Our next topic for the Inspire series is Peace. ‘Choose peace and fiercely guard it’ has become an important affirmation for me over the past couple of years. I have found that by making peace my priority – happiness and contentment come much more easily as I had a realisation that in order to feel happy, I needed to be at peace. I also re-evaluated my definition of success and moved away from the idea that in order to be a success I had to be constantly busy and stressed and that actually for me, having peace of mind was a huge success and largely benefited my health, wellness and wellbeing.
There have been many opportunities to put this into practice:
– When I make decisions, I ask myself will this bring me peace? I use this to help guide my answer. I look at the possible drama or stress the decision will bring and weigh it up against the positives but ultimately if it is going to take away my peace, I choose peace and base my answer on the route that will allow this.
– To fiercely guard my peace, I have created strong boundaries with people and situations. I step away from or reduce the time I spend with negative people who are energy drainers and I step out of any drama. This has made a huge impact to my stress levels and my feelings of peace. I now choose to spend time with positive people who make me happy and bring me peace.
– The people in my life who bring stress or upset but who I cannot completely stop seeing, I choose to spend less time with and I avoid seeing them when I am feeling overtired/emotional or unwell. I also use visualisations to protect myself (putting myself in a bubble or imagining shields all around my body) and if they say anything which upsets me, I imagine it bouncing off the bubble or shield so it cannot get close to me. I also stand up for myself and explain that what they are doing or saying is hurtful or upsetting.
– Another way I have fiercely guarded my peace is to work hard on letting go of the feelings of responsibility to stay involved in other people’s drama. I try to see that by stepping out of the situation, it gives them the opportunity to find a solution themselves and it stops a drama escalating by constantly talking about it. I try to find new ways to help the person so that I’m being there for them but it is not negatively affecting me – such as arranging a day out, going for lunch or taking a lovely walk in nature for a loved one or friend going through a rough time. I’ve found it useful to suggest not talking about the stressful situation during these outings (or putting a time limit on it to allow for happier and more positive topics) as it gives the other person (and you) a break from thinking about it. Often, your friend or loved one feels better after a break from thinking and talking about the situation and you’ve helped someone without it adversely affecting your peace.
– I also guard my peace is by choosing to say no more. No to shoulds. No to things I don’t want to do. No to things that are going to take away my peace. This leaves much more room for things I love doing and people I love spending time with. There will always be some things we simply cannot say no to but at least by reducing a lot of these, it won’t feel like we are constantly doing things we don’t want to do, which will ultimately bring more peace.
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