Simplify Your Life from the Inside Out: Mark The 7 Keys to Finding Inner Peace: Wayne Smith
What happens when everything in your life spirals out of control and you feel lost and need something to center you and your emotions? What happens when you wish that things could be simpler but are not sure in which direction to go to make that happen? In a world that is fast paced and things are expected of us in as we say in music Cut Time, or a fast rhythm, many of us need to find a way to compromise our schedules and lives between busy, fast or just taking it one step at a time. This book provides many solutions, answers and real life experiences that the author shares to help everyone including this reviewer Simply Your Life from the Inside Out: The 7 Keys to finding Inner Peace and hopefully your new inner and calmer voice. So how do you rediscover the peaceful way to live? How can you recognize and overcome the barriers to a life of simplicity? Your journey beings now as we take a trip inside this book and learn about each of the 7 keys as the author guides us through them one by one. There are many real life issues that are shared and as he states we need a unified plan to address our problems at the core. We often deal with things that we can see and touch but at times it’s the intangible that we need to identify and often dig down deep inside ourselves to find what lies beneath our facial veneer and the surface to uncover what needs to be changed. What are the false beliefs that hinder our lives? What are our solutions to our real problems? Not just a quick fix to make it go away! This book will help you and this reviewer find the answers to these questions and the solutions.
The author expresses some important points from the start: Emotional peace is our nature state. It isn’t something to be built or achieved, but protected and allowed to be…it’s how our Creator intends us to live. Peace is therefore found not by adding things to your life, but by removing them. This next point is quite valid and important: the trick is how to find and remove the things that upset our peaceful lives. The author relates his own real life experiences throughout the book. Each situation is depicted as if it is happening as you read it and each problem is stated, faced, discussed and solved. Let’s begin by stating what each step is from start to finish and how they can help each and every one of us create our own inner peace. One: Accept the fact that, at times live seems hard. Understand that life is not always easy and that each and every one of us face problems, hard times and difficulties. Sometimes trying to avoid these problems is not feasible and as a result we waste energy as we all do not accepting the truth or we deny ourselves the opportunities to grow that only struggling can provide. I guess the author makes a valid point there that sometimes struggles are important times for us to learn and understand that they can be beneficial for us in the long run. First, he states that we have to accept them for what they are and then second realize, as we all should that they don’t last forever. The second key is: Accept the fact that life is not fair and the third which is quite vital and really hits the mark: Changing the way we relate to others. The fourth key states: Let go of the need to be proven right. There are two important messages the author wants readers to get from this key and that is: Questioning the conventional wisdom about not needing to be right all of the time, and the more specific idea of letting go of the need to be proven right. The fifth key state: Let go of Unhealthy expectations and the sixth key: Let go of the need to control anything outside of yourself. People at times spend huge amounts of time and energy trying to control other things and other people and most of it is for naught. A distinction needs to be made in this case. That is control of ourselves vs. control of anything outside of us. We try to control another person, or events, institutions, local and world affairs, if the thing you are trying to control is outside of you, it’s not likely to happen. There are four parts to this book, which I will spotlight, but the seventh key is Learn to separate the signals from the noise. The final chapter offers some advice that can help you in the transition from reading about these ideas and implementing them in your life. Although the author relates these issues and problem in from a Christian perspective to everyday problems that are found in the Scriptures it does not mean that they cannot be applied to everyone.
Starting with the first key the author sites psychiatrist M. Scott Peck and his publication: The Road Less Traveled and the first three words which sums it up quite well: LIFE IS DIFFICULT! This is so truth and once we see that and we really understand it and accept it than maybe it won’t be so difficult anyone. Once you have accepted this truth, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters he states.
He talks about whey no problems last forever, Lessons from his AA 12 step program and adding in that most of the hardships in life are temporary and even those that last a while can be faced only one day at a time. Within this part of the book he also talks about the necessity of struggle and shares his life experiences being an alcoholic to bring this to light. Lessons from the scriptures and summarizes the first key by stating that you can fight it and try and analyze it all you want, but you will only make things worse. It is easier and he does have a strong point there to accept when you realize that very few if any of the hardships you face will last forever, and some not even for a day. At the end of a bad day you are able to re-set. Depend on it. He also includes on page 45 steps to take to help you deal with difficult situations. Chapter five focuses on the second key and chapter 6 which is at the heart of Part 3 of this book: Different isn’t wrong, it’s just different or Key 3. The author shares an incident that happened to him in elementary school when someone made fun of him for being different. His mother called him on his own behavior and when you read the encounter and what he learned you too will realize that it’s not wrong to be different it’s just different governs the way he looks at the world and most every problem. An important story was when he was a young boy and had trouble tying his shoelaces. He discusses the process and why he had trouble doing it and how many times he messed up and got frustrated and upset. Told by a friend that he did not tie them right gave him the harsh reality that being different was just different and that what he consciously learned to do the right way did not feel right. How many times has everyone knocked or criticized the way someone does something, or what they thought, certain that your way is the right way. How many times have you been the victim of criticism? Think about it!
He includes a Parking Brake Story, Why we take different to wrong and right and wrong vs. right and wrong. He sums it up on page 66 nicely and on page 67 he aids all of us in our first steps to take. Chapter 7 focuses on why you don’t have to be proven right and Chapter 8 focusing on the fifth key: the more you expect, the less you get, that you wanted. Let go of unhealthy expectations is at the core of this chapter. Control is an illusion: Let go of the need to control anything outside of yourself. Not so easy but learn why being a control freak, having control issues and controlling behavior can often control you but in the wrong way.
This chapter will help you and even this reviewer understand and learn new approaches to deal with control, which is a huge part of being in recovery. Believe it or not there is a healthy way to deal with it, and it is not that hard. The chapter highlights things, which we cannot control like the weather, TSA, traffic, sometimes things in our personal lives and even the stock market. Telling about a close friend who worked at a large retail concern, every time sales fell behind in one idea, they mandated that inventory counts of that item be executed daily. Looking at it more often without doing anything to change is most definitely an illusion for control. He even includes a really interesting example dealing with one involving his wife. Like all mysteries read pages 97-98 to learn more. The summary section is quite enlightening but I want to focus on the last point: Getting to the root causes of controlling behavior is best left to a professional. This just might be one solution to help you learn how to deal with this crucial issue. The final key is learning to separate life’s signals from the noise. To sum up this book teaches how to take one step back before we can go forward. Within this seventh key and this chapter he shares more personal stories and defines in detail signals and noise. The final chapter 11 will help you put it all together and keeping it that way by helping you realize that there is no step-by-step recipe. Trying and failing and trying and trying again plus not forgotten: learned. Understanding that early failures work better than success long term and finally persistence. The rest and his own story you need to complete reading on your own and the appendices at the end will help you take this quiz and help you understand how he is trying to help each of us learn to simplify our lives from the inside out! Great resource, which I will keep at close hand whenever I feel that I need to reflect and remember what the author has vividly and inspirationally written.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine