TRANQUILITY: Learning to just be AT PEACE
Happy Thanksgiving week to you.
I hope you are not despairing either about all the work you have to do to cook dinner or how you can’t get together with family due to the pandemic, or even that you can’t afford a turkey this year.
Rather than focussing on the negatives I hope you are trying to be peaceful and happy. There is still so much to be thankful for. Maybe this week is the week we should slow down— instead of the usual “speed-it-up” time to get ready for the holidays.
Let’s just enjoy the time– whatever it is. Let’s be tranquil and peaceful– maybe even build in time for a nap. A nap? Oh heavens I don’t have time! Yes you do– it’s your choice. There are ways to build a nap into your day– or at least adding some peacefulness by listening to some harp music or spa music, even for just a few minutes.
The famous TV doctor, Dr. Mehmet Oz knows resting is so important he once devoted an entire whole show to the subject of sleep. There are so many ways that nutrition; sleep and health go hand in hand. Eating the right foods can help you sleep—and in turn getting good sleep helps you not eat too much. (Except maybe with Thanksgiving Dinner!)
Dr. Oz encourages us to turn off our electronics to make way for peace in our lives.
“Unplug to unwind,” he said when naming his top 10 ways to relax. “The bright screens of phones, tablets, televisions, and any other electronics can mess up our sleep cycles…. Make sure you put all your electronic devices out of your bedroom two to three hours before bedtime. If you usually watch TV before bed, swap that for reading a book or listening to relaxing music.”
A discussion on electronics includes social media. There are so many great things about social media—we can keep up with family and friends by looking at pictures. We can Zoom them at Thanksgiving and see their smiling faces. But there is also the danger of disconnecting from people when you actually think you are connecting.
Seeing your friends posts on Facebook or Twitter aren’t the same as calling those friends and talking. We need the human connection in order to really feel at peace.
My husband, Rob Rains had a great point about social media which I used in my book, Choose Happy Find Contentment in Any Situation.
“Years ago they had diaries, and people wrote in them,” he said. “There are diaries of Civil War soldiers, and diaries of pioneer women. These people had the some of the same types of thoughts that we have today but they wrote it in their diaries and then went about their lives.
“Nowadays people air their life on social media and this can do several things. They may tend to dwell on their problems and hardships because they see them every time they open Facebook. We also lose the history that is gained when an old diary is discovered.”
Can you imagine a pioneer woman who is traveling with her family across the country checking her Facebook every few minutes? They used their time to live a real life in the real world—not the social media world.
During this week of “thanks-giving” try to sneak away and just enjoy some peaceful moments. No matter where you live there are parks or other areas you can just go to and be quiet, enjoying nature and the person you are with– with no distractions.
One of the quickest ways to get stressed out is to keep checking your social media. For one thing, it is downright stressful to see all the negative posts—whether it is about the government or a social issue or about a personal problem someone is having and asking for prayers.
With each scroll of your social media you will see so many unhappy people crying out into cyberspace about their problems. We’ve all experienced people posting cryptic messages that seem like they are in trouble or even considering suicide. Please if you ever feel that low, call someone. Call a real person. You matter. Your life is so much more important than a random social media post.
Another thing about using our devices—the phone, I-pad or whatever, and constantly checking our social media is the fact that it can be insulting to the person you actually sitting with– but are ignoring because you are looking at your device. Yes I know that is the way of the world these days but it still hurts my feelings when I am giving of my time to a loved one and they are sitting there on their phone texting another person.
There are people who actually keep running conversations going and text continuously even when sitting with someone else. Are you one of these people? Talk to the person you are with and later, call the person you might have been texting with. If COVID-19 has taught us one thing, maybe it is how precious our time with our loved ones is.
Constantly checking Facebook or Twitter and wondering if you are missing something– or getting angry about this post or that post just builds our stress level and robs us of our peace and joy. Don’t let electronics steal your joy. Don’t let Facebook steal your peace.
This week make a conscious effort to make real connections. Many people make the effort to connect with their family for Thanksgiving, but our communication can really determine if the holiday is wonderful or stressful. One way you can contribute to a good holiday for your family is if you are peaceful, tranquil and rested. To those who are saying “I can’t be peaceful when trying to put together a family gathering” well that’s your choice. The way we look at things is our personal choice, so why not choose happy.
We should be so happy to see our loved ones, but then why do some people use the time to spread negativity?
Maybe rather than dwell on your family member’s loss of job, weight gain, negative choices or whatever, we could try to think ahead of time about questions and conversations that can lift us up rather than put us down. Rather than dwell on the diagnosis you’ve been given or the fear of contracting COVID-19 we could play a game or make a family craft. Rather than badmouthing our loved-ones maybe we could find a good uplifting family movie to watch.
Starting with Thanksgiving and moving into the Christmas or Hanukkah season, let’s really be thankful. Lets’ be peaceful. And most of all– let’s make it “the most wonderful time of the year!”
We have completed my 15 Keys to a Happy Life with these last 15 blog posts. Starting next week, we will move toward Christmas. Advent starts Nov. 29th so I will focus on each week of Advent. I hope you have a great week.
As most readers know, I work with my husband Rob on STLSportsPage.com. This week’s newsletter can be very hepful to you — by helping you add fun to your holidays. You won’t want to miss our Thanksgiving Newsletter with Holiday recipes and gift-giving ideas. https://mailchi.mp/f0571fedb31d/happy-thanksgiving-and-holiday-gift-ideas-from-rob-rains-and-stlsportspagecom
“A tranquil heart is life to the body, but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.” — Proverbs 14:30
“It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which gives you happiness.”— Thomas Jefferson
One Last Thought:
I want to tell you about a special online Advent Event called “Christmas in the Present” put on by my friend author/speaker Maria Rodgers O’Rourke. I am going to do it and if it is something that you might enjoy I encourage you to find out more about it. CLICK HERE.
Inspired by the popular Advent by Candlelight events, the online event Christmas in the Present is a collection of evenings sprinkled throughout the Advent and holiday season. As Maria says, “We’ll gather in the spirit of supporting a cause, sparking conversation, and sharing in this new experience of Christmas in a pandemic together, as a community.”
From Maria Rodgers O’Rourke: “This year, technology has brought us together in important ways. Zoom meetings – ehem, celebrations! – can be as fun as we make them. Christmas in the Present is not your average Zoom call.
“This is an event made for like-minded women to share in an authentic, engaging experience. Maria Rodgers O’Rourke will guide guests through a specially-tailored 90 minute program filled with inspiration, insights, and opportunities to share your story.”
Each year I like to get out her book, “Preparing Your Heart for Christmas.” It is a beautiful little hard-cover book with inspirational messages for each day leading up to Christmas. There is also room for you to take notes and write things down.
We often get so busy doing the things we feel we need to do that we forget to really stop and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Maria has a way of making us realize that yes we have things to do, but in the midst of all of that, we can find peace. We can find Christ.
If you are interested, check it out and you can sign up for any of these dates:
GREAT WAY TO END THIS WEEK’S BLOG:
This is taken directly from Adam Wainwright’s online Bible study and I thought it was so appropriate. Wainwright is a pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals and he does a daily Bible study online. If interested: www.sscc.church/walking-with-waino
“Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt.” Psalm 123:3 ESV
From Wainwright: Tonight this passage makes me think of all the people in our world who are struggling with disease, or Covid, or one of the many other illnesses that our world is riddled with. Today my prayer is for those who are battling right now, and feel like there is no end in sight. Here you go:
DEAR LORD, IN JESUS’ NAME i PRAY…
Father, this year has been tough on so many. Please provide a cure for this virus. Please give people hope, and patience to deal with Your timing of everything. Lord, provide a miracle for those who are at the end of their rope. We can persevere with You Lord! We can get through anything with You. Many are calling to You today. Please answer their calls. AMEN
Sally Tippett Rains is a motivational speaker, inspirational writer and author of 13 books, including Choose Happy; Find Contentment in Any Situation.
“When planning how I would do the chapters, I decided to start each one with a letter from “Find Contentment”—Fifteen letters so I chose “Fifteen Keys to a Happy Life.” If you read the book you will know that the most amazing thing happened at the end. I found a note my mother had written and in it she outlined the “Keys to a Happy Life” and they were almost all the same as the ones I chose.”
Fifteen Keys to a Happy Life— From “Choose Happy; Find Contentment”
F orward- Keep moving forward
I nitiative- Take the initiative and start things.
N ow- Do it now, live in the now
D etermination- Stay determined to making it
C ommunity –Accept the help of others
O ptimism- Don’t give up on yourself or others
N ew Ideas- Maybe it’s the time to try new ideas
T enacity- Stay in the game, you can do it
E nergy – Do what you need to do to have energy.
N ormalcy – Embrace your “new normal”
T rust – Trust yourself and others.
M indfulness –Don’t worry about the future.
E ncouragement Encourage yourself and others.
N utrition and Health – Take care of yourself.
T ranquility – Learn to just be at peace.