Jack worries about finances. Susan is concerned about her mother’s health. “The Little Drummer Boy” pounds on your head from allergies and stress. You need to find peace for your chaos. Many already know stress-reducing practices, but may need a reminder that peace comes from a variety of “tools.”
Find a little quiet time every day, even if you must hide in the bathroom temporarily. Meditate on the good things in your life. Concentrate on creating new traditions, especially if the old ones are, well…old! Find quiet time for prayer. Others may find respite with reflection. Maybe a 20-minute nap will bring new peace to chaos.
Music helps soothe emotions. If you are a jazz enthusiast, make sure you have a CD in the car to provide a little peace on the way to the shopping center. If you like the classics, attend a concert. Plenty of places have free or low cost programs. Sing in the choir. Whistle in the shower.
Power of the Pen
Journaling daily can help you express your feelings. Write a long email to a friend in another part of the country. Set a time to send e-cards to old friends or one of encouragement to someone with a serious ailment. “I’m too busy” is not an option. Make appointments with yourself to complete tasks.
Take the dog for a walk or go to the gym. Deep breathing provides a short-term solution with immediate benefits. Stop procrastinating about shopping with the massive crowds. Shopping can be invigorating and will bring peace when you find the “perfect” gift. How about playing a quick game of basketball with the kids, if you have a hoop nearby? The kids need for you to be calm. A little physical exercise produces endorphins to help you cope.
The holiday season is not about you and your chaos. It’s about helping others, whether for family or community involvement.
If you can’t think of any local agencies in the immediate area, look at www.bedstart.org, a Plano organization you can help on Saturday mornings, especially if you have a truck and a strong back. Are you purchasing some new bedroom furniture? Doug Nickols and his group need your old bed for people who are sleeping on the floor. Check their website for additional information.
I asked Doug his definition of peace, knowing how difficult his life must be, as he works full time at Thermal Edge, yet finds time to manage Bedstart. Think about what he means:
“When generously invited in, one can only say “Peace to this house” if your peace exists from the material distractions, social stratification and tedious formalities of this world.”
The Soupmobile helps feed the homeless on a daily basis in downtown Dallas. At Christmas, they provide a warm bed, food, gifts and love to 500 homeless men, women and children at the Omni Hotel. You will find a new sense of peace if you volunteer time and energy helping Lon Ricker, who coordinates the event for those who have no place to go on Christmas Eve. Please read more about the Soupmobile’s amazing achievements. Lon is the Director of Development.
Here is Lon’s method of creating peace with his seasonal chaos:
“Give it all to God, ’cause worrying about it isn’t going to help,” —paraphrased
from Phillippians 4:6-7
Don’t let chaos control your Christmas season. Use your own “tools” to inner peace and the world around you will be far less chaotic.