Monday Mojo, 6 : Making Peace a Priority

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Probably the most common annoyance or disturbance during most people’s weeks is stress. We feel like we don’t have enough time to do everything we need to get done. We’re annoyed by our co-workers. We’re frustrated by the tiff we had with our significant other. We feel like we have the whole world on our shoulders.

Sometimes I gain enough awareness to see just how complicated I can make things in my head. We tell ourselves all these stories around different situations and they grow into these big “problems”. I think the solution can sometimes be as simple as making peace a priority by choosing to let go of whatever story we’ve created around the situation.

When we find ourselves in one of those frustrating situations where we’re trying to get out the door but we can’t find our keys and then we do so we lock up the house only to realize that we forgot our cup of coffee on the counter so we go back to get it and then end up spilling it all over the front of our shirt. You know those series of consecutive unfortunate events that leave you cursing the world and wanting to drop to your knees and cry?

Instead of telling ourselves a story of how nothing is going right, we can let out a scream and decide the rest of the day doesn’t have to be like this as we slowly and mindfully pick ourselves up and start over. Instead of feeling bad for ourselves, we can decide to experience more peace by moving more slowly and more intentionally throughout the day. We can take back control by being operating from intention rather than reaction.

When we find ourselves overwhelmed and stressed out about how much we have to do in such a small window of time.

Instead of giving into defeat, we can accept the situation for what it is. We can choose one thing to focus on now and forget the rest for the time being. Once that thing is done, we choose another. We eliminate the drama of the situation by simplifying, by narrowing our focus, by taking baby steps.

When we find ourselves sulking in guilt because we skipped another workout or ate three days worth of sugar today.

Instead of letting our thoughts go down the road of how much of a failure we are and how much work we’ve undone, we can take stock of how terrible we feel and tap back into why we want to be exercising and eating well. Rather than beating ourselves up, we can remind ourselves that we simply don’t want to feel this way and that we’ll be better from here on out. Releasing the guilt and feeling of failure helps it be a simple setback rather than an all out defeat. Release the story and you’ll release the pattern.

The moral of the story is that the stress in our lives is created by our thoughts.

Situations on their own are not good or bad. How we label them will determine our feelings and our experience. We tend to be really good at making things a bigger deal than they are. We create these stories to justify our feelings. We engage in drama to satisfy our pain body.

What if we made peace so much of a priority that we could just let things roll off our back?

We could experience any of the situations above or any other frustrating situation and not turn it into the end of the world. Instead of talking ourselves into a state of stress, we can talk ourselves into a state of acceptance and peace. That doesn’t necessarily mean we have to be happy about a situation, but acceptance prevents it from causing stress. We can accept what happened and realize that it doesn’t have to negatively affect us.

We can realize that it is what it is. Period. No story, no drama, no good or bad. It just is. 

Consider where your thoughts might be creating more stress in your life than needs to be there. What stories are you telling yourself? Who are you blaming? What guilt are you holding on to? Let go of the stories and the drama and the labels of good and bad. When you experience stress this week, see if you can change your thoughts around the situation to let the stress go. Try to remove the negative emotional charge around it by accepting it for what it is and then deciding what the best way to handle it is.

May peace be with you this week.