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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Finding Inner Peace

Robert Manni - Saturday, March 15, 2014


We live in a high-octane, turbulent world that keeps surging forward. And inner peace is an important topic that requires more insights than a down and dirty blog post can address. But in true Guy’s Guy fashion I’ll share a few tips to help get you started on a path out of the chaos and into that snuggly happy place inside your consciousness. Here are my Guy’s Guy ways to tap into your inner peace.

Gratitude.

It’s easy to take things for granted, that is until things are taken away. Many guys, including this Guy’s Guy, has been the lead actor in that play where we don’t pay attention to our partner before she blindsides us and tells us she wants out. Ouch. Part of paying attention is being appreciative of our blessings, big and small. Just waking up, hopping out of bed and inhaling a deep breath is cause for a minor celebration. You’re alive, you can stand on your two feet and you’ve been gifted with yet another fresh start. It’s that simple. For the past few years, and no matter how bad things may have seemed to be at times, I’ve done my best to say, “thank you” upon awakening each day and again before falling asleep at night. This sets up and ends my day up with a positive vibe and I’ve learned that I really am thankful for each day on this beautiful, crazy planet of ours.

Forgiveness.

There are a lot of people out there who behave like total a-holes. Surely we’ve all come in contact with the person who cuts in line at the movies, cuts you off on the highway, steals your food from the company refrigerator, or does things a lot worse. The media subjects us to so many movies and TV shows with messages seeded in retribution and revenge that it’s easy to let these poisonous emotions take control of our thinking. We just have to get that person who screwed us back. Now I’m not saying you should be a doormat, but it is possible to forgive the bad behavior of others while insuring that you getting your due. Focus on rectifying the situation while leaving the punishment to karma and the universe to deal with at the appropriate time.

Meditation.

Acknowledging how crazy busy our lives have become and how we are constantly tethered to technology, it’s important to find ten minutes a day to center ourselves and quiet our minds. This can be as simple as a brief walk around the block after lunch, even if you ate another tuna sandwich at your desk while checking in on your fantasy teams. If you can discipline yourself, set aside five to ten minutes in the morning or before turning in to sit calmy, breathe deeply while slowly while watching the thoughts from your monkey mind drift by. I repeat Om Namah Shivaya, which is basically a bow to the inner self as being part of the divine consciousness, to myself throughout the day. It’s non-denominational and helps quiet my mind.

Diet.

Yes, I know that we can never get enough bacon, but you really are what you eat. Over the past six years I’ve eliminated beef, lamb, pork, poultry and for the most part, fish. I’ve lost some weight and really don’t miss the meat. I gave up both caffeine and alcohol for New Year’s and surprisingly I have never felt better. Anyone who knows me knows I love a glass of pinot noir or a top shelf cocktail. Still, it’s good to give your body a break now and then and after the first time out at the bar with friends, ordering that first club soda with lime is not such a big deal. The tricky one is caffeine. You drink coffee to wake up and then it keeps you awake at night. So you wake up tired and need more coffee. Thank you, Dunkin Donuts, for keeping us going. Bottom line, what you consume impacts both your mind and your body, and that means your inner peace, too.

Exercise.

The older we get the harder it is to work out and maintain a high level of fitness. And that makes it easy to find excuses to forgo exercise for a cold beer. I find that working up a sweat clears my mind and keeps my body as strong as it was twenty years ago. A long run in Central Park is a great way to get with nature and break down whatever is bothering me. I constructed each chapter and the plot for my novel, THE GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO LOVE, during my runs and I’m working on another book now as I do my six-mile runs. Again, exercise slows me down in a good way and quiets my mind.

There are so many ways to find your peace. I’ve just touched on a few that have stood out for me. But even thought we’re all connected, everyone has their own style, ways and means of chillaxing and finding their inner zone. The key is making the time to find yours. Peace out, amigos.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Thich Nhat Hanh, author and spiritual leader who said, “Smile, breathe and go slowly”.

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