#79 Peace of Mind
“All in all, the goal of my planning and doing is to find the true meaning in life – peace of mind.”
Achieving peace of mind was Bruce Lee’s ultimate goal. Peace of mind is something that we all desire, whether we know it or not. We want to feel peaceful so that we can enjoy life fully.
Having peace of mind does not mean that you are removed from your everyday life, but instead you are living in a calm state while fully engaged in life.
Shannon shares that she has, at times, achieved peace of mind, but that it is very difficult to live your life constantly in that state. This is because there is always something that is going to come and shake things up in life. For Shannon, peace of mind can come in the form of acceptance, just accepting where she is in life right now, that she is in process, and that it is enough. Especially when things are difficult and challenging, being able to step back, observe, and reflect, helps Shannon accept where she is in the moment. This reflection and acceptance helps bring peace of mind in a challenging situation. The reflection and acceptance during challenging times becomes easier with practice.
Life will not always be good, there will be struggles, but if we can approach these times with pliability and acceptance, we can move through our struggles more peacefully. Knowing that change is constant can be comforting because then we know that whatever difficulty we are facing, it will pass.
For Sharon, she finds peace of mind through shifts in consciousness. From moments of beauty and laughter to practicing “zooming out” her perspective in order to take a step back from a situation. Sometimes Sharon finds herself too close to a situation and has to practice a mental exercise of visualizing zooming out, such as on Google maps. This zooming out practice helps her step back and get perspective on situations and decreases her anxiety surrounding the situation. The “zoom out” helps Sharon create distance and space from a situation and helps her process what is happening.
Sometimes when our minds get caught in an anxiety loop with our thoughts racing around in a circle. Performing an action can help break that loop and can give peace of mind. Sharon uses laughter as a way to break her anxiety loop and when she feels stuck in sadness or anger, she seeks out either a funny movie or a comedy show to make her laugh and bring her peace of mind. Nature is another consciousness shifter for Sharon, so she will seek out natural places to help calm her mind.
If you do not have the time to seek out a funny show or to go out into nature, your action to break your anxiety loop can be as simple as getting up and going outside. Taking a walk or just feeling the wind can help quiet your mind.
Why do we need this shift? What is the real feeling of peace of mind? Peace of mind is self-love; it is really enjoying who you are as whole human being. It is embracing your whole self, both the dark and the light.
In pursuit of self-actualization, we have discussed self-expression, feeling rooted, knowing yourself, hacking away the unessentials, and being fluid and in flow. All of these concepts go toward achieving peace of mind.
Bruce Lee accomplished a great deal in his life, and it can be hard comparing our lives to his, but he accomplished so much because he pursued his passions with his ultimate goal of achieving peace of mind. The bigger picture of Bruce’s life was to move toward a more heart-centered place, which he did by pursuing what he loved and wanted to express. That love is what drove the Bruce Lee machine.
Bruce was kickass at kung-fu and wanted to express his passion for martial arts to the world. What are you kickass at? What is your kung-fu? It can be difficult to answer this question for yourself, so you should ask five people who are close to you, “What are some of my greatest contributions?” People will tell you what you’re good at and can help you find your kung-fu. This is about finding what you love.
Research your own experience. Look for what sparks you. Investigate and pursue that spark. Trust in yourself that you are the best judge to understand what sparks you.
What will help bring you peace of mind is integrating your internal with your external.
“Man’s mind and his behavior are one. His inner thought and outer expression cannot contradict each other.”
We know that in life our mind and our behavior contradict each other all of the time. What Bruce is saying that it is the aim to investigate the inner realm, to know yourself, and then to begin to match how you move through the world with how you are inside.
One of the obstructions to achieving peace of mind is being a “pleaser.” If you spend your life pleasing everyone else, this can create a low-grade anxiety that prevents you from having peace of mind. You are saying to yourself that, “My own heart and thoughts are not worthy, I have to please someone else.” This is placing the validation of your self on something external.
“Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, love will flow back to oneself and soften and purify the heart.”
Many people fear putting themselves out in the world because they worry that people will not love them, or that they are not good enough. If putting your love out in the world is not well received, you can draw that love back into yourself. Peace of mind is the state where you are trusting yourself, knowing yourself, and expressing your honest self.
“If you’re busy with your mental computer, your energy goes into your thinking, and you can’t hear or see anymore.”
There is an epidemic in our society where we are so caught up in our thoughts and believe that our thinking is going to solve all of our issues. We get caught in a mental loop and we are not really engaged in life.
The way that Bruce Lee achieved peace of mind was in practice. He conditioned his body and his mind.
Practice staying present. Be in the experience of where you are in this moment and engage with where you are right now. Synchronize your inner world with your outer expression. Be the same “you” wherever you go. Stop the mental chatter and remember that you are not your mind, accept where you are right now.
If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Awesome Asians and Hapas)
Karyn Kusama is an American independent film director know for the 2000 film Girlfight which she wrote, directed, and produced. It took two years to finance the film due to her insistence that the main character be Latina rather than allowing the film to become a vehicle for a well-known white actress. The film was released in 2000 and won the Director’s Prize and the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival as well as the Prix de la Jeunesse at the Cannes Film Festival. Kusama went on to direct Aeon Flux staring Charlize Theron in 2005. She also directed Jennifer’s Body in 2009 and The Invitation in 2015. Starting in 2015, Kusama began working regularly in TV as a director on shows Halt and Catch Fire, Casual, and Billons. In 2017, Kusama directed a segment of an all female directed anthology horror film called XX. Karyn Kusama, thank you for being out in the world writing your own story, we think you’re awesome!
This week we have a #BruceLeeMoment from listener Heath:
“I'm late to discovering podcasts, especially yours, but now understand and whole-heartedly accept the timeliness of this discovery. It has been life changing, but most importantly, life affirming. You bring such life and relevance to the elements of Bruce's philosophy that I can't thank you enough for your commitment to this effort. One of my greatest intuition moments just came this week. For several months now, I had been considering leaving my current job because of how toxic the environment had become. Although I was the leader of the organization, and had been through some terribly troubling situations over the past couple years with the team, the bonding we "felt" over persevering in those situations Was very short lived. The culture had always been very self centered and defensive of the status quo. Growth and change, even if better for our customers was seen as a negative, as a threat, and was defended against unfairly. Even as the leader of this organization, I felt completely helpless to change the culture of this team.
I knew it was time to move on, but I was afraid of leaving without having something to go to. Wife, kids, home mortgage...a lot of responsibilities to take care of. Everyone can understand that fear. But it was killing me, and my intuition for MONTHS had been screaming for me to move on.
So after telling myself I was going to do it tomorrow (for nearly one year of "tomorrows"), I finally did so this week. Not knowing what I was going to do or where that was going to be, I felt internally that nothing would be revealed until I took that ONE step. And it felt great when I did. Not in a vengeful or vindictive way, though. I felt like I had continuity with my mind and what my spirit was telling me. Harmony. And that harmony was freeing. Uplifting even. And I now had energy to move forward toward what was next, whatever...whenever that might be, without fear. Without anxiety. With hope that my intuition would continue to lead me and end up in my next "moment". ;)
Late this week I had a "chance" meeting and one phone call. The chance meeting ended with me being courted to become the COO of a startup that is already demonstrating tremendous progress (and scaling businesses is my forte), and the phone call resulted in me being invited to interview for a high level executive position in an area of the county my family would LOVE to live.
So follow your intuition. You may just discover there was "another universe" waiting there for you all along, (as you so eloquently put it)! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this episode, and especially your insights into all these topics. It is truth, and our world needs to seek after truth more than ever. Truth is truly life confirming! HB”