We’ve all been there. Stuck with a challenging situation — maybe a crying newborn, maybe a tantruming child, maybe a tantruming adult. Stuck and you can’t leave for whatever reason.
We’ve all been there. Rushing around trying to get out the door or in the door or up the stairs or to the next place.
We’ve all been there. Appalled by the impatient parent in line at the grocery store, in line at a big box store, on the way into school in the mornings.
We’ve all been there. Mind over here, over there — when really it should be right here, right in this moment.
Peace comes from within. It’s what we’re trying to teach our children. It’s what we, the parents, have to teach ourselves.
Imagine what the world would be like if we all took a few minutes each day to decide to choose peace rather than war, hate, anger, distrust, control, being right over being kind … etc.
Peace isn’t a destination. It’s the way. We won’t suddenly find some ephiphany that keeps us at peace forevermore. We have to find what gives us peace in our own hearts and use those tools each day. We have to find our own ways, every single moment of every single day to be at peace, even in the chaos.
It isn’t enough to talk about peace, one must believe it. And it isn’t enough to to believe in it, one must work for it.
— Eleanor Roosevelt
So, just how do we do this, how do we find peace? How do we find it among the chaos at work? How do we find it among the noise in the car? How do we find it at home or everywhere else in between?
It’s entirely up to you.
I don’t have the answers for you to be at peace. But I can share what works for me. These are my peace tools — my inner peace gadgets — that I use as often as possible to ward off the crankies.
Here are some Peaceful Steps to Take Each Day:
PRACTICE GRATITUDE: Saying thanks for the teachable moments, thanks for the hard times, thanks for the learning curves, thanks for the blows and blunders is just one way to find peace in your daily life. Rather than dwell, say thanks. Thank you for this moment. I do not know what it means just yet but I know it will turn out just fine.
LOWER EXPECTATIONS: Yeah. I know. It isn’t how you thought it should be. It didn’t turn out right. Things will be all messed up. I know. I get it. Now get over it and find peace.
LOVE HARDER: Forget the tough love. Love yourself. Love your partner. Love your imperfect child. Being kind is so much more peaceful than being right. The days I choose kindness are the days I feel most at peace … and then, oddly, peace falls into place, naturally.
SAY YOUR SORRIES: Sorry I yelled. Sorry I snapped. Sorry I didn’t do the dishes like you asked. Sorry I messed up. Sorry I wasn’t nice. Say it and move on. This teaches our children to say their sorries, too.
MAKE TIME FOR SOLITUDE: I am a person who needs, needs, needs silence. It’s why I choose to not watch television. It’s why I have been declining more and more social events. I don’t have enough quiet time in my life since I work in an office all day, have the kids all evening and the weekends are jam packed with things to do. And yet I need it like I need water and food and sleep. It’s that essential. Once I figured that out, I became more peaceful knowing that those moments are all mine.
ENERGIZE YOURSELF: Yup, bringing back the trusty energy list again. It works like a charm. That’s all I can say. Write one. Keep it close. Guard it with your life. Follow it to a T.
WALK AWAY: When things get tough, walk away. When things get loud, walk away. When things get frustrating, walk away. Find your peace corner. If you can go outside, all the better. It’s not always possible and so if it isn’t, go to your room, your kitchen. Clean. Scrub. Do something that can get your mind working in a different direction, a more peaceful direction.
LET GO: Stop caring so much. Stop controlling every thing. Simply let things go. There you will find peace of the most amazing kind.
FIND WAYS TO LAUGH: Seek out the silly. Eek out a smile. Follow your bliss. Indulge in things that make you happy.
BREATHE: Meditate, Meditate, Meditate. I came across this quote on Kind Over Matter this week and I just adore it.
Suppose you read about a pill that you could take once a day to reduce anxiety and increase your contentment. Would you take it? Suppose further that the pill has a great variety of side effects, all of them good: increased self-esteem, empathy, and trust; it even improves memory. Suppose, finally, that the pill is all natural and costs nothing. Now would you take it? The pill exists. It is meditation.
— Jonathan Haidt
What peace tools can you offer here today? What do you need to do or have to do to stay peaceful inside? Please share. I’ll share more of what I’ve added to our family’s peace corner FOR MYSELF on my Facebook page on Thursday. Maybe your ideas will spark new ideas for a brand new mom or dad who found this post when they were at their wit’s end and couldn’t take it anymore. The more ideas we can offer, the more our positive energy will flow out into the world. Let’s welcome these ideas with open arms in an effort to inspire others to muddle through another hour, another evening or another challenging phase.