The Fit Student – Practices for Coming to Peace with Yourself

Part I

The Fit Student – Practices for Coming to Peace with Yourself

Most everyone wants to feel calm, purpose-driven, and peaceful under any circumstance. While not always achievable, you can change your brain to accept more frequent bouts of calmness. You can retrain your mind to calm down during life’s pressures. You can retrain your mind to show patience at any sign of tension. You can even retrain your mind to say yes and accept any reward or hardship under the sun with peace of mind. What kind of stimulus do you need to feed your brain in order to get such treasured results?

In his book Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time, Rick Hanson outlines oodles of strategies for getting your brain into a calm and detached state under any circumstance.

Be Open to all the Goodness in Life
Goodness abounds in every corner of the world. Within your own being, goodness resides like a flower, unassuming, enjoyable, beautiful. So much of the beauty of life we take for granted. Every minute of the day surrounds us with goodness. Enjoy it.

In my daily travels, I experience such kindness from service people, from my partner, from people in passing. Sometimes smiling at another invites a smile in return, causing my heart to flutter with the joyful feeling of humanity. All major religions talk about the value of loving others and demonstrating goodness. Goodness abounds everywhere and in every moment.

Rick Hanson outlines how you can open yourself wide to life’s endless supply of goodness: pay attention to when someone compliments you, to when someone speaks in a kindly voice to you, to when you accomplish a task. These things need to be cherished and dwelled upon. Dwell upon the feeling you get from a positive interaction or event. Feel the positive feeling sear throughout your physical being.

Treat Yourself with Compassion
I am sometimes hard on myself when it comes to goal achievement. I have this continual need to be productive, and the minute the productivity goes to the wayside, I succumb to less positive self-talk. Positive self-talk promises so much, however. The Navy Seals use a four-point model that consists of setting goals, mental rehearsal, arousal control, and positive self-talk. Such positive communications to yourself remains an essential component for anyone wanting to fulfill their goals, live their dreams, and overcome adversity.

How do you treat yourself compassionately? Listen to the advice of Rick Hanson: Grow aware of your problems in life. Then, imagine someone who loves you, whether it be a person, pet, or God: anyone. Imagine in great detail that person’s compassion toward you, including hand gestures, expressions, words. Next, bear in mind someone you feel compassionate toward and send loving energy that person’s way. After that, send that same loving energy to yourself. Feel the warmth of love you would offer others envelop yourself.

Embrace Your Positive Qualities
I bought a positive emotion thesaurus, which helped me to discover my most fundamental positive characteristics: namely, I am affectionate, loyal, and generous. When I read the characteristics of an affectionate person, I could hardly believe how every point mentioned resonated. For instance, I often rub my partner’s back. I say lots of “I love you?s” and like to give many hugs. Also, I took up many of my partner’s hobbies so that we could spend additional time together. I even buy him frequent treats as tokens of my love. Everything about an affectionate person listed in the thesaurus, I demonstrate.

In that positive personality thesaurus, I saw other beautiful qualities that described people whom I love. The characteristic of “empathy” scored high for one person I adore, and the quality of “enthusiasm” scored high for another. Seeing certain people explained to a tee in the matter of four pages tickled me, and I devoured the book.

Expressing the value of reflecting on your positive qualities, Rick Hanson provides timeless advice to help you maintain self-esteem and a positive life’s outlook. Listen to the compliments others give you and pay attention to your acknowledgement of your own positive traits. don’t worry if sometimes you don’t meet the standard of a specific positive quality. We human beings tend to error. Instead, turn other people’s compliments about you into your own self-identity. Recall and acknowledge any and all examples of your positive qualities as they arise. You deserve to be recognized for all of your amazing qualities.

Show Yourself Forgiveness
In my Bible, I read that everyone has unwanted secrets they suppress about themselves. According to it, in a fallen world, humankind stands prone to sin. No-one can escape it, but everyone can find within the future better behaviours, better outcomes, and spiritual guidance. When we delve into spiritual wisdom, our hearts grow wiser and our decisions, smarter.

If we forgave ourselves for all our past transgressions, the world would ripen for our new start. We can’t change the past, but we can always make the future a spiritual, becoming place. I read in a statistical survey that as we age, we grow happier. Aging, therefore, comes with greater joy for most, and fundamental to that happiness we experience is forgiveness.

Helping you forgive yourself for past transgressions, Rick Hanson provides the following sentiments: Imagine those people, pets, or religions that showed you protection in the past, and make them your protectors today. Imagine these protectors listing out all of your positive traits. Pay attention to the negative qualities or events of your life as well. Separate these negatives into three groups: 1) morality issues, 2) unskilled events, 3) anything else. Separate those events you are responsible for from those you are not responsible for. Make amends with yourself by focusing on how you repaired past tragedies or hardship and how you learned from them. “Ask the inner protector to forgive you, or others out in the world, such as the person you wronged” (p. 41). You do no one, including yourself, good by being hard on yourself. Forgive yourself. Move on. Tomorrow is a new day for you to shine with your true inner beauty.