For most of my life, the primary driving forces behind my decisions were stress, anxiety, or fear.  Needless to say, that is not a recipe for a peaceful journey or existence.  We are at our best and healthiest when we are in a state of calm.  We see situations and relationships with clarity.  We lead, listen, and love better.  Operating from stress, anxiety, or fear robs us of our ability to enjoy people, places, and things.

The secret to living a calm existence is becoming S.T.I.L.L.  It’s being committed to Speak your truth; Trust your truth, Invest in your truth; Love your truth, and Live your Truth.

Speaking your truth means making sure your words are in line with your actions, but it also includes not allowing your words to minimize or ignore your feelings.  Such a promise to yourself requires removing any masks you may use to get through uncomfortable conversations.  Developing a habit to voice your truth allows your authenticity to lead the way and makes it easier to put your heart on the line when it counts.

Trusting your truth means tuning into your internal guidance system and paying attention to the way it’s trying to navigate for you.  It’s trusting your instincts, despite the fear.  It’s going with your gut when your head says otherwise.  Disconnecting from your internal truth results in decisions that lack personal integrity.  When we opt to not trust our truth, we are choosing to be inauthentic.  This serves no meaningful purpose for you or anyone else in the long run.  Inauthenticity and calmness are mutually exclusive states of being.

Investing in your truth means taking time to develop and maintain a spiritual relationship with whichever deity, entity, or supernatural force you believe in.  For many people, including myself, this takes the form of daily prayers.  For many, this may also include daily meditation.  For some, meditation is used in lieu of prayer.  I had to work very hard to overcome strong resistance to establish a relationship and belief in a supernatural force or God.  I am still a work in progress in this area of my life; however, the more I’ve embarked on my spiritual relationship, the calmer I have felt.  I believe our truth is not just something we can manifest alone, but rather our truth comes from being connected with a divine presence that resides within and manifests through us.  I have found that taking time each day to deepen my spiritual relationship has increased my ability to stay in the present moment, which is where one finds calmness.

Loving your truth includes loving all parts of yourself…the good, bad and ugly.  Often, we do not like seeing our own faults, limitations, or failures.  It can be a blow to the ego and perhaps humiliating.  Sometimes, we are uncomfortable owning the good parts of ourselves and are more familiar/comfortable with self-criticism.  Owning and loving all of ourselves is necessary otherwise it makes it very hard, if not impossible, to love those parts of others we reject in ourselves.  Loving your truth just means you have accepted all of yourself for who you are and where you are at the moment.  It does not mean you can’t change parts of yourself.  It just means you can love yourself while you are a work in progress, like the rest of us.

Living your truth is taking action consistent with your core values and beliefs.  It’s honoring your truth in all areas of your life, even when it is difficult to do so.  If I came across a tombstone that read: “Here lies Joe…he lived his truth.” and compared that to another tombstone that read: “Here lies Jack…he did not live his truth.” – I think you would agree – there would be quite a difference in the experiences connected to the lives of these two people.  Is there any doubt which person might have lived a meaningful life of love and abundance?  Even if we had no way to verify, we can certainly rule out that Jack did not.

In sum, becoming S.T.I.L.L. fosters authenticity and integrity on your way to personal peace.  The result is an inner calmness worth the effort.

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