I have been considering lately the idea of ‘peace in a storm’. It’s a well known thought that the ‘eye of the storm’ is the most peaceful part of a tornado. While the tornado rages it’s centre is a place of calm. Chaos is external, while calm is internal.
With a little self-awareness and the development of personal self-control it is possible to maintain a place of calm when your life feels like a storm. It is possible to develop skills of peacefulness to navigate life’s hard times. Everyone has hard times at some point (you never really know the burdens another human carries).
Staying calm requires a level of emotional intelligence, as well as intentional emotional regulation. Stop for a moment and just be still: what are you feeling right now? Stress, joy, anger, frustration? All of them? None of them? Taking time to stop and notice our thoughts and feelings regularly will help us to develop the self-awareness required to maintain a centre of calm within ourselves.
But staying calm is not just about how we are internally: it is also about how we conduct ourselves externally. What comes out of us is what is first of all within us. If you have anger locked up within you, it will find a way out. If there is joy within you it will find a way of bubbling over into everyday life.
Emotions within are manifest in the actions out with our inner selves. It is important to process our feelings and thoughts so that we can deal with them in emotionally and behaviourally healthy ways. If we do not process what’s on the inside it will negatively impact our lives, decisions and relationships. Better to control the process internally than to have outbursts regularly. That’s not to say we are always in control – no one is – we get sad, angry, frustrated. The trick is to acknowledge the feelings for the reality they bring, and then decide how to act in response to those feelings.
Of course, every human being has at some point an emotional bucket that overflows in anger, sadness, and a spectrum of other emotions. That’s okay. Cut yourself some slack. The trick is to reduce the frequency of overflow and to grow awareness and skills that positively release those emotions towards resolutions.
Whatever you are going through right now, may you have the time to stop and acknowledge how you are feeling and thinking, and may you intentionally decide how they will externally impact your life in the most positive manner possible.