This past week has left me feeling overwhelmed by the media and the level of violence that is becoming all too common. As a result, I have turned off the news. I have minimized my time on social media. I have worked to open my heart and spend time with people who help me remember that there is light in the world- and that this light can start with me.
With the fear and turmoil everywhere we look… This week I wanted to share some thoughts on finding peace within ourselves and being the light and the change that can move our world in a positive way.
5 Steps Toward Peace in Troubled Times
- Spend time each day in gratitude. It may seem over simple, but when we switch our focus to gratitude, there is a shift in consciousness that is very soothing. Try this simple exercise: Find a quiet place where you can sit comfortably. Breathe into the quiet and the space for awhile. When you feel centered in yourself, pick up a journal and write the word Gratitude as a title. Below this, write a minimum of 3 things which you are grateful for. Some days, it can be hard to find 3 things. They don’t have to be complex or in depth. For example: I am grateful that my cat spent some time in my lap this morning. Something simple like this is still a shift toward peace.
- Pay it Forward. When you are stressed and the world seems like it is spinning out of control, it can be difficult to remember how much you truly have. You also never know whose world/day you can change by doing something simple like paying for their coffee, helping them carry groceries, or simply smiling. Helping others without expecting anything in return is an amazing gift.
- Unplug from Media for the Weekend. It sounds simple, but stopping the onslaught from the latest News Cycle, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat…. the list goes on… Can help you to reset and focus on local change. Better yet, go into nature. Spend some time in the woods or the water and reconnect with yourself. When you do choose to turn the phone back on and take a glimpse at the latest headlines, you will be a bit more prepared.
- Help Someone Locally. Find a way to give back to your community. To paraphrase a performer I saw this weekend, Broon, we have to invest in the community that we want to surround ourselves with. When your voice may feel lost, politically, vote with your dollar. Support the local farmers that produce food to nourish your body. Shop small for your family gifts. Volunteer in community arts or read to children. Whatever you love- Get involved. One voice can make a difference. Know That Your Voice For Peace Counts. Sometimes we feel so small. Sometimes we get lost in the shuffle. But when you can stand tall, smile, and help your neighbor- you are changing the world. Effect change at the local level and it will echo out.
- Meditate. Spend time with your mind at rest. Recognize that you do not need to have all the answers. Focus on your breath and peace is surely right behind. There are so many tools for meditation at your fingertips. Find one that works for you and start a regular practice.
Love comes from within each of us.
Don’t let your light be dimmed or go out.
Stand tall in your peace.