rock time. that’s the term my bff and I coined for quiet, reflective moments on a rock in a peaceful environment. essential elements: the rock, two open hearts, nature, our book of values and wisdom (Bible), a journal and sunshine (sunshine…beautiful sunshine…we all know how refreshing turning your face toward the warmth of the sun can be). man, would i love a little rock time with my bff…i miss you, lori!
nature will teach valuable lessons about peaceful existence…just watch. the bird in the photo above has stopped for a few moments of quiet reflection. he’ll be hurrying off soon enough but for this moment…just quiet, peaceful, rest.
it is very easy to find the heart and mind troubled, disturbed, and dis-quieted. goodness, the entire world around us uses our heart and minds to press us to dissatisfaction, longing, and desire. marketers count on the fact that the heart and mind will long for more and present us every message possible to convince us that we aren’t enough, don’t have enough, we aren’t smart enough, and that we lack “something”. think about he story of the garden of eden…that is exactly what the serpent used on eve. basically, “yeah, you have it pretty good. the garden is ok but it’s really not all that great because you don’t have….” boom! dissatisfaction hit her heart and thirst and longing for more filled it. it worked then…it works now. i need more money. i need more education. i need a better job or boss. i need a better husband. i need more blog readers. THEN i can be happier. what a lie. talk about throwing your heart and mind into a frenzy…
i have 2 tips that are guaranteed to improve your peace of mind. remember, i don’t believe in magic wands. i believe in wisdom and good ole elbow grease. rolling your sleeves up, looking at the pain and applying deliberate (on purpose) and purposeful (truly beneficial) action. would you like to hear what they are?
what are they?
so glad you asked!
Tip #1 : fix (focus) your mind on these things. yip (i love NZ slang), discipline. de-clutter your mind. out with the old-in with the new.
- whatever is true (real~ genuine~ actual)
- whatever is worthy of reverence (deep respect)
- whatever is honourable (respectable ~ reputable ~ honest)
- whatever is just (quality of being fair and reasonable)
- whatever is pure (clean ~ clear~ absolute)
- whatever is lovely and lovable (exquisitely beautiful ~ fair ~ inspiring ~deserving of admiration)
- whatever is kind (nice~ good~ gentle)
- whatever is winsome (engaging~ attractive)
- whatever is gracious (courteous~ merciful~ benevolent~ benign)
- virtue (merit~ goodness)
- excellence (outstanding quality)
-paul to the Philippians
step one: fix (focus) your mind on this list of things by thinking about them, weighing your thoughts against them, and consider them.
step two: practice. any new skill requires practice. so -you practice. practice. practice until these things fill your mind and thoughts more naturally than worry, frustration, anger and whatever else keeps your mind agitated. while you are practicing, take notice of how your body, soul and spirit react to each type of thoughts. try this: think of a situation that really got you angry. rehearse it for a minute in your mind. did you feel all the reactions? pretty bad…negative. now think of the happiest moment you can remember in your life: rehearse it in your mind. did you feel all the good reactions? if i think about holding my daughter or one of my grand babies for the first time…i involuntarily smile. i can’t help it. those moments were so joyous to me. both sets of thoughts cause a reaction in my heart and mind. i don’t enjoy the negative reactions but i am uplifted by the good, positive ones.
result: peace(untroubled, undisturbed well-being)- will be with you. tip #1…can immediately improve your peace of mind for the moment. with practice it will improve your peace of mind consistently.
Tip #2: be content. be satisfied to the point of where i am not disturbed, troubled, anxious, or uneasy. two sets of circumstances present themselves in our lives…lack and abundance.
- lack – living humbly in straitened (narrow, lean) circumstances. this one makes our skin crawl. no one wants to go without. in fact, having the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing are imperative to survival. when faced with this circumstance our instinct for self preservation kicks in and moves us toward ways to survive.
- plenty-living well-fed, having sufficient supply with enough to spare. this one makes life so much easier. we enjoy and revel in this circumstance. it is not hard to have peace of mind in this circumstance. it does not guarantee peace of mind though. there are many examples of wealthy, miserable people.
the key is to find the undisturbed place for your heart and mind through contentment. i was amazed how content my heart was following the corporate take -over of our company a few years ago. yes, yes…there was anger and grieving and crying. i am human. lol. i told you in my overcoming addiction blog that i have had many negative situations to face in my lifetime. i sat with the emotion and shock when we discovered there was no way out…this situation was inevitable. once i had taken the time i needed to get my head around what i could not change, felt the pain and released it (crying, praying, screaming…there was a wide range of emotion)-i had to settle my heart. my heart was disquieted and disturbed. i did not want to live my life long term in this state. i enjoy peace of mind. i crave peace of mind. i began to go through the list above…
- what is true? my life is not over. i can get up and start again. true!
- what is worthy of reverence? the God-given blessings that i had enjoyed while i had that business…living in plenty…and that now i did not want to be a “brat” about difficult circumstances. respect!
- what is lovely and kind? mercy. let me tell you right now…i had to grab hold of my heart and mind and inform them both that i fully intended to show mercy. non-negotiable…non-negotiable. revenge is an ugly, ugly trap. eats at you like cancer, too.
- and on and on down the list i went.
it was a painful time. however, in the end we were debt-free. we didn’t have anything. we didn’t owe anything, either. i found myself very content without financial pressure. in the midst of that trauma, both my husband and i determined that we would never walk under the bondage of debt again. we were able to find contentment for what we had, when we had it ,in order to preserve that peace of mind. we began to practice lots of positive behaviours to maintain contentment and the resulting peace of mind.
contentment is a very difficult. practice. practice looking at and seeing what you are, what you have and where you are at the moment with respect and honor. decide that there is a right time for everything in life (under heaven). learn the lessons. lack teaches us to be resourceful and frugal; to appreciate and develop better stewardship. it helps us be empathetic to the needs of others and addresses arrogance. it’s not fun but it can be powerful.
take your “well-being” pulse right now? are you disturbed and disquieted? consider my two tips for improving your peace of mind.
please, share a comment with me if you find these tips helpful. Come back after you have practiced them. i would love to hear about your results.