true-happiness.jpg“It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work…it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

True peace of mind comes within. From whence else can it really come?

I have spent much of my life in a results-oriented, task-focused mode. No regrets, the ability to achieve desired outcomes in the external world has brought me much satisfaction and sense of accomplishment.

And yet, as the years pass, I become more and more aware that ultimately happiness (and peace of mind) pretty much lies within. Oh, yeah, external events impact but I’ve seen people in the most dire circumstances with smiles on their faces and hope and gratitude in their hearts. We all have seen those in fortunate circumstances destroying their happiness with useless worry or sabotaging their peace of mind with envy, running the treadmill daily for the primary purpose of “keeping up with the Joneses.”

Multiple times a day (heck, an hour!) I find opportunities to remind myself that the locus of my feelings is inside me and nowhere else. External events are but stimuli, my reaction is always my choice. True, some events may take a while to process and there may be a legitimate grieving cycle to attend to. Yes, feelings buried alive never die. And yet, the sooner I begin, the sooner it will be over. The attitude with which I approach the situation dramatically effects the outcome and the sooner I stop staring at the closed door (bemoaning the cruel vicissitudes of fate, polishing my martyr-saint complex!) the sooner I can start looking for the open door.

Maintaining peace of mind throughout the day may take rehearsals and visualization. Become aware of what prompts you to lose it, visualize yourself in detail responding or interpreting the situation differently, rehearse a reading from a better, more effective script. Developing the mental muscles may take the same type of repetition as creating physical muscles. But it can be done!

Peace of mind: It’s all a learned, practiced state of mind.

And as always, I share what I most want to learn.