Life is a beautiful, amazing, stressful, and crazy ride. Sometimes it can be difficult to find serenity amongst what we may view as chaos. However, there are always people whom we observe, who seem to be able to handle any situation with grace despite outside circumstances. Maybe you had a teacher who always was calm and collected, maybe it was a grandparent, or maybe you just viewed these types on television. Because of my wonderful teachers and experiences in the journey of life I have learned what the keys are to this type of peace. I, like these people, am often questioned about why I am constantly so happy or peaceful. Though some days are better than others I, like these individuals, am able to maintain peace in my life due to the following principles.    

Be thankful for what you have.

If you have a place to rest your head at night, food to eat, and at least one person who you can confide in, you are doing better than a great portion of our human population. Instead of worrying about keeping up with the Joneses, think about how lucky you are to have the life you lead. If you can see the wonders of the world through your functioning eyes and hear the enticing sounds of nature, music, poetry, speeches, you are also among the blessed. If you can walk, run, dance, and play, you should count your lucky stars. Life is too short to condemn yourself to worry about material gains. Eliminate that worry and give your soul the freedom to rejoice in all there is to be thankful for on this beautiful Earth.    

Enjoy the simple things.

How often do you stop to take a look at the world around you? Spend time looking at the stars and learning about constellations. Examine an anthill and how diligently the tiny insects work together to support their queen. Play with animals and experience their unconditional love. Sip your favorite beverage on a cold day and look out the window and enjoy the warmth you are experiencing from being indoors. Appreciate your loved ones and friends for all of the little things they do to make your life a better one.    

Try new things.

Don’t let your life become stagnant. You don’t have to do something wildly different every day in order to achieve this. You just simply should always be searching for new things to learn or experience to better your soul and understand the world more thoroughly. What do you wonder about? What do you want to learn? Pursue these things and enrich your life!

Learn from others and work toward understanding them.

Through my travels and schooling, I have learned just how important it is to try your best to understand all types of people in the world. I have lived and traveled in many countries now, and each time I change my location and interact with different types of people, I am able to view the beauty that they offer to the world. Don’t just read the news to find out about others. Meet as many people as you can and listen to their stories! For instance, if someone asks you to go to a Native American pow wow, it may not be something you would have done under normal circumstances. However, if you go and learn more about the culture, you will break down barriers you may have had before because you will understand more about their way of life. Understanding others is the key to peaceful interactions.

See each day as a learning experience because there will be days where you have the worst day but instead of moping around, think about how you would have changed the day had you been given the chance to repeat it. Would you have got so stressed out when your bus arrived late? Would you be angry and take it out on your partner or instead would you laugh it off? In the end, life isn’t always a bed of roses and there isn’t someone guiding you through telling you what to do in every situation. You just have to think, “what have I learned?” and grow from each experience.

Give to others.

When you see someone walking down the street, offer him or her a smile. Say thank you. Compliment others. You don’t have to have any material wealth in order to provide a wealth of happiness to others. Sometimes, the only thing people need is a simple smile or a person that will listen to them, in order to brighten their days. When you contribute to the happiness of someone else, you will feel fulfilled in your own life.

Live a healthy life.

Leading a healthy life for your mind, body, and soul is very important. Strive to eat foods that give you energy and nutrition so you feel good about yourself.  Find an exercise or activity that allows you to relieve stress and gain strength.  Stimulate your soul with anything that you truly enjoy doing or taking part in.

Indulge in music and dance.

Now, I am not talking about becoming a professional dancer (unless, of course, that is your dream).  I am talking about singing in the shower, despite your singing voice, and feeling the rhythm through your bones when your favorite music comes on. Who cares what people think about it! They most likely are withholding from jumping in and enjoying the sounds and tones themselves. Feel the music and indulge in it and when it consumes your being, you will feel elated!