What to expect on your journey to inner peace | Keya Murthy, MS, C.Ht.
Most people seek happiness. Yet there comes a time when you want to transcend happiness and seek inner peace.
Happiness is like ice cream. There are many flavors – joy, contentment, euphoria are a few that come to mind.
And although happiness is great, what you are really looking for is peace.
You want peace at home, at work, on the road, in life. Not you ? So how do you get there? Where is the path to peace?
Although the journey ahead is long, you never need to leave your home to take it.
Happiness comes and goes. The presence of something can bring you happiness and its absence deprives you of it.
Peace, on the other hand, needs nothing external. You can never find peace outside of yourself.
Peace is 100% an internal matter. The only way to find inner peace is to embark on a personal journey. The inner journey will help you find and maintain inner peace.
What is self-discovery?
It is a process that goes through and beyond the ideas of “me-mine-myself”.
It sounds easier than it really is – and it can be simple for the brave at heart. You might ask yourself, “How hard could that really be?” It’s just me, and I’m a good person and I love myself.
True, but what “self” are you talking about?
Spiritually speaking, there are three aspects of you.
The first is the “me”, which is your conscious self. All you think about is you – “I’m a doctor, a mother, a teacher, a friend.” It is the “you”.
Next comes the “mine” part, which is made up of your possessions. Your relationships – my partner, my child, my home, my car, my profession, my community. This is made up of both your conscious and subconscious identifications.
You may take your career or your community for granted, but once you lose it, you miss it.
Next comes the “myself” part. It’s your self-identification – “I’m 56 years old. I’m a woman. I’m a housewife. I’m an Indian. I’m a brown woman.”
When all these identifications are taken away from you, what are you left with? “It’s my social security number. It’s my driver’s license number. It’s my date of birth.”
What would you think if tomorrow someone came along and said, “Everything you identify with is no longer true and you will be given a new identity?
When you embark on a journey of self-discovery, you revisit all of your past identifications – your past possessions, all stored safely in your subconscious.
All of your memories have emotions attached to them, and each emotion warps your memory depending on your level of attachment and how long you’ve harbored it.
A journey of self-discovery takes you through a house cleaning you call your life. Everything you encounter on this journey that you have gratefully or painfully renounced.
The sooner you let go of attachment to these things, the easier it will be for you to move on and find inner peace.
Here are 5 steps to finding inner peace on your personal journey:
1. Self-care through movement meditation.
You live in your body and if you take the time to listen to it, you can hear what it is trying to say.
You can try the four options listed below, and whatever appeals to you the most, stick with it and do it as often as you can throughout the week.
Each of them, when completed for 60-90 minutes, will take you to the place of elation and inner peace.
- Yoga: An ancient science from India of physical, mental and spiritual practices to connect the mind with the body to find stillness within, which is inner peace.
- Tai chi: It’s known as the gentle way to beat stress, although it’s so much more than that. Slow, graceful movements help you move from one posture to another in a flow. Your body stays in constant motion and feels like a meditation promotes serenity and keeps mind and body connected. Tai-chi is also called shadow boxing, where you fight your shadows. As you master this art, you may find that you are haunted by fewer shadows in your life.
- Qigong: A combination of body posture, slow movements, rhythmic breathing and meditation, which helps you with your physical, emotional and mental health and your spirituality. Qigong practice helps you find balance, self-healing and inner peace.
- Dance of the Dervishes: Also known as Sufi whirling (turning) is a practice of Sufi dervishes of the Mevlevi order. It is an art form of active meditation still practiced in Eurasia. The practitioner listens to the sacred sounds and revolves around it in a worship ceremony, aiming to let go of ego and desires and to be like the planets revolving on their axes and around the sun.
Today, there are non-Islamic dancers all over the world who perform this dance. Although it is entertaining for the viewers, the dancer himself can achieve inner peace through the whirlwind. It’s also quite soothing to observe.
2. Sing sacred verses.
It’s one of my favorites. I can sit and sing for hours every day, morning and night. It takes me to a place of incredible inner peace and power.
When you sing, you tap into the power of every syllable. The sacred verses are composed of a chain of sound frequencies that heal you, strengthen you and bring you closer to peace.
Chanting is more powerful than chanting or reciting the same verse. To start, you can listen to sacred verses sung and learn to sing them on your own. The pronunciation must be accurate for you to benefit from the chant.
3. Journaling as contemplative meditation.
When journaling, focus on what you learned from your experiences and what you are grateful for. When you reflect on your day or the past, notice what hurt you and what made you happy.
The things that made you happy, write them down in your journal with gratitude. The things you remember with pain, focus on the lesson behind that loss. Write down the lesson and express your gratitude for it.
4. Mindfulness meditation.
When you sit in silence, you have three options, and each of them will help you find inner peace.
If you are a beginner, start by monitoring your breathing. Notice your breath going in and out of your nostrils. Slowly, you may gradually notice your body expanding and contracting with each breath.
After doing this consistently for a while now, you can move on to scanning your body from top to bottom and bottom to top. You learn to notice your body when it is sitting, speaking, moving, or lying down.
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This is called mindfulness meditation of the body.
The third mindfulness meditation is for experienced meditators. You learn to notice your mind which is made up of your thoughts and emotions. Learning to notice each one and not get carried away is an art that takes a lot of focused practice.
5. Peace as a way of life.
When you practice all of the above for some time, peace becomes a way of life. You no longer seek it, you carry it within you wherever you go.
What can you expect as you begin your journey of self-discovery to inner peace?
The journey of self-discovery leads to heightened feelings of inner peace. The more you pursue this inner journey, the more you let go of attachments to what you consider real and the more you find inner peace.
The journey begins with a desire. You have to commit to it. An honest warning would be that you are alone on this journey and it is a one way road.
You can interrupt this journey at any time, and the road will be waiting for you to return to it once you are done distracting yourself with your me-mine-myself associations.
Unless you are 100% a recluse, living alone in the desert, there will be plenty of time to exist in the outer world of pleasure and pain, and then there will be time to get to work on the path to peace.
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Keya Murthy, MS works as a clinical hypnotherapist, spiritual life coach, and energy medicine practitioner at the Ventura Healing Center. She is one of the bestselling authors in the world and her book The Book On Happiness: How To Have Peace And Stability As A Working Mom is a must read for all caregivers.