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10 Paths to Inner Peace


12 paths to inner peace

12 Paths to Inner Peace image  Copyright 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

“12 Paths to Inner Peace” by Joan Y. Edwards

The older I get, the more I realize that we human beings want control of ourselves and others. We want control of our environment. Guess what! It’s very tricky.

Inner peace is an absence of mental anxiety! Do you find it difficult to go with the flow? Do you find your inner peace stifled or trampled daily? Do you want to stop things from going the way they seem to be heading? Are you on a path to Crashville?

1. Pray to your creator and Trust in Him. He has a plan for you.

Pray to God and ask him for help. Tell him all of the things that are bothering you. Tell him every single thing that is bugging you and keeping your from being at peace.  Visit your church, synagogue, house of prayer, temple, mosque, etc. I find that when I go to church and pray that I feel a little closer to God.  However, I know that God is with me all the time. It helps me to emotionally be calmer to make a visit to the church.

2. Rest. Meditate. Say Positive Things Aloud and Silently.

Visualize images of beauty and calmness. Play music that calms you. Say good things about yourself. Take time to rest.

I am lovable. I am kind. What I do matters. What I hope for matters. My emotions are real; neither good nor bad; neither right nor wrong.

3. Accept Things as They Are.

What’s odd is that in order to change things, you first have to accept them as they are. For this reason, it’s good to go with the flow. If you’re in a tube going down the Tuckasegee River, I can tell you from personal experience that it’s easier to float downstream if you’re going with the flow.

If you’re walking down a busy sidewalk, it’s much easier to go with the flow – everyone walking on the right hand side. Otherwise, you end up weaving in and out of people and bumping the whole way.

Many times you may have difficulty accepting others as they are. You desperately want to change them. Perhaps that’s why I became a teacher, hoping I could persuade children with problem behaviors to change. I thought that if they were educated with the pros and cons of different types of behaviors and their consequences they would choose healthier, more positive behaviors. But you see, you can’t change other people. Those other people have to change themselves.

It’s nice to have people agree with you every once in a while, it gives you a good feeling of belonging. However, it’s not good to give up your strong beliefs that you know are right to be in agreement with others.

Some people are power hungry…more money…more power. More power, more control over others.

4. Love Yourself and Others. Take time for you.

Peace is being happy with who you are and your circumstances, whatever they might be. I love to hear the scripture that says that God created each of us for a certain purpose. Without us, the world would not have something that it needs to survive.  The name we were given at birth is significant for us. God gave new names to people in the Bible when they came to an aha moment. 

5. Forgive Yourself and Others 

The greatest gift you can give yourself and other people in your life is your forgiveness. Each day you carry anger around, it makes a negative impact on your health. Lighten your load. Take steps to let someone you’ve been angry with for hours, days, months, or years off the hook. Realize that they are human, just like you. And that just like you, they are not perfect. If there has been anger on both sides of the fence, your releasing your anger and allowing them to be as they are, may give them the freedom to change, too.

6. Perform Three Simple Tasks

Make a list of things that need to be done for your home surroundings or for yourself. Then choose three activities and do them. It’s amazing how getting things done makes you feel empowered. You realize that you can control doing a few things. It also frees your mind to think of solutions. It frees your mind to think of other things.

7. Research to Find Alternative Beliefs and Solutions to the Problems at Hand

Look up information about your problem online, in books, or through talking with others. Sometimes through explaining the situation to another person, you come to the solution in your mind. 

8. Watch Funny Movies and Television Shows. Read Funny Books.

Laughter is healing. It releases endorphins that help you feel calmer on the inside. It releases the negative emotions: sad, mad, powerless feelings that seem to be stuck. Even fake laughs help loosen the grip these emotions have on you. Laughter is like oil for your car. It’s essential to keeping you going.

9. Walk. Exercise. Breathe.

Exercising the body releases endorphins that help you feel calmer on the inside, too. Walk inside your house or outside your house. Walk around the outside of your house. Ride an exercise bike. Walk to the corner and back. Walk around the outside of your house. 

10. Eat the Right Foods for You. Eat Healthy.

Eat. Drink plenty of water. Too many carbs, too much sugar, too much caffeine!  Look out for these and other foods that can put you in jeopardy. They can steal your joy.  Try to stay in the Goldilocks section. Not too much. Not too little. Just right.

11. Focus on What You Want

What you focus on is what you get. What you spend your time, thoughts, and spoken words on is what you’re going to get. Accept that the opposite could happen. Accept that the bad thing that you’re so afraid of could happen. But then also accept and focus on what you want to happen. Then take the necessary steps to start the ball rolling in that direction.

12. Meet with a friend. Call for Help. 

We need social connections to survive. Being with other people gives us endorphins, too. If you’re overwhelmed, call for help. Ask a friend. Join a support group. Ask for professional help if you need it. Everyone may need counseling at some time in their life. I went through counseling one time in my life. Everyone needs help once in a while. You don’t have to go through this alone. You’re not alone. Others care about you.  

Resources

  1. Daily Mind. “How to Go with the Flow:” http://www.thedailymind.com/how-to/go-with-the-flow/
  2. Free Dictionary. “Definition of Peace: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/peace 
  3. Huffington Post. “10 Kind Things to Tell Yourself Every Day:”  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/10/kind-things-to-tell-yourself_n_4570376.html
  4. I am Fearless Soul. “5 Steps to Finding Peace within Yourself:” https://iamfearlesssoul.com/5-steps-to-finding-peace-within-yourself-and-how-to-keep-it/
  5. Learning Mind. “Effective Ways to Find Peace within Yourself:” https://www.learning-mind.com/effective-ways-to-find-peace-within-yourself/
  6. Mountain Crisis Services. “34 Things You Should Know about Yourself:”  http://www.mountaincrisisservices.org/domestic-violence/34-things-you-should-kno
  7. Operation Meditation. “5 Tips to Finding Peace within Yourself.” http://operationmeditation.com/discover/5-tips-to-finding-peace-within-yourself/
  8. Psychology Today. “Smashing the Brain Blocks: 4 Ways to Go with the Flow Even When It Seems Impossible.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/smashing-the-brainblocks/201606/4-ways-go-the-flow-even-when-it-seems-impossible
  9. Thesaurus. “Go with the Flow:” http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/go-with-the-flow
  10. Tiny Buddha. “8 Tips to Feel at Peace with Yourself.” https://tinybuddha.com/blog/8-tips-to-feel-at-peace-with-yourself/
  11. Wikihow. “Go with the Flow:” https://www.wikihow.com/Go-With-the-Flow
  12. Wikihow. “How to Release Endorphins:” https://www.wikihow.com/Release-Endorphins
  13. Your Life, Your Voice. “101 Positive Things to Say to Myself:” http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/Pages/tip-101-positive-things-to-say-to-myself.aspx
  14. Zen Habits. “12 Practical Steps for Learning to Go with the Flow:” https://zenhabits.net/12-practical-steps-for-learning-to-go-with-the-flow/

COMMENT

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Please check out my books. They make great gifts.
Flip Flap Floodle, Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox?
Joan’s Elder Care Guide published by 4RV Publishing

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

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Put Universal Conflict, Theme, and Emotions in Your Story


“Put Universal Conflict, Theme, and Emotions in Your Story” by Joan Y. Edwards

Editors ask: What is the universal theme of your story? information book? article? poem?

What do you answer? Are you clueless? Perhaps I can help.

I went to the Oregon Coast Children’s Book Writers Workshop in Oceanside, Oregon from July 12-16, 2010. I was sharing a poem I wrote. The editor wanted to know what was my poem’s universal theme. What I had thought was a universal theme was really not universal. It was regional or subjective. Therefore, I did research to find out more about the subject of universal theme.

But first you have to know what your conflict is. To gain more readership, make your conflict one of the universal conflicts listed below.
What does the main character want that he cannot get or have?
Conflicts:
Conflict adds excitement and suspense to the story.
What disturbed him beyond belief? What is the cause of distress for the main character?
What disrupts the business as usual of the main character?
What happens that the main character may try to ignore but cannot? He has to deal with this problem, internally and externally.

The internal conflict comes when the main character has to choose between two solutions to the problem: one moral, one immoral; one against his family rules; one against club’s rules; one that might hurt his friend, one that might hurt himself; one that might win the trust of his friends, one that would make him untrustworthy, one that makes him a liar, one that makes him tell the truth; mixed emotions add the tension to the story and make people want to read it to find out what the main character decided to do and what the consequences were for his actions….did it bring him closer to the goal, or bring him to his last breath.

Universal Conflicts
In a story you have one of the following universal conflicts played out:
Archetypes
Man against Man
Man against Self
Man against Nature
Man against Society
Man against Family
Man against the Universe
Man against Machines
Man against Institutions
Man against God
Man against Time
Man against Destiny

Never fear: Your story will probably fit into one of the universal conflicts listed above.

Goals Main Characters Struggle for, Search for, Need, Want
Acceptance, Admiration, Ambition, Approval, Attention, Authority, Awareness, Beauty. Belief, Belonging, Choices, Commitment, Community, Compassion, Cooperation, Courage, Dedication, Dream, Education, Equality, Experience, Faith, Family, Friendship, Godly love, Good, Gratitude, Heroes /Heroic Figures and Actions, Honesty, Honor, Hope, Human Relationships, Humor, Identity, Independence, Individuality, Innocence, Justice, Laughter, Law and Order, Live forever, Love, Loyalty, Marriage, Money, Morality,
Nature, Nonviolence, Passion, Peace, Perseverance, Possibilities, Power, Principles, Rebirth, Redemption, Religion, Respect, Responsibility, Romance, Sex, Spiritual enlightenment, Success, Taxes, Time, Trust, Truth, Understanding.

Forces Opposing Main Character, Keep Him from Reaching His Goal, Struggle Against, Has to Triumph Over, Doesn’t Want, Opposite of Goal, Perils of, What the Main Character Doesn’t want:
Accusation, Alienation, Ambition, Authority, Beliefs, Betrayal, Blame, Challenge, church, Coming of Age, Competition, Corruption, Country, County, Court, Crime, Death, Deception, Despair, Destruction, Disallusionment of adulthood, Disapproval, Distrust, Envy, Etiquette, Evil, Faith, Family, Fate, Fear, Forbidden, Freedom, Future, Government, Greed, Grief, Guilt, Handicap, Hatred, Hospital, Initiation, Injustice, Institutions, Jail, Jealousy, Justice, Lack of compassion, Lies, Loss, Materialism, Nation, Nature, Nature as dangerous, Oppression, Past, Power, Persecution, Poverty, Prejudice, Pride, Prison, Problems, Punishment, Rebelling, Rejection, Religion, Responsibility, Revenge, Rules, Sacrifice, Schools, Self-Doubt, Shame, Society, Taxes, Time, Town, Tragedy, Vengeance, Village, Vulnerability, War.

After you finish writing your story or when you’ve finished your outline, what has your main character learned from his conflict? What did the main character learn in his battle against one of the conflicts listed above? This is the theme. Make it a universal theme shared by all mankind, so that all of mankind will want to read your book.

The Universal Theme
The universal theme is the story’s (author’s) view about life and how people behave. It is the statement the story makes about society, human nature, or the human condition that the author wants to convey to readers. It’s an observation about life that can apply to any and everyone representing the conflicts, dreams, hopes, and fears across cultures and continents, and from generation to generation. It could be the moral to the story, a teaching, or an observation. It transcends race, gender, sexual preference, and creed. Some examples are love, peace, friendship, and other concepts about life.

Universal themes exist because people worldwide go through the common human experiences of being born, experiencing anguish and joy, and dying come from emotions and that touch and can apply to any and all cultures, genders, ages, sexual preference, creeds, geography, historical periods, and genres.

The universal theme is the story’s (author’s) view about life and how people behave in a particular situation. It is a statement the story makes about society, human nature, or the human condition through the author’s words and characters. The theme is universal when it transcends race, gender, sexual preference, creed. cultures, continents, and generations representing the conflicts, dreams, hopes, and fears such as: love, peace, friendship, and other concepts about life that can apply to any and everyone.

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Conflict of Nature against death
You do not have to worry about dying and death. It’s a natural thing.

Law and Order Television Series by Dick Wolf
Conflict of Good over Evil – Dick Wolf presents both sides of the issues
Even with the latest technology and evidence, police and district attorneys do not always win their cases against evil.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Love against society, family, death
Love can be so passionate that one would prefer death to living without the loved one.

Here are links I went to find information about universal themes:
http://www.orangeusd.k12.ca.us/yorba/literary_elements.htm
http://www.life123.com/parenting/education/children-reading/12-most-common-themes-in-literature.shtml
http://www.dcmp.org/guides/9467.pdf

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081022125536AAzRGHD
http://www.episcopalacademy.org/FileBank/Eax_FileBank_FileName_9697_K051J82.pdf
http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/tccampa-65525-literary-themes-literature-education-ppt-powerpoint/
www.joyet.biz/downloads/Genres_vs_Themes.ppt

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_conclude_the_sentence_that_begins_’Universal_themes_in_literature_exist_because_people_worldwide’&alreadyAsked=1&rtitle=Universal_themes_in_literature_exist_because_people_worldwide

Universal Emotions

Emotions Are Universal.

Put emotions in your story. It makes your characters come alive. One way to make your story have universal appeal is to add the tension of opposing emotions. We all feel mixed emotions every day. Should we do this? We shouldn’t do that. It’s smart to do this. How could I be so stupid? How could he be so naive? What’s the wisest choice? What are my choices? Do I get a choice? When a character has two or three choices and none of them are very good, it’s tension time for reading and living, and it makes the reader want to turn the page.

All people experience emotions. Putting believable emotions into your story will help it reach more readers.

Here are Paul Ekman’s Big Six Emotions
Anger
Disgust
Fear
Happiness
Sadness
Surprise

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emotions
Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions Robert Plutchik used the above six emotions and added two others below:
Acceptance
Anticipation

Ekman’s Eleven Other Basic Emotions
Amusement
Contempt
Contentment
Embarrassment
Excitement
Guilt
Pride in achievement
Relief
Satisfaction
Sensory pleasure
Shame

The Sedona Method by Hale Dwoskin gives nine emotions
Nine Emotions
Acceptance
Anger
Apathy
Courageousness
Fear
Grief
Lust
Peace
Pride

Nine States of Emotional Empowerment by Swati Chopra
http://www.lifepositive.com/Mind/Emotions/Nine_states_of_Emotional_empowerment92004.asp

Swati Chopra from New Delhi, India says the nine rasas are:
Distress (hunger, discomfort)
Happiness
Satisfaction

Love
Compassion
Awe
Peace
Laughter
Valour
Fear
Disgust
Anger

Here are websites with information about emotions:

http://library.thinkquest.org/25500/index2.htm Great gives text descriptions of body when feeling 6 basic emotions
http://www.clipartguide.com/_search_terms/feelings.html Great! Pictures matched with emotions
http://www.feelingfacescards.com/
http://www.face-and-emotion.com/dataface/emotion/expression.jsp
http://www.eqi.org/fw.htm
http://www.eqi.org/cnfs.htm
http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emotions

I hope you enjoyed my blog post. I hope I enlightened you, rather than confused you. Please let me know if I helped you make your writing appeal to more people, to make it more universally appealing. Capture this universal appeal and you’ll capture an editor’s heart!

If you haven’t subscribed to my blog, I would be honored if you would. The sixth person to subscribe to my blog after May 12, 2010 from the left hand column where it says, “Sign Me Up Here,” will receive a free paperback copy of my book, Flip Flap Floodle, a little duck who never gives up on his song. Don’t give up on your writing. Never Give Up on winning and resolving conflicts that come your way.

You are a published author in your mind, before you get that way on paper.  You can do it. Yes, you can.

Please write a comment below. Click on comment and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

COMMENT

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2010-2016 Joan Y. Edwards

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