A Peaceful Life by Lisa M. Evans, Ed.D.
I love being a woman in this time and place in history. This world holds endless possibilities from which to explore and in which to flourish. And yet, with such bounty often comes enormous pressures to “do” instead of to “be” which is our natural state. Over the years I have come to deeply appreciate the enormous power I have to create the reality I choose to live. These ten tenets below reflect my growing awareness of myself as the creator of a peaceful, calm existence.
- Be the person you want to see in the world. Yes, Ghandi said this, and it is Truth, with a capital “T”. If I want more kindness in the world, I act kinder towards others. If I want more joy, I notice all the miracles around me. Have a vision for the world and begin with yourself.
- Use language carefully and intentionally. The words and phrases we choose communicate powerful messages to others and to our deeper selves. I give myself permission to pause before I speak to ensure that my words carry the tone and message I truly wish to communicate.
- Eliminate judgment words and phrases from your speech. This one is difficult because our brains LOVE to evaluate. “That was great!” “I didn’t like that.” Instead, replace judgment language with observational language. “I noticed my heart racing when she said that.” It takes some getting used to; however, the fewer judgments you make, the less likely you’ll stray from that sense of calm and ease.
- Be willing to say “No.” I find it ironic that one of our first words in life is the one we are so reluctant to use the longer we are on this journey. If something does not bring you joy or a sense of fulfillment, don’t do it. Period.
- Be willing to say “Yes.” Often we are reluctant to embrace life and opportunities to experience something new out of fear, embarrassment, or whispers in our heads. Our inner critic thrives on limiting our potential. Reclaim your power and follow your heart. You can work out the details later.
- Follow your passions. We are all passionate about something (or several “somethings”), and sometimes our passions get lost in the busyness of daily life or expectations of others. Reconnect with those things that make you leap out of bed each morning and pursue them vigorously.
- Surround yourself with people who inspire and nourish your inner being. Perhaps because I just celebrated a half-century on the planet, I am no longer willing to be in the presence of people whom I don’t enjoy. Furthermore, I refuse to be someone I am not just to please another. It doesn’t work anyway.
- Put only those things in your body that make you feel healthy. I have adopted a mostly vegan diet and have never felt better. Food choices can dramatically impact how we feel, thus how we experience the world. Notice how you feel after you eat or drink. If you find you feel worse, consume something different in the future.
- Create sacred time for yourself. Whether you enjoy yoga, journaling, deep breathing, exercising, meditation, prayer, or any number of activities that nourish your soul, create daily sacred time to engage in that activity. My sacred time is immediately upon waking (regardless of when that is!). I find my day is much calmer and more peaceful when I nurture my spirit.
- Express appreciation for everything. This world is truly miraculous with its great beauty, diversity, and complexity. As I go through my day I consciously appreciate all that is within my experience. Even “bad” things (see #3) are opportunities to express gratitude for the cornucopia that makes up our lives.
Embrace the power you have to create the life you want. I wish you well on your journey.
© Lisa M. Evans, Ed.D. is a former K-12 teacher and administrator and has worked in the field of education for over 20 years. She is currently living in Toronto, Ontario, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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