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Suzanne Zoglio

Choosing Serenity on a Daily Basis
by Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D.

When you think of serenity, what image appears? A monk on a mountaintop? A roomful of meditators? Perhaps you see yourself blissfully sitting by a stream in the woods? Whatever the image, it likely depicts a place of silence. We often think of "getting away from it all" to "find" inner peace. But do those two thoughts--getting away and finding--actually increase the likelihood of our living a life of inner peace? I think not.

Recharge in Minutes by Suzanne Zoglio

First, if we believe that serenity is something to be found…only by the lucky ones, rather than the natural state that it is, available to each and every one of us, we will keep looking for it somewhere "out there." But, in fact, serenity is always "within," not something we win in some spiritual lottery, but something we experience to greater and lesser degrees depending upon the decisions we make. We can choose to live our days in ways that illuminate and nurture this blissful state or we can follow the well-worn path of turmoil, chaos, and conflict, hoping that we’ll stumble on serenity one day.

Secondly, if we believe that serenity is inextricably linked to "getting away from it all," we limit our expectations (and therefore our actions) of when and where we can experience inner peace. We relegate it to meditation sessions, Yoga classes, weekend retreats, or perhaps a week at the beach. Such a paradigm makes us victims of daily stress and encourages an ineffective wait-for-vacation method of refueling and rejuvenation.

So, what if we were to shift these two paradigms? What if we were to see serenity as a precious gem that twinkles within us…a treasure that we can unwrap whenever we want to for a quick lift or a luxurious basking in its brilliance? Now, that kind of thinking promotes thoughts and actions that give rise to living in serenity on a daily basis. Just imagine.

When you find your mind in overdrive, instead of accepting it as your "normal" state, you take power breaks that lift you up and let your serenity shine through. You begin each day with clear intent, before the day’s busyness tosses you about like a leaf in the wind. You stop during the day to take focusing breaks. You stop, breathe, and remember what’s important. You don’t wait for more time to plan and prioritize. Instead, you ask what’s important next, today, in this moment. You weed out the day’s "shoulds" and knee-jerk commitments that we all reactively make. You let go of all that is neither rewarding to you nor important to your mission. So, in a series of quick centering moments--perhaps in less time that it takes for a coffee break--serenity envelops you.

When fear, anxiety, or worry seem to creep into your day, instead of carrying the weight as a burden, something that cannot be undone without therapy, time, or divine intervention, you do not wait. Instead you remember that serenity is your natural state, so take appropriate action to remove whatever is blocking that inner peace. Perhaps you stop to say a prayer, repeat an empowering affirmation. Maybe you forgive someone or act with compassion for another. Perhaps you "go to the balcony" as I like to say, and remember the many mountains you have climbed in the past, or you take an objective look at your current state and rate it on a scale of 1-10. Maybe you ask for help or guidance, or simply surrender your worry to the universe. Whatever power break you take, it is with the belief that serenity can be yours…right now…in this place. You just have to decide to take a break, shift gears, and stop the stress (fear response) that is like a drape over your natural serene state. It is chronic daily stress that wears down our courage, faith, and optimism. Taking daily "encouraging" breaks builds our resilience and keeps us connected to our core of inner peace.

Create a Life that Tickles Your Soul by Suzanne Zoglio

On days when you feel a bit hollow inside, uninspired, perhaps…wondering if this is all there is, you won’t throw up your hands, thinking, "It’s natural, I’m getting old" or "Someday--when I retire and have more time--I’m going to do what I’ve been meaning to do." Instead, you will remember that your daily choices are what polish your natural state, and you will take action that reminds you of compassion and connections outside of yourself. Perhaps you’ll stop and offer a prayer of healing for someone in pain, write a note of thanks, or call someone to let them know they are loved. You might register for a cause you wish to support, or teach someone something you’ve learned. Write a page of a book you’ve been meaning to write, or somehow begin work on your legacy. If you decide to act in meaningful ways on a daily basis, regardless of how small the steps might be--you walk on the path of serenity.

It is amazing what a small shift in thinking can do to make peace a reality in our daily lives. Our thoughts change our expectations. Our expectations change our decisions. Our decisions change our behaviors. Our behaviors change our experience. And, of course, our experience changes our thoughts. Consider these two thoughts and see if you don’t experience a positive difference:

Serenity is not to be found, but simply allowed to grow.
We do not need "to get away" to experience serenity, we need to "make it our way."

© Copyright 2003 Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

Suzanne Zoglio
Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D., is a life-balance expert, author, and national lecturer. Through her writing, coaching, and seminars, she helps individuals and work teams reach their full potential. With a personal mission to nurture growth, she supports practices that lead to energy, empowerment, and the realization of meaningful goals.

Suzanne’s books include Teams At Work: 7 Keys To Success (Tower Hill Press, 1997), The Participative Leader (McGraw Hill, 1995), Create A Life That Tickles Your Soul (Tower Hill Press, 1999) available in paperback as well as hardcover, and her newest, Recharge In Minutes (Tower Hill Press, 2003). All are available online and from major retailers.


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