Self-care: Tools for Inner Peace
Self-care isn’t just about getting mani/pedis. Self-care can also be ‘saying no,’ setting boundaries, being there for each other, and doing the deep inner work to achieve peace/contentment. Lately, I’ve been working on the ‘inner peace’ part and my life has improved significantly as a result. So I want to share a few of the things that have been working for me lately – in case they work for you too.
This one isn’t easy and takes a lot of time and practice. Some of you reading these words might even feel a visceral resistance to even the thought of forgiving someone you resent (or even yourself). I know I did at first.
But on my path, I am working toward forgiveness because it heals me; makes me feel lighter. I have been wandering around this planet with a great weight of resentment on my shoulders for 34 years. It would be such a relief to finally remove my backpack.
Forgiveness is the path back to our real selves.
For me, this includes big and little things. Someone cuts me off in traffic, I forgive them silently in my head. A cashier at the store is rude or short with me, I forgive them silently in my head. I do something stupid, I forgive myself. Practicing over and over again. Trying to make it a habit.
For the bigguns, I’ve been sending blessings/love/prayers to people who have wronged me in life – every single day for weeks or sometimes months. Because it’s not enough to just say, “I forgive you,” and have it work. If it were, we’d all be peaceful gurus. It takes time, consistency, and effort. I’m in a 12-step program, so we even write “inventories” on our resentments, which often reveals our own projections or the parts we played in each matter. This is an opportunity to forgive both parties.
If someone has seriously harmed or abused you, I am not advocating for forgiving them. You don’t HAVE to forgive anyone you don’t want to. But starting small might help bring back just a sliver of inner peace.
Resentments don’t hurt the people you resent as much as they hurt you.
blessing & helping others
The second part of this is easier to understand: helping others & getting out of self is a quick way to boost your mood.
But here’s what I mean by the first part: I like to silently bless or send love to every person I encounter every day. This sounds hokey AF, I know. But it works. Within a week of doing this, I felt happier – TRULY. It works. Give it a try.
Does this sound familiar?
- Letting your head spiral about a particular outcome
- Future-tripping or anxiety over the future
- Freaking out over things that happen to you
It does for me. Until I started accepting my circumstances. There are things in life that you can control – control those things. But don’t try to control the things you can’t. Accept them – good and bad. For example, if you’re anxious about a performance review on Monday, don’t spend your entire weekend ruminating or spiraling about the outcome. That is called “future tripping,” and it is not good for your mental health. You don’t know what the outcome will be, so let it go. In all honesty, the things you may be telling yourself about what “might” happen are probably lies anyway.
Mine are simple. In the morning before I start work or look at my phone, I read something inspiring for a few minutes, I write my gratitude list, and I meditate. It usually takes me 15-20 minutes or less. Then, I do it again at night.
This sounds simple and rudimentary but when I started doing this, I felt more grounded & clear, more ready to take on my day, and I started getting better sleep. Now, when I slack on my routine, I usually feel “off.” If you’re looking for some inspirational reading recommendations, you can find some of my favorite recommendations here.
noticing the cycle of resistance and flow
In short, this is all about tuning into your body and intuition. A few years ago, I was offered a high paying job with a silicon-valley startup who has since IPO’ed. It was more money I’ve ever been offered and I stood to gain significantly at the IPO if I took the job. Everyone was telling me to take it. But something about it felt off. I didn’t know why, but I felt super resistant to it. So I listened to my gut and turned down the job. I know now why I wasn’t supposed to take it – I was supposed to create this.
How many times have you shut down that voice?
Generally, when things are flowing, when opportunities are coming from nowhere, when you feel like you are in the jet-stream – this is flow. It means you’re on the right track.
If you feel resistance to something (even at the tiniest level), examine it. Be honest about it. Because it’s your spidey senses telling you:
Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
That’s the general overview of my self care tools for inner peace. If you’d like a free video workshop that goes into more detail about these principles, click here or on the image below.