Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Top 10 ways to be at peace

In Today's World........

In this wild ride we are on.

Sometimes being "at peace" can be difficult to attain. At least for me. My question is, WHAT DO YOU DO TO BE "AT PEACE", in this wild and woolly course we travel? Some people have a hobby that they do, some read books, some go on weekends away minus the family, still others go into their room and close the door, but what if none of these are possible?

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr

So when I start to get to that place where I need to recenter myself a bit I try a few different things (No particular order, its kind of based on the day):
  1. Scream and hide in a corner and rock like a baby--ok, not really but I sometimes feel like I am almost at that point. That's when I turn on Super Why or Clifford and get a hopeful half-hour respite from constant questions, when its been really bad, I have been known to let the Bear pick out a movie and put it on. Luckily we have a ton of old VHS and DVD movies so they don't get played all the time and lose their excitement. Look on ebay or check out yard sales for people getting rid of VHS tapes. They still work great if you have your VCR still.
  2. Get down art supplies and don't give any instructions. --Yes I do this, more often than I should admit. Play dough, crayons, scissors, paper (back sides of printed stuff works great) and a garbage can for the pieces and then I can slip into the kitchen and do what I want, be it preparing dinner, making bread, reading a magazine. Just that quiet time to do that helps to recenter. Does this always work? I wish it did. If it did I would turn a whole corner into an art station.
  3. Demand (ok, beg, tears might work too) that my child lays down and put her head on the pillow. Generally only at 15 minute intervals, otherwise she wouldn't. That being said, when she has been particularly whinny, I send her to her bedroom just to do this and it works enough times that I still do it occasionally. When she has been very whinny, she will nap still for a half hour or so.
  4. Turn on a kids Christian music CD like Bear's favorite, 26 Alphabet Bible Verse Chorus songs, and just go with it. Seriously, my mood gets more relaxed and "at peace" with whatever is going on. Maybe its the act of singing at the top of my voice, the giggles from Bear as she listens to her mommy singing, or maybe the fact I am singing and making a joyful noise for God is why this works.... Who knows, but it generally does.
  5. If time allows and the situation lends itself, biorhythms. Deep breathing and practicing relaxation techniques, but seriously this is not always possible with an active almost 5 year old. Of course, when the weather is right and I have someone who can stay with Bear, a scooter ride works too.
  6. Go with the constant desire to play and grab a chair, tall glass of lemonade or ice tea, a book, a hat or a umbrella for shade if needed, and relax, take a deep breath and enjoy the warmth of the sunshine while the kiddos play. Bear has an area of the yard that she calls her "secret garden." Its just a corner of the yard but she can dig and play in it without worry of mommy or daddy worrying about holes all over the yard. My yard swing in the front provides the same time to "get some peace back" as well. Find a place like that in your yard or patio. Its free.
  7. Take the time to walk barefoot in the grass. It really makes one feel better in the evening with the summer weather to walk in the grass barefoot. I always forget how relaxing it feels until I do it.
  8. Knead bread dough... or play dough... whatever works. Its a mind numbing activity that works your muscles.
  9. Pull weeds. Seriously, pulling weeds or mowing the lawn. Its another mind numbing physical activity. Sometimes just doing a physical activity can help you be "at peace" and able to reflect on what is really going on. It kind of removes you from the situation, giving you space to think and sometimes thinking about something brings peace.
  10. Finish a project. Really, finish a project however small. Sometimes we start so many pots on the stove that we get overwhelmed and that leads to frustration and just doing one of the above to reflect helps us to focus on the one task that is yelling the loudest and then taking care of that task can help give us a sense of peace.
BONUS: Above all else, prayer of course, but with the prayer sometimes God's answer is to do one of the above. *smile* Matthew 19:26..."...but with God all things are possible" and Philippians 4:6-7 which says, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Sometimes God says, "ok, the answer you seek will be revealed when you..." [I wanted to clarify that I often have a prayer on my mind and on my lips as well as my childhood memory verse when I am very frustrated But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control...--Gal 5:22-23]

Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it.
- Brian Tracy

Sometimes in the moment we forget, hey we're mothers and fathers, normal people, so don't beat yourself up about it. Romans 3:23 states that ..all have sinned [you could also read this as none are perfect], and come short of the glory of God.

What do you do to be "at peace" on a day when you feel stressed?

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