Peacefulness Comes from 

If you're reading this, then you probably hope to become more peaceful. You know what your body, mind and soul have been craving. Perhaps you don't feel peaceful a lot of the time and you want to change this. 

Do you wonder how other people seem to exude this sense of patience and peace, while you're feeling all tangled up inside? 

Do you only feel peaceful some of the time? Do you want to preserve that feeling, hold onto it and welcome more peace to your whole being?

Peace comes from within. So with this in mind, let's begin by exploring your inner sensations for the current moment. 

Stop what you're doing. Stand up slowly from your chair. Feel the blood flowing through you. This is your life force!

How does this simple act of putting your body upright on two legs make you feel? What sensations are you experiencing as life flows through you?

Are you currently relaxed and present? Or are you tense, eager or even anxious to move on to the next thing?

Feeling peaceful is as much a physical sensation as it is an emotional state. 

Mind your breathing. Do your breaths come slowly, from your centre or do you take short, rapid breaths? We shallow-breathe when we're stressed or tense. This is the opposite of feeling peaceful!

Pay attention to the sensations of your fingers and toes. Are they slightly buzzing or almost rushing? 

What about your head? Wiggle your eyebrows up and down. Tilt your head from side to side, not too fast. How does that feel?

Are you peaceful, or is there a restlessness inside of you?

The simple act of stretching our bodies releases inner tension from our muscles. Tension makes us feel stressed, tight. Tense feelings affect our thoughts and reactions. 

Pose a simple question to a tense person, and the answer will be very different as compared to if they felt relaxed and at-ease. 

Are you that tense person? Let's work on changing this, so you can find more peace, and that peace may find you.

EXERCISE: Stretch your way to peaceful feelings.

Move your body through a mindful release of tense feelings. All this requires is some basic stretches.

Become the Mountain.

While standing, assume an upright posture. Keep your head held high and plant your feet firmly to the earth. Your feet should be about hip-width apart. Let your breath flow through you.

You are a mountain!

Visualise yourself as that impermeable rock. Solid, mighty, unshakable, connected to Earth yet rising upward with head held high to the heavens.

Gently roll your shoulders back. Then, softly press your shoulders down toward your hips. Pull your chin in slightly so that your throat aligns with your spine. 

Point your tailbone downward with stomach gently pulled in. Inhale, slowly and deeply. Fill your lungs. Exhale mindfully and slowly. 

Exhale past the point of thinking you were finished with the exhale.

Now breathe in again, slowly and mindfully. Continue focusing on holding that strong posture, but keep your body fluid as you breathe. 

After two more breaths, swoop your arms up overhead toward the ceiling. Then, while bending knees slightly, slowly bend over and bring them forward to touch your toes. 

You are now bent at the waist, with feet still hip-width apart.

If you can't reach to your toes, it's okay. Just touch your shins, or the sides of your legs, if that feels like a good stretch to you.

Continue to focus on deep breaths as you reach as far toward your toes as your fingers will go. 

Pull in at the waist as you stretch. This is a nice massage for your stomach and digestive organs.

Continue this stretch, called Forward Fold in yoga, for several breaths, for as long as it feels good.

Next, keep your body in this bent-at-the-waist position, but now move your hands onto the floor in front of you with palms to the ground. Hands should be about shoulder width apart.

Stretch your feet out behind you, also planted on the floor, slightly wider stance than the prior pose. Raise your bum toward the ceiling.

You are still bent at the waist, but now your hands and feet support you. Arms and legs remain un-bent, but fluid. Pull your tummy in to deepen the stretch. 

This is called Downward Facing Dog, in yoga. You have seen dogs do this to relax. So picture that, if it helps you. 

Remain in this pose and enjoy four mindful, deep breaths just as you did before.

When finished, slowly walk your feet toward your hands and then return to an upright-standing position. 

These are just three examples of the many wonderful stretches you can do to ease tension in the body by way of yoga.

How peaceful are you now?

Remember when you first stood up from your desk and became mindful of your body and its various sensations? You likely did not feel very peaceful inside at that time.

Repeat the same exercise as the start of our challenge. Stand upright and simply relax and breathe. Notice your body sensations. 

How peaceful do you feel?

Remember that stressful feelings take away our ability to be peaceful and in the moment.

Stretching the muscles goes a long way for releasing tension in the body. 

Your body will thank you, and your mind will find peace as a result. 

Enjoy a daily stretch, maybe even once in the morning and once in the evening. Or, find a time when you can use some relaxation and take a few moments for yourself.


Our first challenge in the Peaceful Summer series had us quietly observing our own body sensations, and stretching our muscles. Let's take a moment to write down what we learned. 

How did you feel before you did the stretching exercises?

Did you feel peaceful, or were you more keyed up at the time?

Describe the sensations you picked up while being mindful of your fingers, toes, head, and breathing.

Next, we went through a series of three simple yoga stretches. We took slow, mindful breaths. 

How did the stretches feel to you while you were doing them? Did your muscles enjoy this activity? 

If the stretches didn't feel good, explain why. What can you do differently next time to increase enjoyment of stretching your muscles?

How did you feel after the series of yoga stretches?

Were your thoughts more calm? 

How was your breathing? 

For the Future:

Going forward, increase peaceful thoughts and feelings from within. Make it a ritual to practice slow, mindful breathing. Do this along with safe stretches of your muscles, like yoga. 

See what a difference a daily stretch makes for your feelings of inner peace and well-being.

Observe how these simple self-care rituals help you show patience and compassion for others, in the name of being peaceful. 


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