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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Serenity Now: 5 Steps to Inner Peace

The following article is from World Vision Canada:

It’s a sad comment that stress is a more likely companion than tranquility in our lives.
But it’s no wonder really. The news depresses and distresses. We hectically rush from place to place. And even our down time seems to be filled with activities, especially if we have kids.
Inner peace doesn’t just happen of course. But we can make it a little more likely in our lives and in our hearts. Try a few of these steps to find some serenity now.

1. Seek some community
Facebook is great, but it can’t give you a hug. An inherent part of being human is longing for community and authentic relationships. We want to laugh, cry and share with people who love us.
Decide to share in a community. Join a welcoming church, mosque or whatever kind of worship community your faith creates. Find out if there is a book club at your local library or start one yourself. Remember, this is not a search for more things to do, but a quest to find a place to be truly you.
2. Give yourself a break
If you are a parent, most of your running around is probably trucking kids from activity to activity. Yet think back to how you were raised. You were probably not involved in many classes, groups and competitions. Yet somehow you grew up to be a contributing member of society.
Decide to take a family sabbatical from extra-curricular activities for one season. See how it feels to not rush. Then carefully decide which activities to re-establish.
3. Plan deliberate fun
Will a game night usher in inner peace? Probably not on its own. But nurturing a sense of fun and sharing times with friends does good things for the soul and for our health.
Haul out some of those old board games and plan a game night. Ask your guests to bring their favourites. And don’t hesitate to include the kids. You’ll wonder why you don’t do it more often.
4. Live generously
It’s hard to have inner peace when we live in outer clutter and chaos. Most of us own way too much stuff.
Use the relief of a Canadian springtime to de-clutter your home. Hold a yard sale and donate the proceeds to a charity, or, save yourself the yard sale and ask a charity to come and get your excess. As you give things away, both material and financial, you will probably find those things don’t own you as much. You will feel free and probably more at peace.
5. Think about what is right in the world
The World Bank reports that poverty has decreased in some parts of the developing world. Women’s rights are being recognized in more places. Most people are taking steps to reduce, reuse and recycle.
This is good news! The progress is uneven in all these areas, of course, but there are some significant areas of growth and reasons to celebrate.
And if you sponsor a child through World Vision, you’ll have good news at your fingertips in the form of the annual reports and letters you receive from your sponsored child. The world is improving, one child at a time.

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