I’ve been thinking about this a lot. What’s my pledge? What are my magic words that will help me to achieve a sense of peace in my life? I think that in order to have peace, I have to know what areas of my life disturb that.

  1. I’m pretty sensitive. Some areas of my life, I can shrug off criticism. In others, it’s totally devastating.
  2. I’m an inherently guilty person. Not that I’m guilty of doing bad things, but I feel bad when I don’t do things as best as I can.
  3. I’m a perfectionist. See above. And above that.

If I didn’t do 110%, and then I get busted for it, I’m upset but can integrate it quickly. If I did do 110%, and I get criticized for it, I’m devastated. It’s the times when people are just really clumsy communicators that are the ones that have a tendency to wreck me. And let’s face it, in the field where I work, the deadlines are tight, the projects are many, the drama is high, and this leads to incredibly clumsy communication.

So, here’s part one of my pledge:

I cannot control how people communicate with me. I can only control how I respond to what they say.

What does this mean? From now on, when someone says something that’s hurtful, I’m going to take a step back and try to figure out what the true intent was behind the interaction. Then I’m going to let it go.

And the rest of my pledge:

I cannot control when someone throws a monkey wrench in my grand master plan.

I need to be okay with priorities that change every week. That’s the new reality. Change is the only constant.

When I’m stressed, I can:

  • Visit some fun and friendly crafting websites
  • Check out some awesome fashion online
  • Buy fabric on Etsy
  • Plan a trip
  • Stretch or walk around the block
  • Do a word search or a mini-game
  • Book a fitness date or research new fitness activities
  • Look up cultural activities to attend
  • Make a date with a friend

It’s important that, when something dislodges me from a sense of peace, I re-centre myself by reminding me what I like to do and what my personal priorities are. Which points to the final and most important point of my pledge.

I like being at peace. It’s better than being stressed and unhappy.  I’m worth it.

Peace = health, happiness, sleep, activity, and fun.

That’s my pledge. I’m laminating it and attaching it to my computer at work, and my front door at home. Because these are things I need to constantly see in order to remind myself that it’s possible to be happy, healthy, calm, at peace, doing things I like, and having fun. I need to see them to remind myself of the priority that I want to be healthy, happy, calm, at peace, doing things I like, and having fun.

Maybe if I see it several times a day, if I read it enough, it’ll work. Self-affirmation and all that. I can only hope.

What do you do to retrain your brain?