If you clicked to read this, you may be expecting some big revelation, but how to have more peace is so obvious, you’ll wonder why you bothered to read this far…
When you wake up in the morning, DON’T LOOK AT, OR TURN ON, YOUR PHONE, and DON’T CHECK EMAIL OR SOCIAL MEDIA until you’ve had at least 10 minutes of quiet time to yourself.
If you want to have even more peace, don’t go on your phone or social media for 30 minutes, an hour, or even 2 hours. Sound crazy? Impossible? It’s not.
“But… but…” you might be saying, “Steven Spielberg might need to reach me,” or “My kids need me,” or “I need to check how my stocks are doing,” or “My church people need me.”
You know who needs you? You. You need you to be present in order to handle all those calls and emails and interactions when you get to them… later.
Listen. No, not to me. Just be still and listen. Once you get quiet enough, you’ll start to hear and see in a way you weren’t able to when you were allowing yourself to be bombarded with messages and information and demands.
In the quiet, you may hear a still, small voice. I believe it’s God. If you don’t, I’m not going to try to convince you.
Things that you couldn’t make sense of will start to become clear in the stillness. Answers you were trying to figure out will start to crystallize.
Or you will feel yourself breathe again. You will remember that you are a living, breathing human being, that there are people in your life that you love. You may start to feel grateful to be alive.
It might not be easy at first. Phones and the internet are, after all, an addiction. Your brain will try to tell you that you need to check. Just one message. And then another… and another. But don’t take the bait. It’s trying to steal your peace.
Unless you’re waiting on a life or death phone call, it can wait. It’s hard to think of anything that isn’t helped by being still and having space to just be.
For some this is prayer time. For some it is meditation. For some, it’s just sitting still and doing nothing but being. And for some, like me, it’s all three.
Personally, I need way more than 10 minutes of quiet time every day. I’m talking hours.
Whatever you need to do to take this time, take it. You may need to wrestle it back from people, or situations you’ve allowed to steal it. Find a way to carve it out and take it back.
If 10 minutes sounds insane in light of the things you’re dealing with, then start with 5. If 5 sounds like too much, start with 4, 3, 2, or 1. And if one minute sounds impossible, you may need to take a whole day off.
If stillness terrifies you, or not being connected via phone or internet makes you feel like you no longer exist, you may need to explore this more deeply to find out what the root of that fear is.
But if you want peace in the next 24 hours, then try it. Wake up and do the first part of your morning as if phones and the internet didn’t even exist.
You may notice the birds singing again for the first time since childhood. You may hear the wind rustle through the leaves in the chestnut trees. You may notice all sorts of things you had stopped noticing because your face was buried in your electronics like…
- the color of a loved one’s eyes
- the taste of your coffee, tea, or food
- the way water feels running over your hands in the morning
- the sunlight gleaming through the window
- the way it feels when you brush or comb your hair
- the breath in your lungs
If you keep it up, you may start to experience wonder again and you’ll ask yourself how you ever got so far away from it.
Remember that stillness is a gift you give yourself. Try it and let me know what it was like for you.
Wishing you peace,