Peace of Mind is a Choice

Distractions seem to be the order of the day but it need not be distressing challenging any exercise to quite the mind. Utilize a few simple steps to avoid identifying yourself with erroneous thought and emotion patterns that distract you from a peaceful fulfilling life. Denial of distractions are as harmful as undue attention to them, ultimately fueling the distraction’s strength.

Prayer life to, or meditation before the Creator of all things good, is an important aspect to avoid an egocentricity that cuts us off from fundamental connections with one another and the rest of creation – a living death.

Refuse to identify yourself with distracting resentment, anger and the like. Everyone has interrupting thoughts when they engage in prayer; sometimes these distractions are barely present, when at other times there is a pitched thought-battle for your attention. Whether you use a specific prayer or meditation time, or use the maxim to pray without ceasing, these suggestions will aid in maximizing those moments to best advantage.

Briefly pray about a distraction and move on to what you had originally set to pray about. Even the act of trying not to think about an invading thought is a form of giving it undue negative attention which can only injure your peace of mind. Use tactics to keep yourself from ruffling your “spiritual feathers”:

a. Acknowledge the distraction as a part of life. Declare it does not belong in your space.
b. If you are recalling a person, convert the thought to prayer, for the person’s needs and spiritual welfare. Having brought the person to the throne of grace, you may then let the person go from the forethought of your mind.
c. Temporarily abort prayer to journal about the distraction writing it down, and out of mind.
d. Read uplifting scriptures and spiritual books such as the Psalms, New Testament, The Imitation of Christ until a passage grips your train of thought or until the meditation time is finished.
e. Be patient with yourself. Think of the thought or cascading thoughts like an awake dreaming, as inevitable as REM sleep to keep you healthy. They reveal aspects of yourself that you can nurture or change.

Prayer without ceasing is good and advised for a truly integrated life. It is fundamental. Yet, like multi-tasking, it has its limits. Give up a few minutes to half an hour per day at least five days a week to specific mental prayer or at least two hours per week to truly move toward peace of mind.

Before going to sleep, read whatever spiritual resource that you have, such as the gospels or other inspirational texts to prepare your mind in dream-sleep for your meditation in the morning before the work of the day. Your understanding of the text will be clearer after “sleeping on it.” Morning may not be possible so pick a time that works for you.

Peace be upon you.