fear, anger, rage, anxiety, and hopelessness. This on top of the recent events in Afghanistan and the already constant global threats such as climate change and the ongoing pandemic. Most of us want to act in some way but may become paralyzed and stuck with thoughts of what to do. We may feel shame as we go back to succumbing to our daily lives not knowing what kind of action to take or what to do with our multitude of overwhelming feelings.
Finding peace in a turbulent world can be achieved with consciousness, practice, and intent and I am so glad to share techniques that have worked for me and others in my coaching practice.
Peace Starts with Us
We might be wondering what we can do to shift any given situation being far away, feeling a lack of power or being a mere individual? As the wave of fear, outrage and anxiety grows bigger around the world, how can we swim against this tide? How do we find peace when inside an anxiousness grows?
The answer is peace starts with us.
It is created from within, expands our own physical sphere and ignites a ripple effect into our homes, our communities and ultimately around the world. It is not some external force or factor which we seek, find, and then collect. Rather it is a spiritual bank account which we fill by putting deposits into our own hearts, and then spending freely with ourselves and those around us as the account is limitless.
Finding Peace is Being at Peace. While there are many things over which we have little control, we always have control over our response, attitude, and approach.
Our breath is always readily with us. When we bring our awareness to our breath and slow our breathing, our pituitary gland releases balancing hormones such as melatonin and serotonin. This has an immediate calming effect into our nervous system allowing us to step out of states of anxiousness and into a more focused and present center.
By taking a pause, a step back, we shift our internal, energetic state and move into chosen response to a given situation instead of the external event coming to hijack our emotion. Creativity, focus and problem-solving increase, allowing us to access our higher, essential being.
Three breathing techniques I find very useful are 1. The sigh, 2. Analomvilom (alternate nose breathing) and 3. Balloon breathing, described below.
1. Sigh Breathing Technique
Take a deep breath in through the nose and make an audible exhale through the mouth. The exhale is an immediate release of tension that the body holds. Visualize any other thought that no longer serves you and release it into the universe with your exhale.
2. Analomvilom Breathing Technique
Alternate nose breathing is a pranayama technique, whose yogic philosophy believes that the right side represents the sun and the left side the moon. To active the calming and cooling effect of the moon, hold your right nostril closed first and inhale through left, hold your breath and then exhale through the right.
Continue alternating as such. You can choose a certain count for the inhale and holding of the breath with a longer count on the exhale, for example a count of 6-6-7. Allow your focus to follow your breath and alternate like this for 1-5 min. End your breathing cycle with an exhale on the left.
3. Balloon Breathing Technique
Balloon breathing consists of inhaling and exhaling through the nose, allowing your stomach to fill and completely expand on the inhale while pushing the navel all the way towards the spine on the exhale. It’s inflating and deflating your stomach like a balloon. Again, it is useful to have the exhale 1-2 counts longer than the inhale.
Follow the rhythm of your breath like the tides of the ocean, invigorating, nourishing, cleansing. Take them as little love notes to yourself, feeding your life battery.
Too often we live in our heads, forgetting we are tied to our hearts and the rest of our body which holds infinite amounts of wisdom. Our hearts and bodies are powerful, inner GPS systems aiming to guide us in the right direction and to an optimum state of being. In our busy and modern lives, we tend not to hear nor listen to the signals we receive.
Pay Attention to How You Feel
The first step to tapping into our own connection is to pay attention to how we feel.
Ask yourself: How am I feeling? By identifying and acknowledging the way you feel, you also gain access to how you want to respond.
If there is a less desired feeling of sadness or hopelessness, allow yourself to be with this and ask yourself ‘What is this trying to tell me?’
What other part of myself do I want to call forth to address these feelings with?’
Allow your thoughts to melt down from your head and rest into your heart, ask your heart what it needs. It may be a simple breath, a little self-care like a cup of tea, a walk out in nature, calling a supportive friend or family member.
Allowing ourselves to be with our feelings instead of trying to push them away, also allows more access to the entirety of who we are and to experience life with more meaning. Start keeping track and raise your awareness about what feels good and what does not. What feeds your life battery? What drains it? Add more life feeding experiences to your daily routine. It could be something small like lighting a candle in the morning as you make your cup of coffee or bigger like being around more people that uplift you. Let that renewed energy flow out into the world.
Feelings also act as a messenger, a clue giver, that something is important to us. With this knowledge we can be curious about what types of action we can take to address the message and influence change. And, this becomes another step towards finding peace in a turbulent world.
Connect to Nature
A second powerful step to connect, is to connect to nature. The earth literally is grounding for us. We came from the Earth, are part of the Earth, and it is the reason we feel so calm and at ‘home’ in nature.
Nature is also awe inspiring, working in perfect harmony with one another, at its own pace, not judging or rushing, reminding us that we can trust the process of ourselves and radiate our own inner peace out.
Connecting to nature can be taking a long walk outside, or simply shifting our perspective to a tree outside a window or a plant in an office.
Pause, take notice and observe.
We are all connected on this earth, through space and energy.
Connect to the natural force around you, and let this calming radiate back out through you as you interact with yourself and others.
BE Peace to Achieve Inner Peace
BE the person you wish to mirror in the world.
Use your words and actions to relay your values. Take time to nourish you, so you in turn can give the best of yourself to others. Our heart centers are abundant in love and kindness. Choose love and kindness towards yourself, and let that be the foundation of all your interactions with others.
Our hearts are bold, vulnerable, humble, courageous, fierce, knowing, loving and strong.
Tread lightly, yet persistently.
Be strong, yet compassionate.
Speak up, yet listen. Appreciate you, appreciate others.
A Proactive Outlook
When faced with an external circumstance that is disheartening to us, ask yourself ‘What is the opportunity here?’
Is the opportunity to be more kind, more giving, more understanding, more vocal, more educated, more connected from and within myself?
One of my favorite tools for BEING, is Stephen Covey’s – Circles of Influence over Circles of Concern. When faced with challenges or a crisis like the war in Ukraine, we need to ask ourselves how we can increase our own circle of Influence, meaning how we can affect change right here, right now in our own being, families, and communities.
With this proactive outlook, we realize we have tremendous influence to affect positive change. We are far more powerful than we can imagine. Whether being in service to someone today with random acts of kindness or by making small monetary donations to any number of charities taking large action. It is the sum of small acts and giving, energetically or other, that amount to a grand whole, creating massive impact.
Send a Ripple Effect of Peace Unto the Turbulent World
Perhaps, it is less about finding peace, but rather creating peace from inside out, to send a massive ripple effect unto a turbulent world. Perhaps, it is turning overwhelm into opportunity. An opportunity to rise to our higher, authentic selves. An opportunity to affect positive change in our own surroundings, starting now.
By stepping into our own best version, we are better able to meet the challenges of today, leading the way with peace from within.
Choose Being Peace Today and Ignite the Ripple Effect in a Turbulent World.
You can also speed up your journey to inner peace with a life or professional coach; they can help you uncover feelings, emotions, and discover your path to inner peace!