“If our thoughts are kind, peaceful, and quiet, turned only to the good, then we also influence ourselves and radiate peace all around us – in our family, the whole country, everywhere. This is true not only here on earth, but in the cosmos as well. When we labor in the fields of the Lord, we create harmony. Divine harmony, peace, and quiet spread everywhere.”
~ Elder Thaddeus of Vitnovica
At 5:15 am my alarm goes off and I try not to ask myself “Should I hit the snooze button?” It’s better not to think, just do. Though it requires getting to bed much earlier than I used to, I have grown to treasure the soothing benefits of rising early. I love being the first one awake and wrapping up with a quilt in our living room arm chair, sipping coffee in complete silence.
Part of my journey toward simplicity and becoming filled with less has involved weaning myself off of excessive amounts of social media (I’m down to just Instagram) and news reports (I limit my radio time to the 30 to 45 minutes it takes me to prepare dinner), while increasing my exposure to literature, stillness, and uplifting spiritual input.
Not being “in the know” in terms of minute-to-minute news stories and social media statuses has felt, I’m not kidding, like someone has lifted a weight off my shoulders, or more specifically, my brain. I was drowning in information I couldn’t begin to process and sort through. There was a congested traffic jam in my head when what I longed for was a scenic Sunday drive, metaphorically speaking. I needed time and space to take in, and give thanks for, the beauty of my present surroundings.
What’s so encouraging to me is how resilient I am, and how patient God is, allowing me to run myself ragged then come to my senses and call out for help in pursuing His peace, over and over again. Stumbling, falling, getting back up…. And every single time, the peace is there, ever available, accessible in pockets of silence, in the pages of a beautiful book, in the fresh air I inhale on my walks outside, and in those quiet moments of prayer before my day begins.
Small, simple, edifying habits are what save me, a steady rhythm of work, house chores, creativity, and face-to-face social interactions keep me from ruminating to an unhealthy degree, developing passionate and blinding opinions, and becoming paralyzed by procrastination. Less over-thinking, less over-scheduling, and more doing and being has been beneficial to not only my own soul but to the souls of those whom I interact with on a daily basis. When I am calm, my home is calm; my peaceful, uncluttered thoughts radiate to my children and husband.
There is so little I have control over, and yet so much I do have control over, all at the same time. How comforting to remember that even in the midst of chaos, I can choose to walk away from my smart phone, stay focused on the now, seek out God in the early morning, and do the next right thing in front of me with a grateful heart.