“The only peace is the peace that you find within yourself and that lives within the quiet corners of your soul.”
When I was in my thirties peace was almost entirely absent from my daily life. Juggling a corporate career, motherhood and childcare of two small boys under the tender age of 5 I struggled to maintain the ever elusive work life balance that the magazines of the time assured us was possible.
“You can have it all”
“You can have it all” they proclaimed. And I believed that it must be so and kept on striving and beating myself up for not achieving it. I had an ever present anxiety that I wasn’t doing a good enough job at anything. I would end each day feeling mentally exhausted, emotionally unfulfilled and physically drained – and feeling guilty. Not being good enough at anything and spreading myself too thinly. Looking after the needs of others and ignoring my own well -being to the extent that each year I would get a mystery virus which happened to arrive during a week’s holiday from work. I was earning a lot of money, living in a beautiful 4 bedroom detached new home, had 2 gorgeous toddlers, in a steady marriage and for anyone on the outside looking in they might think that I “had it all.” There was however a sub text to the proclamation of “You can have it all” and it reads something like;
“You can have it all – at a cost.”
There were of course moments of peace such as when I held my babies first thing in the morning or last thing before sleep. When I played and laughed with my sons at weekends. When I swam. When I snuggled up to my husband and let go of the worries. And when I knew with every cell of my being that I had done a good job on a project or when a manager I had coached had had a breakthrough moment of clarity, understanding and self- acceptance. In those moments I glowed. Those moments were golden.
I was on auto-pilot. I had no space to think.
There was never enough time and I wasn’t present enough to enjoy the time there was. I reduced my hours from 5 days to 3 days a week and got a little more peace by seeing my sons for 2 extra days. I positively basked in that peace for 2 years, enjoying them and a renewed sense of focus in my career. I began to actively think about and seek more peace. I liked the flavour and texture of peace. And now I was also seeking purpose and more meaning.
And so I left my corporate career to set up my own coaching practice and to spend even more time with my sons. I thought at the time that it was all about balance. In hindsight I can see that I knew that something was missing. This “hole” was the cause of my lack of peace.
The peace I was seeking was there all along. I was looking in all the wrong places.
I soon grew to realise that peace actually wasn’t about my external circumstances. Now, I was mentally under-stimulated, emotionally fulfilled but physically exhausted. I simplified our home environment. I cleared out clutter, painted walls white, learned to meditate and qualified as a Reiki Seichem Master. I taught it for a while too. We moved from the Hertfordshire suburbs to the beauty of the West Sussex countryside. I established a successful coaching practice. I played outdoors with my sons and created time for them to have play days, sleepovers and to indulge their hobbies and activities.
All of the above helped however there was still something missing.
I was missing. I hadn’t showed up yet. I still wasn’t present.
I realised I was still running my life meeting other people’s needs, values and expectations. No peace to be had in doing that. I was still striving. Constantly looking for “what next?” and “what else?” It took me quite some time to realise that I was subjugating my own needs for the sake of others. It was a slow dawning and a gradual unfolding. And, yes, of course, as a mother you have to put your young children’s needs first. They are a high priority. Not at the cost of our own health and well- being though.
If we are running on “empty,” we have nothing left to give.
New clients arrive with a plethora of issues that they want to resolve and beneath the issues what I often find is a lack of peace, self- love and presence.
We can take ourselves off on holiday but unless our physical, emotional, mental and soulful selves are at peace then there will be a limit as to how much peace we can access amidst beauty and peaceful space.
So, where is peace to be found then? Look within.
For me, it has been a combination of;
Accepting that life unfolds. It’s a process. It can’t be second guessed, It has to be experienced and felt. Pain comes when I resisted what life has for me. Peace arrives in the guise of acceptance, letting go and embracing what is.
Continuing to open to love, no matter what. When we close our hearts to a person or a situation we close it for ourselves too and for any hope of a fulfilling relationship with others too.
Accepting that I always get what I need even if it isn’t always what I want.
Being gentle with myself and learning how to meet my own needs and to love myself in every situation whilst taking the action I need to take
And trusting that things generally work out for the best even when it feels as dark as it can get.
For me, one definition of peace is “an absence of conflict.” What we resist persists, so let it go and do what brings peace. Peace starts with each of us, each choice we make in how we think, how we feel and how we treat each other. Peace is achievable. One thought, one choice, one action at a time.
I wish you peace.
Book a free 15 minute introductory Peace- Calm session with Moriah here
The Magic of Stillness
How would it feel to feel more in your flow, to have all the time you need, to have greater clarity and to take action with precision and confidence? Taking time out to be in stillness and silence can reap these rewards and more.
Stillness is a lost art. It is not something that the modern world values- well not yet any way. I have a feeling that stillness will make a comeback and I intend to be instigating this comeback in whatever way I can.
Stillness, it seems, is a little like a muscle. You have to keep flexing it and toning it. Use it or lose it. And I had temporarily lost it – until yesterday when I began to create spaciousness in my day once more. Space to rest, space to think, space to be in silence and to be still.
Delicious, juicy spaciousness.
For several months now I have managed to get back into a merry go round of being busy with client sessions – which I love- and a mode of “getting things done” – partly fuelled by Christmas I suspect. I had gotten out of my stillness groove. And as a result, I am tired, not sleeping so well, my body is achy and I have less clarity, less inspired ideas and it feels like time has shrunk.
I know that I am not alone in this and so I am sharing a blog post that I wrote several years ago partly as a reminder to myself and as a commitment to return to stillness every day and also in the hope that it may inspire you to create some time today and each day that is sacred to your own well- being.
Less scatter and more precision.
In part, it’s a re-balancing and harmonising of the feminine (stillness) with the masculine (busy-ness). A little more stillness creates a lot more clarity and focus which means when we move into busy-ness our energy is targeted wisely and efficiently. Less scatter and more precision.
The Stillness Muscle needs to be flexed to get the cumulative effect of the benefits of being still. It’s a little like going to the gym or going for a run every few weeks. Creating and immersing ourselves in stillness on an ad-hoc, irregular basis is going to produce some result but nowhere near the kind of rich, nurturing, restful and creative experiences that we could be engaging with.
Focused, quality results
And this is about engagement. Bringing ourselves to Stillness each day, even if only for a short time will begin to reap rewards in just 1 week. Really. It works. I’m talking positive stillness. No distractions. Focused stillness. Sitting on a train, eyes wide open really doesn’t cut it. Sitting on a train, with good posture, eyes closed, focusing on our Center Point scores big results and correspondingly big benefits. This is focused, quality stillness. And this produces focused, quality results.
Little and often is good. Just like any exercise.
Keep engaging – staying in touch with stillness enables your conscious mind to know that stillness is worth spending time on and in and that it’s a regular thing for you. It gets to know the benefits and wants more. After a while, you will miss stillness, your body may long for it. Mine did when I had a break of 4 days without time spent in stillness. And then something changed and I felt sad about it.
Your Stillness Muscle- Use it or lose it!
I had left it so long to go back into stillness that my body had forgotten just how gorgeous an experience it is - luxuriating in space and time. I did feel sad that I had allowed my Stillness Practice to lapse. The more the days went on, I actually forgot to make the time and although I remembered the benefits and the joy that stillness would bring me if I were to do it, I didn’t actually bring myself to my stillness space and engage with the stillness. I allowed myself to collude with the busy-ness of my day - working with clients, being a mum and all the other ways I spend my time. Still, I was observing my resistance and I was sad and curious about it at the same time.
Instead, I began to write about stillness. It seemed the easiest way to engage with it again somehow. I have learned from my days of going to the gym/ not going to the gym, practising yoga/not practising yoga that all I have to do is engage. Or rather, re-engage. I do know that once I re-engage, I find it easier to get back into it again.
No engagement = no benefit, no incentive, less connection.
This goes for any creative pursuit, anything which would bring us into a greater state of coherence within ourselves and our life. My theory is that this happens because we were programmed for non-coherence. Our mission has been to stay as non-coherent as we possibly could. In that way, we could stay dis-connected from ourselves, our creativity and from others. We therefore stayed in the illusion of separation rather than lift the veils and see the reality that is masked by the programming.
And ultimately it is about connection. Stillness brings me into a deeper awareness with myself, it strengthens my sense of who I Am, brings me deeper and deeper into unity with who I really am at the core of my Being.
We resist being who we truly are at the very core of our Being
So, why then would I resist this? Because we all resist this. We all resist being who we truly are – even those who are close to personal mastery still work at moving through layers of resistance. The resistance can be fierce or it can be subtle.
The moment you re-engage the magic sets to work again
Our job is to acknowledge and feel the resistance and lovingly bring ourselves to our work, to our-selves. Regularly. Often. With compassion. And then the magic happens. We begin to naturally seek out that which we have been resisting. And we remember how much we love it. Until we reach the next level of resistance. And then we acknowledge and feel the resistance and lovingly bring ourselves back to our work again. With compassion and with patience. Regularly. Often. With compassion. And then the magic happens all over again. In new ways. To greater depths. With more breath-taking results.
Your Stillness Muscle is a precious gift
Flexing your Stillness Muscle can bring you the joy of being in the present moment, developing a real presence of consciousness within your being, expanding your creativity, your intuitive abilities, your quality of life. It can bring you a deep sense of inner peace. And perhaps one of it’s greatest gifts is that it can help us come Home to ourselves- feeling home within ourselves means that our sense of security lives within us- not in our homes, with other people or our jobs – although these aspects of our life are important too- yet the peace and relaxation that comes when you feel truly HOME within you is immense. It means that you have a sense of safety no matter what is going on in your life.
So how will you bring the magic of stillness into your day?
Please feel free to share this with others. Thank you
Moriah Ama Hope