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  Jane Miller


Articles -- Perspectives

So often, situations seem to overwhelm us, sweeping away any sense of inner peace.

A few years back, while wrapping up my late mother?s estate, I felt a great deal of frustration and annoyance over so many things ? poor advice from the notary, the housing market, taxes, etc.

I could not have changed much of the external situation, but I could certainly have lived in a more peaceful inner state during all this. It?s amazing. Despite my meditation practices, I was still too often in a state inner turmoil.

So how can one be in a state of inner peace more consistently?

Well, it's not so much what you do, but where you live from - i.e. your perspective.

Most of our lives, we live from our own personal perspective. When a challenge appears, we see ourselves as the victim and the rest of the world is our tormentor.

It?s not easy to step out of this limited perspective. We generally don?t like to take an objective view because a part of us is afraid it will not get what it wants. This is coming from our emotional brain and it is one of our more primitive survival mechanisms. However, when we can step out of ourselves and take a more objective view, we become much more creative about the options available.

From this broader perspective, we take a balanced view of our own importance in the drama. We start to admit that others have challenges too and we become willing to consider solutions that will benefit everyone. We can also consider a larger timeframe and look for long-term solutions.

Whenever you find yourself immersed in a negative emotion (fear, anger, frustration), imagine yourself floating outside the scene and looking at it from a distant vantage point.

  • Start by noticing any of your own physical reactions, like shoulders tensing. Take a deep breath and then relax as you exhale; Relax your facial muscles; Change your posture.
  • Then notice the expression on other people?s faces and their posture. What does that tell you about how they are feeling? What might be their challenges or concerns?
  • How might you deal with the situation to address the concerns of everyone involved?
  • What are the longer-term challenges and possible solutions?

Notice that this process allows you to cherish and care for your own emotional needs and also those of others. As you get into the habit of taking this broader perspective, you will develop a sense of community with others, and the security that this brings is what your emotional brain wants. And the result will be a more peaceful inner state.

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