Today, let’s talk about peace, and where to find it.
Oh you, illustrious, and often elusive peace.
Where dost thou go when I am freaking the F#$@ out???
When you think of that word and what it entails, you likely come up with an image in your head of a time or situation where you felt peaceful. Rather than focus on the what/when/with whom and so on, let’s talk about the HOW you got there.
I find peace when I follow my bliss, my intuition, and my inner knowing. Even in the midst of busy-ness or chaos or grief, when I allow my highest, wisest self to guide me towards the next step, I find a sense of settling into myself.
If I know this to be certain (which I do), then the opposite of that would be over-thinking my life, “should-ing” all over myself, making decisions based on what I perceive others think of me or what others think I should do.
When I follow my ego or the ego of others, I end up in a place that feels wrong, uncomfortable, prickly to the touch.
We get ourselves into pickles, more often than not, because we follow the opinion and advice of others more than our own intuition.
But what if you don’t trust your own intuition?
Oh, goodie. Here is the part where we talk about practice.
Fine-tuning your ability to hear, and then follow, your intuition is a practice.
And we work on it by paying attention.
There are certain signals our intuitive voice gives us when we are on track… flutterings in our gut, inspiration and excitement in our heart, perhaps even a feeling of stretching when we begin to step outside our comfort zone.
To be clear, following the intuitive self isn’t always comfortable, or easy. But it always comes with a deep knowing that YES, this is the next step. What is beyond that next step may still be a mystery. But journeys are taken one step at a time. And this human-life thing is most certainly a very epic journey.
In my last email (and in my Facebook Live on Tuesday morning), I spoke about the awesomeness of the Eisenhower Matrix, a really useful and tangible tool for prioritizing tasks on any given day.
There is the prevention of stress, and then there the treatment of stress
(yes, I have decided to treat stress as if it were a disease).
Today’s conversation is about prevention.
This angle on stress may be a bit more abstract but is no less influential.
Here are 3 intuitive practices to prevent the insanity of stress.
1. Start your morning with a short, timed, uncensored journaling session.
Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, recommends a daily practice called the morning pages. An official “morning pages” practice entails sitting down first thing after you wake up and writing three pages of whatever comes out of your psyche. Intended as a stream-of-consciousness exercise, morning pages are a fantastic way to release an immediate onslaught of thoughts, worries, dream recollections, ideas, fantasies, or whatever else might want to come. Think of it as a purge for your brain. Make the practice work for you— choose a smaller notebook, or use a timer for 10-15 minutes instead of a page count. Whatever you do, DO NOT EDIT, and DO NOT THINK about what you are writing. Just write. Even if all you write is ‘blah blah blah, I hate this, this sucks, I have so much to do…’, you will be surprised what emerges after a bit of time with this practice.
2. Be with your breath.
For at least several minutes per day, take on the practice of mindful breathing. Being present with our breath brings us into the present moment, connects us to the sensations of our physical body and calms our nervous system. It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing, but here are a few situations where I find giving extra focus to my breath extremely helpful:
– listening to others speak during a conversation
3. Listen to your body and nourish it accordingly.
Yes, we actually can address stress with food. When you sense a stress-monster lurking around the corner, that would be a great time to pass on the coffee or sugary/grain-heavy breakfast, and choose more grounding and strengthening meals. Root veggies, roast chicken, and herbal teas will create very different energy in your body. Pay attention to the small details, as our bodies make specific requests constantly. Lips feeling chapped? Instead of just reaching for your favorite lip balm, challenge yourself to double your intake of water for the day.
Let’s connect on Instagram and Facebook. More stress-preventing and overwhelm-obliteration to come!
Peace is accessible. Listen closely, and your intuition will tell you where, and how, to find it.