MPMG – A User’s Guide to Begin the Tranquility and Serenity Process
By Kade Hemerson
We all have them. We all deal with them differently. Sometimes we find a “quick way out,” and sometimes – we just wallow in it. It’s a real-deal and it can get pretty raw occasionally. Feelings. It’s usually a love/hate relationship with me, but it’s a necessary relationship, one that typically includes:
Overly joyous (ya, it’s a thing… being so excited that we can’t concentrate on LIFE)
Out of place
And sometimes – it’s simply unknown, we just can’t define it.
Yet, we still have to deal with it, and that’s not always easy. In fact, in some cases, it’s not simple either! So, how can we find some form of tranquility and serenity during these extreme moments, when we feel like it is so out of control? While I can’t give any “here’s how you do it” recipie for any of the damn emotions we have to face, what I can do is tell you a little about the MPMG.
1) Mindfulness – get grounded!
This technique is so simple and so easy. It is the first thing that I learned in recovery and is one of the things that I have in my tool chest that I’m super grateful for. It is the heart of Here And Now. With mindfulness, we are not only brought back from our past and/or future, we’re also brought back to the very ground our feet stand on. Mindfulness can take as long as one needs it to, but can be done as quickly as sixty-seconds. In fact, I often do it at work when I catch myself wandering and unable to concentrate on what I need to.
Get into a comfortable position. The quieter the better, though not a requirement. Eyes closed, breath with intention, but relaxed and normal. Where meditation is to try and empty the mind, mindfulness is to try and notice everything. The clock’s ticking, the neighbor’s dog barking two houses down, the motor cycle revving its engine a subdivision over, the wind whistling, the warm sun on our skin, the clothes on our back. Noticing and observing everything, especially what’s in front of us, not only brings us to where we are currently at physically, but it also pulls us away from reliving the various versions of our past, or worries and fears of our uncontrollable future.
2) Prayer – LET THAT SHIT GO! Talk it out, ask, dump, request, release.
Pray. This is so important on many levels. For one, it slows us down. We have to begin to think about what we’re asking for. We focus on the things that are bothering us or that are out of our control. It is an opportunity to learn love, compassion, kindness, and tolerance, too – by praying for goodwill towards others. It’s a tool of recognition (“Here’s what is going on, here’s what I need”), it’s also a chance to reach out and ask (“please help me”) and equally, allows us to let it go. LET IT GO! Saying a prayer is a form of release. Think of it as the “verbalize, express, talk, and ask” in our communications with our Higher Power.
As with meditation, there are many ways to pray. That being said, one good way to do it is to find some alone time, preferably without distractions. The prayer can be said aloud, in one’s head, written, sung. It doesn’t matter, just be open to the various ways, try one, and if it works – do it! Recognize what the problem is. Acknowledge it. It needs to be acknowledge! Not because if we don’t there’s “less power” to it, but because when we do, we have a better idea as to what we’re needing and requesting. Once the prayer is “complete” (if there ever is such a thing), then LET IT GO. Let it go! Have faith that we’ll have what we need. Who cares how/why/by who!
3) Meditate – Again, LET THAT SHIT GO! Stay grounded (thank you, Mindfulness!) Be still. Listen. Envision, then let go. Be in the moment. And again – LISTEN.
Meditation allows us to BE. There are many benefits to meditating (as well as praying), from envisioning (do not confuse this with living in the future!), to lowering blood pressure, to finding answers within ourselves. As with prayer, we can also learn compassion, love, kindness, and tolerance by sending love and positive energy towards others. Meditation has been around for thousands of years and can be as simple as it needs to be. Some people meditate for hours upon hours, while others meditate for short periods at a time. There is virtually no wrong way to meditate, and anyone can do with a little practice.
As with praying, there are many different forms of meditation. Try different ones, give them a chance with an open mind, then go with the ones that work! And don’t be alarmed or concerned if one becomes tiresome and another one becomes more attractive, we are constantly growing and changing. Use what works! It is here that we empty our mind, LET GO, and listen. This is the “shut up, sit down, be still” part of communication, where we let our Higher Power reveal to us what we have deep inside.
Ideally, it is best to be somewhere where there is little to no distractions. Sitting in silence, focus on one thing, a candle, or a sound, or typically – breathing. There are guided meditations that are designed for many different types of topics, from sleep, to forgiveness, to self-awareness, to gratitude. Some are for “beginners,” some are for those who are “seasoned.” Take the time to try, with an open mind, and just sit still and BE. It’s a glorious thing, trust me – this I know.
4) Gratitude – Be thankful for what already exists!
One of my all-time favorite tools is Gratitude. It’s not only simple, but it is SO POWERFUL. Gratitude helps us see what we’ve already got; it can take a house and make it a home. It becomes a pillar of light that can guide us from the small, insignificant things in our lives to the most fulfilling ones we’ve already got. It is the life-raft that can pull us out of the depths of the well and launch us to the top. I love gratitude!
For this, I typically prefer pen and paper. Typing is nice, and even acceptable in many cases, and so is thinking about it, but putting pen to paper with the physical flow really helps things sink in, and so does speaking it out loud (or both at the same time). Start by finding gratitude in what we’ve got; people, places, events/activities/occurrences (think “car made it to point b” or “bills got paid again!”/”had dinner, tummy is full”/”weather is sunny” or “the rain will wash the sky”). Also be grateful for the THINGS (car, roof over head, clean water, puppy, warm bed, etc.). It may seem difficult at first—and in fact, it can be—but when we try, things will suddenly begin to come to mind and before long, we’ll have page after page of things to be grateful for.
If these steps are followed, one can be assured that they will find Tranquility and Serenity. It doesn’t always happen immediately, though in my practice, it often does, but I think that’s because I’ve spent so many years actually doing it, so it has become second nature. I also want to state that there are other factors in life that can (and will) contribute to the effectiveness of these steps. These steps are not a guarantee to happiness, serenity, or peace. They are simply tools I’ve learned that I actually put to use, in conjunction with the twelve-steps, counseling, exercise, and proper eating. So if these aren’t working at all, perhaps take a look at step work, a counselor, trusted friend. Anyway I look at it, I have them today. And for that, I am grateful.