“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” -Unknown
So far, summer ’16 has truly been a period of transition and immense growth for me. Moving back home 6 years and 2 degrees later, embarking on the process of establishing my career in a challenging job market and also learning of new methods to grow my entrepreneurial brand has pushed my physical, mental and spiritual boundaries to new heights. Not to mention, once you add the senseless killings and just sudden deaths of people in our society to the equation, it’s a daily challenge to keep your spirits high. However, it’s a necessity of self to keep your head up and continue to vibrate higher in the face of personal, professional or societal adversity.
Now, I know that may sound easier said than done. But I’ve dedicated nearly the past 3 months to actively and diligently refusing to fall victim to feelings of depression, worthlessness, and defeat. I knew during this chapter of my life where I’m not currently employed which doesn’t allow me to be as financial free as I desire would prove to be a challenge for silencing anxiety and pursuing peace of mind. I knew it would be a tug of war between me spending a lot of time actively chasing my dreams while also feeling stuck in life…but this was the perfect time to finally refrain from beating myself up and simply learning to trust the journey.
I think we as human beings, underestimate how much we allow the happenings of the outside world to effect us inside. I made a few daily changes that I credit towards revamping my mental and spiritual outlook on my life. And while putting these changes into practice, I’ve learned it’s okay to be in touch with what is taking place around you. However, when you’ve worked at achieving and protecting a certain level of peace, you also acquire the skills to embrace the good and bad you encounter but NOT internalize it. So, I recommend:
- Not opening emails or browsing social media immediately after you wake up in the morning.
In an article I read about 8 things you should do before 8am to be more productive, the author said something that resonated with me “Checking your smartphone puts you in a reactive—as opposed to a proactive –state.” I found myself experiencing several different emotions before I even got out of bed when exploring social media first thing in the morning. Depending on what has taken place in the world, it can truly exhaust you shortly after just waking up. So now, I’ve resulted to reading an affirmation or the verse of the day from my Bible app when I have the urge to pick up my phone before I’ve gotten my day started.
- Dedicating 10-15 minutes to meditation and/or prayer.
It’s up to you when you do it, how you do it and how many times you do it but please make an effort to do it. We encounter so much throughout one day, a period of silence can make a world of difference in your state of mind. I personally, began meditating for 10 minutes following my morning workout, which makes for an amazing start to my day. I feel like I have a clean slate and ready for whatever may come my way.
- Acknowledging the positives even in seemingly “negative” situations.
This may have been the most challenging adjustment I made but it’s truly the one I’m most proud of. Didn’t get a job I interviewed for? No problem, their work environment wasn’t the ideal next step God envisions for me. Stuck in the infamous Atlanta traffic? Maybe I needed to be slowed down for my safety during the duration of my commute. There is enough darkness in the world; I decided I rather dedicate my time and shift my thoughts to finding the light.
So, I challenge you to diligently seek inner peace and protect it from all that may mean you no good. Being negative or finding something to be negative about is easy but the true test of character and growth is when you can be source of positivity by simply finding the beauty in the struggle.