How to Find Serenity

Finding your definition of serenity and ways to make it part of your life.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
serenity on the water

God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr

I struggled with what to use as the topic for this post. I just kept thinking and thinking and thinking and nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Then I took a deep breath, leaned back in my chair, closed my eyes and just breathed. Deep… long… full breaths. The idea came to me. Serenity. That ever elusive, but wonderful, glorious feeling of serenity.

The typical definition of serene is calm, peaceful, and tranquil, like a serene sea, or a serene old age. Really, that’s in the dictionary, like you need to wait until old age to be serene.

There’s another definition which is more poetic and that is a clear or tranquil expanse of sky, sea, etc. I like that definition. I like to feel expansive. I like to think that way. It is the way I just felt when I leaned back and let go of the struggle to come up with a topic.

So, why bother?

Part of being serene for me is being able to have the time to look inward. I became a coach many years ago because the training I took to be certified gave me time and taught me how to look inward. I had been in business for a very long time and business is focused primarily outward. Outward to the measurements, outward to your team, outward to your co-workers and boss, outward to be seen and network for the business, outward to be trained. Outward. Never time to actually look inward.

When I finally took the deep breath and started to look inward I noticed I slowed down. I spent more time just being. You know, we are human beings, not human doings.

I asked myself, “What had I been running so fast toward? Even more important, What had I been running so fast away from?”


That question hurt.

When I was able to be honest with myself, and thanks to the guidance of some master coaches and mentors, I knew instinctively that I was running fast and furiously away from myself. I needed to spend a significant amount of time proving. Proving what didn’t matter, but always accomplishing to prove something to anyone.

Serene? Not at that time. Serene? Yes, I am more so now.

Serene can show up in many places and has been shown to have many health benefits when we stop and take time out through something like meditation. There is a landmark study that shows that meditation (taking time out) “showed dramatic increases in blood flow to the posterior cingulate gyrus, the region of the brain associated with learning and memory. It is the first region of the brain to decline in individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which helps to explain why the blood flow-producing meditation has such a profound impact on cognitive functioning.”

That’s enough to convince me to slow down, lean back, close my eyes, and take some deep breaths.

Serene…You bet I am!

When the crowded refugee boats met with storms or pirates, if everyone panicked, all would be lost. But if even one person remained calm and centered, it was enough. They showed the way for everyone to survive.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Be that one person.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Staying Calm In The Midst Of Change

    Staying Calm In The Midst Of Change

    by Goodmen Project

    Pilot Zohrab Grigorian: “How To Develop Mindfulness And Serenity During Stressful Or Uncertain Times”

    by Beau Henderson
    Staying Calm In The Midst Of Change

    How to Stay Calm In The Midst Of Change

    by Goodmen Project

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.