Peace is not a passive wishy-washy state of acceptance. It is a dynamic state in which we feel fully alive and able to embrace each new moment, with a clear mind and an open heart.
The following four qualities provide a guide to see what makes up peace of mind in a very practical way. As each quality begins with the letter ‘c’ they’re known as the Four Cs.
Common sense tells us that anyone who feels completely out of control with their life, is ambivalent about living, all their challenges are overwhelming and they feel no one loves them, won’t fare nearly as well as one for whom the opposite is true. Needless to say we’d all prefer to feel that when the unexpected or the unthinkable happens in our life that we’ll:
- Have resources within and outside of ourselves to call on in response.
- Care enough about ourselves to seek healing and peace.
- Feel positively challenged and excited by the opportunities present.
- Feel loved and supported by the people we share our life with and that,
- What we’re experiencing, has meaning for us.
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The first is that we have a sense of control over our life. We consciously choose our response to life’s challenges rather than habitually re-act. We are active participators rather than helpless victims. This recognises that whilst we can’t always change what happens to us, we can change our response to what happens to us.
Secondly, we feel committed to living—we’re willing to get emotionally up-to-date with our lives. This may involve a re-focusing of priorities, issues of forgiveness of both ourselves and others or resolving relationship or communication difficulties. To live wholeheartedly in the present we must resolve the issues of the past. In this way, we glean the wisdom from the past but don’t live with the woundedness of it.
The third quality is that we feel challenged and excited by our lives. What is it that gets our ‘juices’ flowing and our eyes sparkling? Can we make meaning of our suffering? We need our limiting beliefs to be challenged or we will not grow. Are we living our dream? We feel that we’re living the lives we came here to live.
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The final quality is that we feel a sense of connection—that we’re loved and supported by those we share our life with or that we have a sense of belonging or place, or that we’re connected to what we consider sacred or divine.
For the past 28 years, I have been witness to the intimate stories of other people’s lives. Collectively, their lives encompass every possible human drama and the emotions they evoke. These people have come seeking ways to enhance physical, emotional and spiritual healing, to find peace of mind and establish what is truly meaningful for them.
They’ve come because the events of their lives have caused them to stop and ask life’s deepest questions: Who am I? What am I doing on the planet? Am I living the life I came here to live? If not, why not? And what am I going to do about it?
Do you feel like you have peace of mind? Do you practice mindfulness?
This is an extract from Petrea King’s article “Living beyond expectations” which is one chapter in the book How to stay Healthy, Active and Sharp in Retirement.
This book is part of the 50 Plus Books series. You can find more information, or buy the book online here.