Peace of Mind
I love my human experience. I love my imperfections, I love the opportunities I get to improve myself, and I love being thrown challenges that really make me evaluate my responses. I say that because this past week I got to experience my humanity in the form of the aforementioned challenges, and in the process I found humor, frustration, and peace of mind.
Many of you have heard me mention my friend Havalynn Russell before, and you know that she and I have a mutual admiration thing going on. Last week I had a three-way chat with Havalynn and our mutual friend Pete Cossaboon (the Angel Encourager), and during the conversation Havalynn reminded me of a decision I made a while back – that losing my peace of mind is not an option when faced with difficult situations.
When Havalynn first introduced me to her program, The Power of Yay Me, I fell in love with one of its key components; “Losing my peace of mind is not an option.” The premise behind that commitment is that if losing my peace of mind isn’t an option, what other options can I create? Do I run and hide? Do I walk away from a difficult situation? Do I stay silent when every part of me wants to lash out and say something that I’ll later regret? When I decided that my peace of mind is more important to me than being right, I truly understood that I always have a choice in how I respond to a challenge.
Viktor Frankl wrote eloquently of this choice in his famous work, Man’s Search for Meaning. Simple put, in the fraction of a second between the time something happens (i.e. – someone yells at us) and our reaction, we have the ability to choose our response. In the example of being yelled at, we can choose to yell back, or we can choose a different reaction.
The commitment to remove the option of losing my peace of mind is an expansion of Viktor Frankl’s work. Rather than opting for the knee-jerk reaction of yelling in response, I’m suddenly, actively, and consciously creating other options for myself. For example, this week I had a car and a parent break down – with the parent breaking down multiple times. In every instance, I could have lost my peace of mind and spiraled into a depression-induced funk, but that option no longer existed for me. So, in the case of the broken-down car, I opted for finding the humor in the situation and I reminded myself that I had been wanting to spend more time outdoors anyway. Would I have chosen a broken-down car as my way of spending more time outside? No, but I DID get the result I wanted, and I realized that Source found the quickest way to give it to me. Looking at my situation from that perspective helped me to maintain my peace of mind.
In the other case, I opted to stay silent and love myself (while simultaneously loving the other party who was having multiple crises). That option proved more challenging, but I’m proud to say that not only did I keep my peace of mind, I also learned just how human I can be. I appreciated the full range of emotions that I and my parent experienced, and I learned how to stay grounded in a place of unconditional love even when faced with a maelstrom of emotional upheaval.
Every time I’m reminded that I have options that don’t include losing my peace of mind, I’m filled with wonder and gratitude. I’m grateful for my friend Havalynn who constantly reminds me of the options I want to create, and I wonder at how easy it is to immediately see the choices I have and then select one that allows me to keep calm and move on.
Here’s a challenge for you: Are you willing to commit to finding options OTHER than losing your peace of mind? I know that my own commitment has lead to more inner peace, clarity of thought, and above all, self-love. I promise you that if your goal is to FEEL better, then this very simple decision is one of the most powerful ways to achieve it. While traveling on the road to happiness, you will learn many techniques and try many things. Some techniques will work while others won’t, but I haven’t found anyone who hasn’t been able to create new options for themselves.
Having said that, I’ve always believed that knowledge is good and action is better. As someone who understands the emotions that affect us, I know that in the end, the only thing we really care about is how we feel.
So… if you care about how you feel, then remember that losing your peace of mind is not an option.
About the Author
Appio Hunter is an author, speaker, spiritual guide, and self-described champion for living joyously. He uses his seminars and workshops to facilitate conversations about authenticity, alignment, and the daily experience of community, connection, and joy. Appio is also a weekly columnist with The Good Men Project and co-host of the Real Men Feel Show along with his good friend Andy Grant.