Last week, a life changing learning (that has changed my life forever).
By Amy Crawford
I'm entirely serious. Last week, the way I viewed my world and my ability to function at my very best within it, was entirely turned on it's head, in one conversation with my dear friend (and founder of CTC) Joanne Antoun. Just like that.
Many of you have heard me talk about my quest for balance in life, to find peace and stillness in my everyday, by incorporating activities into my life that will help me find said stillness. How many of you have a belief that if you're never meditating, practising yoga or calmly reading a book with your feet up you'll surely never have peace or stillness in your life? That was certainly my belief, until last week. In fact, I would occasionally berate myself for not fitting these things in, adding to the pressure I created in my working world; a constant 'checklist' of things I must DO to be living my life 'right'.
How many of you believe that the only way to rid yourself of stress is to fly across the world to a tropical island to lie in the sun for a week, only to return to exactly what it is you ran away from?
Well I'm here to say that this quest for balance is futile. The fact is, most of us will always work more hours a week than anything else we do. So instead of allowing ourselves to choose 'stress' and 'overwhelm' in our working day, why not choose 'peace' and 'stillness', and live a beautiful place of calm every day? I'm by no means saying we need not meditate or continue our yoga practise (because those activities are hugely beneficial) but what I've learnt, very significantly, is that I shouldn't just visit that feeling of calm, I should make it my every day.
Today I have chosen to interview Joanne to help articulate what I believe to be one of the most vital messages I've learnt to date.
Jo, you work harder and take fewer breaks than anyone I know, yet you remain energized and calm 24/7! Please share Jo, in the absence of holidays, how you manage to do this?
This is probably one of the most common questions I’m asked. I never feel the need to break away, get away, go away, runaway or escape my daily life and I think it’s very sad that people feel the need to. What’s worse is that people go away, give themselves the short break they need, which mind you includes leaving the comforts of your warm bed, the home you love, your sanctuary, your friends and family, only to come back to the perceived stresses of your life. One of my strongest messages is that the feeling of peace and contentment shouldn’t be a place that you visit but a way of life.
People have fooled themselves into believing that stress and overwhelm is a part of life, but it’s okay as long as you give yourself a break or meditate in the morning and do yoga in the evenings. It's ridiculous. Why would you just visit that place of peace when you can live there 24/7. Don’t get me wrong I love traveling, meeting and experiencing different cultures but I never need to get away to unwind.
Let's for a moment take a look at the words 'stress' and 'overwhelm'. They're not things, they're feelings and feelings are created purely from our perception of an experience. You are in absolute control of your thoughts and your feelings. Nothing has any meaning other than the meaning you give it. Without your input it means nothing. For instance rain is rain. To a bride on her wedding day it's a disaster, to a farmer during drought, it's a blessing, but at the end of the day it is still rain.
Nothing has any meaning other than the meaning you give it.
So knowing that, it's fair to say, that if you change the way you see things, the very things you see change. I promise you, living a life of peace is as simple as making a choice, and making that choice enough times until it becomes your truth. Imagine how much better your life would be if peace were your only option.
When you live a life of peace, you live a life of clarity and calm. Everything around you just is, you don't label it as good or bad and you look at everything from a different and dissociated perspective. From this space the world looks clearer and more simple and the answers are more readily available. That feeling of overwhelm and needing to run away becomes a thing of the past.
You have the most wonderfully simple mindset that uncomplicates the way many of us view the world and our environment. How can we best attract the life we want?
First of all, I believe that everything is simple. Why on earth people feel the need to complicate things is beyond me. When we make a big deal out of things and make our problems huge we then need a huge solution, but if we bring it down to its simplest form then so too does the solution become simple. I know what I'd rather choose.
So here’s some advice...a huge pearl of wisdom. Turn everything on its head.
Feel peace and peace shall become a way of life. Give up the need to know and then you’ll know. First love yourself, feel love and radiate love and love will be yours in every way. Be grateful and appreciative for all you have and more will come your way. Get my drift?
FEEL what you want. Don't pray or wish FOR anything.
So what you're saying is never pray for something you haven't got. Can you explain why this is Jo?
Manifesting and creating a life that you desire requires affirming and more importantly, creating the feeling of what you desire as though you have it now. When we pray FOR something we are actually pushing it away, we're saying, it's not here, I don't have it, its not part of my world, and that's exactly where it will remain.
The Divine is always ready to grant our desires but first you must feel it as though it is in the now and then you'll have it. What you focus on, what you plug or invest your energy into is exactly what you get.
This is too big a topic to get into here but just briefly, here is an example of what your thoughts and feelings attract.
If you focus on how tired you feel = you continue to feel tired. You choose to not be tired anymore = you continue to feel tired because tired is the focus. You pray for energy = you still feel tired because you’re saying I don't have it. You focus on wanting energy = as above. You breathe in life force, feel energy in your body, see yourself living an energetic life, amplify these sensations in your body and mind = very quickly making this your truth...living it.
As the pace of society accelerates, I believe one of the biggest challenges we face as individuals is maintaining peace and calm in our lives. Stress and overwhelm is abound! How do you ensure there is only peace in your world?
It's a choice, I choose peace as though peace is all there is. It's my only option.
Joanne Antoun is a lecturer in the field of Personal Growth and Consciousness, a Gifted Medium, Creator and trainer of CTC Technique. She is also a Psychotherapist, Reiki Master Teacher, NLP Master Practitioner and Trainer, EFT Trainer, Hypnotherapy Trainer, Life Coach, Inspirational Speaker, Teacher of Accelerated Learning Techniques, and an Author. Thank you to strikingtruths.com for the beautiful image above.