On her website and in her life, my dear friend Kathy explores everyday habits that lead to bliss, and shares stories on her aptly named site, Bliss Habits. (http://www.BlissHabits.com) Each week, she explores a different habit, cycling through 13 total.
This week, she is exploring Serenity. I'm honored to be guest posting over at Bliss Habits tomorrow, but couldn't wait to offer a bit of contemplation on serenity (now).
You'll get a more in-depth explanation when you head to her site tomorrow, but summing it up:
Serenity is a choice.
It is a way of experiencing the world, not a type of experience that you must have in order to feel serene.
I'm interested in how we can make choices with our life AS IT IS in order to feel more serene. (That means finding serenity amidst the kids yelling at one another, the relationship stresses, the consistent noise of thoughts in our heads, and so on.)
I started writing a few suggestions for the guest post on some choices you can make in any situation to help invoke serenity. Surprisingly, I realized I use quite a few techniques....and just had to share!
Here are some ways you can make your experience of life - stresses and all - a bit more serene:
- Pause. We often get caught up in the stories that we tell ourselves. Our thoughts can be like a runaway train. For example, have you ever prepared for a situation where you had to address someone you feel has wronged you? You think of what you might say, what they did, and then think a little more about how wrong it was, how they should've known better, how stupid they are... Have you ever noticed how angry you can get at that person before you even approach them? Sometimes all we need to do is pause. In that pause you can derail the thought train and simply breathe. Finding just a moment of peace, a few seconds of space amidst our stress is often all we need to make choices that lead to even greater serenity.
- Indulge a Sense. The thought train we tried to derail above often keeps us captive. One way to save ourselves is by hopping out of our head and into our bodies. The next time you find yourself stressed (or just without a sense of serenity), focus on just one sense (sight, taste, touch, smell, or sound) and really let yourself indulge in something in your immediate environment. Take a slow sip of your drink and let it linger on your tongue, or linger on the inhale as you pass a flower or simply the inside of your wrist underneath your nose. Fully drop into the sense and allow your body to release the rest before returning to your thoughts.
- Find one Gratitude. When we feel a lack of serenity, usually we are concerned about the way that things are. We feel that the situation or people around us should be different. Gratitude is being thankful for what is. Simply find one thing about the situation - no matter how difficult it might seem - for which you are thankful. Perhaps it is that you are earning money by being here with the difficult co-worker, or that that your screaming kids are healthy enough to scream, or simply that you are alive to experience this. Being grateful allows us to appreciate our circumstances instead of runnign from them.
Be sure to head to Bliss Habits today for some great posts on serenity, and tomorrow for four more of my delicious tips on finding serenity in this moment!