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  • Writer's pictureBen R

A Little More Peace

A week ago, I put my Facebook accounts into quarantine.

Well, I did until I found out that in order to re-login into my dashboard, where I can access my blog posts, I have it set up that I go through Facebook to do so.

I'm not sure how to change the setting, but I'm still good with knowing I won't be going back on, right now, even though I had to have my accounts re-activated.

Life always throws you curveballs and I'm definitely no stranger to trying to make contact.

Wasn't that a great play on words?

I think so.

Anyways, my social media world has been diminished to just Instagram. I don't mind Instagram. I find it far less anxiety-inducing and enjoy the picture first mentality of it. I'm definitely NOT missing the endless online bashing that goes on on Hellbook, I mean Facebook.

I've found myself to be more present, interacting with Hazel and my partner. Basically, I don't feel myself comparing my life with others and am not feeling so dragged down by what's going on in our world. Yes, I keep informed, but not to the degree I was.

For now, that is perfectly ok with me. Just wake me up when it's time to get the vaccine!

The past week has been solidly good. My mind isn't constantly racing from one thought to the next. I've managed to lower my expectations right now. Not because I don't care about people and goals, but know that somehow, someway what will be, will be. Obviously, one has to put in the effort to reach a destination, but I think I'm learning (slowly) that it truly is the "journey" that is where true happiness lies.

As the experts often say, you can't wish for happiness and you can't demand that you do "X" amount of tasks before you're happy. No, happiness is truly a state of being in the present.

Life isn't about feeling a euphoria feeling all the time, or some level of excitement most of the time. It's about balance. It's about being grateful for the present. It's about learning from your past. so you can work on being present, which in turn will create your future.

If you think about it, and maybe you will get the gist of what I'm trying to convey or not, but lets look at time as 3 components that make up 100%

With mental illness and the often highs and lows of it, it's probably safe to say that there are plenty of times that a person may not be even 50% present. The constant anxiety and mood swings will have us worrying non-stop about the future and/or focusing on our personal (often not accurate) feelings of failure, hence looking in the past.

I think a healthy percentage of being present is 60%. While that may not seem very high on the surface, if you think in terms of the sheer number of thoughts the average person thinks per day.

According to a team of psychology experts at Queen's University in Canada, the average person has 6200 thoughts per day. (Source: Newsweek.) If, according to my percentage, 3720 of those are in the present, I would say that's sufficient. No one would ever go through a day without thinking of past memories or thinking ahead. While we obviously can't control every single thought we think each day, if the majority can be present (what am I doing now to be happy?) and future (thinking of the end goal in mind), I believe a person can generally be functional on an almost daily basis. There will be days where the present will be lower or even higher, as the ebb and flow of life happens.

That is and will continue to be my focus, living in the present. Generally speaking, pandemic or not, this is a time of year where we are advised to slow down and try to soak up living life.

This weekend, I managed to complete a cycling goal that has eluded me for 3 consecutive years, 4000 miles ridden. I soaked up what strength our sun has left here in Minnesota and completed the goal. It was about 50 degrees on Saturday, with little wind, so I survived just fine. I put on my bike shorts, put my leggings on, threw on a long-sleeve shirt, a bike jersey for some dumb reason, and then had my wind breaker on over that. Socks, shoes, and of course bike helmet (safety first). In hindsight, a little more motivation throughout the summer and I probably could have had closer to 5000 miles or more. I'm satisfied with the result, though.

I spent the rest of the weekend just enjoying time with the people and fur babies that matter most to me.

So how does one work toward becoming more present in everyday life, and in turn find peace?

I will let a master speaker take it from here.

He became famous for the millions he made, selling his "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books.

Here's Jack Canfield with:

" How to Remain in the Present Moment"

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