Written by Ann B. Goddard

What inspires you? What brings you joy? Where do you turn when peace seems to escape you? How do you raise your mood, your energetic vibration? 

Of course, the answers to those questions are innumerable. We’re all so different, and what seems to work well one day may not at all another. We are fickle creatures, and change, though we resist it, is about the only constant we can truly depend on. And that’s insane, isn’t it? Depending on change? Sounds like a weird oxymoron.

What tools do you access when life gets insane? Hopefully, you have a number of things you reference and use. Sometimes, just allowing yourself to feel whatever it is can be cathartic, especially if you can actually acknowledge that you are in a place that feels uncomfortable, but you’re just going to embrace it and experience it for a time. And then, there are times when it’s wise to reach out and ask for help. But life has a way of presenting options you can actually engage in the moment.

There are lots of activities that allow your mind to quiet and get you out of a particular space. Listening to music, and for me, actually playing my guitar and singing, is very powerful in shifting my mood. Simply watching a movie is a big one — it doesn’t have to be something deep, but it could be. It’s a great way to quiet your “monkey mind” and allow something else to occupy your thoughts for a while.

Sometimes, it’s ideal to step away from stressful situations, but often, that isn’t a physical option. When you’re at work and things get crazy, you may have to wait until you get home to take a much-needed break and recharge.

Ann B. Goddard

Recharge! There’s a key to living a more loving, joyful, and peaceful life. Taking time for yourself may be a challenge, depending on what phase of life you’re in right now. When I was younger and still raising children and working, I often found it difficult to find the time and space to recharge. Now that I’m retired, I still find a need to recharge, generally for very different reasons than those I experienced when there were so many demands on my time. 

Recently, I had a great opportunity to recharge. I was invited on a six-day trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. It was actually a destination wedding trip. The bride and groom met as river guides, and decided this would be the ideal setting for them. There were 21 people on this trip. The wedding was beautiful, and the whole trip proved to be an amazing adventure. 

The river presented plenty of challenges, as did the weather and dealing with camping and cooking outdoors. Of course, the guides were experienced and things went smoothly enough, for the most part; tents, good ground pads, and other appropriate gear makes a big difference. The main thing I loved about this trip was meeting some really wonderful people. What a gift! I may never see many of them again, but they all touched my life and my heart, and the shared experience was one that will never be duplicated. 

Being out in nature in a very “real” way proved to be an opportunity for me to recharge and appreciate the beauty of this amazing world we live in. We enjoyed hot springs, beautiful canyons, the ever-changing river, waterfalls, fresh water springs, trees, all kinds of vegetation, wildlife, the bright moonlight, the stars, thunderstorms — so much to experience and enjoy. 

And to be honest, some of the experiences were uncomfortable for me. Camping isn’t my favorite activity. Many of my friends questioned my sanity when I told them I’d be making this trip. They know I love my creature comforts, being able to clean up at the end of the day, and sleep indoors. But it was an opportunity of a lifetime, and one I’ll not forget. 

Sometimes, stepping out of your comfort zone can create the opportunity to reassess your values, offer a different perspective, and even give you a few new “tools” for coping with life. This will help you find your peaceful place, open your heart, and recharge!

This article is provided by the World Peace Gardens, a nonprofit foundation that holds non-sectarian gatherings every Sunday to promote world peace and sustainable living. Gatherings are held at 11:30 a.m. at the Green Valley Spa, 1871 W. Canyon View Dr. in St. George. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.WorldPeaceGardens.org or call (435) 703-0077. 
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