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Calmness in Chaos

calmness in chaos

Scenario 1: Having fallen into bed at 2:00 a.m. after working a
project for work that is going to cost your company millions if you
don’t get the deal, you are awakened by both your cell phone and pager
going off at 5:30 a.m. Your boss has more questions, and you wonder if
the woman ever sleeps.

A short time later you head to the kitchen to
grab the coffee that should be brewed and ready to go, only to find that
your state-of-the-art coffee pot has somehow gotten backed up and there
are coffee grounds are everywhere. The strap on your sandal breaks as
you get ready for work, causing you to have to change your entire
outfit, and on the way to work you spill your Starbucks coffee all over
your lap when a tailgater bumps into you as you come to a stop at the
red light.

It’s going to be another chaotic day.

Scenario 2: There is something burning on the stove, the phone is ringing, and a husband is frantically yelling, “Honey, where are my keys? I’m already late for work!” and
it isn’t even 8:00 a.m. yet! The baby has a diaper explosion and
proceeds to finger paint the floor and walls when you sit her down to go
help your middle child, who made your heart stop because she began
screaming bloody murder all of a sudden (all it was, was a simple case
of spilled cereal and cold milk soaking PJ’s). Meanwhile your oldest is
tugging at you and telling you, “Mom, I just remembered I had a project due this morning! Can you help me do it real quick?”.

It’s going to be another chaotic day.

Scenario 3: You walk into your job at the Y and notice the kids are
more hyperactive than usual. The supervisor of the program stops you on
your way into the recreation room and asks if you can pick up an extra
shift this evening due to a co-worker being ill. Your mind races around
trying to figure out if you can fit that in with a bridesmaid dress
fitting, a car maintenance appointment, and the paper that needs to be
finished for your summer class. You sigh and say “yes”.

It’s going to be another chaotic day.

Chaos. We all live with it. If we’re having a calm day today we can
be assured that it is only a temporary lull in the storm. Whether single
or married, career woman or stay-at-home mom, women have demands on
them every day of the week, seemingly 24 hours a day. There are
deadlines to meet, bills to pay, appointments to keep, and daily chores
to be done. A day slips by and before you know it, you have five phone
calls needing to be returned and an inbox full of emails waiting to be
answered.

In between all of the demands are your own personal goals like
healthy eating and getting in shape, reading at least one book a week,
and spending quality time with your spouse, children, family members,
and friends. You strive for a clean house, though you have allowed
yourself to let the car go, and attempt to fix homemade meals instead of
living on McDonald’s. On top of all that, you long to have some sort of
spiritual connection and wish you could find time every day to work on
that aspect of your life.

With all of these demands pulling at us, is it possible to live life
with calmness and peace? Is it possible to stay centered and focused
when things come flying at us from all different directions?

It is.

There will always be demands on our life, and some days may be worse
than others, but it is possible to have a degree of calmness despite
what comes our way, and there are steps that can be taken to achieve
this.

One of the best things that a woman can do to achieve and maintain a
daily calm is to have a time in her day when she can escape life.
Although an hour is ideal, a mere fifteen minutes can be just enough to
help center and focus the heart and mind. Because life is so crazy, the
most guaranteed way to get this time in is at the outset of the day
before life starts up. This may require getting up fifteen minutes to an
hour earlier each day, but in the end it can be worth it.

For some the escape time may consist of a quiet cup of tea in a
peaceful part of the house with a music playing. For others it may
involve a cup of coffee and reading the Bible and having a prayer time.
For still others it may be working on a painting or creating music.
Whatever your way is, one of the best things you can incorporate into
this time is to keep a journal. Even if it is just a sentence or two,
journaling helps get your thoughts from head to paper, helping alleviate
some of the chaos of your mind.

Another thing that can be done to help achieve calm in chaos is to
take mini vacations throughout the day. Go sit on the park bench on your
lunch break instead of attempting to work while eating. Stop everything
and listen to your favorite song as it comes on to the radio. If you
can, dance while you’re at it. Step outside and enjoy the sunset that
paints the sky while a perfect coating of winter snow clings to all the
tree branches. Take a moment to listen to your kids, recognize the humor
in their mini-adult conversations, and let your shoulders shake with
laughter at what you overhear. While waiting for that prescription,
scrounge the car for change and buy a coffee, taking the time to just
sip it slowly while waiting.

In addition to the daily mini vacations, take time off every week for
one day. Oh, there will still be meals to fix, kids to love on, and
phone calls that come in, but as much as possible have a day of rest. If
you can afford it, don’t cook that day, but get takeout. If that isn’t
in your budget, make simple meals that don’t take a lot of preparation
or serve leftovers.

On this particular day give yourself permission to not work out, not
go the extra mile in keeping your house clean, and don’t even open your
email. Purpose to spend at least an hour of your day doing something you
enjoy: reading, crafting, or sleeping outside in the sun. A day like
this every week will do absolute wonders for achieving a peace and calm
as you enter yet another chaotic week.

Lastly, know what your priorities are. It helps to make a sort of
purpose statement for your life and then live according to this
statement. You will not take on extra projects that will only overwhelm
you, if you constantly review and adhere to your life purpose.

A purpose statement might look something like this:

Life purpose: finish my degree, establish my career, take care of
my body, and give a portion of my time to helping underprivileged
children.

With these clear cut goals in mind, when the request comes in to help
organize the local Red Cross drive or take a second part-time job for
the purpose of having some extra spending money, you can say no because
it does not fit with your life purpose.

Another purpose statement may consist of:

I purpose to be a woman who maintains a close relationship with
God, is a faithful wife to my husband, a fun and loving mom to my
children. I will seek to be active in my church and invest in the lives
of young women who do not have a mom to guide them, to the degree that I
can without taking away from my first three life goals.

Whatever it is, write down what you feel you were created for. Not
what you think you can achieve if you just try a little bit harder or
what you should achieve, but what you feel specifically called to do.
While writing this down, keep in mind that it is better to give ten
things 100% instead of one hundred things just 10%. It is crucial to
decide what ten things you are called to do with your life, say yes to
the events that coincide with those ten things, and cast aside the other
ninety and everything that comes with them. You may be pleasantly
surprised to find out just how much this narrows your life down instead
of feeling pulled and torn in multiple directions. Once this is written
down, review it every day, and make sure that you do not add on anything
to your life that does not fit under your life purpose statement.

Calmness in chaos –- it is possible!

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