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Stop Waiting for Life to Change: How to Feel at Peace Now

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Inner Peace

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

Humans are amazing creatures. We have so much potential to create, effect change, and love. We can generate and organize. We can grow and learn.

The unharnessed creative potential within us also means that we have the capacity for destruction. We can start wars over words, or follow our monkey minds into a frenzy of worry and distraction. We can keep on telling ourselves that when that one thing we want so badly happens, then everything will be better.

We are so creative that we believe our best lie to ourselves—that there is time available for us to waste on not finding inner peace. We’ll pin our hopes on the new car, new house, or new job instead and stay in limbo, waiting.

I had a transformational experience recently when I dug up my old journals from the last ten years and read them. I was feeling particularly miserable and a clear question popped into my head: have I just been going round in circles all this time?

I suddenly felt sharply aware that I had been in that place before many times—sad, demotivated, and looking for something to shift.

When I looked in the journals I saw that nearly every single time, I had tied my inner peace to an event or outcome.

For example, I had diary entries going back to my time in school where I was pinning all of my happiness on passing a particular exam or making a particular teacher like my work.

I have a diary from after I graduated where I was making myself sick with worry about getting on to the Masters program I wanted; if I could just get in then everything would be perfect.

I have an entry from two years ago where my only goal in life in a bad housing market was to sell the flat I owned that I desperately wanted to move out of. If I could just sell it then I could stop being unhappy and everything would be perfect.

Needless to say, with every single entry, as soon as the thing I needed to happen happened, after the briefest of celebrations, I moved onto another objective to pine miserably over.

It was always the same unhelpful, un-empowering mantra: If this goes well then I will be happy. If that goes well I can get on with living my happy, dream life. In the meantime, I would continue to allow myself to take no responsibility for my own happiness.

It hit me all at once, reading the entries back to back. For the last ten years or more, I have been putting off inner peace.

I have been evolving and changing in the beautiful way that humans do, and the journals were a testament to that, but the entire time, I was waiting for something to happen to me to make me happy. I cried. Not from sadness, but pure joy. I was finally free to be truly happy.

In that moment I realized to truly break the cycle and embrace life to the fullest, I needed to do the following, and I’m sharing these with you in the hope that you stop putting off your inner peace today.

1. Be grateful every single day.

Gratitude is the grounding force of inner peace. We all have something to be grateful for every single day, and if we don’t think we do then that is the first sign that we are sacrificing our own inner peace for an ideal that doesn’t exist. Write down or tell somebody the one thing you are grateful for every day.

Social media is a great channel for this, as people are often projecting negativity into the world. Change the pattern. Make your status updates full of gratitude.

I regularly reflect on how grateful I am for my health, for my loved ones, and for my desire to help others. I am so grateful to be alive and to have this opportunity to connect with people so we can all work together to be better. I realize every day how lucky I am to have food, shelter, and health. Having these basic needs mean I can be lucky enough to think bigger and try to offer something back.

2. Do something that makes your heart sing every single day.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the perfect job. It doesn’t matter if you’re having difficulty in a relationship or feeling lost. Just commit to doing one thing every single day that makes you feel happy.

It can be as simple as taking a walk, writing in your journal, or doing some yoga. The more space you create for your heart to sing in your life, the more you’ll realize the peace you already have inside of you. I personally choose to do one thing each day that helps me help others to feel bountiful, beautiful. and blissful. That makes my heart sing.

3. Stop looking for fixes outside of yourself.

Everything you want and need, you already have and you already are. You don’t need to project onto other things. Notice those patterns in your behaviour and give yourself permission to let them go.

You are a being full of creative potential. You don’t need anything outside of yourself. You just need to tap into what’s already there.

When I begin to notice myself stressing out or falling into the patterns of pinning all my hopes on one thing, I close my eyes. I sit or lie down quietly and I breathe. I completely fill and empty my lungs with long, deep breaths and know that my body will ensure I get the oxygen and life force I need.

I know that this will keep my organs going and keep my heart pumping blood around my body. I know that the life force in the air I breathe will keep my spirit alive in a way that no mark in an exam, no Masters program, or no shiny new house ever will.

I lie back quietly and breathe until the part of me that knows everything is perfect the way it is arises and reminds me that’s the case, or until the part of me that is strong and determined offers me a plan for change that I can move forward with. I wait until I either accept my situation with grace or I am motivated to clear action.

I stop looking outside of myself and leaving myself in limbo even though the temptation is there. Sometimes I notice it’s happening, and I laugh. I laugh and the part of me that knows everything is or will be fine smiles inside. Then I breathe and close my eyes and connect to the resourceful woman I have inside of me who knows that all my real answers are within.

4. Be still.

Your potential is resting inside of you waiting for you to notice it, like I do when I close my eyes to breathe. To allow it to flourish, be still. Practice yoga followed by a relaxation and a meditation. Sit quietly in the garden and breathe. Do whatever works for you to be still.

Be still so your can hear the whispering of your inner teacher who already knows the value of gratitude, joy, and the potential that you hold within.

Stop putting off inner peace. Start living bountifully today.

Man in lotus image via Shutterstock

About Raeeka

Raeeka is a coach and kundalini yoga teacher who guides people toward creating an intentional life full of meaning, value, and joy. Join her mailing list to gain access to her free online community, a bonus guided relaxation audio, and her cheat sheet on the twelve areas of fulfilment to focus on for a blissful life.

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  • Hi Raeeka
    Thank you so much for sharing your story and helpful insights. As humans with so much potential for growth and creation, it can be hard to maintain that balance between being happy now and keeping our eye towards what we hope to have in the future. In recent years, I have worked on trying to be happy in the moment.

    Practicing gratitude has been a HUGE game changer for me. I have spent the last three years traveling, and being exposed to some of the struggles people in first-world circumstances will never even come close to experiencing, was a major wake-up call for me. I realized how much I took for granted. I think most of us are really ungrateful, and not because we are all big jerks ,but simply because we have never experienced the type of hardship that would instill a sense of true gratitude for basic things that we are just so used to having.

    I am also a big believer in LOA and have made amazing strides in my life by applying the principles deliberately. And, one of the tenets to getting the things we want is feeling as if we already have them. Everything is happening now so we need to feel good now.

    Great post!

  • J

    Thank you for the deep insight that your article provides. We sometimes forget to be grateful for what we have. Thank you for reminding me to look at what I have. Its all I need.

  • Cristen Gonzalez

    Thank you for this article. Many times, when I log in to check my e-mail in the morning, a post on this site speaks directly to something I, or someone close to me, is going through. That was the case today. I am feeling down about a couple things but needed the reminder that I am further than I used to be. I don’t have to let the depression get the best of me. And, I need to be quiet until my mind can get clarity then generate some responses that will be positive, active, and not reactive. I also need to stay out of the trap of thinking that something outside of me will make it all better. Gratitude, I have gotten out of the habit of writing my gratitude journal. And yet, I know I am grateful for my health, for a wonderful, loving, supportive partner, for children who are healthy and becoming wonderful adults. Things that make my heart sing… hmm, makes sense but I need to make a list. When I get in that spiral, I can only think of anger and hurt. That needs to change.

    Thank you so much. This is pivotal, I believe, to the next phase of becoming a better person, for me.

  • Daniels

    the examples are lacking depth. All four of them are essentially the same thing.

  • RT

    Reeka so loved the section on “Stop looking for fixes outside of yourself”. It gave me the awareness that instead of wishing things were different on the outside your quote, ” I connect to the resourceful woman I have inside of me who knows that all my real answers are within”.
    So beautifully said,thank you for this gift of inspiration.

  • Lucy Charms

    This is so true. After the umpteenth breakup, I’m realizing (re-realizing, because I’ve known this for some time) that I’ve tied my happiness to having a romantic partner. I keep choosing men who don’t want what I want, and then I’m unhappy, and then the relationship ends, and I’m even unhappier, and then I get back on my feet, meet a guy, and everything happens all over again.

    I have to work on being happy in myself, regardless of whether I have a partner or not.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  • t

    Thank-you : )

  • Hi Cristen, you’re very welcome! I’m so pleased this was useful to you. I think journals are a fantastic way to keep track of this and a gratitude journal is a lovely additional dimenestion. We have to remember that we are on track, we are doing well, we are changing. Things are happening. Good luck to you on your journey!

  • Hi Kelli – so glad this was useful to you! Gratitude is key, I agree. Everything is different when you practice gratitude.
    I’m just getting into LOA myself + understanding what that’s all about. Good luck on your jouney 🙂

  • J – you are so welcome. I am so glad to have helped!

  • You’re welcome 🙂

  • Lucy,

    You’re very welcome. It’s so easy to tie ourselves up in our relationships with others – while our relationship with ourselves is most important. Good luck working on this.

  • RT – you’re very welcome, I am so happy to have helped!

  • Hi Daniel, are you saying that all 4 tips are the same? I would disagree, but that’s ok 🙂 Blessings.

  • Jeevan/Mirthu/Gupt

    “It was always the same unhelpful, un-empowering mantra: If this goes
    well then I will be happy. If that goes well I can get on with living my
    happy, dream life. In the meantime, I would continue to allow myself to
    take no responsibility for my own happiness.” That pretty much summarizes more or less a lot of the unnecessary anguish I keep putting myself on a daily basis for God knows how long now…lol. Thank you for sharing your story; this was really insightful!

  • Jeevan/Mirthu/Gupt

    Hi Kelli…what’s LOA??

  • Victoria AT

    Thank you so much Raeeka for your powerful writing. this does make me aware of myself and guided me to turn my inner peace on again. Thank you.

  • Nikki

    This article speaks directly to my soul as thinking back to my own journal entries there is a constant recurring theme….if I could just get into this school, pass this test, get that job…I will be fulfilled but I never am. I feel that I have everything I have ever wanted except that dream job so now I am continuously lamenting over that. I am going to start making a conscious effort to do the things suggested by your article and see if I can change my perspective and starting living. I have so much to be grateful for but I can only seem to focus on the things that are not right in my life and that needs to stop. Thank you for this wonderful article!

  • Maryam Hosseinzade

    Hi Raeeka!
    u really did great in this article. I really enjoyed!! And i am going for it!!
    Thank u a lot.