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Yearning for More Peace and Ease? by Kelley Grimes at Cultivating Peace and Joy

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” ~Buddha


Whenever I am asked what qualities I would like to invite into my life, I always answer more peace and ease. Like many people, I often feel overwhelmed by all of the responsibilities in my life and weighed down by my “to do” lists. A colleague recently shared with me that her checklists have checklists and that she wakes regularly at 3am worried about all of the details.


So often we are stretched thin and don’t even realize how much stress we are under as a result of our overbooked lives.


We may not notice the rising levels of stress we are experiencing but we do notice how tired we feel, that nagging pain in our shoulder or neck, how irritable we are, how easily we become impatient, get a headache, or feel sick. We recognize that something isn’t working for us but often struggle to figure out how to exactly get off of the hamster wheel of our lives.


Does this resonate with you?


I believe there is power in acknowledging that something needs to change in our lives. If we can respond with self-compassion and identify one step to take, we can begin the healing process of inviting in more peace and ease in our lives.


It is helpful to remind ourselves that we are not alone in feeling this way and that there is nothing wrong with us that our overfilled lives have begun to feel less satisfying. So many of us have bought into this culture of “business” feeling we have to schedule every minute to get the most out of life.


But creating space in our lives and schedules is essential in the process of stepping off the hamster wheel and choosing to live with more peace and ease.


What would more peace and ease in your life look like?


Would it be having more time in the morning to meditate, journal or take a walk?


Would it include not scheduling back to back appointments so that you are not rushing from place to place?


Would it be having one evening on the weekend where you stay home?


Where could you create more space in your day?


Imagine that you are the one in control of your schedule. You may have some commitments defined by time due to work, parenting, and/or transportation, but what about the rest of the time? Could you bring more consciousness to how you arrange the rest of your schedule so you feel empowered rather than overwhelmed?


Recently I have created “Choose To” lists on my phone to replace my “to do” lists. Each of the major areas of my life that I have responsibilities, I have labeled – Kelley, Tony, Home, Parenting, Caring for my mom, Cultivating Peace and Joy, Leap to Success, the two Boards of Directors I serve on, my volunteer commitments, etc. and each time I think about something I want to accomplish in those areas I write it down with a box to check it off.


It is amazing how freeing it feels to get all the details out of my head and onto the Choose To lists! Just going to the lists and reminding myself that I am choosing to do these things changes the energy I have around the tasks. I feel more empowered, less stressed about them, and the system has provided me peace and ease I yearn for. I am definitely not waking up at 3am worried about the details because I have covered them.


I intentionally placed myself and my husband on my Choose To Lists so that I would prioritize time to nurture and care for both. I put my self-nurturing practices on my list and fun and connecting activities on Tony’s list. Since beginning my Choose To lists on January 1st, my husband and I have had a date night at least once a week when he is not traveling for business. My Choose To lists reflect my values and encourage me to live in alignment with them. They encourage more peace and ease with my schedule and support me in staying accountable to what is important to me.


What would bring more peace and ease to your life?


Cultivating more peace and ease in our lives will requires that we pause, reflect, and be willing to try something new. Today choose to bring more awareness to your schedule and compassionately reflect on where you could invite in a little more space to be fully present. Choose to schedule fun and down time in your day as well as time for your purpose filled work. Make your schedule work for you rather than having it work you.


As Bernie Siegel reminds us, “Love and peace of mind do protect us. They allow us to overcome the problems that life hands us. They teach us to survive…to live now…to have the courage to confront each day.


May you welcome more peace and ease into your life as you nurture peace in the world from the inside out!

Kelley Grimes

Sending you so much peace, love and gratitude,

Kelley Grimes, M.S.W.
Counselor, Author & Speaker

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Join the discussion 16 Comments

  • Andrea says:

    Favorite Husband and I have been on the road to more peace and calm for some time now. What’s interesting to me is that it is such an ongoing journey — and that we get to be so clear about choosing and off-loading both commitments and “stuff.”

    And then there’s that simple shift on the “to do” list — from “I have to” to “I get to” or “I choose to.”

    Thanks for a lovely post.

    • I totally agree that it is an on-going process of discernment to live our values and make time commitments accordingly Andrea. I often think of the continuum of “have to” to “choose to” and with gratitude it moves to “get to”! Thank you so much for your comment!

  • Kelley, I love your Choose-to vs. To-do list! Such a simple idea having so much impact! I love it, With 3 adult children moving back home and my niece moving in I have been doing this with household duties and to-do’s-sharing the love and care of keeping the house and making it a home rather than carrying it all myself. It truly makes a difference!!

    • I am so happy the “Choose To” list idea resonates with you! It is a simple shift that has major impacts for me and dissolves any resistance that my “to do” lists can invoke. Thank you so much for sharing how this mindset shift can empower you to embody the love and care you are sharing!

  • Heather says:

    There was a time where I felt I didn’t have much peace and ease in my life. It took some time but when I did welcome peace and ease into my life a great shift occurred. I felt so much better. At one time I felt I didn’t have the time and energy to do what I wanted to do. I worked on making changes, I prayed, and that was probably the best thing I could have done. I set intentions and it worked. I started waking up earlier feeling more refreshed. It gave me some extra time to do what I wanted instead of trying to force it later in the day when I was more tired. I find many people say they can’t find the time. I don’t believe that to be true. If you evaluate your life and realized what is important to you, you can always shift your mindset and make a change for the better. Welcoming peace and ease into your life will be the best thing you can do. Great blog.

    • Heather thank you so much for sharing your process of inviting in more peace and ease in your life and the amazing difference it has made! I am so inspired and deeply grateful! Thank you!

  • Leila says:

    More peace would mean time to meditate, share, celebrate, love. Freedom to be.
    Thank you for sharing Kelley.

  • ana says:

    I am trying to focus on peace, ease and happiness first thing in the morning when I wake up. I get up, stand in front of my window (with all my plants), raise my arms up high in the air, close my eyes and imaging that I am being flooded with ease and grace and joy and happiness. I imagine them as light filling my body and I say whatever affirmations come to me like “I am open to all the amazing unforeseen opportunities this day has to offer”. That has been helping me a lot!

  • Michelle says:

    Such an excellent question to ask: “What would bring more peace & ease?”

  • I love the idea of choose to lists instead of to do lists. I find the to do lists so constraining. These feels right..the choose to list. Will take your tips on it. And While I do have a fairly peaceful life, I would like to schedule more time for reading.

    • Beautiful Zeenat! I often need to schedule time for reading instead of my practice of reading before bed in case I get tired and fall asleep with a book on my lap! Thank you so much for your comment!

  • CK Kochis says:

    Oh, Kelley. I needed to read this article today. I disconnected from all that was familiar and have been on a Soul’s Journey since October. I have been resisting the temptation to dive back into publishing my digital magazine knowing I’m not ready yet. I laughed out loud when I read, “So many of us have bought into this culture of “business” feeling we have to schedule every minute to get the most out of life.” Oh my… this is a time for me to learn how to enjoy life, heal, experience joy and not a period of filling my schedule as I hop from one campground to another. Thank you for this very important reality check.

    • You know we often teach what we most need to learn and this wisdom is what I intend to continue to embody as I choose how to spend my time and energy. Thank you so much for sharing your process and affirming the importance of choosing peace and ease. Sending you a big hug!

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