What comes to mind when you hear the word Serenity? Tranquil, peaceful, calm, stillness, or are you like my husband and think of the spaceship in the Firefly television show? Whatever comes to mind, serenity is something people want more of in their lives.
Peace, calmness, stillness, whatever you want to call it, is a soulful quality. It doesn’t come from outside of you. It comes from within you. So if you have it with you all the time, why don’t you feel it? Why does it seem elusive and strange when seen in others?
The egoic mind says it wants serenity, but stillness is not an egoic quality.
On the contrary, stillness is something the ego avoids. Why? Because when we get quiet, we can hear the whispers of our soul. The encouragement to take a risk by trying something new. Or to reach out and make a new friend. The ego wants to protect you, so it wants you to stay small and not grow or take chances of any kind, even if they are beneficial to you.
So, can you expand the amount of serenity you feel each day? Is there a way to have inner peace despite the stresses of everyday life? Yes, there is, and this article will discuss how to release the inner peace into your life.
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. ~ Siddhartha Gautama
What Does Serenity Look And Feel Like In Your Life?
When you imagine a serene person, what do you see? A Buddhist monk in a lotus position meditating in a temple? Yoga instructor speaking in a calm voice while moving into tree pose? Or maybe it’s the coworker who stays calm during a crisis and responds with self-confidence and clear thinking?
People who have serenity in their lives are better equipped to handle situations that arise because they can pivot. They can see most problems are minor and don’t allow drama or negativity to create more significant issues. Why? Because they have awareness and positive mental habits which have enabled them to see the big picture or the lesson they’re to learn from the situation.
So, have you had a moment of serenity? Of course, you have, but do you remember how you felt before your ego swept in and took control? Others have described it as the peace that passes all understanding or the stillest stillness, a calmness that made you feel safe. I think serenity is the inner knowing of truth that allows peace and joy to rise from within you.
But just as we savor the feeling of stillness, the ego has to swoop in and instill fear. It chatters at us that this feeling is only fleeting. Or we must be wrong about the emotion or belief, so we need to do something to maintain control. The ego wants us to do, not be. The serenity comes from within when we are being, not doing.
When you do the right thing, you get the feeling of peace and serenity associated with it. Do it again and again. ~ Roy T. Bennett
Are You Responding Or Reacting to Life?
I believe there is a distinction between reacting and responding. Reactions come from the emotional state of fear, panic, anxiety, dread, and stress. Responding to life from a place of love means you’ve paused and assessed the circumstances and know fear is not the answer.
So how are you answering the situations life offers you? Do you immediately feel stressed and react because of a negative feeling? Or do you pause and look at the conditions around you and consciously choose a response that moves you in the direction you want to go? You always have a choice in how you reply to life situations. Are you choosing wisely, or is your ego reacting to regain the false sense of control?
If you recognize the moment and consciously choose to respond, what happens? In that instant, there is a pause, a time to connect with your soul to seek the answer. Yes, within you are all the answers you are searching for outside yourself. So if you give yourself that minute to connect, the solution will present itself.
Now you have the correct response to the circumstances, but your ego will fight against it. Why? Because it wants control and safety, which it can’t see in the soulful response. But learning to trust your intuition, the heart’s whispers, is part of how you grow past the fearful state the ego keeps you in all the time.
We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. ~ Sri S. Satchidananda
Things To Avoid For Inner Peace
Be careful what you allow into your life. What you see, hear, and eat effects you, whether it’s caffeine, alcohol, junk food, or horror movies. For example, does drinking coffee make you jittery? Or maybe alcohol makes you depressed. Perhaps the horror movie doesn’t allow you to relax. Evaluate how you feel when you consume different things and choose to eliminate those things that don’t expand your serenity.
When you get irritated over a minor event, don’t let your mind continue to wander down an adverse trajectory. Whether you obsess over the misstep you took or want to correct someone’s unacceptable behavior, getting off track can easily be fixed. Pivoting back to positive thinking or walking away from the drama is as simple as understanding you want to be on a different route and making the course correction. Then, by redirecting your thought processes, you can get back to the clarity serenity brings.
When the egoic mind is controlling your actions, serenity evaporates. Why? Because the ego allows defensive posturing, victimization, jealousy, and distraction to keep you in turmoil. The ego wants you to feel victimized because it uses this disempowering feeling to fuel the stress in your life.
Learn to avoid arguments by speaking your truth and letting the other speak theirs. Being open-minded and compassionate towards someone is a powerful pathway to serenity. When you are trying to prove someone is wrong and you’re right, your stress level increases and any peace you have disintegrates.
Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace. ~ Dalai Lama
How Acceptance Helps Inner Peace
When you surround yourself with people who encourage you, are compassionate and empathic, you can see only a positive perspective. These are the people who love and accept you as you authentically are, even when you take a misstep. Your tribe is a drama-free zone. Why? Because they look for the next best steps to take, are conscious of the words they use, and only want what you think is the best for you, not what they want.
Make acceptance a habit. Accept others as they are. For example, if someone is manipulative, recognize it and don’t make excuses for their bad behavior. You can then choose to spend time with them or not. This process is setting personal boundaries. It’s not about altering the other person, but understanding they aren’t allowed to treat you poorly. You’re responsible for keeping your serenity and not allowing drama into your life.
Another form of acceptance is understanding the current situation and knowing you can change it. Be grateful for what you have and work towards changing those areas you want to improve. Stagnation is allowing the ego to make you believe that what is, is all there can be.
Accept that silence holds the answers. If you have to have noise in the background all the time, ask yourself why. What are you trying to avoid? Does your ego want the television on so you can’t hear the soulful whispers of your heart? Get quiet so you can expand your serenity.
Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak. ~ Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
Developing Habits To Expand Serenity In Your Life
The first step in allowing the inner peace to rise from within you is to hold the intention that it’s what you want in your life. Then, visualize yourself staying calm, no matter the circumstances, by responding from a place of love. You can also state affirmations to help you change your mindset to one of serenity. For example, “I am calm and peaceful in all situations.”
Look for things you have to be grateful for in your life. The simple things like Earl Grey tea on a rainy afternoon or the smell of the tangerine as you peel it. The great things like the job you have to pay the bills or the relationships from those in your tribe that love, support, and accept you as you are. Even be grateful for the lessons you’ve learned and the hard choices you made to improve your life. Gratitude is the fasted way to pivot you towards serenity.
Journaling is a habit that helps bring serenity into your life. Why? Because it’s a superb way to release negativity and stress safely. It frees your egoic mind of worries and frustrations and gives you room to hope and dream. Writing also allows you to focus on the tasks you want to accomplish and the goals you desire to move towards. This action of penning your life is freeing as you validate your authentic self. It moves from living inside the egoic mind and taking creative activity in the journaling process.
If you stop feeding strife, it will eventually lead to a peaceful life. ~ Jeanette Coron
Moving Forward With Serenity
Unfortunately, serenity isn’t found in a stress-free environment. However, your pathway to the peace you are looking for is already within you. Your inner tranquility is rooted in your self-care practices, which are ingrained in your authenticity. As you remove the masks and armor and allow your authentic self to shine, your serenity will come forth.
You’ll see that what used to cause you stress is a mild irritation that will pass away as quickly as it arrived. Accepting what is allows for contentment to be a natural state of being as you will enable the flow of life to do just that, flow. There isn’t any fighting against the current, but acceptance of what is to change something if you want to.
Whether you spend time in nature, meditate, or use gratitude, notice that these ways all require you to get quiet so you can hear the whispers of your soul. When you allow the serenity within you to rise, you find balance in life. It enables you to handle each day better with more energy and better emotional control. You allow your compassionate nature to emerge and have clear judgment when dealing with stressful circumstances.
You can get caught up in the egoic mind’s whirlwind of stress, anxiety, or indifference. Still, you can also move past these distractions and allow the serenity within you to rise from within and cultivate contentment each day.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. ~ Lao Tzu
Do you need help to cultivate a drama-free life? Do you need help to find inner serenity? If so, please reach out to me at TerriKozlowski.com, and we can put together an action plan for you to create the life you desire.