Get Your Peace Together

Get Your Peace Together

You have heard

a similar expression right?

What would happen if you got your peace together this year? How would your life change? How would life change for others around you? What if enough people got their peace together and that peace rippled through our country?

I am starting a 3-month series devoted to helping you and others experience more peace. We will cover topics like peace with your mind, body, and spirit. We will include topics around peace with your significant other, family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and even random encounters. We will talk about peace with money and peace with things. Let’s get our peace together!

Anxiety is an enemy to peace. You cannot experience peace when your mind is captured by anxious thoughts. When I write this blog, our anxiety as a nation is at an all-time high of around 50%! One out of two people are experiencing abnormally high anxiety. As I examine my inner peace, I realize my anxiety is heightened. The anxiety shows up by losing sleep, thinking about exposure to COVID-19 (doctor gave me a 50/50 chance of survival), navigating the business terrain, helping aging parents, taking care of family, and the desire to impact others with peace before my death. When I stop to consider everything on my plate, there is a considerable amount of stress. I have handled stress pretty easily for most of my life. At 64, my energy level is not the same as my 40-year-old self. We all have stress and anxiety. The question? How are we dealing with it?

Anxiety can be annoying or debilitating. For me, anxiety means loss of sleep at times, lack of energy, inability to focus, and sometimes feeling a bit paralyzed. For you, it can be similar or far worse. Some people have severe anxiety making everyday life difficult. You may need medication to help settle your mind until the stress and anxiety lessens. Some need medication on a more permanent level due to biochemical imbalances in the brain.

Here are a few tips for those of us facing some anxiety:

1. Mind Dump the things you THINK about which create anxiety. I use this technique often when my mind is over active going to bed or when I wake up in the middle of the night.  You may be anxious about what you are not getting done. I need to get everything on my mind out of my head and on paper. This helps me. The next step is creating a plan of action to get things done. A realistic plan! If your plan is unrealistic, then you end up creating more stress and anxiety. Your plan must include a calendar to schedule the day and time you will get it done.

2. Think through the worst possible scenario. Now, what would be the results and how could you move forward? We often think we could not survive. We can survive, and eventually, often thrive. As a mediator, I often encounter people at some really difficult moments in life. They wonder what lies ahead. Initially, life was difficult. Then, the sky parts and the sun emerges. Life goes on. They realize many of their anxious thoughts were unfounded.

3. Meditation or Prayer daily. There are many studies to support the physical and mental health linked to meditation and prayer. I know of no other practice more helpful than exercising your mind to create stillness and peace. You need to learn to build and flex your brain muscle to bring peace and quiet. The more you practice, the faster and deeper you can go to a place of peace of mind. I will delve more into this practice in one of the future blogs.

Anxiety is the enemy of peace. Hope some of these thoughts will be helpful for you to create some peace. Let’s get our peace together changing our lives and those around us!

Shalom

Doctor Peace

Three Actions to Create Peace and Prosperity in 2021

Three Actions to Create Peace and Prosperity in 2021

Three actions

to create peace and prosperity in 2021

New Year’s is around the corner. Are you making any resolutions? Want to change anything?

How about next year being your best year yet in creating peace and prosperity?

Here are three actions to put on your TO DO LIST for 2021:

1. Carve out 10% of your time to devote to inner peace and growth. You have 24 hours every day, so 10% would be 2.4 hours. You are thinking, “I don’t have that much time!” Are you sure? What about time spent watching tv or gaming? What about sleeping until the last possible moment to get up? If you want your best year yet, then you need to spend 10% of your time on YOU! What will you do with that time?

  • Meditate or pray. Do you want more peace? Meditation or prayer is a proven activity that lowers anxiety and increases both mental and physical health. Think about 5-15 minutes for meditation or prayer.
  • Journal. Every day enter a note about gratitude. When you foster a spirit of gratitude daily, you will notice a difference in how you go about the day. You will be less anxious about what you don’t have and more thankful that what you do have. Just read this quote. “I thought 2020 would be the year I got everything I wanted. Now I know 2020 is the year I appreciate everything I have.” Think about 5-10 minutes journaling.
  • Exercise. You don’t need to join the gym. Just move at least 30 minutes a day that can get your heart rate up. Consistent exercise releases all the good hormones and helps negate the bad stuff. If you need to lose weight, consistency will help, but nutrition is best. Think of at least 30 minutes for exercise.
  • Eat Good. Eating right takes time to actually slow down when you eat as well as making food that is good to eat. Nutrition might actually be the change with the biggest impact in your overall physical and emotional health. When I eat like crap, I feel like crap. If I eat good, I have higher energy and clear thinking. Both help me get things done, which in turn, creates peace and less anxiety over what is NOT getting done. Think about one hour for meals and meal prep. Slow down and eat right.
  • Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan. Easy, right? Many people plan a day. Few plan a week. Create a template for a week that reflects your values and priorities including time for others. Plan your week based on the template including each day. Think about the ONE THING most important to complete each week. At the end of the year, you will have moved the needle in the areas that matter most. Want more peace and prosperity. This is a key one! Think about 15 minutes to plan your week and 5-10 minutes to prep for the next day.
  • Read. In some part of your day, take 10-15 minutes to read. That should be about a chapter a day. Depending on the book, that means a book completed about every two weeks. Coupled with listening to a book or podcast in the car, on a run, or working around the house, and you are LEARNING! Leaders are readers. Think about 15 minutes for reading.
  • OK. Depending on how you time the above out, you took 10% of the day for activities that will create health, peace and prosperity in 2021. Not as daunting as you thought, right?

2. Save 10% monthly. No rocket science on this one. One of the greatest enemies of peace is money and bills. What if you paid off all the debt and saved 10% each month? How would that effect your peace and prosperity by the end of next year? You don’t need to answer that. Set up an auto withdrawal to your savings or investment account. In other words, pay yourself FIRST, not LAST. Live within your means without the credit card. At the beginning, this can be hard. The peace that comes from no bills and money in the bank – priceless!

3. Give 10% monthly. Are you kidding me? Give away 10%. That is way too much! Before you just shut down on this one, think about how that money can impact others. Our family is starting a non-profit this year. The goal is for all us to give 5%-10% to the non-profit. Some of us already support other causes. Each month, a family member chooses where the money will go. We will have a few agreed upon rules, but a great deal of flexibility. I can’t wait to see how many people we can help just as a family. At the end of next year, Christmas will not just be about us. It will be about how we cultivated generosity and blessed others. What kind of peace and prosperity could you feel next Christmas if you gave away 10% of your income? You will never feel anything quite like it.

So, there you go. Three simple actions that can make 2021 your best year yet (and a great year for those around you, too!).

Wishing you all the best year yet in 2021!

Shalom,

Doctor Peace

Three Last Minute Gift Ideas That Bring Peace and Smiles

Three Last Minute Gift Ideas That Bring Peace and Smiles

for many

families

this is one of the most difficult Thanksgivings for some time. Loved ones are missing around the table. Health workers are stretched thin as hospitals are filling up. In many states, restrictions are preventing families from gathering. For some, that is a good thing because family is a hard thing. Anxiety is becoming a pandemic as well as COVID-19. People are fearful and depressed. We are Zoomed out. We long for some sense of normalcy of a pre-COVID world. When will it end? Peace is evasive. Hard to be thankful for much in 2020.

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude can create peace in your heart and the hearts of others around you this Thanksgiving.

1. Cultivate gratitude in yourself. It all begins with YOU! If you want peace, you need to get your peace together! A great starting point? Gratitude. Simply start your day, every day, with this simple exercise of filling in the blank. “ I am gratitude today for ________________.” I have journaled for over 40 years. I have 40 years of cultivating a heart of gratitude. What is the result of a heart of gratitude?

  • Gratitude helps your relationships, all of them!
  • Gratitude improves your physical health.
  • Gratitude improves your mental health.
  • Gratitude increases empathy and decreases anger.

  • Gratitude helps you sleep better.
  • Gratitude improves your self-esteem.

(based on Forbes article in 2014 by Amy Morin)

2. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude for family.

  • Handwrite Thank You notes to family members, all of them, even the grouchy ones!
  • Think of something very specific and unique to the family member and WHY you are grateful.
  • For fun, include a simple gift: a gift card, tea bag, candy bar, etc. The gift should be something the person would enjoy and conveys your thoughtfulness.
  • Tell them of your gratitude. What is better than a handwritten note with a small gift? Speaking words of gratitude directly to the person, face to face (or FaceTime to FaceTime in our COVID world).

In September, my wife lost her dad. She was so grateful she had planned to see her parents and the plane ticket was already purchased and time set aside. She was able to see her dad almost every day for the last week of his life in the hospital. She was grateful the health care workers allowed the family to gather around his bedside. For other loved ones during COVID, they died alone. Be grateful for every day with people you love. Let them know it. May your grateful heart of peace spill over to family creating peace for them as well.

3. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude for your community.

  • During COVID, neighbors became friends. Younger neighbors shopped for older neighbors.
  • Neighbors held virtual Happy Hours across the street from one another.
  • Co-workers covered for each other when one was sick.
  • People stayed home to keep others safe.
  • In isolation, people longed for people. We wanted to feel human touch, we wanted to hear a human voice, we wanted to see a human face (not just virtually). We needed community. We are grateful for our tribes.
  • We realized we matter to one another. As much as the media would tell us otherwise, there is far more that unites us than divides us.

I am grateful for community: my team, my neighbors, my House Church, my city, and for those who serve us all. These people most of all need to hear “Thank You”. Thank you for serving. Thank you for sacrificing. Thank you for caring for those whom you have never met. And for those whom we know, let them know our gratitude. Tell them. Often. Help them to never forget. May your grateful heart of peace pass peace to your community. And, when peace becomes viral, maybe, just maybe, we will begin living in a more peaceful world.

Thanksgiving Creates a Peaceful Heart

Thanksgiving Creates a Peaceful Heart

for many

families

this is one of the most difficult Thanksgivings for some time. Loved ones are missing around the table. Health workers are stretched thin as hospitals are filling up. In many states, restrictions are preventing families from gathering. For some, that is a good thing because family is a hard thing. Anxiety is becoming a pandemic as well as COVID-19. People are fearful and depressed. We are Zoomed out. We long for some sense of normalcy of a pre-COVID world. When will it end? Peace is evasive. Hard to be thankful for much in 2020.

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude can create peace in your heart and the hearts of others around you this Thanksgiving.

1. Cultivate gratitude in yourself. It all begins with YOU! If you want peace, you need to get your peace together! A great starting point? Gratitude. Simply start your day, every day, with this simple exercise of filling in the blank. “ I am gratitude today for ________________.” I have journaled for over 40 years. I have 40 years of cultivating a heart of gratitude. What is the result of a heart of gratitude?

  • Gratitude helps your relationships, all of them!
  • Gratitude improves your physical health.
  • Gratitude improves your mental health.
  • Gratitude increases empathy and decreases anger.

  • Gratitude helps you sleep better.
  • Gratitude improves your self-esteem.

(based on Forbes article in 2014 by Amy Morin)

2. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude for family.

  • Handwrite Thank You notes to family members, all of them, even the grouchy ones!
  • Think of something very specific and unique to the family member and WHY you are grateful.
  • For fun, include a simple gift: a gift card, tea bag, candy bar, etc. The gift should be something the person would enjoy and conveys your thoughtfulness.
  • Tell them of your gratitude. What is better than a handwritten note with a small gift? Speaking words of gratitude directly to the person, face to face (or FaceTime to FaceTime in our COVID world).

In September, my wife lost her dad. She was so grateful she had planned to see her parents and the plane ticket was already purchased and time set aside. She was able to see her dad almost every day for the last week of his life in the hospital. She was grateful the health care workers allowed the family to gather around his bedside. For other loved ones during COVID, they died alone. Be grateful for every day with people you love. Let them know it. May your grateful heart of peace spill over to family creating peace for them as well.

3. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude for your community.

  • During COVID, neighbors became friends. Younger neighbors shopped for older neighbors.
  • Neighbors held virtual Happy Hours across the street from one another.
  • Co-workers covered for each other when one was sick.
  • People stayed home to keep others safe.
  • In isolation, people longed for people. We wanted to feel human touch, we wanted to hear a human voice, we wanted to see a human face (not just virtually). We needed community. We are grateful for our tribes.
  • We realized we matter to one another. As much as the media would tell us otherwise, there is far more that unites us than divides us.

I am grateful for community: my team, my neighbors, my House Church, my city, and for those who serve us all. These people most of all need to hear “Thank You”. Thank you for serving. Thank you for sacrificing. Thank you for caring for those whom you have never met. And for those whom we know, let them know our gratitude. Tell them. Often. Help them to never forget. May your grateful heart of peace pass peace to your community. And, when peace becomes viral, maybe, just maybe, we will begin living in a more peaceful world.