Tuesday, 22 April 2014

How to Be at Peace ( or Locating Road-trip Signposts of Life)

There is a reason I am the Introvert in the Corner, (beyond the fact it feeds my human desire of mystery and spookiness). The reason is that singular human ideal, and eternal desire, for peace. 

How do you define peace?

Here's a few of my definitions. Know the first is the most serious and true, while the rest are me poking fun at the term and the bemoaning lack of it in general life, to the tragic lack in the world.

1. State in which the individual, or individuals, is in a constant flow mindset.

2. Period of time in which an individual or individuals can hear themselves think.

3. A state which the world has never unanimously reached in all of human history.

4. State which will only be reached at the end of conscious thought.

Did any of those match with your definition? 

If more of us could be as peaceful as a cat in the sun, society would probably stop. And that, that is okay.

In my four definitions alone, despite varying levels of sarcasm or truth, there were a few key concepts which kept appearing. These were; a state of mind and the lack of argumentative chatter, either in your own head, or out-loud and between multiple people or groups. Namely, peace cannot be achieved without reaching a state of mind in which there is a lack of thought. Sound like anything? Yeah, that's the prime state most people strive to achieve through the typical method and style of meditation. 

So, how do you find that state anyway? If you check out Google there's over 115,000,000 hits geared toward things like "The 8 Things You Must Give Up to Find Peace" or "Why You're Not at Peace Yet."

Thing is, these are all about finding peace and frankly, most of them make me feel pretty incompetent because I have not "discovered" that One True Solution yet. (Or, I am just plain incompetent and therefore do not have the skills to find peace). Either way, finding peace doesn't do much for an individual's happiness and, well, sense of inner peace.

That said, how about creating peace? 

Once again, I went to Google and entered: How to create peace. I got back over 462,000,000 hits and results such as "10 Ways to Bring Peace to the World" and "How to Live in Peace: 15 Steps." 

Interestingly, this time the results are significantly higher than "finding peace" which, for the very loose experimental purposes of my Google searches certainly gives more credit to the act of creating peace as a way to be at peace within and outside of oneself, rather than searching for it as if it was the lost City of Atlantis. 

Even so, I still find anything related to "do these steps and succeed!" plus ambiguous concepts and ideals to be highly dubious.

They way I see it, anything involving a series of steps should be something tangible, something at least one or more of your five senses can grab a hold of. As soon as you want to start delving into that sixth or seventh sense that relies on deeper connections to the self or the universe or whatever the flip you feel like labelling it, you cannot assign tidy steps. Rather, the process is more of an amorphous nebula that usually involves you constantly having to self-talk and screen all your thoughts or words that exit your mouth. A bit like trying to get over a regular old body image issues or a lack of self-esteem which doesn't even get near the challenges of getting over heavier issues that often require medication on top of your personal mind power.

Nevertheless, creating peace is certainly the more powerful and effective method of finding that inner bit of contentment because it involves you and you alone. No matter your circumstances, if you can find one thing, every day, to be happy about, then you are at least meandering down the path toward internally created peace. 

What next? How do we go frome here? I'm lost. I'm confused. I'm wandering...(Do you ever say those things?)

Sometimes I entreat the tangible bits of the Universe for help but really, they are just my spirit in another voice.

I refuse to be the sort of blog that posts lists of legitimate "How-to's" (parodies, by nature of the name, are not) or "10 Steps to...". As much as I adore how logical and simplistic they make things seem, they only do that for a day or maybe a week, and then the colour fades and I realize life is a lot more complicated then 10 Tidy Steps. That said, what I can offer is myself and my own, insignificant thoughts that next to no one will ever read. What's the point of writing something if no one is going to read or engage with it? (Says the voice in my head, do you have a voice like that?). Well, I write here because I hope one day to engage with people through this blog, I hope to actually be able to offer something of use to people but for now, I am just learning. 

But, at least, even as I am learning, I am doing something. Maybe it has zero impact and no one will remember it but at least I am doing it because it was something I wanted to do. I know plenty of people, you probably do too, who always wanted to do something but they find excuses not to. I was like that all through university and I look back on the past five years and feel I wasted them because I spent the time, when I not in class, studying or doing homework, just reading books, practicing hours on hours of piano, watching t.v. shows, I'd explore the town I was in, be a causal photographer and occasionally do something with a friend or two. I would do writing here and there but never with publication or contests in mind. Sure they were all things I chose to do, and therefore, wanted to do on some level, but as ultimately I want to be a published author so why wouldn't I logically be writing and trying to get published as soon as possible? Rather than frittering away time on musical achievements, photography or reading what someone else wrote?

I look at people in university now and realize most of them, if they want to be writers, they are writing, they are a part of the university news groups, magazines or podcasts. I hid away, fearful and pretending I was at peace. 

The Duality Girl. Peace on the Surface. She who Ripples Unhappily Beneath.

So here I am now, coming at this particular combination of thoughts as someone now back home, sorting out my feet before I head off for good, after five years of university. Last time I was living at home (high school) my family was busy and much larger than the maximum average of four with seven under one roof. In the past five years it has turned into ten, with three of them under age four. As an individual who already found her family overwhelming and loud, five years previous, the environment makes me feel an even greater lack of peace than ever.

Not to mention I am unsure of where I am going next and therefore I am constantly at odds with the world, taking my insecurities out on everything in the range of two centimeters to my vision and voice. Like anyone, no matter what your situation is, I want to be at peace. Which in other words, harking back to my definitions, simply means I want to live in the moment, or, be living in flow. 

How in the world is that possible? Often I roll in thoughts like the following: "most people have it a million times worse, stop being so self-centered, buck up and do what you're told because you are too lazy to know what you are going to do next." Or, "stop saying that, everything is relative. Just breathe, relax, trust and enjoy. You'll be going overseas soon and will never have to deal with these other things again."

When faced with a sea of trouble, all you can do is float. If you can do that, you're one better than a rock. They sink.

Unfortunately for you, I have no stunning remedies or step by step instructions. Go search Google if you want those sort of things. Instead, what I have to offer is a hand, and this voice, just to say, we are all in this world together. We are all seeking to create peace within ourselves. I am just the Introvert in the Corner, but at least I have found my Corner and I am working every moment of every day to make it a meaningful one that brings me peace within myself and to others who I come in contact with. (Even if the people who come in contact with me never remember).

Quietly in the Corner. Always.

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