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4 Ways to Remain Centered Amid All of Life’s Chaos

Centered woman

“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.” ~Joan Borysenko

Right now I’m in a tight squeeze. I’m in the process of making some big changes, and it’s bringing a lot of chaos, uncertainty, insecurities, and fears into my life, as changes will do.

One of my deepest desires is to be able to look chaos in any form, of any magnitude, square in the eye, and levitate up to the next level of not letting any of the anarchy affect my inner homeostasis. Whatever the drama—work, family, friends, worldly, financial, school, natural disasters—I don’t want any of it to harsh my mellow.

My desire is for peace or bust, on the inside and all around me.

When we recognize that life is our mirror, we begin to understand that the outer chaos merely represents our mental state. If we can quiet our inner chaos, our outer chaos will simmer.

However, too often we get this process backward, and that is why it takes us so long sometimes to tame all of the ruckus: We don’t take the time to first quiet our mental noise.

I often say that I desire to be the glowing yogi in a mosh pit, untouched and at ease. My biggest fear is someone knocking me off balance and getting trampled.

So, my fantasy is to be just kind of floating there in the lotus position in the middle of it all, with pushing and shoving going on all around me, yet I am untouched. I remain at ease and guarded by my peaceful light.

I crave that kind of serenity in my day to day. When situations arise that aren’t going according to my plan, I want to transcend into the glowing yogi in the mosh pit and remain perfectly centered, unfazed by the drama going on all around me.

Keeping this vibe of peace is hard to do sometimes when we are faced with the challenges of life.

Winds of change blow through our lives daily, and unpredictable circumstances happen on the regular that are beyond our control. How do we handle it all?

Personally, my brain rushes to “fix” everything. If something comes up that doesn’t go according to my plan, I spend sleepless nights trying to figure out what to do.

I will solicit advice from friends, loved ones, colleagues, my dog. I will scour the Internet for any hints and solutions I can find. I do anything other than assimilate myself as the peaceful yogi who doesn’t worry, and again that is approaching the issue backward.

It is only from cultivating an inner calm and centeredness that we are able to transcend above any outer chaos.

So how can we do this? How can we transform any chaotic situation into one of inner and outer peace?

How do we sit calmly and not get caught up in the hype? How do we not worry? How do we stay centered and grounded? How do we remain connected and rooted?

These ideas may help:

1. Visualize.

This is the first thing I do. I try to calm my mind down, and I start envisioning the outcome I’d like to see happen. I don’t get attached to these ideas; I simply start imagining myself happy, healthy, safe, and loved, and I begin to visualize a friendlier situation and outcome.

Then I can rest in those good vibes as I remain cradled in my center. Thoughts have power.

2. Train your subconscious brain to have a different default thinking than it does now.

Wishful thinking for different circumstances isn’t enough to transcend us; we’ve got to feel it. If we wish for things to be better or different, but underneath it all we feel that we are doomed no matter what, then nothing will change.

It takes us retraining our subconscious mind to have a different belief system.

I personally like to use affirmations to help me improve my mental and emotional fitness. In Ayurveda we call this a mantra. It’s a positive, uplifting thought that is to be repeated many times throughout the day until it becomes an inner truth and belief system.

An example of a mantra is “Everything always works out,” or, “Only what is best will happen.” When I’m stressed, repeating these two mantras throughout the day instantly pulls me back into my center and eases my mind. Words have power.

3. Develop faith that things always turn out okay.

In order for us to transcend our situation and create more peace in our lives, we have got to feel it. The best way for us to succeed at levitating above the mosh pit is to have faith.

To have faith, we must believe with conviction that everything will be okay, even if we can’t currently see exactly how.

When we possess faith, that inner knowing is a feeling that we have. We know. And we cannot evolve fully into the know until we have unrockable faith. Feelings have power.

4. Keep your eyes and heart focused on how you can add value to the world each day.

In Ayurveda we call this our Dharma, and it means life purpose. It is our own unique mission in life, the reason we are each here. It is our individual gift we were born to share with others. It is what we are here to serve and dazzle the world with. It is in our DNA and a part of us. It is scripted on our souls.

In moments of mayhem, cling to your purpose in life. Stick with what is true to you. No matter what is going on in our lives right now, our only guarantee is our life purpose. It will never leave you because it is a part of you. You need your purpose, and your purpose needs you. It is the yin to our yang.

So, in my moments of panic and confusion, instead of pumping my brain for answers, I have learned to continue to focus on my purpose. We are here on this Earth for one purpose alone: to be and spread unconditional love. It’s how we do it that differs. And it’s these differences that paint the mosaic of life.

When all else fails, focus on how you can add value to the world. If you are wondering what your own personal life mission is, follow your dreams; they will lead you there.

When I know I have contributed value to the world each day, I feel centered, grounded, and at ease. Action is power.

Remember, the outer world is a mirror of our inner world. If we can tame the inner beast inside, the dramas in our outer worlds will subside. And when events occur that are beyond our control, we can use these four tools to remain rooted in our center, and at peace.

We will become one with the yogi floating in the mosh pit, glowing and untouched.

Photo credit here

About Jennifer Marut

Jennifer Marut is a student of Ayurveda, medicinal plants, yoga, and meditation at The California College of Ayurveda. She is the creator of The Cleaning Divas Eco-Aromatherapy Cleaning Products, and the The Bamboo Project. Sign up for her health and happiness e-newsletter for daily inspiration, and keep up with her adventures twitter.

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  • lv2terp

    I LOVE this post!!! Thank you for sharing your experience, wisdom, and such a beautiful message!!!! 🙂 🙂 LOVELY!

  • Paul in Canada

    I think most of what is here is good, but there seems to be something missing. Sometimes we’re pushed into the chaos – our boss keeps pushing and pushing for more and more – work faster, harder, etc. When circumstances move beyond what we can ‘manage’ through mindfulness and meditation, action is required. Action that moves us to a loving place – a place where I lovingly protect myself from the chaos. In physical conflicts (war zones) that would mean removing oursleves to a safe place. I think the missing step is to discover and act in a way that protects our emotional well being – which may mean removing ourselves, even temporarily to a safe space, or speaking up for ourselves and ‘drawing the line’ on what is reasonable, etc.

  • Jenn

    I love it! What a great point that I totally missed. Thanks so much for the feedback. And wishing many blessings to you my friend!

  • Jenn

    Thanks so much! I hope you have a beautiful day!

  • I love this post as well! Thank you so much for sharing. Exactly what was needed.

  • Amy

    Great article. Sometimes it seems I can’t “turn my brain off” during times of stress or anxiety and this article helps me to remember that perspective and inner calm really do make even bad situations so much better or at least manageable. Thanks!

  • I love this line Jennifer: If we can quiet our inner chaos, our outer chaos will simmer.

    This post resonates for me in so many ways cause I do none of it. haha.. I work in ….politics where craziness an chaos are valued. That’s how campaigns are run but trying to find peace, calmness and friendlier situations is what I try to do as challenging as it may be.

    I think I try to do your last point to remind myself why it is I’m doing what I’m doing. Why is getting a candidate or fighting for a policy important. Whose lives will it change? How will it help vulnerable populations? That sort of of helps me stay somewhat calm or collected. Ok, I’m not there at all but can visualize myself being calm and collected. haha thanks for sharing!

  • Gin

    Incredible post!!!!! I really enjoyed it with all my heart, it left me with such a beautiful lesson and positive vibes! really thank you.

  • Ally

    Thank you. Honesty, I’ve needed to hear this and need to re-hear it lol. Going through so much right now, changes, financial tightness, career changes, perpetually seeking family approval and meaningful career (!) I’ve been afraid to center, meditate and enter yoga again because of what will come up but the signs (including this post) are slowly telling me its time to get this courage and turn inwards again.

  • Edit Danilian

    Perfect timing. Thank you!

  • Tamwemyss

    Thanks. Needed this.

  • Fantastic article! I completely relate to – especially to the section about having faith. I learned somewhere on my journey that my lack of faith was really holding me back. It’s a tough one too. But I love the advice on quieting inside to tame the outside world. My problem is I will go over…and OVER a problem or issue until I drive myself crazy.. time to stop that! once again, great article!

  • TJ Rumler

    Really needed this today 🙂

  • Itty Bits

    Thank you Jennifer. For some reason, after reading this after a stressful situation(past choice talking), I must say, “I love you”. L0L. This post is inspiring. I appreciate it. Thank you:)

  • Lipi Patel

    Loved the post…

  • Patrizio Murello

    Thank you for writing this. I came across this in a random internet search. I am a single working father, battling for custody and dealing with constant heartbreak. I really needed a new outlook. I am an 8th year disciple in a Wing Chun kung fu family, and it is a very wonderful practice for me, I haven’t been able to practice in months because ive been so depressed. I saved this article in hopes it will help me get back together, but ill take any help i can get. Thank you again

  • Kyle Jack

    Savvy piece – Just to add my thoughts , people want a a form , my secretary encountered a blank form here http://goo.gl/au0bc0

  • Guðmundur Arnar Sigurðsson

    This post made me feel calmer, I sometimes want all the answers and pump my brain with questions but its a great message to focus on your life mission