“Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it.” Brian Tracy
Reading a recent Tiny Buddha article on 40 ways to create peace of mind inspired me to share with you some of the things which bring me peace of mind – number 15 on this list is to write a blog post on what brings you peace of mind, so I’m putting at least one of these ideas into practice today!
So here are a few things which bring me peace of mind…
A beautiful sunset
I love noticing the colours and watching them change – it fills me with a sense that all is right with the world and a sense of awe at the beauty that nature shows us every day if we can just take time to notice it.
I’m lucky enough to live in a top floor apartment which faces roughly west, so if there’s a glowing sunset, I’ve got a perfect view every time!
The sound and sight of waves lapping on shingle
I find listening to this sound and watching the waves so meditative (in fact it’s a visualization I use in my Pranayama practice with Ujjayi breathing if I find my mind wandering – which to be honest, is quite often).
This sound is something which brings me into the present – the lapping of the waves is a constant action but each sound is subtly different.
And now I’m living not too far with the seaside in Southampton (as opposed to the land-locked Midlands) it’s something I can enjoy quite often.
Chanting – mantra repetition
I do love a good chant! Repeating mantras on my own I find soothing, it brings me into the present moment and I enjoy the physical resonance of the sound vibrating in my body and noticing where this occurs and how it changes with different mantras and pitches. It’s deeply relaxing.
I particularly love chanting in a group – although this isn’t something I’ve done for a while. I’ve recently joined a yoga chant group here in Southampton and, once I’d got over my initial shyness of ‘singing’ in front of others, the sound I heard as my voice joined in, blended and harmonised with others was deeply affecting and brought me out of myself and into a broader awareness and connection.
I felt at peace with myself and the world as I walked home after the class.
A walk in nature – particularly at the change of the seasons
It’s nice to get out and go for a walk at any time of year, but in early autumn I find it particularly enjoyable. My husband and I went for a walk in the New Forest recently, near where we live.
Being out in nature and seeing the leaves begin to change colour, seeing the wild-roaming New Forest ponies and smelling that autumnal scent on the air was lovely. I felt physically better for the walk, my breath was deeper and I felt uplifted by enjoying the stimulation of all of my senses.
Putting some music on and dancing around my lounge
I love to do this – particularly when I’m at home alone. I put some music on, have a good sing and move my body in whichever way takes my fancy.
It brings me peace of mind because this always brings a smile to my face and brings me into the present moment. It’s impossible to feel sad or anxious or be focusing on something else as you just let the music move you. My current music of choice for this is MC Yogi and Florence + The Machine; just thought I’d share 😉
Knowing I am now following my true path in life
After years of pursuing a career which never felt fulfilling, where I felt I was pretending to be something I wasn’t, teaching yoga feels natural to me and I know I’m on my true path in life. Not sure yet where it will take me, but I trust that it is right for me.
That said, I don’t regret those years working in online communications – I made friends and have developed skills and experience which is helping me to promote my yoga classes and engage with the online yoga community, and is enabling me to help others through volunteering with a local charity to spread the word about their work and events online.
But now, even though its early days and my classes are small, I feel at peace taking a yoga class – helping others to find an improved sense of well-being and connection with themselves. I focus on the people before me and the practice we’re doing together.
Knowing that I love and am loved
I wrote this first, but moved it to last position here in this list because this is the most important and profound for me. This is what brings me true peace of mind. I thank all those who I love and who love me, for their connection and support.
Peace in the present
So, as I’ve been writing I’ve noticed a common theme springing out to me. Things which bring me peace of mind are things which bring me into the present moment.
Because in the present moment is peace, is abundance, is love, compassion and understanding.
So to rephrase the opening quote:
“Set the present moment as your highest goal, and organize your life around it”.
And the wonderful thing is that this is so obtainable – it’s something we already have. The present moment is a constant, it’s always with us.
It’s simply a choice to make: do you choose to be pulled this way and that by memories of past experience and anxieties for the future? Or do you choose to embrace the present moment and find peace of mind, here and now?
Stella Tomlinson teaches Dru yoga in Southampton, UK. Dru yoga is a flowing and therapeutic style of yoga, characterised by graceful movements, directed breathing, relaxation techniques and working with affirmations and visualisations. Connect with Stella via Facebook and Twitter.