Allowing our emotions to arise, be felt, and dissolve helps us cultivate equanimity. From this place of balance, we’re more resilient to what life throws at us.
The article “Inner Calm: The Key is Letting Go” by Shalini Bahl on Mindful.org delves into the concept of inner calm, emphasizing its significance beyond just a transient state of peace. It is portrayed as an ability to release attachments and reactions to life’s events, leading to ease and clarity. This skill is rooted in the understanding of impermanence, recognizing the changing nature of our thoughts, emotions, and desires.
The practice of inner calm involves stopping, looking, and letting go, which aids in healing and gaining clarity. It’s about physical composure and mental tranquility, acting as a balm for the soul. Inner calm allows us to hold everything without attachment or resistance, bringing ease to both body and mind. The absence of inner calm is often marked by restlessness and agitation.
A key aspect discussed is the irony of seeking inner calm: true inner calm is achieved when we let go of our desires, including the desire for calm itself. The article illustrates this through the story of a client who turned to meditation to ease anxiety but found himself more anxious post-meditation. He learned to let go of his expectations and accept his restless mind, which eventually led to ease and better sleep.
The article also introduces the “Ninety-Second Rule” by neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor, which states that emotions have a lifespan of ninety seconds from their onset. The persistence of negative emotions is often due to our narratives fueling these feelings. By allowing emotions to move through us without reaction, we create mental space for understanding.
Furthermore, the concept of “amygdala hijack” is explored, where our emotional responses to perceived threats can override rational thought. Cultivating inner calm helps avoid this hijack, allowing for clear thinking even in charged situations. Practices like breath awareness and noting or labeling emotions can prevent this hijack.
Finally, the article encourages readers to strengthen their inner calm regardless of circumstances. It suggests paying attention to when we are calm and the factors that contribute to or detract from this state. A daily practice of a one-minute rest is recommended to help align the body and mind with what matters.
In summary, the article presents inner calm as a crucial skill for resilience and clarity, achieved through understanding impermanence, letting go of attachments, and practicing mindfulness techniques.