I’ve been thinking recently that I value peace of mind in my life more than most other things.  It can completely determine my state of mind for the day and my level of optimism for the future.

Here are some guidelines to achieve peace of mind.

  1. TELL THE TRUTH. That means don’t exaggerate, embellish, or flat out make something up.  The effort it takes to spin it around in your head and the gamble of what you will be able to remember and/or get away with can feel like a drug in itself.  The real truth is that the brain – at least in this addict’s experience – never tells me anything good about myself or any situation I’m involved in.  It feeds on the negative and craves chaos in all ways possible.  The only way to live an existentially guilt-free life is to not pretend about who I am.  Part of becoming sober is the willingness for my life experiences to not be all pretty and tied with a ribbon.  The process of growing up (living life on life’s terms) is messy and uncomfortable and maybe painful – but 100% worth it, I promise.
  2. BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing … not just in yoga class, though that’s really great too.  Sometimes it’s helpful to open the freezer door and get a blast of cold air.  It shocks a little, refreshes a bit, and reminds us to just stand there, breathe, and be awake.
  3. DON’T GIVE YOURSELF SO MANY RULES. One morning a week, let yourself linger in bed past the alarm.  Spend a few hours without a schedule or an appointment or to-do list.  All those rules we set for ourselves can be disheartening (taking the heart out).  “Have a heart” and some compassion for yourself.  Easy does it.
  4. LET YOURSELF BECOME BORED. Then create something in that space.  Create space itself.  You will probably surprise yourself.  Just give it a try for 10 minutes.
  5. NOSTALGIA WILL KILL YOU. Good grief:  STOP THINKING.  You’ll never win.  Stop romancing your past.  You’ll never remember it accurately anyway.
  6. CARRY SOMETHING SPECIAL WITH YOU. Motivational biographies, inspirational audio tapes, anything to boost you up through the day. Maybe a favorite poet.  All you need is two lines to alter your perspective.

Oh, and by the way:  DON’T forget to breathe!