Need Some Peace? Go Within

Date posted: September 1, 2012

[dc]I[/dc]t’s approaching dusk and I’m at the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, in Bar Harbor, Maine. The views are breathtaking, the energy is an interesting combination of buzzing and peaceful, and with each minute, more and more people arrive to watch the sunset. Some have hiked up the mountain, some have driven.

As the sun begins its rapid descent, onlookers scurry to find a good viewing spot. Melissa and I head off to the side hoping to get away from some of the crowds, and, while we do find a quieter area, there are still dozens of people. Kids are running around and screeching with excitement, cameras are snapping, couples are bickering. I turn to look at Melissa to roll my eyes when I notice a woman walking toward us.Peace within

She’s alone, and stops about 10 feet away. I watch as she looks beyond the people toward the sun and puts her hands in prayer position while gently closing her eyes. I find myself fixated on her and the beautiful light that surrounds her. It’s as if her inner stillness is beaming outward.

I turn away to witness the glorious colors in the sky as the sun sets, but can still feel her presence. It’s lovely. Once it dips below the horizon, I turn back around just as the woman opens her eyes, gives a gentle smile toward the sky, turns, and leaves.

Silently, I thank the Universe for bringing her to me to help me remember that I have the power to savor each and every moment. Though others may be making noise around me, I can always go within to find peace.

Maybe you have lots of “noise” around you that seems to be preventing you from having your moment or doing what you’d like. That noise might consist of obligatory commitments, your job, a struggling relationship, rambunctious children, gossipy friends, draining family members, your inner critic, etc. But guess what? You are in charge. You get to decide how you let a situation or person affect you.

So much peace and clarity can be found within. It just takes some consciousness and commitment to find it. Oftentimes, we’re trying to get through each moment in hopes that the next one will bring relief or peace, and, as a result, we end up racing and sleepwalking through life. It’s time to reclaim the moment!

I’m sure you’ve heard or read about how important it is to be in the present moment as much as possible. I know, easier said than done. Here are a few tactics I use to bring myself back to center:

  1. Ask silly, present-moment questions. Things like, “Where are my feet right now?” “What color socks am I wearing?” or “What time is it?”
  2. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Inhale for four seconds while silently saying “So,” hold for two seconds, and exhale for three seconds while silently saying “Hum”. So-Hum is a meditative mantra to use while doing this breathing exercise to help ground your energy. If you find, when inhaling, that you have a tendency to yawn, try to breathe a bit deeper, making sure your stomach extends on the inhale.
  3. Pull your energy back into your body. If you’re not in the moment, there’s a good chance your energy is at least partly removed from your body. Close your eyes and imagine your energy as a cloud of white light above your head. How big the cloud seems to be is a pretty good indication of how uncentered you are. Now imagine that you are gently guiding that beautiful white light back into your body through the top of your head, the crown chakra. Keep breathing as you do this until you can sense that you’re realigned. If you get distracted or annoyed, just take some deep breaths to get things moving again.
  4. Stand up, stretch, and shake it out. Sometimes, our bodies can feel sluggish and stagnant, and who wants to be present with that? Get on your feet, have a good stretch, then shake out your arms and legs, roll your head back and forth, and move around. This not only wakes up your body and your muscles, but also your spirit!

It really is that simple. You are the boss of you. No one else is. When we let others impact our lives negatively, we trade our power for frustration. Seems like a raw deal to me, and that’s a transaction I’m no longer interested in. How about you?

Your turn! Where in your life do you hand away your power? Do you struggle to stay present? To ground your energy? What tactics work for you? What tips and suggestions can you offer? Please share in the comments below to take this convo even further.

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  1. Kerri, Just before I read your beautiful message I had looked out my office window and closed my eyes and then opened them to look at my beautiful surroundings at the front of my house and took a deepth breath and said a prayer of thanks. I’m going to have Dad print your message and practice it everyday. Thank you so much .

  2. Many days I ‘am’ the woman you saw…so happy to live steps from the beach and bask in the glorious sunrise/set…I end each day with a smile and by sending a kiss on the wind to Universe.

    It feels so wonderful on the beach..learning to be fully present and peaceful each moment, regardless of external, while in mainstream is a practice that requires consistent awareness. Reading your message today is a wonderful affirmation, thank you 🙂

    • Thanks for your joining the conversation, Joy! Oh yes, I am a beach lover myself, for the same reasons you mention — it’s so peaceful, yet invigorating. I feel my soul immediately breath a sigh of relief as soon I see the water. Lovely…

  3. I eagerly await your posts and today is the perfect day for me to hear this message. This is my most favorite post you have written. Inner peace is available to everyone, even me.

    • Oh, Claire, I’m so glad this message arrived for you at just the right time! And thank you for your very kind words. It put a smile on my face knowing someone “eagerly awaits” my posts. 🙂 Inner peace is absolutely available to you — in every single moment.

  4. Kerri,
    Your email couldn’t have come at a better time, I feel so alone and quite frankly lost. Between work and family I’m spent. I’m working on no longer being a people pleaser and with the fact that I’m very sensitive, it make’s finding peace a challenge. But I will never give up trying to master what other’s find easy and that’s my inner peace.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Cathy. I, too, am a HSP (highly sensitive person!) and know just what you mean about the struggle to find peace as one. It’s all the more vital that you take good care of your soul by getting comfortable with disappointing people. Your worth is not determined by how much you do for people, but how much you do for yourself. Want to take on a challenge? Disappoint three people over the next week. I know that sounds harsh, but it will help you see that all is well when you’re not at everyone’s beck and call. And that sweet, sensitive part of you will feel like you are there for her. Sending love…

  5. Kerri,
    Thank you so much for your reply. I will heed your advice and yes, I will take your challenge. I am so blessed to have found your website and your articles thus far are are wonderful and always spot on. I look forward to more insights from you. And perhaps with each challenge, I can find the me I love.

  6. My family and I went through a crisis of horror a few years ago, something I would not wish on anyone. To this day, we are are still going through this. I have always been a people pleaser and nurturer at the same time. This may sound nice, but this can be a detriment to those around you as well. Now, I am thankful for this crisis and here is why. I had no choice but to turn to prayer, and be silent. In that silence, I felt the need to re-examine so many issues. To make this short, I have learned to do the following.

    Take it one day at a time.
    Let go of limiting beliefs.
    Detach from those who do not want to be “saved” from themselves.
    Not allow other people’s opinions of me to define who I really am.
    The world has not changed, but I have because I choose to see beauty and harmony.

    Still, there are always those who would like to drain me and bring me down, so the only challenge I face really is rising above it each time. Kerri, do I have your permission to print the 4 tactics that you suggested? I would like to keep it with me so I can have it if and when the need arises. I will put your name and website with it as well.

    BTW, I found a little synchronicity that there is another Cathy here with the same challenges! All the best you, and no, you are not alone!

    Kerri, thanks for your support, it has helped me more than you will know.

    Blessings & Hugs to you!


    • Cathi,

      Thanks for sharing. I’m so sorry you had to go through such a difficult time. What wonderful gifts you came out of it with by turning inward. Thank you for sharing them with the rest of us.

      Sending you love.

  7. Kerri,
    I took your challenge and disappointed three people, disappointing them wasn’t bad and I felt really relieved inside, but the guilt started to come into play, I don’t want people to think I don’t care, but I do know I need to do this for me. I will continue to say no if something comes up I do not want to do. Other than the guilt, I must say after saying no, I feel so good inside and I know it’s because it was the right decision for me. So I hope as each opportunity comes forth I can remember the feeling. I know this won’t be easy but when I fall off the wagon I must get back on.
    Write something about people pleasing to help people like me.

    • Cathy,

      Congrats on taking on the disappointing challenge! Yes, some guilt will come up because you are challenging your people pleasing belief. While it’s important to be caring, loving, and of service, most of us take it too far, at the expense of ourselves. Then we’re no good to anyone.

      Remember, by not saying yes to everything, you are saying yes to you, and therefore, will be more energetically and emotionally available to support those people and situations which really matter to you.

      Stick with it!

  8. Hi Kerri,

    Thank you for your healing advice. Last week I started a brand new job with some difficult co-workers and my mom was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer. Since then, I’ve felt my world spin out of control. I feel helpless, scared and I cry at the drop of a hat.

    A month ago I would’ve read your email and been happy to try it, but today I have to admit I was slow to warm up to the idea. Going inside didn’t seem like a safe place to be, that’s where all the chaos was. But I gave it a try anyway.

    As I closed my eyes and focused on my breath and my body, a warm wave of emotion welled up and my eyes watered. I’ve been so lost in trying to support my mom through her journey and surviving the difficulties of being the “new kid” in a tight group at work, that I’ve neglected my self.

    Although it wasn’t an ideal situation for being in the moment, allowing myself to break down and acknowledge my pain, it did give me some relief. So thank you for sharing. I look forward to more posts.

    ~Lexi Marie

    • Hi Lexi Marie,

      Thanks for sharing. I’m sorry to hear about your mom’s diagnosis. How courageous of you to go inside when it felt like that’s the last place you wanted to venture. I’m so glad to hear the exercise helped you to open a door that so needed to be. The best thing you can do to have a good experience at your new job and to be available to support your mother is to tend to yourself the most.

      You’ve got a lot going on and that younger, more vulnerable part of you really needs you. Love yourself up!

      Sending you lots of love.

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