In life it often seems like chaos is the norm, and peace has to be claimed, fought for, Won. And I’m not just talking about physical peace as in the opposite of war, I’m talking about inner-peace. The type of peace that allows you to get a full-night’s sleep despite the myriad of problems going on in the world, in your wallet, or in your relationships. The type of peace that defies all logic. Because by the looks of things, everyone should probably be going crazy all of the time.
I thought about this topic a while ago, as it relates to the life of creatives and dreamers, and how there is a lot of chaos and uncertainty when you’re RESOLVED to following your passions. But in light of the events of the past couple of weeks, with shootings and protests, and clashes of opinions, I realize it’s just as relevant in moments like these.
As much as we’d love it to be, the world is not scripted or linear, it’s a million possibilities—going down infinite paths–leading to innumerable results–with an equivalent number of consequences. And no matter how much we try, we can’t control it all.
In terms of careers, there are gigs we know are perfect for us, but casting directors, and hiring managers tell us no. In society, there is injustice we want to correct, yet the winds of change often seem as slow as they are powerful. And all of this uncertainty leaves us with a sense of inner-turmoil and unease.
I know in my own life I’ve been through so many ups and downs as an entrepreneur, struggling financially, just to find stability, and then go back to barely getting by, all the while trying to figure out the right path to impact the world through my mind, and talents. And sometimes it just seems like there is no end to the roller-coaster.
And truthfully, there’s not.
Life IS chaos. It IS the roller-coaster of success and defeat. It IS the sting of injustice and the salve of righteousness. It is everything all the time, at the same time.
Hideous, and unbelievably beautiful at once.
The world is going to continue to be unpredictable and ever-changing and so we must
create, seize, tranquility and peace within or own being or be ripped apart by it’s torrents.
Here’s my advice for winning peace amid the inevitable chaos of life.
Focus on what you CAN Control
Mostly that’s just YOU. You are about the only thing that you have 100% control of. So focus on your decision making, where you choose to put your attention, saying yes when appropriate. Saying no often. And taking care of your physical and mental condition.
You can also control, for the most part, the people you hang around and what you consume. If you’re constantly consuming information that’s making your life appear more chaotic, take a break from that. It doesn’t mean you’re being ignorant or that you don’t care about the world, it just means you’re taking some time to focus on what’s immediately in front of you and rejuvenating your mind.
I must say that with all of the news about the protests and the constant reminders of how unjust things are, I was taking it so heavily that it threw me off of my normal routine. I was in a fog of confusion, anger and sadness. I had to take a break from watching so many videos and reading articles and ignorant comments.
It didn’t mean I didn’t care, it just meant I needed to take a second to get myself back on track before I could confront the issues before me. Life goes on, and situations play out whether or not you’re constantly paying attention to them.
I’m not saying ignore the rest of the world or be uninformed. I’m just saying that your mental energy and time are a finite resources. Be wise about what you put these resources into. If it’s something you can immediately address and influence, by all means, put your resources there. But if it’s remote, not yet time, or there are other pressing things, ration your resources where they are needed most.
Just because you can’t control everything doesn’t mean that there aren’t solutions to the problems that arise. Take time to calmly think about strategies that will help you gain a level of control over a chaotic element, or ideas that will help you be better equipped to face chaos in this area when it arises.
Can you take classes to further your skills for your career or art? Can you start your own business, or begin a creative project for financial stability? Can you create a foundation, or support an organization promoting equality and justice?
DON”T OBSESS– this is so important. Obsession creates more chaos, because you are fixated on an issue that may or may not have a clear and immediate solution. PROCESS OVER PROGRESS is the rule here. Work on the issue in consistent spurts. Answers will come. But know when to leave it on the table and purge your mind of the turmoil so you can face your daily life as well.
This should be #1. I will write an entire blog on meditation one day. But the act of being still, being quiet, and removing yourself, even for a brief moment, from the chaotic currents of life can help you develop a stronger sense of inner-peace.
Don’t get hung up on trying to have “no thoughts”. That may or may not come with time. Just take a moment away from everything else to sit and breathe deeply, release your physical tension, be quiet and focus on your breathing.
There are different types/styles of meditation and one may be better suited to you than others, but I definitely recommend looking into it (here’s Some Info) and starting a practice.
If you’re spiritual, Prayer has similar benefits if done like, or in conjunction with, meditation. It will decrease your stress levels and help get your mind in a place of positivity and pro-activity to better deal with chaos.
I can’t say enough about the power of gratitude. When the world is falling apart around you there is so much power if focusing on what is still intact and thriving. Think about what in your life is going right. literally say aloud the things you are genuinely grateful for like your family, your job, your past successes, your health, your spouse, or if nothing else just that fact that you are ALIVE, surviving and that everyday is an opportunity to improve your current situation and make an impact.
Focusing deeply on what you are grateful for shifts the mind away from thinking about what’s negative or missing. It helps you be in a better head-space to confront your chaos with a positive mindset.
Recently when I was without meaningful employment, I would look at my vision board where I have placed images of people and things I am extremely grateful for in my life. looking at those and reciting what they are out loud created an entire shift in my mood and being each day, and allowed me to stay positive and strategize ways to improve my situation.
You’ve heard this before because it’s so true. A nutrient-rich diet, Exercise, and adequate rest will significantly help you to reduce your stress levels and be in better shape both physically and mentally to handle life’s chaos.
At least 30 mins a day of moderate intensity exercise will improve your circulation, provide you with mood enhancing hormones, and improve your energy levels.
Getting enough sleep makes sure your body is able to function at peak efficiency and your mind is not in a fog and more susceptible to negative thinking.
BOTTOM LINE—You can’t win a battle with chaos if you are tired, sluggish, foggy-brained and out of shape.
Don’t always be a lone wolf. Surround yourself as best you can, with people that don’t add to your chaos. Hang around people who try to remain positive, offer solutions, and genuinely care about your well-being. Be near people who have similar passions and interests, who put themselves out there as much as you do, and who have strategies to share about finding or creating peace amid chaos.
Surely there’s more to mention here but this is what I have for now. These tips will definitely help you to win peace and make order out of the chaos that is life. Thank you so much for reading and remember that Great things are on the Horizon for you! Until next blog.
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