Today is International Peace Day. This day is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. While I wholeheartedly agree with the idea of strengthening peace among all people and nations, I particularly like the idea of strengthening peace within ourselves. I think when we are filled with internal peace, we aren't as distracted or destructive. When we are happy and content with our own lives, it makes us more compassionate with each other.
It's easy to get frustrated with all the demands of daily life but here are five things you can practice to achieve peace within yourself:
1. Practice Gratitude- Count your blessings daily. Consider keeping a gratitude journal and write down at least two or more things you're grateful for each day. This will help you put things in perspective.
2. Practice Faith- Find something to believe in. A higher power, something greater than yourself. Allow yourself to believe that there is an orchestrator of the universe looking out for you. Believe that the good you put out there will come back to you and pray for discipline to stay the course.
3. Meditate- Carve out at least five to ten minutes per day to be still . . .to just focus on where you are and all that you've accomplished. Let your mind be still and let go of your anxiousness. Remain calm and carry on.
4. Affirm Yourself- Think of all you've overcome and use that as motivation and plant a seed of confidence. Repeat these affirmations in the mirror daily: I AM STRONG. I AM CONFIDENT. I AM SMART. I CAN HANDLE WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT ME.
5. Take care of your mind and body- Get some form of exercise everyday, even if it's walking to the corner and back. When your body is healthy it energizes you and makes you feel stronger. READ! Grab the community newspaper, log on to your favorite blog or pick up a novel or self help book. Keep your mind stimulated.
Treat your inner peace as something sacred and don't let anyone disturb it- including you.
Back in the day when I was young, I'm not a kid anymore but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again. . . . . (from the song Back in the Day by Ahmad)
A letter to my 18 year old self:
You just graduated from high school and have mixed emotions. You actually enjoyed school (mainly for the social aspect. . .even though you were really smart) but now that you've graduated things will start to change rapidly. Friendships you relied on will fade and your mom will increase your level of responsibility quite a bit. You'll be mad for a while and will think it's unfair but ultimately, it's the best thing she could have done for you.
SPOILER ALERT: You turn out pretty good- amazing even. . . .
But I would encourage you to be more present and stop forcing situations and people in your life that aren't meant to stay. Move on and don't waste your precious time. I should probably tell you to focus more on your education but if I don't know if there will be a butterfly effect and you end up not meeting your husband, which would be tragic because he's pretty awesome. And you might not have your children, they are pretty awesome too.
So, just enjoy your journey, be patient and stop being so hard on yourself! Your self esteem will take a hit in your early 20's but just get back up and next time remember to bob and weave. . .bob and weave. Don't regret anything that you experience because it is all helping you to be the person you will ultimately become.. . .and I told you: she's amazing!
Love you to infinity and beyond,
(When you see Toy Story you'll get it)
(This post is part of the HTXAAB September blogging challenge)
Parenting is a tough job. It's even tougher when you're an entrepreneur working from home.
Kids rely heavily on their parents. Depending on their ages you have to feed them, dress them, bathe them, take them to soccer practice or help them with their homework. All of this requires a very precious commodity for entrepreneurs: time.
It can seem as if you don't have enough time to dedicate to your business and if you spend more time on work than with your kids then you feel guilty. So you try to juggle both and end up with a string of sleepless nights, which affects not only your health but your creativity and productivity as well.
I've been there and sometimes still struggle with making it all work. But there are some sure fire things you can do to help things run a little smoother:
1. Schedule everything. I'm serious. I know spontaneity is fun and cool and the spice of life or whatever. . .but if you don't adhere to some form of time management you will fail miserably. You should schedule answering emails or phone calls early in the AM while your kids are sleep or at school. When the kids are awake schedule an activity with them from X time to Y time, and then get back to work during their nap. If you have a strict project or client deadline, you may have to put on a movie (gasp!) or call over a relative to babysit for a few hours.
2. Quit at quitting time. If you schedule everything you should be able to set a realistic time to stop working. If you were working outside of the home there would be a set time to turn off the computer and leave the building. Apply the same thought process when working from home. Log off and close the office door or put the laptop on the closet shelf out of view.
3. Examine your priorities. You are more than likely working from home because you crave work life balance. You want to be able to spend more time with your family. So do it. Don't spend all your time working and miss out on those special moments with your family because you can't ever get that time back.
I love life hacks! Anything that can help make things easier or lighten the load is a win as far as I'm concerned. Here a few of my own random life tips/hacks:
1. Clean your house before you leave for a trip! Trust me there is no better feeling than coming home to a clean house. It might also motivate you to unpack sooner rather than later since everything will be so nice and tidy.
2. Pack a plastic trash bag for dirty clothes or use the plastic laundry bag provided by the hotel (they are normally clipped to a hanger in the hotel closet.) This way when you get home you can just empty the bag into the washer not to mention it keeps your other clothes fresh.
When you give your kids chores, set the oven timer or the timer on your phone and make it a challenge. Give them ten minutes to get their toys picked up and see if they can "beat the buzzer". If this doesn't motivate your kids then threaten to take away video game or TV time if the mess isn't up in ten minutes. Either way they'll get moving!
If you're able to get out and go for a walk, head exactly one mile in the opposite direction of your house or car (if you drive to a park or walking trail) you'll have to get back to where you started, so you automatically put in 2 miles round trip. Straight paths or walking trails work better for me than a track because after the second lap, I'm usually headed to the car. I feel the same way about treadmills, it's just too easy to stop when you've had enough or get bored.
When I'm working on something that I know I can get done in a certain time frame, I set timer on my phone to keep me on track. There is something about knowing time is literally ticking that gets me to focus and not wander off on the Internet or social media.
We are often sent conflicting messages about chasing our dreams but then being told we should be thankful for what we have however I think it's important we learn to balance these two concepts. Don't ever feel like you have to settle for less than you deserve at the risk of seeming ungrateful.
Count every experience and stage in your life as a blessing that's getting you closer to the life you really want!
Writer. Reader. Designer. Creative Spirit.
“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”