Tag Archives: inner peace

Day 14 Be Present: Habits, Trust, Surrender

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Day 14 Be Present: Habits, Trust, Surrender

A word on habits again- we are trying to find and keep inner peace amidst a very busy and often (usually?) unpeaceful world. It is hard work to stay peaceful inside with all of the outer world beeping and ringing and driving for attention. When we add our inner world (that voice that gives unsolicited commentary on unmet expectations and unmet goals) to the outer beeping world, the push and pull makes it difficult to finish a task.

“Should I answer the email flashing from my sister or feed the crying cat? The dryer is beeping at me, should I put more in, or unload the dishwasher? I need to pay that medical bill online, but there is a work report that hasn’t been read yet, and I could bill that time. Oh my God, the teenager is still out with my car on slippery roads and didn’t text that she arrived yet.”

Then add in the inner (voice? heart? or zombie monotony?) beeping of missing my aging parents this holiday, weird feeling that my out of town out of touch sister in law is upset with me, and how the Hell did it get to be 2015 already? I thought this graduation year for my teen was a loooooong ways away.

It makes it hard to walk a straight line. Sometimes, this monkey voice makes me loop around in my own house, or office (sometimes I even drive in circles, confused about what my errand priorities are). Anne Lamotte calls them drunken monkeys in our minds. I like that analogy- who needs to listen to a chimpanzee hopped up on vodka? Michael Singer says “If you watch carefully, it’s just trying to find a comfortable place to rest.” Ahhh, it is ok to rest, little voice.

We can only do one thing at a time.
We can only listen to one voice at a time.
We can only walk one direction at a time.
We can only focus on one habit at a time.

One.

We take one concept at a time. Eat this elephant one bite at a time.

This voyage to inner peace is a deep sea voyage- we just go down one step at a time: one step, one habit at a time. The rest has to be ok waiting.

So we take one big breath and choose one topic to deal with and find peace with. We surrender the others. Surrendering the unworked/handing it up to God/blessing it in place is equally as important as the work we do. As we take that one step deeper into the ocean, we let the other stuff wait.

Take it one wave at a time, sweet fishy.

Affirmation: Ahhhh, rest little voice. One wave at a time, sweet fishy.

21 Days to (More? Better? Some?) Inner Peace for Single Parents

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As a little kid, did you fantasize about getting up in the middle of the night alone to deal with your sick child, realizing their vomiting would cost you hundreds of dollars in lost income? To get up in the dark to finish laundry, do dishes, and get kids organized for school? For years? To deal with phone calls from the school regarding your son’s behavior either alone or with someone who would blame you for their mistakes? Did you look forward to the shock of meeting a virtual stranger at a coffee shop (realizing the person you thought they were while you were flirting and salaciously texting for 2 weeks is far from what you thought they were)? Did you imagine you would need to move, and then move again, and perhaps even 3 more times, before finding the affordable home for you to raise your kids alone?

Being a single parent is not what we wished for or envisioned while making daisy chains in grade school. We didn’t imagine this lifestyle even existed while sinking hoops in 4th grade P.E. But maybe, just maybe (probably), it could turn out better than we could have ever imagined. I have been there, twice, in fact. I am twice-divorced. I have made many mistakes, but luckily fell in to the hands and books of wise sages who have helped to guide me from victimhood to health. I would not say I am completely healed, or completely healthy, completely prefect, or even completely sane. But I am complete. I am a single mother of 2 imperfect teenagers, and have been a student of this single parent business for over a decade.

I don’t know your situation, and don’t know how hard your battles are, or what you went through. But we can only start to have more harmony with our lives when we make a few changes, a few new habits. I want to share with you a few secrets I have learned to help you through this challenge in your life, to help you be proactive, to help us see the rewards in our hard work at making new habits. What would it feel like to move away from the merry-go-round spinning out of control and towards inner peace?

I wrote a book: 21 Days to More Inner Peace for Single Parents*.

There are actually 6 books in the works, with 6 habits for single parents to practice for 21 days each:
1. Be Present
2. Be Responsible
3. Build Community
4. Be Gratitude
5. Be Optimistic
6. Be Courageous

Book #1, Be Present is designed to help us get a fresh perspective, to allow our lives to unfold as divine gifts, not the mangled lost dream it occasionally feels like. It is a book with silly stories to laugh at my mistakes, hopeful inspiration from published sources you can delve more deeply into on your own, and some “easy” actions to help us on our journey to building the habit of being present. It takes 21 days of consistent effort to make a new habit part of our daily lives. So give me 10-15 minutes for 21 consecutive days (no skipping!). Obviously this is not psychoanalysis, or a 12-step program. I won’t turn you into the second Buddha, but see if your journey is a little more peaceful, a little more joyful, and a lot more purposeful.

“The best is yet to come”. E.E. Cummings

*For blog readers, you are actually reading it on my blog, but it will be available as an e-book. Please comment and let me know your opinions and ideas. Have I hit on anything real for you?