I have been experiencing a great deal of serenity in my life lately. As I connect with a deep sense of gratitude for this serenity, I can’t help but acknowledge that I play a part in its development. I play an even bigger role in allowing myself the gift of fully experiencing this serenity – doing a free fall into all its gloriousness and floating in the feeling.
You see, serenity doesn’t just descend on you like an ethereal fog, or a butterfly quietly landing on your shoulder. Its actual presence is the result of purposeful efforts. To possess serenity you have to cultivate serenity. Adding to that, once serenity presents itself, you can’t hesitate to succumb to its tender invitation. Serenity is a gift that must be opened.
Cultivating serenity isn’t a mystical endeavor. You don’t have to wear a diaphanous robe, Birkenstocks and meditate while sitting criss-cross-applesauce. It starts by working on letting go of fear and expanding the practice of compassion. Below are a few tips for nurturing the serenity in your life.
Gratitude: Serenity is the absence of fear and gratitude is the antidote to fear. Therefore, the more you expand the practice of gratitude in your life, the less fear will be available to steal your serenity. iTunes offers a Random Gratitude app which provides daily reminders to acknowledge the blessings.
Compassion: Judgment is the opposite of compassion and produces a false sense of superiority that impedes our ability to connect with others. Connecting to others is one of the paths leading to serenity. Knowing that you aren’t alone, and that you are no better and no worse than others, provides us with a deep sense of acceptance which translates into serenity. Work on turning judgment into compassion.
Surrender: Take an inventory of your life and notice where the majority of your mental energy is being spent. To what degree do you really have control over the outcomes? If the answer is little to none, then surrender your will to those areas of your life over which you have no control and allow them to unfold as they are meant to be. Serenity comes from accepting the things you cannot change.
Mindfulness: Take an opportunity to practice mindfulness in nature. Go for a walk while purposely using your senses, isolating them one at a time, to experience the beauty around you. Connect with the colors, shapes, movements, textures, smells and sounds that make up the details of your surroundings. Appreciating the wonder of nature soothes the soul and allows serenity a comfortable place to settle.