Here is a secret, Moms:
It is really hard to change habits, readjust after upheavals, and to consistently create peace of mind. Research says it takes 21 days to create a habit, but I have to work on it every day. And when I am not diligent, my brain gets pretty trashed out.
Peace of mind is a state of being that takes consistently hard work to accomplish. Being peaceful is NOT easy (and I hate that!). It actually requires a discipline of the mind, to have a peaceful mind. Weird, huh? I wish being peaceful were as easy and thoughtless as eating pop tarts.
Peace of mind requires acceptance, optimism, gratitude, and consistent efforts to live in the present.
1. Acceptance: Let it go.
If you are newly divorced, let the anger and resentment go. Frederick Beuchner defines anger and resentment (that lovely drunken teeth-gnashing engorgement on self-righteousness) as actually feasting on our own bones. We can hardly afford to lose bone mass when striving for balance to stand up in the world.
Lose the shame. We all mess up. We need to work very very hard on forgiving ourselves. But, we also need to assess the part we played. Was it really as big a role as they would have you think? Do you need to take on ALL the blame for things going so terribly wrong? Did you not have a costar in that tragedy? It is likely that your ex-partner had more than ample opportunities to help right the ship. How would it feel for us to share the burden of failed marriage rather than taking it all on our own shoulders? I may not be speaking to you, but many women do have a way of taking on all responsibility and all blame… (think about it, what habits did you inherit from your own mama?)
Leave behind the non-productive feelings. I am a great recycler. I can recycle old shame from 10 years ago, self-pity from 4th grade, bad judgement last night, failure to step up to the challenge 10 weeks ago, or any other less than stellar behavior I get triggered in to remembering. I am just as proficient as the next person at jumping on that hamster wheel, letting the monkey brain take control and letting the chatter go around and around in my brain. After I make them right if I wronged others, I purposely run/ski/yoga for looooong times to quiet the simians. Some people create gardens, paintings, songs, dance sequences, or stories to dismantle the hamster wheel our brain loves to create out of old thought trash. Our best and strongest muscles need to be engaged to tear down the tendency to dwell on shame, resentment, anger, and lack. That “stuff” is trash!
Next habits for peace of mind are
4. Living in Present
But for today, for the next 21 days, focus on giving up the hamster wheel, dismantle it and the thoughts that run rampant circles around it. Trash gets stinky when allowed to sit around and fester. So every day, every morning, take 2 minutes and get rid of the crap.
Action Item for the day
-Write down the trashy thought that is recycling in your brain on a piece of paper. Next, think about how it is holding you back, and
-Write down the benefits of getting rid of it. How will you feel when you give it up?
-Tear the piece of paper up in to tiny little pieces, and ceremoniously sprinkle it in to the trash can, offering it to the universe to turn in to positive energy.
-Put the trashy thoughts outside your bedroom, on the driveway, across the street, or in the lake when they try to get inside your brain in the middle of the night.
-Rinse the goop out of your brain as you take a long drink of water
-Wash the gunky energy off your body every morning
-Breathe the remenants out as vapor when you feel those thoughts creeping up your spine, into your brain