by Pompe Strater-Vidal
Zen Sensei and founder of Relax Breathe Flow

Serenity is an elusive quality these days. There are more and more of us; more technology, more distractions, and more disruptions, more of everything. Where do we go for peace and quiet when Google has mapped every corner of the globe?

I teach meditation. So, of course, my answer is to go within. There you will find serenity inside yourself, by following your breath, and sinking in to the simplicity of the present moment.

However, if your mind and thoughts are ruled by the voice of your Inner Critic, with an endless to do list, and impossible standards of perfection, your inner experience will be anything but serene. That’s why acceptance of the messiness of life with its inherent imperfection, lays the groundwork for serenity.

Messiness is part and parcel of being human. We learn from our mistakes. The more we make, the more we learn. Life on earth is supposed to be imperfect. It’s actually perfect in its imperfection; a Zen conundrum at it’s best. Your email gets hacked, or your dog throws up at the most inopportune moment. Life happens, and often it’s messy.

Criticism is an expression of resentment and of anger. That’s why it stings. The Inner Critic believes that mistakes are bad and wants to rid the world of imperfection. Do you see how that blocks our serenity?

Serenity comes when we are centered in ourselves. This means accepting all that we find in the present moment: the good, the bad and the ugly. It is unconditional love for ourselves, and the world around us. No improvements needed. That’s why I tell people to embrace the messiness of their life and to find serenity in the present moment, one breath at a time.

All the best,