When it’s raining outside, we take shelter inside. So when the world pours down on you, take refuge in your inner calm. Here’s a way to find the temple of peace in your heart, no matter how stormy things are in your life.
Find a quiet place. Consciously close the door to shut out the world outside. You may choose to sit or lie down. Close your eyes. Bring your attention to your body, starting at your face. Feel any tension in your facial muscles and consciously relax each of them. With every in breath, breath in peacefulness. With every out breath, breath out the stress and anxiety stored in your body. With each breath, relax the crown of your head, the back of your neck, your shoulders, each of your arms, your back, your bullocks, your legs, your feet, and your toes. Breathing so, relax every fibre of your body.
With a calm body, you can now look to calm your mind. Imagine you are sitting on the top of a mountain overlooking a valley. Sometimes water may flow gently in the valley below, other times the valley may be raging with floods. As long as you remember that you are safe above the valley and not get caught up in what is happening below you, fear and anxiety cannot touch you.
Likewise, sit with confident calmness as you preside over the stream of thoughts and feelings that flow in the valley beneath you. Your imagination may entice you to get carried away with it, like the raging floods that sweeps everything in its paths into the great sea. Your feelings of anxiety, pain, fear, doubt, stress, and depression may paralyse you as you get sucked into their bottomless depths.
Hold your higher ground. Don’t think that in order for you to control your thoughts and feelings you need to get into the thicket of it to change them. You control them by maintaining your distance from them, so you can see them for what they really are.
See how your unhappiness ebbs and flows; it doesn’t last forever. See how your anxiety is not a part of you, but something you can do without. See how fear only has effect on you because you are giving it a place in your mind by holding onto it.
Seeing this, make a conscious choice towards your inner calm. Do you choose to remain drenched in the rain outside, or find refuge in your inner temple of peace? Do you want to wage against the floods in the valley below, or do you want to watch with impartial awareness of all the comings and goings inside of your heart and mind?
Remember that there is always a choice in life. So hold this affirmation close to your heart:
“No matter what life brings, I choose peace. I choose to make peace with myself, to make peace with others, and to make peace with whatever life may bring.”
May you find peace and calmness amidst your storm.