I looooove reading. I read a variety of genres and just this year I tried African literature and I loved it.
Daily habits are the ultimate trick
“There is no more miserable human being than the one for whom, the beginning of every bit of work must be decided anew each day” ~ William James, American philosopher.
The Perfect Balance
“So I need to live in my heart?”
“No, it’s actually a balance – a partnership. To live your highest life, as best as I can tell, the trick is to have the heart and the mind working together in harmony. Some people live completely in their hearts – they’re pure emotion and feeling. These people have trouble operating in the real world, appearing as love-struck fools with poor judgement and no practical awareness. Other people live totally in their heads – they’re all reason and logic, leaving no room for intuition and passion to guide them, these individuals appear cold as stone!”
From the book
“The Saint, the surfer and the CEO”
By Robin Sharma
The statement above is a conversation between Jack, a student of life, and Moe, his guru teacher. Moe speaks of a balance that I believe is extremely important, the heart and the mind. I have been working to achieve my version of this balance in my own life. Sit tight as I share some of the lessons I have learnt in my journey.
Living in the heart to me feels like running through a field of wild flowers just because you saw it there. It feels freeing and adventurous. It has a degree of childishness, filled with smiles and distant giggles.
When I think of living in the head, it feels like a lot of thinking, heavy analysis. Always striving for the right choice. What comes to mind is an adult, and not just any adult. The one all the kids avoid because he’s always so strict and if anything goes wrong, brace for some lengthy scolding.
From this point of view, it may then seem like there’s no debate, we should always live in the heart! So we always feel the sun on our face, leaving all our worries and troubles behind us. Why then does the wise guru from the want us to strike a balance?
I’ll start with what I had mentioned earlier, however good it sounds, living entirely in the heart will have you living some romanticized version of life. Assuming no troubles and no worries, yet we know, if one thing is for certain, there will be trouble in this world.
So we need to find a balance between the wisdom of the heart and the intelligence of the mind. Live in a way that is wise yet kind, practical yet spontaneous, courageous yet caring, responsible yet passionate. That we may run across the flower field yet still consider there may be danger in the bushes, so we are cautious.
This may not be very easy for all of us, given that as we grow older, we are taught to calculate risks and seek to saner option. Which is great, because I can’t imagine sticking a bean in my nose at this age, things I did as a child. This, however, limits our experiences.
A few years ago, I got a job opportunity while still in school. Logic said I couldn’t have both, the course work was demanding. Passion said go for it, it was my dream job. I made a compromise and took a part time internship where I got to learn a lot about the position I later took on. The balance I struck helped me have enough time for school work, and graduated in time, luckily I also got to secure a position.
The balance doesn’t always mean you’re right, or you’ll always find a way to be fully accommodating to both sides. It just means you don’t stick to one path and miss out on all the goodness of the other. Balance begins when you forgive every mistake, figure out how to deal with your “flaws” and find a way to love yourself even in the most challenging situations.
I’d like to end with this, an American poet, Emily Dickinson, once said; “That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.” So go out and live a little, give yourself margin to live on the looser side of life every once in a while. Make some choices inspired only by your heart. And with time, you’ll figure out how to create that perfect balance.
A little reminder, you don’t have to wait for the balance to be perfect to enjoy it, make the mess work.
I’m so glad to have you as part of my audience. It’s an honor to share the lessons I’m learning as I try to be a better human being, to experience humanity as intended. Please leave a comment below so we can keep the conversation going. You could also reach out to me personally, all the info is on my about page. Have an amazing week, let’s meet here next week again!
Oh this number! A lot comes to my mind whenever I see it. Enough to keep you engaged here for a couple of hours, bitter sweet. Not stories for today though, today I’m here to bless the year, the year upon us.
I hope it comes with a whole lot more joy. I hope every morning I’ll hear the birds sing, every morning, the sun rises. I hope for a smile on my face and a hop in my step. Let me step out confident like the star I am, lemme shine bright in the dim world.
23! Come with abundance, I’m ready for all the love, for all the kindness. Teach me to show love, teach me to show kindness. I want to live wholly, to experience humanity as intended. I’m ready to experience the wholeness of the love.
I’m walking into abundance, sunshine and rainbows, morning dew on the grass. I’m winning inside me and on the outside too. My cup will not only be full, it’ll run over. I hope to be a ray of sunshine everywhere I go, to fill you with warmth and hope.
I hope in every situation, I can remain joyful and grateful. Never loosing hope, even if sometimes it may take a miracle to hold on. I hope to keep seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, the light in the darkness.
And whenever I need to rest, I hope to have a shoulder to lean on. Teach me how to recognize my need for help. May I find the courage to take the help. Because unless I’m filled inside, what is there to give?
Let me appreciate all my days, let me live them out to the fullness that makes it beautiful. Let me cherish my relationships, to connect more – that’s what my human self wants the most. Continuously improving how I relate.
I want to be intentional, intentional with the way I live and the way I do my things. I hope in every situation, my intentions are pure. I hope for selflessness where I have the upper hand, but let me be a little selfish too. Let me remember that above all else, I’m human too.
I’m so glad the new year is upon us, a little late but here I am wishing you a happy new year! May it be full of love and happiness.
Creating your meditation habit
Another week brings a chance for us to interact. I hope you’ve been well and got some time to go through our previous posts. Today I’ll be guiding you as you create a personalized meditation habit. I mentioned before that there’s no way to completely shut out your mind; have no thoughts running through your mind. Though I’ve been watching some comedy videos and turns out men can do this 😀 .. I’ll do some consultation and maybe, I’ll share the hack. The point of meditation though, is to slow down the thoughts and get a chance to basically analyze them to know what’s going on in there.
Meditation is a very robust practice and there are many types for meditation. Mindfulness is one of the biggest ones where you focus on being intensely aware of what is going on around and within you. There are more progressive types of meditation where the focus is on improving one self. Use of mantras or focusing on a particular element such as rest or discipline. Sometimes the focus could be on spiritual nourishment which would be similar to prayer. Contrary to common belief, meditation does not have to from a stationary point. Movement meditation just means you are present as you carry out different activities in your day; could be walking, gardening, yoga… Loving and kindness can also be amplified by meditation, this type of meditation can be used to strengthen feelings of compassion, kindness and acceptance towards ourselves and others.
Now bringing it down to creating your own meditation habit. I’d like to start by saying the types of meditation I have mentioned are extremely fluid; you don’t have to pick one and stick with it, borrowing from each idea will help you come up with a beautiful hybrid that serves you just right. And just like everything else, this is a continuous process, so you’ll definitely be improving it as you go by. So for meditation to be success, you have to set your ambiance right. This includes looking for a quite place with as few distractions as possible. Because you are already trying to silence a rowdy place, it is important to ensure there’s nothing else to add to the mess. You basically pick a happy place which shouldn’t be anything that brings up negative energy in you. It could be a garden or maybe a forest, a nature trail or a certain room you like to relax in. Doesn’t really matter where it is, you know you best and I’m sure there’s a place that has come to mind. One of my happy places is my room, I really enjoy being here. I love nature walks too. And sometimes it’s the silence of a dark curfew night or the sound of the morning and glimpses of a new day.
Silence is usually preferred for meditation though for some of us, silence is really loud and trying to focus in silence is impossible. In that case, a sound track for your thoughts would be really nice. For songs, instrumentals are preferred because if you are anything like me, you’d be lost in the lyrics trying to apply them in your own circumstances. There are a wide variety of soothing and calming instrumentals on YouTube. They are also really helpful with timing your meditation because doing it for too long could get you drifting. Podcasts are also a beautiful sound tracks to your thought especially when practicing progressive meditation. Find podcasts that are encouraging in whatever area you are working on. The whole point of this is for you to feel comfortable enough to allow your thoughts to flow.
Up next I’ll talk about your meditation position. When I think of meditation, the first image that comes to mind is of someone with crossed legs and hands laid out, with a palm forming an O. This is the most common meditation position but I feel like in a way it makes meditation feel like it’s made for fit people or just a specific kind of people. As you select your position, you need to make sure it’s comfortable and relaxing. You also need to be alert in this position so slouching positions are highly discouraged. Sitting in an upright position usually keeps you alert, you could always stretch out your legs or fold them as you like. You could also lie down but be very careful with this because a calm mind can very easily fall asleep. For movement meditation, it is preferred that the activity is not too intensive, that’s why yoga is preferred to a workout for meditation. Walking or jogging rather than running and simple pruning rather than ploughing.
Another part of meditation is how you slow down your mind and bring it to a calm state. I usually do this by breathing and counting. Another reason being upright is important is because you get to comfortably take deep breathes and calm down. Deep breathes have been known to reduce heartbeat, lower blood pressure and stress levels. This is the state that you would like your body to be in as you start your meditation session. I have done this many times and I know its true. The counting helps you center your thoughts and focus on one at a time. This may not come easily the first few times but you’ll definitely get a hang of it with time. I would also advice, for any form of meditation where you are stationary, that you close your eyes, helps with avoiding distractions especially if you are in an open space. It’s just naturally hard to let yourself go how meditation requires you to. Sometimes it feels scary to be left alone with your thoughts. It gets fun though!
Last but definitely not the least, I’d like to talk about the thoughts. I like to think of meditation as someone going to see a shrink. Yeah I know it’s funny and I hope this doesn’t change your perspective on the whole practice. I’ll explain the similarities I see. With meditation, as you sit there in silence, picking out your thoughts one at a time, you have a little thought that you expound on and the further you go, you may find it’s source and effect it has on you. Just like you’d carry an object to the shrink and they would see things they would then draw a conclusion of your future from. So for the thoughts in your mind during meditation, think them through, try and find their origin and effect on your life. A personal example is how for a long time, I didn’t like being tall. I just always felt like God dealt me the wrong cards on this one. I was just getting through puberty and as if that wasn’t bad enough, I was taller than almost everyone I knew. I came to find out, this is embarrassing but I’ll say it anyway, I only hated being tall because almost of the cute guys I knew weren’t tall. From all the Disney movies I’d watched, I needed someone I could look up to. This really affected my self esteem and other little choices I made. Thank God I figured it out though, coz I actually really like being tall. 😉
Meditation is such an interesting practice. I really love it. I have really personalized my habit and I have gained a lot from this. I love getting glimpses of my mind when its not just a hot mess drifting in the wind. Meditation gives me this and much more. If you haven’t found a reason to meditate and haven’t read the Why Meditate? post, I have so many reasons brought up there. I’m so glad to share more about meditation because I believe it’s an excellent practice that shines a light reminding us who we are and allowing us to see through the clutter of our daily lives and emotions. Our minds are very beautiful spaces and it’s a shame that it’s easier to choose escape rather than resolve.
I hope you find this helpful and you know I’m down to hear all about your meditation habits. I hope you at least try to tap into this ‘promised land’ that I keep telling you about and I really hope it helps with your mindfulness and journey towards self awareness. Catch me right here next week as I continue to share from my overflowing cup of gold.
Guess who’s back??
Guess who is finally back! It has been quite a while since we last had a chance to chat sharing these life hacks and trying to figure out how to be our best selves. I’d really missed being in this space. Sharing my thoughts and baring out my heart to you. What I like most are the responses I always get because they always remind me that we are all just humans trying to do what we think is right for us and sometimes those around us. I really missed you guys and I hope the wait did nothing to turn you away. Rather, I hope you have taken some time to try out at least one of the self care habits that I had shared with y’all earlier.
I’m glad to be back here to share self care habits that I practice, or at least try to as often as possible. I’ll admit part of the wait was based off self judgement for the break. It’s interesting what goes on in our heads. It’s even more interesting what happens when you listen in and believe what your mind tells you. I find it hard to create that balance between keeping myself accountable and being too hard on myself. Slowly though I’m learning some tricks, tricks I will definitely be dropping here under different topics.
I keep reminding myself that “I am the girl for the job” so even on days that feel like this might not really ever get better, I keep moving forward. Consistency is everything, I remind myself. I pat myself on the back, I tell myself I’m doing great. And sometimes, on days like today, all the pats pay off, things seem to be finally working out. I was very proud of myself earlier today when I thought, “good times don’t last”, then quickly dismissed it with “I’ll enjoy this one before it ends then” smiled and kept doing what I was doing.
My sister, she’s really cool! Always got my back. Always reminding me that I am the girl for the job. I like her encouraging words, they warm my heart. I hope my words warm yours too. You should know they are always straight from my heart. I like to say I love humans. Though sometimes they hurt me or ain’t the best, when they are being warmly human, they spread the best vibes. That’s my greatest intention with the blog. To be a place you come to feel encouraged and loved. I keep referring to “you are the girl for the job” as it is my current read, written by Jess Connolly. I would highly recommend it for all my Christian sisters. She has a way of calling you to be better than you ever thought you were. I like her, she is also really human with the way she writes. When I grow up, I want to be just like her. 🙂
Today, I just wanted to remind you of this place that you may have started to call home then it grew cold. I’d like to reassure you that I’m back and with a bang. In the past few months I have learnt a thing or two and I am excited to share with you. We left things hanging with the Why Meditate? post. You could always swing by and read it through as we wait to meet again next week when I will post the sequel “How to create your own meditation habits.” I missed you guys a lot and I hope you did too. Drop a comment, tell me something; your expectations, anything you have adopted from previous posts.. tell me even how you feel. Life is about to be even more colorful coz Marisela is back!! 😉
Just a little bit longer
I write this at a time that I feel my patience tested more and more each day, at a time I have a lot to hope for but not as much to tangibly cling to. Each day I wake up and convince myself, we just have to wait a little bit longer and it will all work out, and there and then I have the confidence to start the day, believing that my patience will suffice. It won’t be long before the thoughts start to creep back in and the day’s situations deal me blows to my face, then I have to remind myself again and again, just a little bit longer.
What does patience mean to you? Take a minute or 2 and actually think about it. Some time ago, I read a quote that said “Patience is not only waiting for a final outcome but what you do while you wait.” This really stuck with because before I read this, I wasn’t keen at all on how I waited, didn’t watch my state of mind while I waited. To be honest I was probably driving myself crazy waiting each day for whatever it is I was waiting for to pan out. Then one day, a thought came to mind, it went a little like this: If I was told to I jump off the Eiffel tower, with a promise that I would be caught before I touched down. At some point x that isn’t told to me before I jumped, would I jump? For me the answer was a confident yes. Then I went on to think, what would I be doing as I fell? Would I be thinking each moment, “maybe now is when He will catch me” and if it didn’t happen at that moment, pick up the same thought the next moment? That would really be depressing I thought. So I decided that I’d just enjoy the fall, maybe learn to fly in the process, say hi to a few birds, enjoy the view .. anything but obsess about the end result! This might not be so relatable for all of you or all circumstances but I hope you get the drift.
Patience by definition is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. The mental fortitude or strength to keep going, waiting calmly in the face of frustration or adversity. Situations that require patience vary in intensity and urgency. At times it’s slow internet, my personal worst, or maybe waiting in line for a service or the traffic jam. Situations you can’t control yet strip off your sanity little by little. Some times it’s something more intense like waiting for a loved one to get better or for your career to build into something you have always wanted, sometimes it’s the pace at which your dreams are coming true. In all this cases, you just have to wait till the time elapses and you reach your destination.
Learning patience has a wide variety of benefits to us starting with enjoying better mental wellness where it helps you deal with anxiety issues easing your mind of this mental stress. With better mental health, there is always better physical health. Patience creates a better environment for you to achieve your goals and helps you make rational decisions though your journey. In this journey of life I have also found patience to make better stories in the long run, at the time it may seem like suffering and pain, but eventually, when you look back, you get to see the stars aligning and it’s just beautiful. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right? It also helps us appreciate what we already have and if you tune your focus just right, you are able to see it’s all coming together. Patience also makes you easier to interact with for your friends and family as well as anyone who you network with in any situation, no one likes a big ball of anxiety coz we all have our own anxieties that we’d rather not focus on too much.
Impatience normally feels like wanting everything to happen right now, but if you took your time and asked yourself “then what?” you would probably find out there’s not much that happens after that. This may not apply for the pettier examples like slow internet, but for more long term things like our dreams and careers, if you have it all now, then what? Think of these journeys like climbing a tall mountain, if you take your time going up the mountain you get to discover beautiful scenes along the paths, maybe a rare plant that only exists at a certain height, a good hiding spot incase of an animal attack.. you just get to learn a lot about the terrain. Feel the atmosphere change with every zone and the body gets to adjust itself with every stage. Imagine the victory you feel when you finally get to the top!! Oh the joy in your heart the stories you can tell of your voyage. Would be nothing compared to taking a lift to the top, would it?
Greatness takes time and little things can grow into marvelous things if only you patiently continue working towards a certain goal. Each day we have the choice to settle for a short term reward or continue working harder for a long term, more valuable reward. Sometimes seeing all the way ahead, to that future greater reward may not be easy but we need to “turn our full lights on.” A friend and I came up with this analogy where we are all drivers on the highway, some of us have no lights on at all, some only have their fog lights on, others are working with the dim lights and then there is those of us that have our full lights on. I hope you have your full lights on so you can see as far as is possible for you and not settle for the smaller reward, rather, make some sacrifices that will earn you the more valuable long term reward. Because when you focus on the right things, you will see it all coming together and will realize there is a lot of beauty in the waiting too. It is sad that sometimes we loose our patience because we focus on other people’s journeys and wonder why ours is not like theirs. Comparison has killed so many great things, don’t let it kill yours too.
Relax and take a deep breath, even though it doesn’t seem to be working right now, just breath and continue to give it your all. Build your foundation to be as strong as it needs to be, now add onto that and continue to pick up lessons and memories that are the beauty of your journey. The rest, with time, will all fall into place. Letting things happen slowly even gives you time to figure out if that’s the direction you really want to go in. It gives you a chance to know much more and create your own perfect experience. Train your mind to be patient with small things and it will spill over to the larger things too. Be mindful about what makes you impatient and work on it. It could mean setting better boundaries or maybe getting rid of these things all together, all in all, put yourself first and choose what works for you. Then keep doing that everyday. This is a continuous process and you will definitely not have it all figured out at a go because even the challenges evolve, so evolve with them. And when the push comes to shove, ask yourself, what will I loose for choosing not to wait, and is it worth it?
I hope you enjoyed this read and it encouraged you to be a little more patient with whatever comes to mind when you think of patience. I am learning each day to be a little more patient, but to be honest, some days are better than others. All I do is try to stay encouraged and hope that eventually it will make sense. You know you can never connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them when you look back, so we have to trust that they are all adding up to create a beautiful picture!! Don’t forget to like, leave a comment and share this if it brought some joy & hope into your heart.
I remember the first time I ever tried meditation. I had gone to the only place I know to find everything, Google, and found a quick technique to meditate. The post said I look for a calm place, preferably silent and serene; so I sat in my campus bedsitter, I was usually by myself there. Then I was to close my eyes and try silence my thoughts then slowly in equal intervals count from 1 to whatever number I could get to without loosing my concentration, all this and still was supposed to take deep breaths. It seemed so complicated as I read the instructions but I was very idle that day so I decided to try it out.
Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train attention and awareness thus achieving a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. Meditation is a practice that you progressively grow into as you continue to set out time for it. It may seem complicated in the beginning but with time you are able to create your own style and enjoy its benefits. Before I go further, I think it is a good time to also define mindfulness; it’s paying attention in a certain way to a particular thing, here in relation to meditation, the thing would be your thoughts and emotions. Meditation to many may seem impossible because we think we need our minds to be blank to make it work. There is absolutely no way to stop your mind from thinking. Trying to do that will either get you thinking even more or having a massive headache. We can however focus our minds on certain things helping us clear our minds, focus our attention and eliminate jumbled up thoughts that may be crowding up our minds.
There are a variety of types of meditation depending on what you may want to work on, and you do not have to stick to one. All these self care habits are fluid and dynamic. There is a whole lot of benefits to meditation that span across all boards and I’m here to tell you why it is so important to add this ancient practice to your regular routine. First and according to me one of the most important is that it brings with it the feeling of calm and peace. The world is a busy place and if you are not mindful of your days you may find yourself feeling like a rogue rollercoaster. Taking a few minutes a day to ground yourself and letting the world move in slow motion helps you focus more on the things that really matter to you and helps you deal with the feeling of being overwhelmed. Meditation has been proven to be a simple and fast way to reduce stress and to be honest a lot of us experience internal and external stress everyday. Meditation can help us clear the cloud and find working solutions to the things that are bringing us stress by gaining new perspective on these situations. During meditation we could also build skills to manage stress because once you know the root cause of a problem it is easier to deal with it.
There’s a beautiful balance that exists once you accept your past traumas and are hopeful about the future without the need to control the outcome. You get to keep your focus in the moment thus making you a lot more productive. It also helps you better understand yourself thus increasing self awareness. There is no limit to your self awareness and the more you uncover, the more there is to discover and learn about yourself. I have come to really enjoy doing this through meditation because of the calm and harmony that I find as I carry out this practice, I must say it is really beautiful. Self awareness is an esteem booster in so many ways especially because it helps you see all your good qualities and strengths, this without blinding you from the few weaknesses that you may have. Knowing both sides of the coin is extreme power. Originally, meditation was used to help deepen understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life, this I believe is the reason why it helps us tap into our deeper selves so well. There is a level of consciousness that we achieve when we let our minds freely leap out of our ordinary routines.
Meditation really improves your imagination and creativity. I think with a calm mind, we are able to silence all the noise and get to see life from an entirely different perspective. It makes us more open minded to the possibility of there being more to life than we see everyday. We get to experience life in our minds and for whatever talent you may possess, you get to venture deeper into levels that you may never have known existed. Even for those of us who really don’t know our talents or passions; those who wonder where their lives are going or seeking motivation or inspiration, this sacred practice has been seen to produce very positive results in these areas. Tapping into your inner being also helps you attain higher levels of tolerance with others, compassion towards those around us and the general attitude of loving and kindness. We get to realize that we are all different and it is the differences that make the world beautiful.
So on that day, as I sat there, my eyes closed counting my numbers, 1.. 2.. 3.. 4… I didn’t notice it but at some point, I barely got to ten, I lost count and my mind started to roam. I wish I could remember what was on my mind. But it felt calm and peaceful in there. Then I caught myself thinking so I went back to the counting. Again, I stopped to count and thought through some issues that were in my mind. The problems seemed clearer because I was dealing with them one at a time. Every time I caught myself thinking, I stopped and started counting all over again. I just kept repeating this for a while till I felt more calm, maybe 15 minutes later, then I stopped. I do remember feeling great afterward and I knew I had to do this again. Nowadays, I use calming music or sometimes I sit in the serene outdoors and get this wonderful me time. Sometimes I just lay in bed and do a 5 minute meditation before I sleep, other times it’s just a few deep breaths as I recite my mantras in my mind.
There is a whole range of benefits that arise from meditation and I have enjoyed them for a while now and I really recommend it to anyone and everyone. It doesn’t matter where you are in your journey, it doesn’t matter if the advantages I have stated above relate to you or not. I’m pretty sure there is something to discover in your mind. Join me next time as I take you through how to start and maintain a helpful meditation practice. Until then, spread peace, love and unity to those around you. And don’t worry, we are all in this together and some days will be better than others but always remember not to give up on either day!
When you think of peace, what do you think about? Do you see a pool of still water or a tranquil forest. Do you think of a certain country or a certain person who you think has a very smooth sailing life? Do you think of a crowd of people, happy and enjoying themselves like in a concert? What really does peace feel like? Now bring that closer into your mind… How does peace feel for you? Does it mean a life free from all the trouble, disagreement and strife? Well I hope that’s not it because you’ll never achieve that. Today I’m here to tell you about inner peace. This like all the other Heartfelt journeys is very personal and keeps evolving as you put your mind to it. For me, I hold my peace very close to heart because I have lived in days that I have felt everything slip away and the ground below me disintegrate yet still be required to keep moving forward. You know they say, time waits for no man! and I have come to know it’s true for women too.
Peace is one of those things that when it’s there, no one really pays any attention on how to maintain it, we barely even recognize that it is there. We go about just living enjoying the fruits of a tree we know nothing about. Once we loose it though, it feels like our lives have been turned upside down, it is a mess, we feel weak and defeated wondering what exactly happened. We loose control!
The dictionary defines peace as freedom from disturbance, tranquility. Inner peace however, is a bit more complicated because you can never really be free from disturbance. Inner peace is the deliberate state of psychological or spiritual calm despite the potential presence of stressors that arise in our everyday lives. What this means is that your peace depends entirely on the choices that you make each day; to either protect or loose that tranquility.
So how do we find this seemingly elusive peace? It begins with being brutally honest and true to yourself so that you can look within and begin to see the things that steal your peace. I should mention now that the mere fact that we are human is one of the biggest thieves of our peace. Our need to control the outcomes of situations leaves us feeling disappointed and down. Attachment to things or people could also lead to the same feelings since we have no control over the things that happen around us. So the first step to leaving a peaceful life would probably be to let go of all the things you can not control and focus on what you can. I have also noticed that vices like jealousy and pride work against our quest towards a peaceful life. Be happy for that person who made it before you for we only make it further by standing on the shoulders of those that came before us. Don’t let your ego deny you peace by not letting you see beyond your own faults and weaknesses.
We have to focus on finding peace to find it, what you spend most of your time thinking about is what you become. Practicing mindfulness in what we consume; in food, entertainment or friendships, plays a big role in living a peaceful life. It is important to take time each day to take note of how different experiences made us feel. I know, the food you consume doesn’t seem like it could have any direct effect on your mental peace but it does. If you eat well you have enough energy to carry out all that you need to do, that way, you end the day feeling fulfilled. That way you relax at the end of the day not stressing about how your day could have gone. Peaceful ain’t it? And on the point of letting things go, it’s okay to have a bad day, don’t let it get to you. We try again tomorrow!
Life is an interesting journey and through it we evolve and become better people, sometimes you will outgrow things or even people you once liked, don’t loose your peace trying to hold on to them. Allow yourself to evolve without need to explain yourself. Avoid trying to change others to fit into the new you because they probably won’t and that will end up being a burden on you. It also helps to be assertive with who you are becoming and not swaying with whatever others want you to be. Build a team of good company that allows you, actually encourages you, to be who you want to be, while holding you accountable incase you slip off the plan.
The basic virtues like gratitude go a long way. The more grateful you are the more you realize that even if the day seemed bad there are a couple things that went quite alright and that’s more than enough. I have noticed that your perspective going around your days holds a great power over you. There is always a different way to see things and I encourage you to see the better side and live a hope filled life. Being good in a world where things usually don’t go your way just because you are good may seem counter productive but I must say that it is very important to do and be good. Do this without expecting anything in return and you’ll see the difference. Your desires too must be aligned to your goodness.
Our peace is fragile and I honestly can’t confess to a day that I went around with my peace intact without the creeping in of negative thoughts and “what ifs”. It’s normal to loose it but its your job to train your mind to protect it. It starts by evaluating your thoughts and arresting them before you loose the train into negativity. You need to find what triggers any negativity and build boundaries to protect your “boarders”. It could be against people or experiences but that’s for you to honestly find out and work on. Spending time in nature calms us down and could help clear your mind enough to find the peace you desire. Regular exercise has also been proven to have the same effect. Meditation is just the best to calm your mind and deal with the thoughts that keep popping up, this way you can realize the thieves of your joy and work to protect yourself from them.
Yeah, life doesn’t always go how we want it to go, so let’s just learn to accept that it has the upper hand and work with whatever life throws at us; be it lemons or candy canes. Always remember you are not a finished product and enjoy whoever you are right now. If you wait till you are perfect to be happy, you’ll wait forever. Live each day knowing you have no assurance for the next, so don’t worry too much about the details and let life flow. There’s a little rule I use “if it won’t matter in 5 years, don’t spend 5 minutes worrying about it”. Most importantly you should know that there are very few things more disconnecting than living a life you weren’t meant to live, so just make sure to stick to your lane.
Peace for me feels like the beats to a chill pop song like Saturday nights by Khalid, flowing slowly and calmly in the background. A predictable sequence of instruments that sooth my mind & body. I think like this mostly because of how much I love music, I think I can describe all my feelings with a song or at least a beat. Now how does peace feel for you? You describe it with whatever feels right and fight to keep it with all you have coz you deserve it as much as I do.
How to keep a journal
You may have read this title and wondered why on earth would I even want to have a journal, leave alone want to learn how to keep one. That’s because you’ve not checked out my previous post; Why have a journal? Go on now, check that out and we’ll be here waiting for you.
Now that we are all together, we could start on how to keep a journal. In this article I shall guide you through the process of starting your journaling journey and how to continue it. Honestly it is usually quite exciting to get started on something new, especially when you feel like you need it. With time though, you may need more motivation to keep up the routine than just the fact that “you need it” or “that it is a fun thing to do.” A big part of it will require your genuine and constant dedication to the whole idea. It also requires an understanding of the benefits and purpose of the whole exercise because once you have your why defined clearly, it’s always easier to hold yourself accountable.
That said, I feel like it’s time for us to dive right into the different aspects we can tackle, focus on and ultimately improve with journaling. My favourite reason to journal is for self reflection. This usually requires that you pour out your thoughts and step back and analyze the things that you have written down trying to figure out what prompted the thoughts and how exactly they make you feel then resolving any negative energy that comes with it and appreciating all the positivity around you. Focusing on the positive things could go a long way in improving your mood and mental wellness. Having a gratitude journal helps you dedicate time to this aspect fully. You could also journal to help yourself get more organized and a planner kind of journal would work very well in this case. It could be a project or dream you are working on and the journal can help you break the project into bite sized steps that you can keep yourself accountable for. You could also journal your interests, this helps a lot with finding our passions and purpose. It helps you tune into your creativity and the things that make you come alive.
There are many different styles to journaling and each one of them produces a beautiful effect on you. Your journaling style could be more visual, more written or a synergy of both, visuals usually include pictures or drawings. I’ll start off with bullet journaling; here you just jot down points without much explanation of what happened, you just give a statement mostly saying how something made you feel. An example could be; the pandemic got me feeling frustrated. or Today I really liked how it felt to run the meeting. You could have as many points per entry as you like. This is quite similar to another style; the one line a day. Here you will need a more inclusive statement that describes the whole day. An example would be, Although there is a lot more I could improve on, I feel satisfied with how far I have come with my blog. For these short entries, it is advisable that after you are done writing, you take some time to internalize the statement and shading more light to it. List making is also a very helpful journaling style and helps a lot when it comes to getting organized. There is also the classic kind of journal where you recount you day on paper expressing your feelings and emotions through the day. This is usually really nice especially if you are trying to work through your emotions or deal with trauma & tragedy. For visual journaling, you could have a scrap book full of memories and statements that remind you of the days. This is honestly the most fun way to journal but it requires a lot of dedication so make sure your why is strong enough.
Now that we know different styles and aspects of journaling, it is time to get some tips & tricks on how to keep the consistency and make it fun. The best way is to begin is to get a beautiful book that will encourage you to do it. Supermarkets nowadays have wonderful notebooks that are affordable. If you would like to take the high road and buy a custom book, there is a lot available online. Personalize the book as much as you like, it always encourages you to keep the habit. Now create a relaxing routine around the whole exercise, it could involve some meditation or good music. Anything that makes you comfortable and at ease. It is necessary to note that you do not have to journal everyday but do it as often as seems good for you. This is especially true for scrap booking and the classic style journals. Writing everyday may take away the whole experience. You could pick two days a week that work well for you and work with that. Always remember that this is work in progress and it doesn’t have to be perfect, you keep evolving till you find works for you. Keep your entries simple and short to avoid monotony and ambiguity. Sometimes, an empty page can seem intimidating making it hard for you to get started. In this case, you can use some prompt questions to help tackle the stale mate. The image attached to this post has a few prompts you can use and the internet has a whole lot of them.
With all this said, I hope you feel confident now that you know how to get around keeping a journal. I hope this is the beginning of a new interesting journey for you. I’m always here to help through your journey so feel free to shoot your questions at me on the comments or my DMs ♥️
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