Come home to inner peace

Come home to inner peace

Within all restlessness lies a core of deep restfulness. It’s from this core that we should function. For in peace lies our greatest strength.

Restlessness, including the Restless Legs Syndrome is more an uncomfortable inconvenience than a disorder. It deters concentration. No sooner than you sit, you have an urge to jump up. Sleep is out. You toss and turn. Your legs twitch as if they want to run.

Restlessness could be an outcome of childhood tensions — when parents, teachers or those we idolised spoke scathingly about our shortcomings.

This sowed a sinking seed of inadequacy and established a severe self-critical attitude. Life then became one constant painful struggle to be perfect. No, no, don’t suffocate in this untruth. Our individual actions, triumphs and mistakes are our route to ascension.

We act to express, we triumph to discover our limitless potential, we stumble to discover our power to rise. Nothing in us is imperfect. We don’t evolve from imperfection to perfection but from perfection to perfection. This we must understand. A tree is beautiful at every stage of its growth — whether as a tender sapling or in full bloom. We are that sapling, we are that tree — always perfect.

That’s why the Master told a troubled youth, “Wise is he who controls his mind. If praised, remain unmoved. If blamed, remain unmoved. Simply follow the law of love and live in peace.” Yes, let’s take charge of our mind, give it clear guidelines like these: “No self-doubts, no thoughts of inadequacy. No throwing up old, outdated ideas.”

Why outdated, you ask? When you watch an old movie, everything appears outdated — the clothes, acting, accent, histrionics, even the body language of the actors. Similarly, that script you listened to as a child is passé, antiquated. You’ve grown, moved on, developed skills. You’re a citizen of today. Trust yourself. Have confidence in your abilities. Realise your divinity. Yank out the mouldering thorns of misplaced doubts and revel in your true greatness.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, I acquire the ability to do it even if I did not have it in the beginning.” Believe you can. And see how gratefully your mind rests in this stabilising self-belief.

As you calm your mind with wisdom, calm your body with exercise. Channel that restless energy into cycling. Count the rotations. On the 32nd minute of continuous pedalling, a serene sweetness steals into you. This is because you’ve satisfied the body’s compulsion to move and the brain has released calming endorphins.

Likewise, warm, soothing food quells disquietude: milk and rice, thick soups, stews, cooked cereals. Tea brewed with the Ayurvedic gotu kola herb calms nerves. Always sit in a quiet spot to eat or drink peacefully. After you finish, linger a while. Be a 100 per cent present in the post-meal contentment.

Finally, don’t let stress stalk you. Daily, go inward to your core of restfulness through breathing meditation. Sit with your eyes closed. Command each body-part to relax.

Then, breathe in through the nostrils to a count of eight, hold your breath to 8 and exhale from mouth to eight. Repeat this until you feel a beautiful stillness in you. You are in a silent space which completely enfolds and accepts you. Such unconditional acceptance is a homecoming.

(The writers are authors of the book Fitness for Life. )

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