You’ve probably seen or heard this phrase before: “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Initially produced by the British Ministry of Information at the beginning of World War II to boost morale, it has made a pop-culture comeback in the form of mugs, t-shirts and even spin-offs like “Keep Calm and Chive On”, as used by a popular website. Although it’s a catchy idiom, it’s easier said, and worn, or used to bedeck our flagons, than done.
Recently I had a bit of an episode that waylaid me and left me with some difficult things to wrestle through and try to understand. I was anything but calm, and the carrying on I undertook was not of the positive ilk.
I hate when that happens. Really.
But, I did work through it. And after a few days, I did carry on.
When something like this happens to me I tend to analyze the situation and try to learn and grow from it. Through reading, researching and just thinking deeply about my feelings surrounding this experience, I’ve become acutely aware of the word ‘calm.’
I want to be calm, because in calmness I see peace, rest and contentment. Being calm is a direct reflection of what’s going on inside of me. This is not a place where fear makes the rules. It is a place, however, where I can live with my fears; whether of the past, present or the future.
Notice, fear is still there, but it knows its place. Pain is still there. Annoying people are still there. My failures are even welcome. They are all just things that I’m capable of living with because of an inner calm. For me, it’s a battle in my mind.
It’s the calm mind vs. the mind full of constant noise and chatter that never rests (the Buddhists call it a ‘monkey mind’).
A calm mind produces calm attitudes, views and actions.
There is no need to be right. It smiles in a release of insecurity. It is able to rest in what is.
My calm mind can see what is in my control and what isn’t.
My calm mind allows me to understand that there are burdens that don’t I have to carry.
Do you think or act in response to people or circumstances?
Or, do you think and act from a calm mind no matter the people or what’s going on around you?
Can you see a difference between bringing calmness into a situation vs. letting the situation cause you to react?
When I am calm I am kind, and my kindness is not dependent on whether other people are kind or not.
When I allow my mind to lose its calm, I become a ball of stress. I let what’s outside of me control what’s inside of me.
That’s my choice: Stress or Calm.
Here’s what the Mayo Clinic has to say about the effects of stress:
|On your body||On your mood||On your behavior|
|Headache||Anxiety||Overeating or under-eating|
|Muscle tension or pain||Restlessness||Angry outbursts|
|Chest pain||Lack of motivation or focus||Drug or alcohol abuse|
|Fatigue||Irritability or anger||Tobacco use|
|Change in sex drive||Sadness or depression||Social withdrawal|
I don’t want any of those items to define me. The trick is being able to face adversity and remain calm, to not be stressed. This is my work and definitely worth the time.
That’s enough rambling for today…..
Keep calm and carry on!