“Peace is not something you wish for. It's something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away.” ~Robert Fulghum
Recently I've been spending a lot of time visiting 1000 Awesome Things, a blog devoted to the many simple pleasures in life. Some of them remind me of being a kid, like this one about celebrities on Sesame Street. Others remind of me I'm stronger than I think, like this one about getting through difficult situations.
With that in mind, you can imagine how excited I am to receive a copy of Neil's upcoming book, aptly named The Book of Awesome. I'm even more excited that I'll be able to give away two autographed copies when I write my review. (Coming soon!)
In the meantime, as a way to pay tribute to this awesome book and my awesome new friend, I've decided to create my own awesome list, tinybuddha style.
Here are fifty peaceful things to help you be mindful and happy throughout the day:
1. Laying in bed for a few minutes in the morning before hopping into your day.
2. Eating breakfast slowly, at a table, instead of grabbing something on the go.
3. Listening to your favorite music on the way to work and remembering when you first heard it—where you were, who you were with, how you felt.
4. Hugging someone you know long enough to make it meaningful.
5. Appreciating something you take for granted, like your feet for taking you where you need to go.
6. Focusing solely on the smell of your coffee as it brews.
7. Noticing something thoughtful a stranger does for someone else.
8. Watching a coworker get proud about doing something well and feeling happy for them.
9. Getting into the zone typing, like finger-moving meditation, maybe set the rhythm of a great tune on your iPod.
10. Doing only one thing, even though you have a lot to do, to fully enjoy what you're doing.
11. Knowing you did a good job and taking a few minutes to bask in self satisfaction.
12. Expressing how you feel and then letting it be without feeling pressure to explain (pressure we usually put on ourselves).
13. Taking a break without anything to do besides breathing and noticing little details in your environment–how soft the rug is after having been cleaned; how sunlight from your window leaves shadows on your desk.
14. Holding someone's hand in both of yours when you thank them.
15. Listening to someone talk—really hearing them—without thinking about what you'll say next.
16. Remembering a time when you felt peaceful, and going back there in your head.
17. Writing a thoughtful, hand-written note to someone, even if you could email, because you feel more connected when you write it out.
18. Savoring a cup of loose leaf tea.
19. Forgiving someone, not just in words, but by feeling compassion for them.
20. Writing down thoughts that keep racing through your head, crumpling up the paper, and throwing it away.
21. Letting yourself have lunch without any thoughts of work.
22. Doing something slowly and finding it more fun than you realized when you rushed through it.
23. Holding a smooth rock in your palm and feeling stable and grounded.
24. Believing someone else when they say everything will be okay.
25. Feeling whatever you feel without judging it, knowing it will pass.
26. Making a short video of your child or niece, and watching it in the middle of the day when the world seems to be moving too fast.
27. Watching something in nature, letting yourself be intrigued, and feeling wonder at something simple that man hasn't touched or changed.
28. Finding something beautiful in chaos, like the love between your loud family members at the dinner table, or one raindrop dripping down your window as you navigate a traffic-congested road.
29. Thinking something and realizing you can change your thoughts whenever you want.
30. Telling someone you love them, not because you want to hear it back, but because you feel it too deeply not to express it.
31. Realizing there's nothing to worry about and you have everything you need to smile.
32. Doing something creative and childlike, like making someone a card or coloring.
33. Giving someone you love the benefit of the doubt to put your mind at ease and maintain a peaceful relationship.
34. Rolling down the window when you drive and feeling the pressure of the cool air on your face.
35. Calling one of your parents in the middle of the day to thank them for everything they've done–everything they've given you that one crazy afternoon can't diminish or take away.
36. Taking a walk with no destination in mind, just to see what's out there to be seen.
37. Letting go of something you've been holding onto that does nothing but stress you out.
38. Telling someone why knowing them makes you lucky.
39. Letting someone have their opinion; knowing you can honor it without changing or compromising yours.
40. Setting out on a joy mission—looking for something to do solely to experience fully present, open-to-possibilities bliss.
41. Defining peaceful for yourself, even if it means yelling, “I'm the king of the world!” while jogging around a track.
42. Listening to a song that gives you goosebumps and creating a mental montage of moments that made you happy.
43. Turning off all your electronics to read without distractions.
44. Doing something by candlelight and remembering a simpler time.
45. Closing your eyes and dancing to a song you can feel pulsating in your veins.
46. Turning off your cell phone, no matter who might call or text, because there's something you'd like to do with all your heart and attention.
47. Sitting in a sauna, and letting the heat melt all your stresses away.
48. Finally making time for something you want to do but always say you don't have time for.
49. Making eye contact with a stranger and feeling connected to a world larger than your own.
50. Letting yourself lay in bed at night without making a mental inventory of things that went wrong today or could go wrong tomorrow.
And one last peaceful thing: being grateful for new friends with awesome ideas, and letting them inspire you.
Photo by Rachel Sarai