How I Found Serenity in the Small Things in Life

“Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it” – Brian Tracy (courtesy of Tiny Budhha)

Lotus buds at a Thai temple

One of the many symbols of peace and beauty at a Thai temple

It’s the holiday season, a time of joy and spending time with family and friends. It’s also a time of stress, chaos, and hecticness. In recent times, I have learned to find ways to imbue serenity and quietness into my life; it was important at this stage of my life. Below are some simple tips for finding some serenity and happiness in everything you. They were inspired by last year’s visit to Phuket, Thailand.

We steered far from the madding crowds and visited some of the most peaceful temples on the island.

Wat Chalong, Phuket

Wat Chalong, Phuket

Buddha Room, Wat Chalong

Buddha Room, Wat Chalong


Tip #1: Celebrate your life

Rather than focusing on how our lives are not complete or how we have not yet achieved all that we want to achieve, find one to three things in your life to celebrate. Celebrate them with passion and energy. Involve another person (a friend, family member, a husband/wife/partner) and share your reflections verbally or with simply a hug and a kiss.

Daughter with father at temple

Daughter with father readying for prayer at temple

An alternate plan is to simply celebrate nature and its natural beauty. I make sure to pause and appreciate a fragrant flower…..,

Frangipani or Plumeria Flower

Frangipani or Plumeria Flower, seen at the Westin Siri Bay

..or the simplicity of lotus buds in a pot.

Lotus buds at Wat Chalong, Phuket, Thailand

Lotus buds at Wat Chalong, Phuket, Thailand


Tip #2: Practice creative expression

This week, choose one way to celebrate who you are or something you’ve done. Express your creativity by trying one of the below:

  • try out a new book, recipe, or song
  • revisit an old love from before – an instrument, painting, embroidering, any passion
  • try to integrate creativity into what you already do, for example, at work, physically or in how to communicate with colleagues and associates
  • gravitate towards or organize those who are like-minded; attend a book club, take a creative class, join foreign language group to practice or get exposure to a new language
  • make a bucket list – things you’d like to do this summer, maybe this year, or in your lifetime.  Pick one, and start the planning
Painting seen inside Wat Chalong

Painting seen inside Wat Chalong

On my bucket list for Asia Travel: a view of the Andaman Sea from the Westin Siri Bay

On my bucket list for Asia Travel: a view of the Andaman Sea from the Westin Siri Bay


Tip #3: Practice Solitude

Even though I am known to be social and an extrovert, and I immensely enjoy the company of different circles of friends, I have come to realize that an important part of my personality and nature is a bend towards being refreshed and reinvigorated when I am alone.

Schedule a time for solitude in the next week.  It need not be very long – it can be several hours or just several minutes. It can involve meditation or simply being alone with your thoughts.

Quietness in solitude in Wat Chalong, Phuket

Quietness in solitude in Wat Chalong, Phuket

Here are some of the benefits I have experienced from seeking solitude:

- Improved concentration and productivity

- Rebooting and refreshing the mind and spirit

- Improved quality of relationships with others

Solitude in meditation in a temple

Solitude in a temple

I hope these tips will help you to find peace and serenity in your life.

Peace and xin cam on,

Perfume River, December 2013



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