How to find peace of heart?

How to find peace of heart?

Finding peace of heart – peace in your heart that transcends all the hurt and fear – doesn’t need to be difficult. It may be a slow process, an on-going process, but beginning is closer than you might believe.

Consider:

We are never more than one grateful thought

away from peace of heart.

~ Brother David Steindl-Rast

Gratitude.

Yes, that’s one way to begin to find peace in your heart.

Peace of heart.

We can be so caught up in all the things and experiences we don’t have, that we overlook all we can be thankful for in our lives. In 2020 I put up a document here on PositiveThanksLiving with 30 prompts to examine some of the ways in which we can be thankful. I’ve even incorporated those prompts in my crafting and made a “gratitude” folio.

But there’s a catch…

You (we) must DO it to find peace of heart…

Yes.

Gratitude. Thankfulness. Doing it…

How?

Some people record three items in a journal at night before they sleep. That works.

Other people pray and give thanks to God in every prayer. As a husband and wife team who follows Christ as our example, Rob and I live by this instruction.

Other people read or watch videos to explore gratefulness and remind themselves… thereby they can cultivate peace of heart.

Some play the penny game. What’s that you ask? They place 10 tokens in one pocket (or in a specific spot) and everytime they think of something to be thankful for, they move it from the one pocket to the other. They can’t go to sleep until all the pennies (or tokens) have been moved.

What about you?

Have you tried focusing more on thankfulness? How?

(More than usual, more than ever, deeper, expansive gratefulness.)

How do you practice being grateful?

Need some motivation?

Well,… Today is a gift.

It’s the only gift we all share,

and the only appropriate response is being thankful to have another opportunity to live

Begin by opening your eyes.

Firstly, you can be thankful you can see…

How do you develop peace of heart? Is it easy for you? If you struggle to keep peace in your heart, try doing more of this...

If you want to download and make your own copy of the tag above, click HERE.

It’s a free PDF to print for your personal use.

OR

you can download the image as a phone “wallpaper”

Click HERE for the phone wallpaper.


Want to listen and watch to this post? click the video below or go to YouTube


Want to read more? Here’s another post I wrote from something Br. David Steindl-Rast said. David Steindl-Rast is a Catholic Benedictine Monk, who has divided his time between periods of hermit’s life and extensive lecture tours on five continents.

Do small things in a great way.

Do small things in a great way.

Maybe you don’t feel you’re ready or able to do great things.

That’s OK. Understood.

But you know what you could do?

You can do small things in a great way!

Small things in a great way? What kinds of small things, you ask?

Consider these tiny, seemingly inconsequential things:

  • Make your bed. Sure, I know, making your bed isn’t going to save a life – or will it? I’m sure you’ve seen this video. Might it be possible that making your own bed (a small task) be a great way to improve your mood? Rob makes our bed every morning. I know that I LOVE that he does – and it does make a difference in my day.
  • Share a greeting. In these unprecidented times our smiles are often hidden behind a (literal) mask, however, we could greet those we meet with an especially warm tone of voice. We could nod in acknowledgement. We could do the ASL sign for “I love you“. How could you greet someone – anyone – in a small, but great way?
  • Send a note of encouragement. Text. Call. Write a snail mail kinda card. Send a piece of art, even a doodle. Color a picture and send it with a heart to someone. It’s a way to impact someone else in a small, but great way.
  • Donate something. Nope, you can’t feed everyone, but you could contribute to someone’s lunch by putting a tin of tuna in the “donate” bin at the grocery store. What about those shirts you haven’t worn (maybe they still have the tags attached?) – so you can’t solve poverty but you could put the shirt on someone’s back.
  • Pick up the trash. You may not be able to single-handidly change global warming, but you could make one spot on this planet better for everyone.

Small things done well… are a gift to yourself and everyone.

No need to be great today – just try small things, done in a great way!

Need more ideas? Read these 25 options.

Small things done in a great way!

You might realize if you’re visiting from YouTube, or you’ve seen my posts on Instagram or Facebook, that I do some paper crafting. I make stuff from paper. Journals, tags, and other paper-oriented items are often strewn around our dining area in our apartment. (Yes, my husband is very patient. He even enables my crafting by saving the window envelopes that come with junk mail!)

I’ve been making videos about my hobby for more than a year, and so felt it was time for a little reflection.

Here’s a video where I talk about my insights and experiences – CLICK HERE to watch…

No need to be great today, just do small things in a great way! Here are a few ideas. Imagine how it would be if we all tried in our own way.

If you’d like to support me, glue is always a small but great thing! – https://ko-fi.com/loriatpositivethanksliving

Learning is a treasure – it follows you everywhere.

Learning is a treasure – it follows you everywhere.

Learning is a treasure you can take with you everywhere.

It can’t be stolen. No matter what’s happening – feast or famine – you continue to own what you’ve learned. It’s like a library – a personal stash of resources to help in the future. However, not all things we take in and learn can be considered good. Or useful.

Therefore it’s up to each of us to be deliberate in what we add to our treasure chest… Is it going to be useful in a pinch, in a narrow spot, in a crisis, or even to pass along to someone else?

What are you learning? Is it a treasure?

Would you consider what you’ve been learning as a treasure? And I’m not talking about formal learning – a course, or a school assignment… learning happens whether you’re pursuing something formally or not. No matter what you do, what you consume, who you talk with, or watch and read… you’re learning something…

  • On social media, is what you’re consuming a “treasure”? Does it adding something positive to your life? If you were to share what you’ve been watching or consuming on social media, would you be embarrassed?
  • What books are you reading? Are you reading anything? Can you remember something you’ve read that will benefit you or anyone else?
  • When you speak with others, what is your conversation like? Are you learning anything from them? Are they learning from you? Is it good? Everyone you meet has value to share – from the oldest to the youngest. (As an example, I know much more than I wanted about dinosaurs because our oldest grand is a repository of facts and at the opposite end, time invested with a couple married 50+ years has taught me so much on how to make even difficult times a source of joy.) Yes, it’s possible to learn from anyone, as long as you ask good questions. If I were to ask you – right now – to share some wisdom, what would you give me?

As humans, we can’t help but take in information. It’s innate. It will either benefit us… or not.

Consequently, be aware – what you learn follows you everywhere.

Make what you learn a treasure!

How? Be deliberate. Learning is a treasure.

  1. If you’re using social media, display your favorite quotes, YouTube videos, and share humor to brighten someone’s day. Maybe ask yourself first (before you share) “Is this a treasure?”.
  2. When you’re speaking with someone, ask good questions. You will be amazed at how much you can learn if you ask good questions and listen intently. (Stumped on what to ask? Here’s a few – click here if you need ideas.)
  3. In whatever you’re reading or hearing, if you find something interesting, write it down! I use a journal. There are many I’ve seen who use their journals to remember valuable truths when they’re listening in church. I’ll often record hymn lyrics… there’s so much to learn there! I also have a handmade journal called “wit and wisdom” that I ask my friends and family to leave me a either a piece of valuable wisdom or a joke.

If I were to look at your social media, would I be gathering treasures?

And if we were having a conversation, what treasures could I learn from you?

When we meet, what would you share in my “wit and wisdom” journal?

Leave a comment and help me gather some treasures today!

Learning is a treasure taht will follow its owner everywhere - be sure you're gathering and sharing treasures!

Notice the sweetness.

Notice the sweetness.

Notice the sweetness in life, not just the mistakes, messes, or inconveniences.

Where did this idea of watching for sweetness come from? Well, it’s all a part of playing with paper… as I create seven journals that highlight summer fruit, I began to research thoughts about watermelon, lemons and strawberries. (Yes, I do go down odd rabbit holes! LOL)

Here is the thought about the lowly watermelon which sparked this post:

If you focus on only the seeds in a watermelon, you miss the sweetness of the meat.

Isn’t that just like life?

We can notice the mistakes we make – or we can take delight in the whole.

and here’s another profound thought sparked by the sweetness of watermelon…

If people have time and patience, they will be able to count the number of seeds in a watermelon. But not one person can tell you how many watermelons will grow by planting one seed.

Notice and participate in the sweetness:

Plant seeds of goodness, and encouragement everywhere you go – no need to count, just take action to make your world better.

Thanks for joining me – you’re one in a melon!

If you’re interested, here’s a video where I made these ephemera for the journal: Click for YouTube:

Here are a few jokes that will be in the journals:

  • Why did the watermelon go crazy? He lost his rind.
  • When do you start on red and stop on green? When you’re eating a watermelon!
  • Why did the watermelons ask for permission to get married? Because they cantaloupe.

Download the sayings – click HERE!

Abide by beautiful truths.

Abide by beautiful truths.

Abide by beautiful truths and see your life transform.

An interesting point about this statement… promise… concept…

… is that each of us needs to decide what is truth – and what is a beautiful truth,

and then have a strategy to abide (act in accordance with) in that beautiful truth.

What are beautiful truths?

Rob and I are watching (re-watching) episodes of the television series “House“. In this series of episodes, the main character is an acerbic doctor who specializes in diagnostic medicine. Basically, anytime the hospital has a mysterious illness, Dr. House and his colleagues are called in to consult. One truth Dr. House espouses is that “Everybody lies.” By believing this truth, the writers of the television episodes illustrate how it’s impacting his life. (Spoiler – It’s not helping him improve the overall state of his life.) Regardless. Whether his belief is the truth or not, I’d never call it a beautiful truth!

So… what would you call a beautiful truth?

Stumped?

Of course, only you can ultimately decide what a beautiful truth is… but here are some to consider:

  • Love is the best action or reaction.
  • Joy is possible regardless of circumstance.
  • Those who promote peace find joy.
  • Gratitude is the seed of many valuable attributes.
  • Gentleness is strength under control.

What beautiful truths would you add?

Sometimes we’re in a rut – just plodding through life – or just trying to survive, and we forget that we have control over what we believe and how we act. It’s “just” a case of becoming deliberate.

In this time period of a year (and more) of a global pandemic that has changed all of our lives, we may feel constricted, flattened, maligned, misunderstood, pathless and floundering… However. But. Never forget that there are specific, beautiful truths that we can still live by – regardless (despite the prevailing circumstances).

First: be clear on what you believe is a beautiful truth.

Next: act on that beautiful truth.

Choose ONE beautiful truth, and act on it today.

Which one will you choose? Want a journaling card to print for yourself? See download below…

Still stumped? Here’s a list to begin to remind you of some: Love – Joy – Peace – Patience – Kindness – Goodness – Faithfulness – Gentleness – Self Control…

Or read this post for more ideas.

“Greatness is the capacity to utter and abide by beautiful truths.

Abide by beautiful truths - first, be clear on what you believe is a beautiful truth - then act on that truth.

Want to download a 4×6 inch journaling card like this? (Maybe add to your own journal – or put somewhere to remind you?) —–>CLICK HERE to download!

30 Days of Thankfulness – Winner!

30 Days of Thankfulness – Winner!

Have you downloaded the 30 Days of Thankfulness PDF with all the prompts? It’s available HERE!

And now for the Giveaway winner for the 30 Days of Thankfulness! I had created this pocket with tags and journaling cards and wanted to give it to someone who commented on one of the posts in October! Here’s what that person will receive:


After going through all the comments and writing down the names, I printed a document and cut out each name, folded them and put them in a bowl… then I drew out one piece of paper!

And the winner is…

If you can’t see the video player – go here…

Congratulations!

I’ll be contacting the winner via email and sending her the package. I wish you all a wonderful November filled with many, many reasons to be thankful.

Remember: everyone and anyone can download the free Ebook with 30 prompts to document what’s good in life!

Thankful for the future.

Thankful for the future.

What, in your future, are you thankful to be able to anticipate?

I must say, that the older I get, the shorter my list becomes. We (my husband and I) have done and owned many things on our list of goals. Some we are happy about, and others leave room for improvement.

Regardless, I’m still thankful.

But what about the future?

As I write this, I think about you – the person who will read this. I’m grateful you will read my words and hope they have a positive impact.

Sometimes the future we’re anticipating is simply the joy of sharing a meal with those we love. Sometimes it’s a grand future that’ll take many, many years to accomplish. Regardless, we can be thankful to anticipate any future at all. For all of us, it will come to an end.*  Grab hold of what you can anticipate, and be grateful!

Make a list of all the small things you’re anticipating for your future. And if it’s a huge anticipation, then make sure you note every small part of it!

Be thankful for the future!

Wow! We’re almost done 30 days of Thankfulness! One more to go… Leave a comment and… click here to learn more!

Thankful for your body.

Thankful for your body.

Thankful for your body – from head to toes and everywhere between. If you’re at all like me, there are parts of your body that you don’t like and don’t feel much gratefulness for… 

and yet…

Yet.

I have two hands and two feet. My head sits comfortably on my neck and shoulders. I’m typing these words so my fingers work, my brain is active, and my thoughts are (somewhat) organized. I’ve eaten lunch and it’s sitting comfortably in my stomach. I have faith that it will nourish me. And then, what I don’t need will pass through.

Even though my body is not perfect and parts are feeling their age, I do value it.

I am thankful to be able to use my body to the degree I can.

What about you?

Spend a few moments thinking about all the parts of your body – those you can see and those that are hidden under the skin. We take for granted when they work and moan and groan and worry when they don’t.

Start at the top of your head and work your way down to your toes… make a list of all the parts of your physical body you’re thankful for and why.

(Just for now, ignore what is a problem. Instead, focus on what IS working!)

Let’s be thankful for our body!

We are coming to the end of this series of articles on Thankfulness. This is the 28th out of 30…

At the end of October 2020, everyone can download a free document with all the prompts on Thankfulness along with some digital extras.

But there’s more! One person with a USA mailing address will win a handmade package of journaling cards and tags – to enter just leave a comment on one of the posts in this series. November 2nd, 2020 I’ll draw a random winner from those who comment.

You can read and see more HERE.

Thankful for a reminder.

Thankful for a reminder.

Reminder? I have a number of photos from my history that, when I look at them, a huge sense of thankfulness wells up. They’re a reminder of all the good in my past…

One is a photo of my grandparents. They’d been living in a tent for a year as they cleared land and built a house in Northern Ontario, Canada. They were city people, transplanted with their 10-year-old son (my father) to the wilderness. They read books to learn how to farm. That photo humbles me and fills me with gratitude. Would I have had the courage it took to do that? And when I reflect on how I’ve benefited because of their sacrifices… it humbles me. And fills me with great thankfulness.

Another photo I have is of our children when we were homeschooling. It represents the freedom to learn and to come-and-go as we needed. I’m thankful for that time with them.

What photos are you thankful you have as a reminder of something good?

And maybe what you’re thankful for are not photos.

Maybe the reminder is a letter, or a drawing or a knick-knack… My mom moved from her apartment and so many of the items would not have been precious to you or me, however what was important to her were the memories attached to each item that reminded her of the people who gave them to her.

Consider.

What would you grab if you needed to leave your home quickly because of a natural disaster? What reminder is too precious to be without – not because it has a monetary value, but because it makes you feel thankful?

Make a list if there’s more than one reminder…

Many times our feeling of thankfulness can be increased if we consider why we have the items we own… they may be reminders!

thankful for a reminder

This post is part of the 30 Days of Thankfulness. Have you read any of the other posts?

Have you subscribed to PositiveThanksLiving.com? At the end of October 2020 you’ll have the opportunity to download the entire 30 days of Thankfulness ebook. And one person will…

Thankful for being served.

Thankful for being served.

Being served – in other words, not doing it yourself – is a privilege.

When someone does something for us, without prompting or expectation, we are usually thankful. When people serve above and beyond expectation it’s highly lauded – in the press, in stories and song.

However, that’s not what I’m asking you to look at today…

I’m not referring to those who do more than we expect.

Rather, what about all those people in our life who do their job and it benefits us in small, seemingly inconsequential ways… perhaps we almost don’t notice their service?

(Or, worse than not noticing, we are critical…)

Are you thankful when people meet your needs as part of their “job”?

The most obvious way we demonstrate we value service is when someone gives us our food in a restaurant. We leave them a “tip” according to how we feel they performed. However, when you leave your monetary extra with the cost of the bill, are you thankful for their service? Or do you expect good service because you’re paying for it…?

The other day I picked up an online order of groceries. I drove to the store and a young fellow brought them to my truck through torrential rain. He was obviously soaked. And yet he was cheerful, as he did the exact job he’d been hired to do. However, I can honestly say that I felt a huge sense of gratitude. He was doing his job – but his work made my life easier.

Take a mental walk through your week.

How many people served your needs as part of their job, and you merely expected it, giving it little value in your mind/heart?

(Or, perhaps you criticized their performance, even if it was only in thought… I wonder if we devalue other’s work when we dismiss it because we believe we could have done it better ourselves… — Maybe you’ve never done that… Food for thought?)

Maybe the person providing service was your spouse — they put gas in your vehicle or carried out the trash, or made the bed… and you might have noticed, but did you really feel thankful?

Perhaps it was the maintenance worker who was filling the holes in the street or picking up trash or the group of workers who were improving where you live.

Or the minister who prayed with you, or for you. (You might not even have known – but I suspect there are more praying for you than you believe.)

What about the mail carrier or Amazon Prime Package Person?

Or the health-care scheduler who phoned to make your next doctor’s appointment.

You get the idea, right?

Make a list of all the people who have served your needs this week – and really dwell on their value. And experience how appreciative you are of their work because it means you don’t have to do it all yourself.

(I haven’t filled any holes in the road, re-connected my own electricity, cleaned out my own sewage line, hauled water from a well, or chopped wood to heat my home this week.)

If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll realize how many, many, many people contribute to your well-being…

And yes, it may be their job.

However.

Feel grateful that you live in a world where your needs are met…

Be thankful you have the privilege of being served…

...in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1Thessalonians 5:18
being served - be thankful for all the ways others make your life better

This article is the 26th of 30 ways to document in how many ways you’re thankful. Here are a few more:

On October 31st the entire “30 Days of Thankfulness” series will be available for download in PDF form, along with some digital extras to print out.

You can, if you’d like, to go back through (at any time) and make your own “Gratitude Journal”. It could be a simple as a notebook, or you could make your own journal. The “what” doesn’t matter as much as your words do! In addition, one person will win this...

Feel loved? Be thankful!

Feel loved? Be thankful!

All of us have different ways we feel loved.

If I were to use Gary Chapman’s theory of “The Five Love Languages”*, I’d say that:

  • a gift,
  • or a specific time spent with us,
  • or a hug,
  • or when someone did something for us,
  • or when someone said certain words to us

one- or more – of these actions – made us feel loved.

To feel loved in life is precious.

We can be profoundly grateful for the experience of feeling loved.

What times in your life – what happened – to make you feel loved?

Play the experience out in your mind… imagine it happening again.

If you can think of more than one experience of feeling loved, were there correlations?

Let’s list all the times you felt loved.

Too often we play back the negatives over and over… let’s use our time to consider the positives. Feeling loved is one…

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

Philippians 4:8


This post is part of the 30 Days of Thankfulness. Have you read any of the other posts?

Have you subscribed to PositiveThanksLiving.com? At the end of October 2020 you’ll have the opportunity to download the entire 30 days of Thankfulness ebook. And one person will…


* Gary Chapman is a marriage and family therapist who is the founder/originator of the concept of the five love languages. It’s the idea that we all speak one of five different “Love Languages” and if you’re not feeling loved by those closest to you – or they aren’t feeling loved, there’s a good chance you aren’t speaking to them in the way they translate into love. Sound simplistic? It is. However, it’s often the most simple ideas that have the most bang. (Rob and I recommend this theory to every couple, parent, and person – it’s made a huge difference in many people’s lives… ) Go HERE to learn more!

Thankful for qualities values and virtues.

Thankful for qualities values and virtues.

What are qualities, values and virtues?

They’re the intangibles we see in others, that we want for ourselves. Everyone is different – yet many of us strive for similar values.

Do you see the ones you admire in others?

Do you see them in yourself?

Are there ones you don’t want, and would never feel thankful for…?

For which qualities, values and virtues are you thankful?

Rob and I decided a long time ago that the three values we’d work toward in our life together would be loyalty, optimism, and discovery. We are thankful whenever we can share aspects of these qualities with each other and experience them in others.

Other virtues we are thankful for – in ourselves and others – are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And more. (If you’re wondering, they’re from HERE.)

You can’t touch or own any of these virtues.

They can’t be bought.

And sometimes they’re fleeting.

Yet, at every time, we’ve been thankful when we experience them.

What qualities, values, and virtues are important to you?

Can you make a list of the virtues, qualities, and values you would be thankful to experience in others? Or nurture in yourself?


This article is the 24th of 30 ways to document how you’re thankful. Here are are few more:

On October 31st the entire “30 Days of Thankfulness” series will be available for download in PDF form, along with some digital extras to print out.

You can, if you’d like, to go back through (at any time) and make your own “Gratitude Journal”. It could be a simple as a notebook, or you could make your own journal. The “what” doesn’t matter as much as your words do! In addition, one person will win this...

Only 6 more prompts to go…