Most of my life, until about five years ago, peace was something that I never actually felt. Only, I didn’t realize it.
In fact, I thought I was pretty happy. I had a job, a mate, cute kids and fun friends. I had a social life, and a supportive family. Yet, I also had unchecked ‘voices in my head’. You know, those worrisome fear thoughts that run a constant loop inside your brain?
Cloaked in the rhythmic rehashing of past or future events, my incessant internal musings went something like this: Why did I say that?, Why did I do that? or, even more profound, why did I wear that?
If the thoughts weren’t specifically about me, then they were about everyone else. I can’t believe she said that, or he better not do that again.
If I wasn’t stewing over what had happened, I was fretting about what was to come. Seldom was I ever truly present.
No matter the specifics of the thoughts, they were all pretty much saying the same thing: I’m not good enough, nobody likes me and, of course, the classic, I’m a terrible mom.
Basically, without actually being aware of it, I was telling myself a story and believing it. I was beating the drum of fear. I’m not good enough… I’m not good enough… I’m not good enough.
The problem was, I was living in the past and the future. I was never in the Now.
So what? Well the past is full of regrets, woulda’s and shoulda’s. Even if it’s full of the best times of your life, it’s still the past. Done. Over. Time to move on and live.
The future is full or worry, uncertainty, what-if’s and what-wills. Even if its full of exciting projects on the horizon, spending your Now day dreaming about the future has it’s limitations. The only time we really have is Now.
It is said that humans have anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day. The interesting thing about this statistic is we are not having 70,000 new thoughts every day. We are actually repeating the same thoughts every day. Even every hour and even every minute. Over and over again. Beating the drum. I’m not good enough… I’m not good enough.
Before I had a practice of staying in the Now, these voices literally took over my life. They were me. They were my story and my identity. But they are not real. Ultimately, they were just thoughts.
Yet, I had no awareness that it was my thoughts that were creating my peace or lack of it. I assumed it was my circumstances. If things went according to plan and everyone followed my script, then I was happy. If things didn’t, then I wasn’t. And, true to my Taurus nature, if I’m not happy, nobody gets to be happy.
So, what changed? Well the first thing is, I became open to something new and began to seek answers. With authentic desire and a humble spirit, God brought me some new tools for peace.
Tool #1: Get Out Of Your Head
Get out of your head and stay in the Now. This means when you catch yourself in the loop, jump off and pay attention to This Very Moment. Shake off the what-if’s and what-will’s, the shoulda’s and coulda’s, and Be Here Now. The difference between how I feel when my head-stories are interrupted by my pesky children’s endless wonderings versus how I feel when I am fully with them in the Now, answering their questions and discovering life right along with them, is remarkable. Life is meant to be lived in the moment.
Tool #2: Breathe
Peace is all about rhythms. Choosing the rhythm and pattern of peace is a daily, hourly, minute by minute practice. In the Angel Communions of the Holy Essenes, it says: “Breath long and deeply, for thy rhythm of the breath is the key of knowledge which will unlock the secrets of the Holy Law.”
Essentially, the breath is the connection between the physical realm and spiritual realm. It is the Angel of Air, messenger of God, and provides immediate access to God, which is Peace, which is Love. Anytime I feel myself losing my peace (and decide I want it back), I always first and foremost go right to my breathe and practice deep, intentional breathing.
Tool #3: Let It Go
We have to be willing to let it go. We have to be willing to redirect our thoughts. Instead of picking apart every little thing that did happen or might happen, just let it go. This takes practice, constant diligence and a choice. We choose to let it go. When it comes back up (you’re not good enough), banish the thought, come to the Now, breath deep, and let it go. Breath In… Breath Out… Breath In…
Beat A New Drum
So with these three tools, I have learned to beat a new drum, to find a new rhythm. The drum I choose to beat these days is the drum of I am a powerful creator and everything is always working out for me. Sometimes, I even beat the drum of I’m a great mom. When I make mistakes, I don’t rehash them 70,000 different ways every day. When other people make mistakes, I try not to take it personally, I let it go. I breath… I breath… I breath. I jump off the loop. I find a new rhythm. I choose peace. I choose to Be Here Now.