top of page

10 Powerful Practices For A More Peaceful Life

Stacie Shifflett is the Founder and CEO of Modern Consciousness and a multiple international bestselling author. She has boldly and successfully reinvented herself many times and now guides others through the art of transformation proving that it's never too late to craft a life you truly love living.

 
Executive Contributor Stacie Shifflett

What if the secret to a calmer, more peaceful life lies not in the big gestures, but in the grace of our smallest, everyday reactions?


A GRACE word hang with the lights on background.

A driver suddenly swerved in front of me the other day when they decided to make an abrupt left turn from the right lane, cutting right in front of me. I braked, of course, to avoid a collision and then I noticed something. Instead of experiencing anger and cursing that driver in my head or even out loud, I found myself simply blessing them and wishing them (and everyone around them) safety as they continued their journey to wherever it was they were going. 


I live in a tourist area on a beautiful barrier island in southwest Florida and realize that many of our visitors aren’t familiar with the roads and routes here. They don’t want to be in a car accident and ruin their day (or even their entire vacation) any more than I do. They are just trying to get where they want to go as best they can, often with a passenger in the car excitedly yelling “You need to turn left here!” as they approach an intersection. Luckily, I wasn’t in any real danger as I had plenty of space and time to react, ensuring my safety as well as theirs.


In that very moment, I realized that not only am I grateful that my mother drilled into me the art of defensive driving, but that I have also created an automatic reaction of choosing grace over grievance in my daily life.


What exactly is grace and how can we integrate it into our daily living?

Grace is often seen as a spiritual or religious concept, but at its core, it’s really about extending kindness, forgiveness, and compassion to others—even when you feel they may not deserve it. Even if we perceive that we are ‘right’ and they are ‘wrong.’


In action, grace is letting go of the need to control, allowing situations to unfold through a natural flow rather than imposing our will. It’s accepting that people are perfectly imperfect and allowing them to be their most authentic selves. It involves being fully present and engaging in a moment rather than being distracted. It’s letting go of the small stuff and embracing forgiveness, offering patience instead of criticism, and choosing kindness over conflict. Grace is also about responding with empathy and compassion, even when it’s easier to express frustration or indifference. Ultimately, living with grace means nurturing a sense of peace within us that radiates outward, influencing our interactions and the world around us in subtle but remarkably profound ways.


This peaceful approach does more than smooth over social interactions, however. It also reduces the impact of stress on our lives. You see, not only can dramatic events like a near-collision trigger our stress response, even routine irritations and harmless situations—such as someone blocking the grocery store aisle with their cart inhibiting our ability to pass by—can spark a cascade of frustration and invoke a stress response. While a brief moment of irritation may seem minor, the cumulative effect of our reactions significantly impacts our well-being. By choosing grace, we engage in a proactive effort to remain calm and composed, which helps mitigate these stress responses and preserve our mental and physical health.


What is a stress response?

When we experience a stress response, our bodies go into full-on alert mode. Hormones like cortisol and adrenaline flood our system, causing our hearts to race, blood pressure to spike, and muscles to tense up in preparation for fight or flight. This response was incredibly useful for our hunter-gatherer ancestors, who needed quick reflexes and heightened physical readiness to flee from predators or face imminent dangers.


However, in today's world, this primal mechanism is often triggered all too frequently by situations that are not life-threatening. Daily stresses—such as traffic jams, work deadlines, or even social pressures—can provoke the same intense physiological reactions that were once reserved for survival scenarios. Over time, this chronic activation of the stress response can lead to a host of negative effects on our health and well-being including impairing our cognitive function, accelerating our aging, and contributing to serious health issues like anxiety, depression, digestive problems, and a weakened immune system. 


Furthermore, when our stress responses are constantly activated, our relationships and social interactions can be negatively impacted. We may be more irritable or less cooperative, creating a ripple effect of stress and discord within our communities.


Choosing to extend grace also has a profound positive impact on our well-being. When we respond with patience, understanding, and compassion, we not only mitigate our own stress level but also cultivate a sense of inner peace. This can lead to improved emotional resilience, better sleep, and enhanced overall health. Moreover, by modeling grace in our interactions with others, we contribute to a more harmonious and supportive environment. Our kindness and understanding can inspire others to respond similarly, creating a positive feedback loop that fosters connection, empathy, and cooperation.


As Joseph R. Cooke, an American minister, author, and professor who lived from 1904 to 1986, so eloquently said: "Grace is the face that love wears when it meets imperfection."


How beautiful is that? Wouldn't you prefer to be a vessel of love and grace, offering compassion and understanding to those around you, even in the face of their imperfections and shortcomings?


Embodying grace in everyday life

To truly embody grace in our everyday lives, we must become vigilant observers of our thoughts and reactions. This heightened awareness is key, as even our subtlest thoughts and responses shape our experiences and influence our interactions.


The journey to habitual grace begins with recognition. Each time you catch yourself reacting with frustration, judgment, or impatience, pause and take a deep breath. Acknowledge these thoughts and feelings without self-criticism, then consciously choose to shift your perspective. Ask yourself, "How can I respond with grace in this moment?" This practice of mindful pause and reflection helps rewire old patterns, making space for new, compassionate responses that enrich not only your own life but also those around you.


As you consistently integrate small acts of kindness, understanding, and compassion into your daily routines, you'll find that grace becomes your natural response to life's challenges and I assure you, experience more joy and peace in your life for your effort! 


10 practical ways to cultivate grace every day


1. Practice the pause

Whenever you feel triggered, take a deep breath to reset. For instance, before replying to a snarky email, step away and take a short walk. If you receive a harsh comment in a conversation, hold off on an impulsive reply. Instead, respond calmly, "I appreciate your perspective. Let's find common ground or revisit this later and give it the attention it deserves." Such a pause can diffuse tension and foster more productive exchanges.


2. Empathize

Before reacting, try to understand the situation from the other person's point of view. A coworker's short response might stem from personal issues you're unaware of. Imagine how an outside observer might view the situation. Employing perspective shifting helps broaden your understanding of the dynamics that might be influencing the situation.


3. Count your blessings

Recognize the positives in your life, even the small ones, consistently throughout your day. Consciously take a few minutes each day to express and feel gratitude for all that is right in your life. Caught in traffic? Appreciate your reliable car, the job you're heading to, and the awesome audiobook you can listen to on the way. Is sitting in irritation for the remainder of your drive going to serve your highest and best and enhance your mood? Probably not. 


4. Spread the love

Brighten someone's day with a heartfelt compliment or words of encouragement. Tell your barista how much you appreciate their friendly service or leave a thank you note for your mailman. In addition to signing your restaurant check, write “Great Service!” on your bill. The simple act of telling people you appreciate them, when heartfelt, is amazing. It brightens everyone’s day including yours.


5. Let it go

Release grudges to lighten your emotional load. Practice forgiveness and compassion, remembering that everyone, including you, makes mistakes. Why take up all that mental headspace recounting a wrong and reliving negative emotions when you can put that energy to use in a way that better serves you and others? Your body doesn’t know you’re simply telling a story. It’s living and experiencing the story you are telling.


6. Be a hero

Engage in random acts of kindness without looking for reciprocation. Whether it’s buying coffee for the person in line behind you, putting a kind note on a co-worker’s desk, or sending a friend flowers for no apparent reason, these acts significantly uplift others and fill us with positive emotions.


7. Be fully present

When someone's talking to you, be present with them! Give them your undivided attention. Put away your phone, make eye contact, and genuinely listen to what they're saying. We cannot have meaningful conversations if we aren’t fully present in it. Also, be present in your activities and fully immersed in what you are doing. For example, responding to emails while sitting on the sidelines watching your kid’s soccer game likely does not support your desire to spend meaningful quality time with your child.


8. Find your zen

Integrate mindfulness into your daily routine. Dedicate time each day to meditate, journal, or simply sit in silence to clear your mind. This practice can greatly reduce stress and increase self-awareness.


9. Find your tribe

Surround yourself with supportive and inspiring people. Join communities where members share your values and aspirations, as they can motivate you to maintain your practice of grace.


10. Celebrate your progress

Regularly acknowledge your efforts and successes in practicing grace. Remember, perfecting grace is a journey—be patient and kind to yourself as you grow.


In our fast-paced, modern world, it's easy to be swept away by the chaos and stress that daily life often brings. Too frequently, we find ourselves reacting without thought to the challenges that confront us, perpetuating a cycle of negativity and discord. However, by cultivating grace—choosing to respond with kindness, compassion, and understanding—we unlock transformative powers that elevate not only our own lives but also profoundly impact the world around us.


Embracing grace is more than a practice; it's a cornerstone of Modern Consciousness®—a way of life that recognizes our deep interconnectedness and the significant impact our actions can have on others, while also emphasizing the immense personal benefits we reap. When we approach life with grace, we send forth ripples of positivity that reach far beyond our immediate surroundings. We become beacons of love and light, enhancing our well-being, and contributing to a world that so desperately needs both.


As we navigate the complexities of contemporary life, let us hold fast to the idea that even the most profound changes often start with the smallest steps. Integrating practices of grace into our daily routines marks the beginning of a journey toward personal enlightenment and collective transformation. This path leads us to become more resilient, more compassionate, and more attuned to the beauty and potential within ourselves and each other.


Therefore, let's commit to grace as a way of life—a daily endeavor that equips us to face the world's challenges with love, wisdom, and compassion. By doing so, we enhance our lives and contribute to a more harmonious, supportive, and consciously awakened world. The power to foster this change resides in each of us, in every small, everyday decision to choose grace over grievance, love over fear, and compassion over judgment. Together, let's embrace these moments, transforming ourselves and the world around us, one graceful act at a time.


Ready to awaken the peace within and cultivate grace in your life? Claim your free e-book here.


 

Stacie Shifflett, Entrepreneur, Writer and Proficient Student of Life

Stacie Shifflett is an entrepreneur, writer and proficient student of life with the gifts of insight, grit, and optimism. With a tapestry of life experiences that span continents, careers, and countless roles, she's come to understand that our greatest challenges often lead to our most significant growth. Her mission is rooted in a simple yet powerful conviction: that by exploring our inner landscapes and unlocking our inherent potential, we transform not just our own life, but the world around us. She invites you to embrace the incredible resilience of the human spirit and the boundless possibilities that await when we dare to dream and act with intention and purpose.

Comments


CURRENT ISSUE

  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04

CHANNELS

bottom of page