|With all the uncertainty growing around us—everything from protesting to COVID— we can all see fear growing. Unfortunately, fear breeds AND it is contagious. You may have heard me refer to “Peace Practices” before, or maybe you’re new to this idea, but either way they are essential to settling our hearts and minds as we grapple with our role in a restless world.
So, let’s get practical.
Here’s three ways that can help you not only find your peace, but nurture it throughout the week and offer it to others:
1. Bookend your day
Being mindful of how we start and end our day is critical. For instance, if we bookend our day with watching the news, no surprise, we are going to live pretty stressed out. And worse, it only grows and becomes contagious to others.
Here’s the good news, we can choose how we start and end our days as we bookend it with peaceful practices.
Let me share one of my favorite examples.
Jack and I started working together because of his growing fear and anxiety. As we talked about how he started and ended his days, it was with a couple hours of watching or listening to the news. When I suggested he take a break from it for a week and replace it with some other practices that cultivated peace, it changed his life.
It’s now been over three years.
I love hearing all the creative ways he starts and ends his days. His mornings consist of reading inspiring literature, taking a run, enjoying a walk in nature, sipping a latte on the back patio, and/or meditating by the fire—depending on what time allows. Whatever the season calls for, Jack has developed a beautiful collection of Peace Practices—whether it’s minutes or hours—
that help him step into his day centered and ready to offer his best.
See what I mean?
Now please hear me, I’m not saying to totally check out from the world. Jack still stays up to date on current events, but he has replaced how he bookends his days—from hours of watching and listening to the news with Peace Practices. I just talked to him the other day, and he was telling me about how he has recently been enjoying ending his day by sitting on the porch with his wife watching the sunset. Simple, but beautiful huh? It makes me smile picturing it.
Find what you love and create your Peace Practices. Bookend your days with them.
I know doing this takes effort to establish momentum and create new habits, but being mindful of how you bookend your days is sooo worth it. And here’s the good news, just like fear is contagious, so is peace.
2. Slow down
It’s amazing how we try to do twenty things when we should probably only be doing five, right? How we slow down is directly related to our level of peace. It’s simple really. But many of us cram our days with more than we should and wonder why we are living without…well….peace.
Taking the time to evaluate our pace of work is an important way to cultivate peace.
Setting priority lists, keeping a pulse on the big picture calendar, and allowing ourselves to take the time to get things done is an important rhythm to create. Whether I am meeting with clients, writing, managing a team, or mothering my two teenagers—the Peace Practice of slowing down helps me keep an accurate pulse on the reality of what I can truly accomplish. And more importantly, in what frame of mind I want to get it done.
And lastly. . .
3. Spend time with people that feed your heart
Making connections with people we value and love is the cherry on top for cultivating our peace. Be selective. Choose people who make you better versions of yourself. Relationships that make you laugh, listen to your heart, and value who you are as a person and who you want to become. We all need this, but many of us do not take the time to really evaluate who offers this well.
It’s easy to get caught up in the currents of life and not even notice how far we’ve drifted from who we truly are. This is what starts growing our anxiety and fears. Circling back around with some of your valued relationships gets your peace back in place.
My heart is with you and for you,