Finding your 'Pockets of Peace'
Posted December 12, 2016
During the holiday season, wanting peace doesn’t always equate with finding it. Instead, as women, wives and mothers we have to be clear, communicate our needs and how to best meet them, and if that fails, perhaps walk tall and carry a big candy cane.
Even better, here are a few tips that I discovered on a recent family trip (nine people of two adults and seven children — ages 4 to 23 — in one house with two bathrooms).
1. Validate the value. If we as mothers don’t value peace, no one else will. Peaceful moments bring us back to center, recharge our soul, enlarge our threshold for stimulation and create clarity in the swirling vortex of busy family life.
Author Anne Lamott says to find 30 minutes a day for downtime. Skeptical? She issues the charge: “I promise you, it is there. Fight tooth and nail to find time, to make it. It is our true wealth, this moment, this hour, this day.” I love that comment — our true wealth. Because in peace we find emotional gems as well as a priceless gentleness that invites connection.
Recently, I got this concept. After returning from our trip (translate: wash loads, science fair, extra "Nutcracker" rehearsals for our daughter), I felt overwhelmed and still needed a solution to a particular issue. One night, our eldest daughter ran a bath for me. Instead of negating it or encouraging her to use it, I literally soaked in the moment. The name of a lady came to mind, who later connected me to another lady, who was the exact solution to this particular problem.
Peace is truly priceless.
2. Communicate it clearly. We can’t rely on mind-reading (apparently, it doesn’t work — my jury’s still out). We need to share with those involved as openly, confidently and clearly as possible what we need and how to make it happen. In this way, loved ones can be respectful and supportive.
Our first day on the trip my husband and I sat our wonderful, busy children down and shared that I was not the Mom Cruise Director. That it takes a family to run a family and it was all hands on deck, even while on vacation. Best. Idea. Ever. Each day we did a quick tidy and each made meal people chose a to-do. Done.
3. Change it up. Yes, it’s helpful to have go-to peacemakers like sleep, nap, resting time, but be open to new means to settle your soul. Often it comes in surprising ways. I love the quote from beloved author E. B. White who shared, “We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry.”
For me, that meant building sand castles with my toddler, sitting on the porch and listening to the waves, or reading a mini Jane Austen book of "Persuasion" in the stillness of the nighttime plane ride. In the recent weeks, I’ve also been creating and sharing videos on applying more principles of peace in the go-go life of a mother.
Whatever you choose, intentionally create and take that time to get back to center and enjoy a holiday season infused with pockets of peace.
Connie Sokol is an author, presenter, TV contributor and mother of seven. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.