By Marlene Goldman
“What if you gave yourself permission to prioritize peace?”
My jaw dropped. Hearing this super simple construct from my therapist felt like I just unlocked the meaning of life.
The pandemic has really jolted my life around though I never strayed from my goals. But in two-plus years of a “new normal” and entering my 30s, I find it hard to rely on my old methods to get me back to my most productive self. Typically around New Year’s Eve, I feel invigorated and excited for what the next year will bring and all the things I will be able to do within it. So that left me feeling aimless, ungrounded, and uncertain in myself (during these uncertain times, how cringe of me.)
So let’s take it a step back. What does it mean to prioritize peace? I had to go back even further and define what peace is for me. Since I experience life through all of my senses I figured it would be a great place to make meaning around prioritizing peace.
Peace looks like the morning glow at the break of dawn.
Peace feels like being embraced by a warm hug.
Peace smells like candles burning in a freshly cleaned home.
Peace sounds like laughter from chatting with loved ones.
Peace tastes like home-cooked meals made out of joy.
This could be a great journal prompt if you also felt inspired by fellow contributing writer Kee Smith’s post Journaling my Journey to Peace.
Through this exercise, I was able to tell that peace highlights a lot of the warmth I look for in life. Now that I have a foundation of what I’m looking for, it’s time to make space for it. Floating through life at the end of 2021 didn’t feel great for me, so when my therapist recommended I spend the next several months existing on mostly vibes, I couldn’t comprehend what that actually meant. But I tried anyway and without much of a plan because I’m still figuring it out. For most of January, I spent my days checking in with myself. “What feels good? What do I want to do right now? Is that where I want to put my energy?” It’s important for me to make time to do this so I can continue to build trust in myself and know what it’s like to feel the peace I’ve been craving.
So far, I have felt changes in myself and so have others. When I talk about prioritizing peace initially it came across as if I’m not “doing anything” or I’m being “lazy” which is absolutely not the case. We can unpack terms like lazy and unproductive another time but, if anything, I want us all to be free from feeling like we only exist to produce. Whether you have accomplished all your goals or not, or you’re floating or life is really bringing you down, we all have a right to have peace in our lives and we all deserve to make time to discover it for ourselves. I hope you feel encouraged to prioritize your peace through 2022 and beyond. It’s already changed my life.
Marlene Goldman-Marlene Goldman is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC who loves a good outfit with a cupcake to match. If you’re looking for a better start to your Mondays, follow her on Instagram @mondayswithmarlene.