Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cultivating Peace, Contentment and Joy in Your Life


Cultivating Peace, Contentment and Joy in Your Life

by Kathleen Bren

Serenity, peace and harmony reside within you. Nothing external to you is required to craft a peaceful life as much as it requires a shift in your internal thought process. Many of us live in some moment other than the present. We wallow in guilt, remorse and regret over past events or situations we wish had turned out differently. Or we spend a great deal of time attempting to control future unknowns through the process of worry.

Below are three powerful ways of cultivating a life filled with peace, accompanied by a deep-seated feeling of contentment and joy. Whenever you find yourself feeling uneasy, anxious or fearful, simply pinpoint the area of your life that is in need of tweaking, and apply one or more of the steps below.

1. Make peace with the past

If you are unable to move forward with your life it is imperative that you find out what is holding you back? Are you accepting less of what life has to offer you because you are still paying for the mistakes of the past? Wrapping yourself in a shroud of guilt and shame is like putting yourself in prison with no chance of parole.

Consider this. If you feel like you are paying for prior errors in judgment by living a life of mediocrity, ask yourself the following questions: How long must you pay and who decides when the debt is paid in full? We often act as our own judge and jury, and rarely offer ourselves an opportunity for a reduced or commuted sentence. By making peace with the past, you become open to the gift of the present moment.

2. Make peace with the future

What percentage of the day do you spend thinking about the future, obsessing over what's to come, and panicking over a multitude of "what ifs"? Do you worry about the safety of your children, how much money you will have or what you will do when you retire?

Hypothetical possibilities are much different than present moment realities. The mind cannot deal with anything except what presents itself in this moment. Therefore worry, fear and anxiety have to do with what you imagine your life might be like next week, next month or next year, instead of enjoying what IS happening right now. Most of our fears never come to fruition.

By placing the future in the hands of God you release yourself from the mental imprisonment of depression, desperation, anxiety, and fear. Who can suffer when all worries and cares are placed in the loving hands of God, and the mind rests assured that only good can come its way.

3. Make peace with yourself

Complete and total acceptance of oneself requires compassion, understanding, and a willingness to let go of impossible standards. Our collective journey through life is complex and multidimensiona
l. Not everyone can live up to our standards or us theirs. No matter how much you wish you would have excelled in math as a child, certain limitations are part and parcel of the human experience.

It is essential that you offer yourself a great deal of latitude as you travel through life. Beating yourself up does not provide lasting motivation nor does it pave the way for positive change to manifest. It only leads to feelings of frustration, disappointment and doubt.

Affirm yourself regularly and become your biggest fan. Do what you can today and let that be enough. No matter where you are on your journey, be kind to yourself. Love yourself today as much as you would if you won an Oscar or lost twenty pounds. Don't wait for some future moment in time before you acknowledge the divinity of God within. You are perfect just as you are. Make peace with yourself today.


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