Even if you live in the Abode of Peace, there is no guarantee you have inner peace. And I should know. I live there. I am not kidding. Brunei Darussalam literally means Abode of Peace. And indeed, as a small community with a ban on alcohol, it is pretty peaceful country.
The pressures of life
However, as everywhere, life here can still be stressful. Work pressure can be very high, and did you know that not just burn outs exist, but also bore outs? And that these bore outs can be just a stressful? And of course, common stressors like sickness of yourself and relatives, fights with a partner and lack of self confidence may be present in any person’s life regardless of location.
The search for inner peace
As a result, many of my clients are looking for inner peace- aren’t we all? What triggers the search? Is it the stresses of expat life (uncertainty, rootlessness), the combination of work and family- or the absence of one of these? Is it the feeling of being switched on ALL the time due to online technology? All of the above?
The Myth about Inner Peace
If there’s one thing I learnt from coaching, it is that it is a myth that you need to search for inner peace. Let me repeat that for a moment. There is no need to SEARCH for inner peace. Let go of the belief that inner peace will only be yours when the circumstances are perfect or when you have a daily meditation or yoga practice. One of the most striking discoveries about inner peace for me as a coach has been that it is true what “they” say, the self-help gurus, the Deepak Chopra’s and Eckhard Tolles:
When you wish to break the habit of feeling stressed and rushed all the time, the answer does not lie outside of you.
It is not about buying a new planner or getting more done.
It is not true that we can only access inner peace when we have a daily meditation habit or yoga practice.
It isn’t even about working with a coach (although that can definitely help of course ;))
How to access that inner peace then?
It is simply to start believing that inner peace is right here, within you. It is present in all of us. It is about connecting to your peace, your strength, just feeling it. In many of us, the thought of possessing inner peace is marred by doubts and fears. But trust me here, everyone has inner peace- yes, even you. We have all felt moments of peace in our lives. Think back of those times. We are capable of feeling it because it is right there inside of us. You can even visualize it for yourself, what inner peace looks like for you. I tend to see it as an inner well, that can be tapped into at any time or as an anchor, that keeps a boat (me) from being swept away by the storm of life.
Get out of your head
I see my clients manage to tap into it.
When they stop rationalizing everything, stop being held back by their saboteurs, and get out of their heads.
When they let go of the searching, the doing, and get into the being- the being present.
Where they let go of the musts, the shoulds, the to do lists.
Too vague? Start experimenting
I know, it all sounds pretty vague. I have been hesitating to post this, as I still sometimes find it too vague to believe. If you know me, you’d probably find I’m a rather down to earth person. I’ve studied law, and I enjoy logical reasoning and an analytical mindset. I never thought I’d be writing about inner peace. But whether it is my age (approaching 40 waaahhh), life experience, coaching or living in Asia for the past 7 years, I see it’s there, I feel it is there and it does not need to be searched, only embraced.
Embracing and Exploring the Peace
Of course, it helps to explore this place through meditation, or yoga. Or a walk without your phone in nature. But the most important thing is to start embracing the thought that it is there, this well of inner peace, this anchor, this light, or the door to your heart. It is always there with you. There’s always a moment to “log into” it. Even if you are in the bathroom before an important meeting, when you are in the car, even when you are in the middle of moving abroad. Just breathe and quiet your mind. It may take practice to feel it but it is there for you always.