By Sr. Xavier Kozubal, CSFN
At times our brains are bombarded by stimulation from the environment and our own minds and hearts. Conversations, television, inner self-talk, and feelings activate our brains. We need to pause from time to time, find a quiet place, quiet our mind and emotions, and give our brain and nervous system a rest to reset themselves to a calmer state. We may need to do this several times throughout the day, especially when we are stressed. We need to take a comfortable position and some slow deep breaths, close our eyes, and rest for ten minutes.
When we don’t give ourselves opportunities to reset our brain and nervous system, over time we develop wear and tear problems. Headaches, high blood pressure, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and other things can develop. Sometimes rather than being active we need to have a passive attitude. We need to have methods for relaxing our muscle tone and allow ourselves to be rather than do. As Colleen Fulmer’s song says, "Just to be is a blessing."
Learning to quiet and relax our hearts, minds, and bodies is the first step to peace and well-being. The second, and perhaps more challenging, is to be at peace within ourselves, examining our negative thoughts and emotions. Consciousness examen is important for inner peace. We can pray that the Spirit help us to see what keeps us from inner peace. Perhaps anger and unforgiveness need to be dealt with. Perhaps memories need to be healed. Perhaps we need to make amends to someone whom we have hurt or offended.
It’s not enough to relax the body and brain, mind and heart for a short time of rest. We must do the work of inner healing. The Spirit comes to help us in our weakness. But we must also let go of perfectionism. We need to accept ourselves as imperfect. And we need to accept others as imperfect. Our relationships will have less tension when we accept others as who they are instead of judging them. And our inner being will be more at peace when we stop judging ourselves and accept who we are.
It is important to validate ourselves and acknowledge the good qualities we have as well. Take time to thank God for the good in ourselves and ask help for areas in our life that need growth.
Sr. Xavier received a BA from Holy Family College (now Holy Family University) in 1966, an MA from Detroit University Mercy in 1968 and a PhD from the University of Maryland in 1975. She entered the CSFN community in 1960.
Beth Burgess. 8 Things to Do to be at Peace with Yourself.