Peace. It is what we all want right? We don’t have to be pageant queens to wish for peace…in our homes, with our families, and in our communities. I really struggled with finding peace in the turmoil of life that was 2019.

And while this turmoil came from a variety of places, I finally recognized that peace in my life equals finding peace in three main places… my mind, my body, and my relationships. Here’s what I’m doing to find peace in these areas as this new year unfolds.

Finding Peace in your Mind

They say you can’t be happy with others until you’re happy with yourself. So, I started with me… my mind.

I began to find peace of mind when I began to focus on the NOW. I stopped dwelling on what the future may (or may not) hold or what I royally messed up in the past. And I began to meditate and sit quietly for just a few minutes per day (it feels like that’s all my schedule and kids allow sometimes). During these few moments I focused on my surroundings, what I heard, what I felt.

I found that by focusing on the present, the world slowed down and seemed less chaotic.

My mind began to quiet. I have also found peace in my mind through finding hobbies that I enjoy. For me it is running, walking my dog, sewing, and writing. Find what brings calm… and make time for it!

Finally, I began to write (or journal) about all the things that consumed my thoughts. Some days it was venting my frustrations at ridiculous behavior from my kids or husband. Other days it was deeper concerns… guilt over my actions… goals I have yet to achieve… or worries about the future. Either way, by expressing them, I found my mind calming… I found a path to peace in my mind.

Finding Peace with your Body

See, I’ve spent a very long time not being at peace with my body.

As a young girl, I compared myself to others and I always felt I fell short… very short. Confidence in my body and my physical appearance didn’t get any easier with age. As an adult, I could usually find more things wrong with how I look than I could find right. I decided that finding peace with my body was essential to finding peace in my life. But how in the world would I go about it?

I happened to be out at a local store and ran into another mother wearing a sweater I absolutely loved. It was the perfect color for her and made her shine. I told her.

And in that moment, given the look on her face, I realized that helping others feel good about how they looked made me feel better too.

So, I set out to compliment someone every time I was out. In doing this, it made me feel more peace about my own physical appearance. I began to not only compliment others, but to find one thing each day to love about me. Peace with my body image is still a daily battle, but I do feel like even if I lose the battle one day, I’m winning the war and finding peace with my body… slowly, one compliment at a time.

Finding Peace with Relationships

I’ve always been a pretty compassionate person, willing to sacrifice myself to make those around me happy.

Most often the smile on my friend’s face was enough to make my hard work worthwhile. But lately that hasn’t been the case. Well, not with my recent acquaintances at least.  These interactions have left me feeling taken advantage of and steamrolled.  After several of these situations in a row, I decided that finding peace in my relationships was also necessary. The effort I was extending to make these situations right just wasn’t worth it.

I began to step back, step out, and say “no” more often. Instead of always being the first to save the day, I’m leaving that to others and picking and choosing my battles.

I’m tidying up my people list Marie Kondo style.

I’m asking myself if this relationship brings me joy. If not, I’m letting it go. I’m asking if the effort or work I’m putting in brings joy. If not, I’m letting it go. Relationships aren’t always easy, but if they continually bring you pain… let them go.

In making this choice, I’m finding peace in my relationships. And that peace is strengthening the relationships that do bring me joy.

So, with this new year, and new decade, I’m finding more peace in my life. By doing these few small things and focusing on peace, I’m finding peace is spilling out into my everyday life. I’m not yelling at the crazy driver who cut me off in traffic. I’m not blowing up at my kids for making a mess five minutes after I cleaned the living room. And I’m finding myself smiling more and yelling less.

When we find peace, we share peace. When we share peace, it spreads. Wishing you much peace in 2020.

finding peace
Photo Credit: Faith Photography by Kati