Thursday, May 13, 2010

Control and Inner Peace

Do you ever wonder if your experience is wildly different from other people? If I could just get inside someone else’s head, I would know where I land on a scale of anxious to peaceful. Do other people have the same inner dialogue that goes on in my head? I see people who give the impression of having it all together. Everything seems to come easily for them. But does it? I suspect we all have our struggles in different areas. Some of us just do a better job of keeping it private.

You have your own inner control panel. If you push its buttons, it can generate daytime drama to rival any soap opera. Some of the panelists on your control panel are there at your invitation, like the protector who reminds you to look before you cross the street and the chair of social etiquette who tells you to wear clothes to work and not blurt out whatever comes into your head at a given moment.

Aside from these elected trustees, there are some interlopers who turn up at meetings uninvited. Fear is a classic snoop, circling the tables of your consciousness and interjecting old business at will throughout proceedings. Fear is crafty, demanding that you take control for all the wrong reasons. Anxiety is another intruder. Anxiety is running an agenda two months ahead of where you are now. She wants control too, and will form an alliance with fear to justify her seat at the table.

Fear and anxiety are the obnoxious ones who monopolize the meeting with their rants. These are the consciousness crashers. You find yourself asking them, “Who invited you to the meeting?” or “Whose interests are you representing here?”

Caution is one of your invited panelists. He’s important. He works closely with mindfulness. He makes the group lean in to hear his slow and measured comments, sometimes lulling you into a false sense of security. Of course you feel in control if you build a tiny world with high fences all around it. But others on the panel demand more than this. Caution needs to be stretched by the research and development of possibility. Possibility usually waits for the small talk to end, before interjecting her large vision in to the conversation.

Meanwhile the chair of the board sits slightly back from the table and observes all of the conversational hustle and bustle. At just the right time, her head tilted down, she leans forward, looks over the top of her bifocals and a hush falls over the group. Everyone waits with bated breath for her pearls of wisdom. She goes by many names, the chair of your panel – inner peace, stillness, wisdom, serenity…….
She says, “May we have the serenity to accept the things that cannot be changed right now, the courage to change what can and should be changed immediately, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

The panel members pause and listen attentively. All of them feel affirmed and valuable. They enjoy a moment of silent unity. Then fear breaks the stillness, “You fools. Don’t you remember what happened last time we listened to her?” Anxiety continues, “If we change, we will be doomed….”

The conversation sparks in every direction. And serenity rests back in her chair and smiles. She loves it all. She loves them all. All things happen at the right time, not a moment before and not a moment too soon. She doesn’t fight reality. She shifts her perspective so that it fits reality like lovers spooning in the still of the night. She is the ultimate trustee. They all trust her. They just can’t get out of their own way to listen to her. That too is okay. She waits and watches and will be there whenever they are ready.

Seed of Peace
First order of business? Accept the minutes all of previous meetings. Do it now. It was what it was. Accept the past and let it go. Now you can move on to business at hand. You don’t need to deal with next month’s agenda. Stay in the present moment as it invites you to love all that arises. Take a moment to tune in to the calm wisdom within you. It is leading you to peace.

Say to yourself: I have the peace of mind to stay calm in all circumstances.


Sue said...

Nice piece Ian! I love the images... fear and anxiety team up to justify their place at the table. Thanks for the vivid reminder that my "panel" is being chaired by the very best source! S

Ian Lawton said...

Thanks Sue- yes indeed. You are in good hands. Peace