I was cursed with the perfectionist gene. All my life, I’ve always held myself and the work I do up to the highest possible standards. Whether it be homework, jobs, my various creative endeavors, or fitness goals I have always made sure to go at them with upmost effort. If I failed, then at least I knew I gave it my all.
The problem is, giving it my all has escalated to dangerous proportions as I’ve gotten older. Being in college and surrounding myself with overly ambitious people like myself (plus learning more about the world, about what I’m studying, etc.) made me want to be even more ambitious. To be able to work at the level of my peers, continue to impress people and excel at everything I do. I would forget that I am only human. I aspired to be super-human. I let my goals get in the way of not allowing myself to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. I deprived myself of certain foods, down time, and self reflection on all that I accomplished thus far. I became a dangerous train, plowing through life without the brakes. I temporarily gave myself high blood pressure, hair loss, and lack of sleep. Yeah, it wasn’t pretty. Or fun.
I soon realized this life of accomplishing things that not longer made me feel happy or fulfilled was actually no life at all. I decided to take a step back and reevaluate. Soon after, I found meditation.
The book pictured above, You Can Find Inner Peace by Mike George, is something I picked up approx. 6 months ago at Urban Outfitters (shortly after separating myself from the perfectionist hell hole I was in)- and it’s a highly recommended read! I finally opened the cover and started reading it this past winter break. And I learned SO. FREAKING. MUCH.
If you’re a high strung perfectionist like me, lemme just say that I PROMISE the lessons learned in this book will change your outlook on life forever.
Below I’ve listed the most valuable lessons I happened to take away:
- Spiritual Awakening:(Super hippie dippie, but the main focus of the book which happens to actually be SO TRUE) Having a greater focus on our spiritual awareness, our purpose in life. Freeing ourselves from the confinement of the materialistic desires and worries of the ego (i.e. jobs, projects, what people think of us, etc.). We are spirit and spirit is love, peace, truth, power and happiness. Furthermore, it is important to understand that the love we pour out onto the world will be returned to us in a perfect exchange. There is a certain harmony in the universe. Everything will always fall into place.
- Being Present: Realizing there is a richness in all moments. Understanding that the mind, and our purpose, is simple and not cluttered. As author Mike George puts it, “Mindfulness is the art of seeing that every moment has a value of its own, even if the experience of that moment does not connect with any of our ambitions, or goals, or mental preoccupations.” It is important to slow ourselves down in this modern age of technology- if we look closely, we’ll see that there is wonder and appreciation in everything around us.
- Learning to Let Go: Understanding that we are allowed to experience emotions. We may get confused, stressed, and furious. It is important for us to allow the emotions to happen, experience them for what they are, then let them go. Holding onto negativity will only separate us from spirit and hurt us in the end.
- We Thrive off Creativity: Having self discipline will only do so much for us. More often than not, it becomes a dangerous goal- an addiction to pride. We thrive creatively when we are in a state similar to play. When we allow ourselves down time and embark on projects and adventures for the sheer fun of it.
Ngl, until starting to meditate, I always thought it was just a thing monks or hipsters did. I didn’t realize the true benefits it holds. It is a key that unlocks legit the title of the book…inner peace. Mike George knows whats up.
You Can Find Inner Peace also contains a MASSIVE library of meditations to practice based on the main principles of spiritual awakening he discusses. Although I have not done them all, the ones I tried have certainly made an impact.
I don’t meditate every day. But I’ve found that when I do, it shifts my outlook on life. I have a greater appreciation of what I have. I relax. I think clearer. And sometimes when I’m worked up and can’t sleep, I listen to a guided meditation by Tara Brach or Wanderlust until I am again at peace.
I promise that if you deal with manic spells of overwhelming its-the-end-of-the-world-if-I-don’t-do-this-thing syndrome like I do, teaching yourself about meditating (even if it isn’t this book) will benefit you LOADS.
“Meditation is the road to self-realization. Along the road we cast aside our many false identities. This is essential if we are to create the internal space in which we welcome back our inner peace.” -Mike George