Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Living with Peace

"Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace." Joan Borysenko

It's important for us to choose whether we'll have stress - or peace - each day.

In my case, I choose peace. And here's how I get there.

I don't use an alarm clock to awaken. Usually around 4:00 am I'm pretty much rested so I awake. If I'm not ready to get up I may drift off for another half hour or so. But usually at 4:00 I'm awake.

Next is 30 minutes of mindfulness meditation. After that I'm in my home gym for an hour. The routine always includes a half hour to an hour of yoga. Four days a week I mix in a half hour of weights or elliptical or swimming.

Then it's a mostly raw vegan breakfast.

This morning routine gets my day started in a low stress mode.

At my office I do one thing at a time. I don't believe in multi-tasking. We can only focus on one thing at time; it's either this or it's that.  I don't hurry.

If paperwork is interrupted by a client or staff member, I re-focus my attention because people are more important than paperwork. I usually must take a few deep breaths to help me switch modes and change my thinking.

Sometimes my mind wanders back to the paperwork. But I tell myself it'll wait and then focus on the person in front of me.

Doing one thing at a time keeps me in peace.

I never argue with anyone about anything because I don't like the stress. Instead of arguing, I ask for clarification. Most differences get resolved that way. And I stay in peace.

There are other things I do to be peaceful.

But they all involve taking care of myself.  Part of that is to not hurry.  To stay in the moment. Not eating junk.  Not drinking sodas or caffeine.

My suggestion - if you're interested in having peace - is to structure your own daily routine to minimize your stress.

Experiment until you get it right. Then don't let the expectations of others change it.

It's a practice that'll bring you many benefits.

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