The Search for Your Inner Peace Requires Commitment
Many people are engaged in a search for inner peace as they seek to escape our high pressure world. To find inner peace, it is helpful to take a look at your life and make some changes. Inner peace isn’t something to be added to your to-do list, rather it’s about finding the time to learn to relax and have time for you.
Figure out what is really necessary and what isn’t. For example, will the world come to an end if your bed isn’t made every day? Who walks into your bedroom to see it when you’re not there? If you can’t stand not to make your bed, invest in a duvet cover that hides the whole messy bed.
Get a basket for mail and go through it one day a week instead of doing it every day. You’ll save time on this chore overall. Get an online banking service if you haven’t already and set your recurring bills up to pay automatically so you only have to do a quick check or change rather than entering every bill every time. If you can, invest in clothes that don’t have to be dry-cleaned. You won’t have to make so many trips to the dry cleaner and you’ll save money too.
When I worked every day in an office and wore silk blouses or tops with my suits, I found that what needed to be cleaned every week were the tops. I discovered I could wash them in my washing machine on gentle cycle with cold water wash and put them out to dry once a week. I always had fresh silk tops (without that dry cleaning fluid smell) with no stress.
Make a list of everything that worries you and stream your worries into three columns on three separate sheets of paper— “likely to happen”, “unlikely to happen”, and “ridiculous”. Take the “unlikely” and “ridiculous” sheets and wad them up and throw them away. They don’t deserve your time and attention, as they are at least unlikely to happen. Now, take the “likely to happen” list and make a list of things you can do to minimize the likelihood that they will happen. Work that list of things into your list of goals and start working on them. Now forget about ALL your worries because you’ve discarded the unlikely and done everything you can to minimize the likely.
Leave a white or blackboard in your kitchen for everyone in the family to write down items they need from the supermarket, drugstore, dry cleaning trips etc. Make one trip for all these errands, or get a delivery service. Assign someone to run the errand or place the web order as needed. Pick your work outfits on Sunday night and arrange the items in order in your closet, along with the appropriate shoes and accessories.
Make a meal plan for the week and stick to it. If you know that you will eat out two nights during the week, be honest about that and put it on the list. You are more likely to stick to just two nights out if you do this rather than becoming stressed and end up eating out every night. Make a to-do list of anything and everything that needs to be done this week. Do it on your computer and just modify last week’s list to save time. Get up early enough to make sure you have your act together in the morning.
4. Include Recruiting Help
Consider using a grocery delivery service. Most areas have grocery stores that provide this service for a small fee. Recruit your family’s help. Figure out what chores the kids can do and make sure they complete them. This can include helping to prepare dinner or packing their own lunch. There are lots of recipes that are simple and safe enough for kids to assist.
Make them responsible for their rooms and other assigned chores outside of their rooms; and no allowance if they fall down on the job. If you need freshly laundered shirts or blouses every week, send them out. If you can afford it, by all means hire a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning service and gardener.
5. Focus on Your Activities
Write down all your activities and rank them based on how necessary or how much pleasure they give you. And then cut those activities down to a reasonable number. If you work full-time, this is probably two outside activities. If someone else’s activities are messing with your ability to find peace, write down their activities as well.
If you find your children have more than two simultaneous extracurricular activities, it’s time to have them choose their favorites. This will be good training for their adult life when they will have to make these choices just as you are making them now. It also helps them to focus their energy into their chosen areas and to give them a sense of peace as well.
6. Turn off Your Cell Phone
PDA and email when you get home from work and insist that others do also. Very little that happens in life needs your attention right now instead of the next morning. When people find out that you have times when you are unreachable, they will find a way to solve their own problems without disturbing you.
For real emergencies, there is your land line. If you have become a social networking junkie, you must tear yourself away from the computer during off hours. If you don’t, you are giving your kids a terrible example to follow. If it’s not essential to your job to participate, start to limit yourself to one hour per week checking the social networking sites.
Figure out who the toxic people are and start to limit your exposure to them. This should include anyone who calls too often or talks too long. This can be tough because sometimes they are family members! Evaluate which people in your life make you feel “less than” when you are around them. You really have no use for them and if you are hanging on to these relationships it must be due to your own guilt or lack of self-esteem.
So be brutal when evaluating who should stay and who should go! Then be a lot gentler as you start to pull away. Being around them may be tough, but it’s best to drift away slowly rather than to provoke a confrontation—this will help a lot with your search for inner peace. If the toxic person happens to be your boss or a co-worker you cannot escape, it’s time to make one of those extracurricular activities looking for a new job!
Making changes in these seven areas will help in your search for inner peace. Once you have made some of these life changes, you will find yourself relaxing more and starting to enjoy your life. You will also have the time and space in your life to find inner peace from a spiritual perspective.