I Choose… Peace (by Julie Hryniewicz)

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I remember driving all the way to Florida and back, without a radio. I took my cargo minivan that I used for my candy machine business, during my university days. Since I needed to get away, I loaded up with clothing, a pillow, a blanket, $800 cash and some room on my credit card. The van had a rubber floor and only one other front bucket seat and a wide open space in the back. Off I went on a road trip, by myself. The silence of the drive; however, seemed painful.

Those 48 hours of driving silence actually turned out to be an experience that I have since come to appreciate, many years later. I realize that it allowed me to deeply focus on all of the emotions I was feeling, cry out the issues and eventually calm my mind and my troubles.

I had no idea how many thoughts the brain can process in an hour. Our brain can be like a cell phone when we click the device maintenance tab to optimize and clear background apps. It works so fast that we can barely read the words on the screen and it processes information quickly and without our effort. Even though our brain is apparently the same size as it was when we were born and we have over 15 billion neurons in it, our brain is like the ultimate in computer processors and file cabinets combined.

Our brain holds thoughts, memories, words, experiences, phrases, beliefs, dreams, hopes, desires, information, knowledge, feelings, emotions, plans, ideas, music, trauma and pain. Since there is so much going on, inside our head, it is apparently healthy for us to practice conscious silence. For me, this means eliminating distractions that are going on around me, turning off music, spending time in the serenity of nature, creating quiet and peaceful moments, listening to soft and tranquil music and deciding that I will eliminate people, situations, environments and circumstances that are not peaceful.

When we spend time in toxic or unhealthy environments we are making decisions to live the opposite of peace. We are exposing ourselves to emotional hazards, we are stressing our mind and body and we are risking our mental health. Peace doesn’t just mean avoiding noise, distraction or multi-tasking. Peace means cultivating inner calm, happiness, joy, serenity, tranquility and wellness. Peace means making choices about our daily lives, tasks, relationships where we are deciding how to spend our time.

I choose peace because I become overwhelmed when there is too much going on. I choose peace because I would rather focus on the good stuff, while avoiding, minimizing or eliminating the bad stuff. I choose peace because I am a much more loving, caring, compassionate, empathetic, kind, helpful and supportive human being when I make hard decisions about what I will and won’t tolerate in my life.

Clearly peace may mean making some changes in our lives. I know that seeking a life of peace has meant making constant changes in my life. Choosing peace is a daily decision. How will I spend my time? Who will I spend my time with? What do I need to avoid? What is making me feel stress? How do I need to handle this situation that is causing me drama? What brings me a sense of calm and serenity?

Absolutely no one can create peace for us; it is an inside job and we are 100% responsible for making this happen. What action steps will we take to live a life a peace? How will you calm your brain? What is peace for you?

‘To find inner peace, search deep inside yourself. Is there a donut there? If not, take corrective action.’ ~ Author Unknown

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This week’s photos and quotes can be found at: www.facebook.com/JulieHryniewicz

Column Archives: https://saultonline.com/column-this-rocky-life/

Some of Julie’s past columns and talk shows have included: ‘This Rocky Life’, ‘Life is Too Short’, ‘Motivational Minute’, ‘Life, Chocolate & The Pursuit of Sanity’, ‘Candid Conversations’, ‘The Scoop’ and ‘What’s On My Mind’.