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Practicing Peace – A 30 Day Plan for Thriving During Challenging Times

Presence of Peace

Today we will be inspired by a guest blog by Shiloh Sophia McCloud

Practicing Peace is a DAILY walk with mindfulness that takes less than 20 minutes and WILL change how your day goes. Guaranteed! Materials Needed: A Journal

The following practices are to be done daily, with the intention of practicing peace. By practicing peace, and cultivating joyfulness, we can thrive no matter what.

Prayer: Pray upon waking. Give heartfelt thanks. Before rising meditate on WHO and HOW you will be today no matter what the circumstances. Then choose to “remember” that you have made this decision.  Ask yourself, how do I want to show up in the world today? See yourself being like that, looking like that and being experienced like that. Visualize it.

Suggestions: Today I will be courageous, I will be kind in all situations, I will radiate peace etc…
Kindness: Choose that by the days end, you will say a kind word to someone. Challenge yourself with this. Whether it is stopping to tell someone close to you something you are sorry for or blessed for because of them or the check out girl – be extra KIND. And look for opportunities to be that way. Search for them and act on them. Kindness will be repaid to you and it is peace inducing!
Creativity: Before work or getting into any big part of your day, practice creative writing for a minimum of 5 minutes. Self expression is one of the greatest tools for cultivating a practice of personal peace.Suggestions: Write your prayers. Pray for others on paper. Tell Creator how you feel. Ask for what is needed. Give thanks for what you have. Write down how you will BE today. Create an affirmation of your decision from this.
Mindfulness: At some point in the middle of your day – lunch or a break. Sit mindfully and cultivate a spirit of peace, and bring to mind your decision from this morning. Feel the experience in your body and heart. Let the reality that you are taking action to improve your challenges through improving who and how you are being – BE a feeling of accomplishment.
Blessings: Right before bed – get your journal and do a light hearted self assessment of how the process/your decision of how to be went today.

How did it feel to stick to or not stick to, who you said you were going to be today? Did you do you kindness practice, to who, and how did it go? How about your mindfullness, what was that like.
This is  a self reflection and self assessment is free of guilt, it is more like a gently noticing. Then count your blessings. Even if it was a hard day, count your blessings as the last thing you do each day. Write who/what you are grateful for. Smile. And chose to sleep really really well. As you fall off the sleep think beautiful thoughts and images, give praises, feel as much sweetness as you can in your body. Let the day be released and let your mind rest. Don’t allow yourself to fret before sleep – give yourself a permission slip to be peaceful no matter what.

Bringing Completion to your process. And if inspired, start another round and adjust it to what works for you!

After 30 days, celebrate your efforts however great or feeble they were. And as you move into your new year, remember that you personally have the power to influence how the year goes – regardless of the economy or circumstance. The power we have to make changes is our challenge, and our gift all in one. Let us choose to continue to thrive and improve, regardless of the challenges, through choosing daily to be our most wonderful selves, and practice peace.

The Peace Practices

A few tips to make this process funner and more satisfying.

Friendly Alarm Clock – I suggest making sure you wake up to a nice sounding alarm, not a beep beep kind, or if you have to have that kind, put it in the other room so it is is not right next to your head.

Tea or Coffee Mug – when you are journaling it is nice to have coffee or tea in a mug you really like, if you don’t have one, buy one just for you and for this purpose.

Creative Threads – Choose a blanket shawl or yummie robe to do your journaling in, something that says, when I put this on, I am writing. Put it on in the morning and at night before you write.

Add Color – get yourself some colored pens or pencils, of if you have one of my journals you can also use watercolors. And when you do you journaling you can do it in color, and draw alongside your entries. I suggest drawing fanciful frames around your entries so the page feels more alive then when there is just text. And, sign your entries.

Get God – I write most of my stuff, or at least I try to – so that someone from any tradition could relate to it, I want it to be useful for the Atheist as well as the Christian as well as the Pagan or the ‘Who Knows’ folks. But for this final tip let me say that finding God is the most useful, powerful and wonderful part of life that makes my own life what it is. A loving Mother and Father Creator who loves me, no matter what.

Blessings to you!

Shiloh Sophia McCloud has dedicated the past sixteen years of her life to the study and practice of art as a spiritual discipline as well as to helping equip women with the tools and understanding to develop their own creative potential. She is the founder of Cosmic Cowgirls Ink., a woman and girl owned publishing company that now produces five Color of Woman journals with dozens more on the way. Shiloh’s paintings are internationally collected and her product line is represented at galleries and fine shops throughout the Unites States.