Monday, December 28, 2009

10 Tips to Create Peace in the New Year

We have the power to create peace in our lives. Although life is difficult, we can live peacefully in the moment when we choose thoughts, words, and actions that promote peace. One of the best goals we can set for the new year is to seek after peace.

Peace is a choice. Each of us has the ability to foster habits than enhance and engender peace. Consider how the following tips can increase serenity and joy in your life.

1. Take time daily to meditate on God’s perfect love for you. Media voices and images, contention, and stress can destroy our feelings of oneness with God. We need to turn away from those things that weaken our relationship with God and turn to that which strengthens our love for God. As we love Him and focus on that love, we feel His love in return.

2. Pray continually. We can pray when we’re driving, walking, working, and cleaning. We can pray when we’re resting, waiting, pondering, and sitting. Prayer creates peace. It allows us to cast our cares on the Lord, to express gratitude, and to better understand our relationship with the Divine.

3. Seek after goodness. Paul said it best. He wrote, “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Time is precious. Choose that which is good.

4. Turn away from sin. As we eliminate self-defeating behaviors from our lives,
we create a space in our hearts for peace and joy. Greed, malice, pride, lust, selfishness, and other manifestations of evil destroy our peace of mind. God will help us remove anything from our lives that keeps us from experiencing true joy and happiness when we seek His help. He will transform our lives as we give our hearts to Him.

5. Simplify. Find peace as you enjoy the beauties of nature. Eliminate clutter, waste, and confusion from your life. Breathe deeply, live simply, and love purely.

6. Show mercy to others. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Forgive an enemy. Forgive yourself. Give others permission to make mistakes just as you want others to allow you to be imperfect.

7. Choose kindness. If you must choose between being right and being kind, choose to be kind. Speak the soft word. Do the compassionate deed. Think the gentle thought. Kindness heals broken hearts and fosters peace.

8. Nuture yourself. Eat healthily. Take a walk. Get needed rest. Foster healthy relationship. Become your own best friend. Too often we neglect our own physical and spiritual needs because of work or family responsibilities. Put yourself and your own well-being at the top of your “to-do” list.

9. Slow down. We live in a fast-paced, violent world. It’s easy to get caught up in the “busy-ness” of life. We take on too many assignments, volunteer for too many committees, or try to complete too many projects without considering the toll they may take on our health, spirituality, or relationships.

You may consider eliminating one stressor in your life, whether it is watching the evening news, reading about violent events in the newspaper, or viewing fear-inducing movies. Instead, sip a cup of herbal tea, read a good book, or visit with a friend. Notice the difference it makes in your over-all demeanor.

10. Love life. Discover your purpose in life and seek to fulfill it. Ask God to reveal to you the things He would have you do, and then listen patiently for His answer. As we discover who we are and what we are meant to do, we find peace amid sorrow.

You are divinely and wonderfully made. Surrender yourself to God’s will and discover the amazing works He will accomplish through you during the coming year.

© Carol Brown