I ran into an acquaintance the other day in the supermarket and asked the simple question, “How are you doing?” She pulled out her Smartphone and gave me a recitation of her schedule. I felt overwhelmed, and I wasn’t the one with the crushing schedule! She finished by saying proudly that she was “crazy busy.” I was left wondering when that phrase became a badge of honor.
Perhaps you’re like my busy friend and you want to stay that way. If so, don’t read further.
If, on the other hand, you’re crazy busy and want more peace in your day, this article is for you. I interviewed many people for my book, “Listen: Trusting Your Inner Voice in Times of Crisis.” I asked them for their tips on how they found calm despite their life setbacks. Here are seven of their responses — practical ways to experience serenity now.
1) Build quiet time into your day.
“I work in a busy office and make it a priority to eat lunch in a nearby park or, when the weather’s bad, in my car. It’s very hard to listen within when I’m multitasking. I see lunchtime as an opportunity to shut down the electronics and just rest while I eat. It’s amazing all the helpful inner whispers from my intuition that I hear when I take time to slow down.”
2) Meditate at work.
“My company has a meditation room. I go there for reflection and prayer as part of my lunch break. I come back to work feeling centered and relaxed. The answers to issues I was struggling with in the morning seem to be resolved during that brief time for contemplation. Even if your company doesn’t have a special room, most folks can close the door to their office and hold the calls.”
3) Change your location.
“If I can’t actually get away from the office, I make a point of changing my location. It can often be as simple as switching from my desk to the couch in my office. I actually think of it as my ‘inspiration couch.’ This minor change helps me be receptive to new ideas as I listen within. I like to meditate on questions or issues I’m struggling with. Usually after five minutes, some answers have popped into my mind that weren’t there just moments ago.”
4) Ask the Universe.
“I feel that I have a personal relationship with God. I believe He exists in me and around me. I experience Him as a loving friend. I talk to him all the time asking questions like, ‘Is this the right action to take or the best way to respond?’ Sometimes if I’m feeling discouraged, I might say, ‘I’m feeling down right now. I don’t know what to do. Please show me the right next step and the best attitude.’ I just listen within. Sometimes the answers come quickly and at other times they’ll arrive slowly or in a form I wasn’t expecting. Asking the questions always centers me and makes me feel connected to a larger vision and purpose.”
5) Engage in a creative pursuit.
“I reserve time in our company conference room several times a week. It looks out onto a huge field filled with wildflowers. I use those occasions as my intuition time. I bring a notepad, colored pens and pencils, and do some creative mind mapping—which is a form of brainstorming. I get amazing results fast.” I feel grateful that my current company allows this! If they didn’t I’d just take my art materials to my car and sit in the parking lot.”
6) Choose peace.
“If I’m feeling really agitated and anxious, I bring to mind a line in the book A Course in Miracles. It says, ‘I could choose peace instead of this.’ I’ll take a few deep, calming breaths and ask myself, ‘How else could I be thinking about this?’ or ‘What would bring me peace in this situation?’ It simply helps to stop and realize I have a choice about how I respond. I don’t have to have a knee jerk angry reaction like I used to. This pause before responding has helped me feel much more calm and in control.”
7) Say a favorite phrase.
“I have a lot going on in my life and have to work hard to find peace in myself. Simple phrases or mantras are helpful in keeping me centered and connecting me to Spirit. My favorites are ‘I feel God’s peace flowing through me now,’ ‘I am a child of God,’ ‘I am loved and protected’ and ‘Peace be with me and also with you.’ I have a friend who is not particularly spiritual and her phrase is ‘Let me be patient. Things have a way of working out.’”
What about you? How do you find peace in your busy day? I’d love to hear your answers!
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Last reviewed: 10 Sep 2013