Many are busy making plans for what they want to accomplish in the new year. I get the idea of wanting to start each year with a fresh mindset and goals for a more fulfilling life. However, for me, change and resetting is pretty much an everyday thing. I’m always looking at ways I can grow or improve. It’s a little too heavy and heady to thrust a bunch of expectations and desires unto one year.
Nevertheless, for the coming year. I want to learn how to achieve stillness. So, as far as resolutions go, for 2019 I plan to find peace.
Busy Being Busy
The older I get, the more I’m drawn to the idea of residing in a quiet place. I started to realize that I was always busy. Yet, I would rarely feel any sense of accomplishment, and I was always tired.
I used to think being able to multitask was like having a superpower. That was until I began to realize that there was nothing so great about juggling more than one activity at a time. Even if it didn’t feel that way, I had to realize that it is mentally draining in the long run.
Additionally, I was diluting the value of each event or failing to appreciate the uniqueness of each moment. I started to feel the need to focus on individual tasks. I could envision my brain taking a deep sigh of relief in response to the promise of less stress. I didn’t even realize that I needed freedom from the constant mental wrangling of multiple tasks and unrelated thoughts.
Getting It Together
I started to assess my routines and responsibilities and how I allocated and executed tasks throughout the day. I made a schedule based on all I needed to accomplish each day. It had to flow based on how my mind and body worked.
My system is in sleep mode first thing in the morning. Praying or meditating would be a sure way to knock me right back to sleep. So I need to do something that involves movement—but definitely not exercise. My soul isn’t trying to hear anything about exercising at 5 a.m. I found, however, that it is a good time for me to get ready for the day or tackle tasks that allow a seamless transition from the zombie-like, I’d-rather-stay-in-bed-state to being a somewhat functional human being. I image the process like the image depicting the “stages of evolution.” I begin slouched my brain as I am physically and then I warm up until I am upright and functional.
After I rearranged my schedule to observe a more logical flow, I found that I was more productive. I was thrilled and in a good place. Well, that feeling didn’t last long. I was still always busy. I was doing but not living, and I wasn’t finding time for the people or activities that mattered.
Putting an End to the Busy Mindset
I understood the importance of stillness. I needed it and was starting to crave that as a natural state of being. However, I wasn’t sure how to accomplish that sense of tranquility in a meaningful way that would keep me focused without feeling as if I were wasting time. I knew if I were ever going to find my peace, that I needed to take a serious or even tactical approach. This involved:
1. Accepting that a peaceful mind or life was essential to my vitality and happiness
2. Defining what stillness and peace of mind mean
3. Determining what would happen during that time
4. Establishing a formula for consistency and improving chances of success
5. Devising a plan to keep focused and avoid distraction
Defining “Finding My Peace”
A peaceful time for me, wouldn’t involve getting in lotus position while trying to get in touch with my inner self. I needed to be in zen mode—every day. I wanted to learn how to dwell in a place of quiet acceptance. That is, no matter what life throws my way, I’d remain at peace.
I would set aside a quiet space every day to ground myself and to reinforce the strategies that would get me through each day. I needed it to be a time of renewing and rejuvenating—of healing my mind and soul. It wouldn’t be a time to figure out problems.
I decided the best way to keep my mind from taking over was to give voice to the process. I would use the sound of my voice to override my thoughts and give power to my affirmations. If I could hear them, it would be easier to focus and visualize them coming to fruition.
To make my affirmation time fruitful, I thought it was important to lay out a structure. I didn’t want to set a specific amount of time. At the same time, I didn’t have unlimited time to devote to this endeavor. Using an alarm clock seemed counter to staying in a peaceful place. The thought of an alarm clock jarring me out of my stillness to alert me that it was time to get back to my schedule, seemed somewhat ironic. I wanted my body and mind to tell me when I was through.
1. I plan to begin by getting myself to a calm state
2. Read and embrace my affirmations
3. Close by reminding myself of my limitations and place in the universe
I saw the benefits of engaging in the process at the beginning of each day before encountering anyone or tackling the demands of life. I’m not against tapping into the process at any time during the day when I feel lost or overwhelmed—until I feel centered again.
Accepting and Growing
Regardless of what’s happening around me, I can still be at peace. No matter what comes my way, my goal is to remain in control of my emotions. I am choosing to be thankful that I have today. Even though life might not have turned out the way I hoped or envisioned, I have to believe there’s still an opportunity to turn things around.
Life isn't easy and that there will always be struggles. However, I am determined with each day to be stronger. Building that strength comes with realizing that despite good intentions, I can only do so much and no more and, I have to be content with this as a fact of life.
I acknowledge that I will never understand life, how it works or why things unfold the way they do. I have to accept that it is not my place to understand but that I have to do my best with what I’m given and it will have to be enough. This world isn’t perfect, and I will never be perfect, but there is nothing wrong with aiming for perfection.
I am learning not to be afraid of life or death. I have fears and concerns, but I will rise above these strongholds and be brave. I have to remind myself that tomorrow isn't promised and I cannot waste my moments worrying about things I cannot change.
I will be good to myself. I will take care of myself. I will laugh every day. I will make a conscious effort be a blessing to at least one person every day. l will not waste my life. I will embrace each day by acknowledging my presence instead of automatically going about the day. I will no longer disrespect my days by not living. In the end, I want to be able to say mine was a life well lived.