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Peace Through The Storms

Finding Your Inner Zen

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Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash

We’ve all had those days where we just want to escape from the world. People, emails, social media, even friends can just get on our nerves. The news and headlines are filled with nothing but numbers and weather forecasts, pandemic, and election rhetoric. When is enough, enough?

If you haven’t already thrown your remote out the window, but still want to, I’ve got a few suggestions for unplugging from the universe for a bit.

One of the biggest intrusions in your life is actually sitting right next to you; your phone, but you can use it to your advantage. Want a morning boost? try downloading a few apps.  There’s everything from daily devotionals to affirmations for both men and women. Look a little deeper and you will find a gratitude journal.  If you’re looking to begin your day on a positive note, or just to take note of all the things around you, instead of scrolling your feeds, this is a much better way to get your daily dose of happiness. It helps your soul and gets you thinking in a more productive way. You can also utilize your calendar and schedule mini-breaks for yourself. It’s a great way to remind yourself when it is time to get moving.

Create a gratitude jar. If you don’t have time to journal, this is a great alternative. Find a lovely little jar or dish and place some colorful sticky notes alongside it, and maybe a fun pen. Each day, write something you are happy for, or something good that happened to you, fold, and place in the jar. When you are feeling low, or even at the end of the week or month, open the jar and read what you wrote. I guarantee it will make you smile and think differently.

Change the way you think about yourself. Your view of others is based on how you feel inside. Take time to nurture your body, your health, your overall well being. Who are you? What are your needs? Sit and ask yourself the truly important questions. You’ll be surprised what answers you may find within yourself. You don’t have to be religious to get spiritual. Find out about the person you see reflected back at you each day. Projection is a big deal. We need to realize that often we see things in others that we need to correct in ourselves. Lighten the load and you’ll see things and people perhaps a little differently. When you like what you see in the mirror and are content, life goes a little smoother.

Incorporate exercise. You don’t have to do a marathon, simply go out for a walk now and then, or exercise your mind by learning yoga or meditation. Start small, there are a variety of videos online and quite a few studios have gone virtual so you can sign up for classes and participate from the comfort of your living room. This is how I find my zen, my happy place. Find somewhere that is distraction-free, close your eyes, and just breathe, listen to your heart, quiet your mind, be still, or take yourself to a different environment by crunching in fall leaves and enjoying the fresh air outdoors. Even a simple 15 minutes can make a difference, tap into you, schedule a meeting with yourself.

Strengthen your heart. Regardless if you connect to God or goddess or a higher source or whatever you might believe in, do it. I use five minutes a day to pray when I’m out walking. I like to connect, it’s like talking to my very best friend. It isn’t necessary to be formal, feel the energy, do a mental check-in with yourself. These are difficult times, often of separation, or feeling like you are isolated.

When you do feel a little less like yourself, try to write down what you’re experiencing. Acknowledge those emotions, spend a moment briefly, and then ask if it is important. chances are, they really aren’t.

Baby, you’ve got better things to do!

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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