Getting Your Peace of the π…


il_300x300.1478352631_i5dd“There’s a peace in this world that the world never gave; a peace it cannot take away. Though the trials of life may surround like a cloud, I’ve a peace that has come here to stay…” The peace that passes all understanding is absolutely not dependent upon the circumstances of life. It is not something to be sought and found on the outside but instead something to discover from within. It is perhaps the most beautiful experience of life and makes everything it touches radiate with love. It is time you got your peace of the π (the infinite)!

In a world ruled by what you can see and what you can hear; by how things feel and how they smell; by each good taste and every bad taste, peace is damn hard to come by! In fact, often the success we so ardently seek is pursued in the hopes that we may find that elusive peace of mind, that hard-fought financial stability or some other similar guarantee that we can finally relax and be okay. We find ourselves agitated and pushed around each day. The demands of life nag at us and require that we bend, modify and cajole ourselves (and others) in order to escape the grasp of the next threat, the looming trouble, the disaster waiting just beyond the horizon. We run and we run from an enemy we cannot clearly discern though we cannot deny the effects of his presence. We cannot find our peace because we look in all of the wrong places for it. We keep waiting for the stars to align; for our ship to come in; for some grand circumstance to occur that spells the end of all worry and concern.

Peace is properly defined as the end of the strife. It is the back side of the conflict. It is the quiet after the clamor and the silence that follows the struggle. It’s the calm air above the turbulence. It’s the water in the sand after the roaring tide goes out. It is not something to be won by fighting but something to be embraced when the fighting is done. The reason it tends to escape the minds of men is because it is not something to be earned or garnered by toil and trouble, but something to be enjoyed simply by being and accepting. Peace presents itself to you when you finally disengage yourself from the threats; from the incessant demands to do something and trust in something bigger than yourself to continue on the fight! It is letting go and letting God! It’s a decision to no longer be party of the first part, party of the second part and party of the third part. It’s to gently entreat and convince that gargantuan monster of an ego to give up its coveted first place in line. It is a resolved decision to stop relying entirely on seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting as the only means from which to draw conclusions and to trust the wisdom of Someone infinitely larger and smarter and wiser than you can ever hope to be…

Outside of God and His goodness; His unparalleled ability to do, there is no peace; no genuine lasting peace. Instead there will be a fleeting, counterfeit peace that follows promising circumstances or the sun shining or a new job or more money or a larger house, or whatever it is that you can see and experience that points clearly to better days preparing ahead. And though enjoyable, it’s fleeting because sometimes the sun doesn’t shine and sometimes your current jobs sucks and something took your money and then you had to move out of your larger house! And in your circumstance dominated existence you will never be happy because you are always waiting on something outside of yourself to make you happy! Genuine peace, rare in its discovery, rests upon a foundation more sure than favorable circumstances! It rests upon the truth, perfect and without cracks where no error can seep in and agitate. It is a guarantee from the only true Guarantor!

This life with all of its twists and turns; its bumpy roads; its endless list of things to be worried about, will wear you out before your days are complete. It will eat your soul, age you before your time and suck the life force right out of you breath by breath until you are done! You cannot gather up enough riches and banks and fortresses and armies and followers and knowledge to do this thing alone armed with the limitations of your solo brain power or collective brain power for that matter.

Your peace will greet you when you have finally punched out from the rat race and let all that stuff go that used to haunt your mind. Quit trying to figure it all out and see the end at the beginning. Stop allowing the circumstances of a day to falsely predict your future! Cease from all of your works and feeble attempts to make yourself deserving of God’s goodness and instead expect the goodness He gives you not because you deserve it, but because you don’t! Trust His accomplishments for you above your own. Take what He gave you and quit trying to pay more for it! Be done…

The peace that passes all understanding transcends your humanity and reaches deep into the spiritual world from whence it has its beginnings. Have you ever experienced what it feels like to be completely and absolutely at peace, unafraid and secure in every respect? Have you ever felt the sublime excellence of a complete and utter lack of agitation and tumult? If not, it is there for you, waiting for you to let go of self and human perseverance and reach into the infinite. Get your peace of the π!

Just some good thoughts…

 

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Calm Down!


8431429265_f779ef2065_bI remember a time when my wife and I were talking to some friends and she said something that sparked my happy meter and forever etched itself in my mind. She remarked, “Tony isn’t like me, he has a calm mind…” What a nice thing to say! And I have to admit my mind is generally very calm, despite the occasional times I’m like a duck on the water, appearing serene, but paddling like hell underneath. (smile) So, as you may have already guessed, this blog is about cultivating a calm mind.

Before I highlight some key principles, I think it’s important to understand why. Your mind is the center of your life. It’s not just part of your experience, it is your experience. It’s the largest determining factor in how your life progresses. And, as the central hub from which your life proceeds, it has to be in order. Imagine trying to run a business with a thousand random papers and files all over your desk. Picture your warehouse operation functioning properly with no system in place. Instead of success you would experience chaos which may be an apt description of many people’s lives.  Good things, great ideas, quiet, gentle guidance, self control, and the ability to problem solve all come from a calm mind.

An agitated, upset mind is like your mouth when you leave the dentist’s chair. You’re drooling and biting through your tongue; your face is sagging and you are completely unaware of it. Or said another way, all kinds of crap is happening to you; affecting you; harassing you, but you are too distracted to see what’s going on. It’s similar to trying to find your ring at the bottom of the pool while the water is agitated. You’ve got to wait until the agua settles down before you can see. Ya get it?

You’re not alone in your anxiety because the whole world is in turmoil. People suffer in silence because they think it’s normal. Some have never experienced peace. But, you should know that you were not designed to live that way. You were specifically designed with a mind so that you could direct your life. You’re not an animal with built-in instinctual behavior. You’re a human being who needs a calm mind. Interestingly, letting everything go; being perpetually distracted and overwhelmed, actually reduces your life to the level of the common beast. You sort of sniff around seeking to get your basic needs met with no thought about what you could really accomplish or experience if you got your base of operations in order.

Stop for a moment to consider how many thoughts go through your mind in a day. How many of them are negative, critical or fear inducing? If you are inexperienced in controlling your thinking (and yes you can control your thinking), I would wager many, if not most of your thoughts fall into this category. “You’re an idiot for forgetting that meeting.” “Look how fat you’ve gotten you big slob!” “Why don’t things ever work out for me?” “No-one gives a damn about me.” “My stomach hurts. I hope it’s not cancer.” You can multiply these thoughts out indefinitely. What runs through your mind isn’t the biggest issue. The crucible that separates calm from chaotic is what you do or don’t do about those thoughts. You can’t crap on yourself all day long then wonder why you feel anxious. And trust me, it is occurring even if you don’t recognize it. You don’t recognize it because you are distracted and if you add up enough distraction, you feel overwhelmed! Simplistic? Maybe. True? Likely.

In order to find your way to tranquility, you have to do some work with your mind. The peace is already there for you, but you aren’t experiencing it because of those rogue thoughts you are letting go. Your primary job is to fight back. Challenge that assertion! For God’s sake, don’t just let it go. You may be a pacifist. You might be the most non-confrontational person on Earth. But, if someone keeps punching you in the nose everyday, at some point you’d have to punch back. Not fighting back parallels the distress affecting your nose region. You’ve heard of the calm before the storm right? Well, there’s also a calm after the storm is over. Peace comes at the end of the fight. You can gauge your success rate by how you feel. But make no mistake, like it or not, you have to take it on. It’s like quitting smoking. It feels impossible at first, but day by day it get’s easier. At some point you even forget you ever smoked.

Once you begin to win that battle in your mind each day, your calm returns like that ferrel cat you’ve been feeding. In that space of calmness; of tranquility; at peace, you can finally see. Not the cat silly (smile), the trouble when it shows up. You’re at last in a position to handle the issues on the front end. As you cultivate this habit, you get more and more accustomed to the peace. In your peaceful state you can sort out the issues; recognize your triggers; think through your problems objectively and best of all, hear that still small voice ever able and willing to give you a solution. You’re no longer distracted by the hundred-fold fears that assault your mind. You cannot be overwhelmed because you’ve been handling your business in the only time period you can affect – now!

Tempest-tossed souls, wherever ye may be, under whatsoever conditions ye may live, know this, in the ocean of life the isles of Blessedness are smiling, and the sunny shore of your ideal awaits your coming. Keep your hand firmly upon the helm of thought. In the bark of your soul reclines the commanding Master; He does but sleep: wake Him. Self-control is strength; Right Thought is mastery; Calmness is power. Say unto your heart, “Peace, be still!”   ~ James Allen

Just some good thoughts…