The aroma of fresh pastries and brewed holiday flavored latte’s, filled the air about us. In the midst of a chorus of chatter in the small coffee shop, we took our seats at a small table near the back to escape the black Friday rush. I knew from the look on her face we were’t going to be eating a thing. "I think I’m going crazy. I can’t keep doing this to myself," my friend Michelle groaned with frustration as she looked up from her laptop. "Don't say things like that," I said with a gentle reassuring smile. With her face rested in her hands, I could see her internal turmoil as if she wore neon sign above her head that screamed discontentment. She continued, "No, really, I can't do this anymore. It’s taking too much out of me. This job is literally making me sick." Thinking of what to say to bring her comfort, I eventually asked, "If working that job makes you feel so miserable then why continue to do it?" Michelle paused for a moment, unsure of how to answer my question initially, she eventually replied with a small stutter, "I...I..don't know." .
Michelle illustrates a fascinating dilemma that many of us face on a daily basis. How many times have we settled for things that continually rob us of our peace of mind and happiness with the hope that things would someday change? For many, however, that someday never arrives. The idea of spending an entire lifetime indulging ourselves in a perpetual cycle of unfulfillment, stress and unhappiness is a mindset we can’t simply afford to subscribe to. While it’s true we may have to endure moments of temporary discomfort, but I challenge the notion that we should settle for it being a normal way of living. Why continue working job you hate? Why deal with people who fail to see your value? If this is how you’ve been living recently, please understand, you deserve better— much better in fact. Our society normalizes stress, dread and despondency to a vilifying degree. You don't have to venture very far to find someone who's burnt out, frustrated and running on fumes. If their peace of mind were represented as a tank of fuel, they'd be running on empty. With one incredible life to live, we each owe it to ourselves to live this life to the fullest, fully enjoying the joy that is meant for us. In other words, we must each become practitioners of our own wellness if we are to open ourselves to receive the beautiful gift of peace of mind.
Peace arrives when you decide to live on your own terms. It blossoms when you put yourself first for a change. It thrives when you walk away from toxic relationships you've been reluctantly holding onto. It embraces you when you finally face your fears. It shouts from the rooftops when you learn to accept yourself. It does a joyful two step in your heart when you choose to believe you’re worth it. We’ve all seen what happens when negativity festers in the human heart. It manifests itself as poor health, frustration and prolonged unhappiness.
You are so powerful. Seriously. I'm willing to bet you’re one the most incredible forces on the face of this planet. Knowing who you are is one of the foundational aspects of keeping peace within you. When you decide you've had enough peace-less days there's something deep within that churns with incredible power causing you act with intention. You’ll begin to find yourself setting boundaries with others, searching for opportunities that ignite your passion and distancing yourself from things that invade your life with negative energy. Choose to live each and every moment savoring your peace of mind as if it were a plate of the ripest fruit around. Peace comes from within and It’s something worth cultivating, watering and guarding at all costs.