Finding calm is not the same as finding peace. Peace, for me, is at some deeper level of my soul pool – longer lasting and a factor of being alright with who I am and my place in the world. No, calm is a current and in-the-moment place of mind. A stop-the-world-I-want-to-get-off pause of time … an ellipses smack dab in the middle of my hectic life sentence. I need to look for it when I’m feeling all sorts of squirrely and tense and in need. And calm can be found in the most ordinary and humble places of home.
In water … When our children were younger, I once read some parenting advice: “When your children are cranky, put them in water.” We followed that advice fairly regularly because we discovered … it worked! The public pool, a shower or tub, even the hose or sprinkler … all reverse the crankies … and it works for adults too! Soak. Steam. Shower. Swim. The more bubbles the better.
In the sink … hot soapy water and a sinkful of dishes to wash is oddly soothing. Drying dishes doesn’t give me the same satisfaction, but I love the clear shine of glass and watching the soap slip from plates. Clean anything creates calm.
In the laundry room … fold warm from the dryer and find there’s calm in the rhythm. Reach. Fold. Stack. Reach. Fold. Stack. Your calm increases in direct proportion to the pile. If you know you’re going to be stressed later, plan ahead and wash/dry an entire load of towels. Neat. Tidy. Straight. Satisfying.
In the bedroom … make your bed every morning and you will find calm there every evening when you return.
In the office … clear the desk. Move those piles somewhere else for the moment. Wipe it clean. Start fresh. There’s calm to be found on a clean flat surface. You’ll suddenly be able to hear yourself think and remember what you forgot. A clean sheet of paper helps too. A smooth surface opens my mind and unties knots of thought.
In the yard … all of outdoors engages all of your senses at once … crickets and birds and breezes and grass tickles and sun warmth and rose blooms and juicy tomato seed dripping deliciousness. Count the clouds adrift skyward and send those cares of yours aboard for the ride. Get busy feeling and tasting and hearing and smelling and seeing – you’ll have no time left for stress or anxiety or hurry or worry.
In the kitchen … a drink of something cold or hot. A nibble of this or that. Something fun and child-like like a popsicle will cheer and delight and you’ll smile your way to calm.
Make your day.Take a break. Find your calm. And carry on.