“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” and “It’s that time of year when the world says hello” – so the songs go. Twinkling lights and displays of “Peace on Earth” fill the season of celebration, and maybe we are kinder and more giving to others, which is lovely. At the same time, we often wage war on ourselves.
What’s your favorite topic for beating up on yourself? Is it self-esteem? Your body? Your efforts to release weight? Relationship drama? Anxiety?
What’s your signature baggage, and where would you like to be genuinely at peace?
Yes, it’s possible, but it’s not magic – we cultivate peace.
How Do We Cultivate Peace?
We do something differently: we change a behavior, increase in exercise, make better food choices, determine to be more careful with the words we say to ourselves, or perhaps not saying something, or cutting back on activities that no longer help us. It is our choice to make and implement.
When I lived in Wales, my job included much visiting with people, and I was told it would be impolite to refuse a cup of tea or coffee. That quickly meant 10 cups of tea per day. Caffeine didn’t keep me awake at night, so I thought it was fine. A few years later, I connected that with a rising anxiety level. Reducing my intake decreased my anxiety. Huh.
Of course, that’s an easy one, but the principle holds: Make a change to fit our needs. Abstaining from sugar balanced out my blood glucose as well as my moods. Paying attention to what I was eating reduced my intake and increased enjoyment. Letting go of the meaning I attached to a memory, situation, or experience freed my heart and increased my self-esteem. None of it is easy because we get caught up in the emotional struggle, but it’s been healing.
What would you choose to do or to let go for the promise of being at peace?