“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Sometimes I think my daily struggle to attain five minutes of peace is futile. The kids, the phone, the never ending laundry…Repeated interruptions, unexpected delays and devastating news tug away at my heart leaving me feeling unsettled. The chaotic pace of life adds to the frustration making it impossible to complete my quest for peace.
But I’ve realized that peace is not the destination, it’s the mode of travel. And I’ve discovered that there are small but powerful actions I can take every day to contribute to a more peaceful heart, a calmer environment and a happier home. Some of them seem effortless but the results are dramatic. If you’re struggling with clutter, chaos and angst, take the Peace Challenge by implementing one or more of my personal tips:
Theresa’s Top 10 Ways to Create a Peaceful Journey
1. Turn off your cell phone, email and internet browser during specific times of the day – especially when you are working or having a conversation or meal with someone. If you can’t turn them off, set the alerts to silent (not vibrate!).
2. Silence all background noise – including the television, radio or anything that you are not actively listening to at the moment. You may not realize that the negative messages coming from the news reports while you are making breakfast are robbing you of a peace-filled morning.
3. Go to bed by 9 pm once a week. This is a tough one for me because I am often just tucking my kids in bed at this hour and I feel like I finally have time to myself. But getting to bed early is a treat, so I try to do it once a week.
4. Make your bed every day. I know it sounds crazy, but this small act of creating order is just what I need to start my day feeling somewhat “in control.”
5. Throw away junk mail before you walk in the door – take it directly from the mailbox to the trash can (unless you need to shred it).
6. Refuse to engage in or listen to gossip of any kind. The same thing holds true for complaints – make a commitment to yourself to be complaint-free for one week and ask a friend to hold you accountable.
7. Spend at least one hour a day outside — walking, running, sitting, bird-watching, gardening or doing something that allows you to appreciate the beauty of nature. Breathe fresh air!
8. Forgive someone – maybe yourself.
9. Smile. It’s contagious.
10. Put a journal or notebook by your bed, in your car, in your purse or anywhere you might get a ‘brilliant idea’ and need to capture it before you forget!
Not everyone has the same definition of peace. The music I perceive to be distracting noise may create a state of peace for my nephew. So the trick is to recognize the activities and environmental factors that cause discomfort in your heart and avoid them.
What would you do to create your own personal Peace Challenge? Share your tips with me!