Showing posts with label peace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label peace. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

17. Fear Not - "Living in Light" Series

In an extremely volatile world of the coronavirus, rollercoaster stock market, an election, and so much chaos, it's easy to let fear, worry, and doubts consume you. These are the times we need to lean on God the most. There are so many helpful scriptures that can guide us with direction and wisdom.

In Joel 2:21, "Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice; for the Lord will do great things." And in Matthew 10:31, "Fear not therefore: better are you than many sparrows."

As believers, we can take comfort in the fact that God dwells with us and Jesus dwells within our hearts. This doesn't mean that our lives will be free from problems, but it does mean that God will give us the grace to get through them. Our value as believers is worth so much to God.

One thing we need to understand about fear is that it does not come from God. It comes from the enemy, the devil, the adversary. God does not want us to be afraid, full of worry and doubts.

I remember a conversation I had with my therapist once. She had told me that all fears are irrational. I had refuted that statement saying, well what about when you're walking alone at night and you see a dark figure coming towards you? Doesn't fear kick in to say head away from this potential threat? Is that fear truly irrational?

She did agree with me at the time, but I know now what I didn't know before: that there is a clear cut difference between fear, and discernment as well as wisdom. Fear will give us the anxiety to react emotionally to these type of situations, but discernment is a small still voice that kicks in saying, this could be a potentially dangerous situation, it's probably best to cross over to the other side of the sidewalk.

That's the problem with fear. It can lead us to go into a panicked mindset, causing us to make bad decisions. Our minds can tumble in a downward spiral by imagining the worst about any situation. Chances are the worst-case scenario is not going to happen to you.

Have you ever been in a situation where you thought the worst was going to happen then absolutely nothing did? 

The devil loves to fill us with fear. He knows that it makes us fall into a trap of negative feelings. And unfortunately, those feelings can turn into negative actions that can harm ourselves.

God's perfect love casts out fear ( 1 John 4:18.) Next time, pray for God's discernment and wisdom to make the best decision possible. This is the best advice I can give! As soon as you feel a tinge of fear, ask for His guidance. Don't give into the enemy's pitfall of fearfulness, that's exactly what he wants for you to do. That's how he gains more control over your life.


"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." - Matthew 6:34

I used to worry a lot. My mind used to always go to the "what if...?" scenarios. Worry can lead to creating problems that simply don't exist. Having faith in God every second of every day is an extremely valuable tool. If we constantly have faith in His will, we have nothing to be worried about. Everything is going to happen according to His plan. It doesn't mean it will always make sense to us, but we can trust that He works out everything for our good (Romans 8:28.)


The peace I have found now with God is almost unexplainable. It's a supernatural calm. I can't say that I still don't have my "moments" but they are few and far between. I know I'm only an almost one-year-old born again, a toddler still learning how to walk the walk, but I know I have God's hand to hold onto now.

We have to be willing to give up our doubts. When I first became born again, I realized I had to surrender my desire to control everything. Being a control freak, this was not an easy task. Early on, I remember staring into the eyes of the painting, Jesus by Akiane Kramarik. This was the moment that God spoke to me, clearly, loudly, with no qualms about it.

He said, "Why do you still doubt Me?"

What He so perfectly pointed out to me was that I still had doubts. I had doubts that I could ever be healed. I've had chronic pain for a long, long time, and 24 surgeries and procedures later, I was told by many an expert that I always would. It would have been easy for me to never believe I would be healed. "Common-sense" says I never will be...

But that's what so amazing about our God. He isn't a "common-sense" God. He is a supernatural God.  An awesome God. He is so much bigger than any of our problems. Dump all your doubts in the garbage! Your faith has to be bigger than your fears. He wants us to fully rely on Him for everything we go through. He wants to carry our burdens so we can live a life of peace. (Matthew 11:28.)


Do not let fear, worry, and doubts consume you. When God is with us, we have nothing to fear. We have nothing to worry about. We can be free of all doubts. Amen!

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for free notifications on each new post!

Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!

Monday, January 20, 2020

11. Cut Out the Darkness Part 2. "Living in Light" Series

If you read 1. Cut Out the Darkness you already know some simple steps to having more peace in your life. But now I'd like to talk about cutting out the darkness on a deeper, spiritual level. The reason why I have so much more peace and happiness now is because I've learned to turn away from certain things. My focus has turned toward the positive and by virtue, my life has become so much more positive!

I wish I could say I came up with this, but I did not. Turns out that thousands of years ago people were talking about the same things. The more I study the Bible the more I realize all the common sense, logical and practical things we can do now to make our lives better!

In Matthew 3:8 the Amplified Bible teaches, "Produce fruit that is consistent with repentance (demonstrating new behavior that proves a change of heart, and a conscious decision to turn away from sin). And even before that in Psalm 34:14, "Turn away from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it."

So not only are we supposed to turn away, remove our focus from all the negative, evil things of this world, but we are supposed to actively pursue peace. That means you got to work to have peace!

I used to believe that peace was just an overly idealistic theory that some people claimed to have. I never thought it was attainable for me. I never understood that it was something you actually had to work for. There were times when I felt peace, but it was usually when I took myself out of my normal, routine environment, like hiking through the forests or sitting by a lake. It was not something I could have at work, at home, or in my day-to-day rat race. 

But now I know it is a conscious decision to have peace, just like it is to have happiness!

It was an amazing feeling when I realized I did not "have to" watch every hit show there was on television or hit movie. I know that may sound silly. But I used to think I was "missing out" on something if I did not watch what everyone else was watching.

Freedom feels amazing! You get to choose what you are exposed to! You can cut out all the negativity, the sins, the evil of what you watch and turn your focus toward the positive and life actually gets better.

My anxiety has plummeted. I have nowhere near the amount that I used to have. Removing the news, graphic t.v. and movies, and listening to certain negative people has released my spirit to be joyful, at peace and with a new deep calm that I have never known before. 

My depression has left me. I feel weightless. And it's not that I stopped caring about other people. Actually, I have a newfound compassion for all people since I was born again. But I refuse to let myself drown in hopelessness. The majority of the news is extremely negative. If it focused on all the miracles, and goodness, and virtues of human existence it would be a different story, but unfortunately, that's not the way our world works.

We have no idea how deep our brains actually go. What we watch can show up in our dreams, nightmares, subconscious minds to levels we can't understand. The scariest thing is that we can actually start believing in the lies of the entertainment industry, negative people's perceptions and start applying those lies into our real lives.   

Happiness and peace are attainable things in this world. When we start focusing on the goodness of human nature and God, our minds become full of positivity, love, and compassion. We can feel happy and at peace with ourselves in the world. Let's start feeding our souls good news, virtues, blessings, favor, miracles, compassion, love and divine acceptance. For these are the things that will bring us true joy and peace.

"Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God's word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things (center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart). Philippians 4:8.

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better

Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

9. How To Be Gentle with Yourself - "Living in Light" Series

We all know we can run ourselves ragged, especially around the holidays. We already had a million things to do, and now we have a million more. One thing I've learned is that you have to go easy on yourself. It's easy to want to be a people pleaser and even a self-pleaser, feeling like if we don't finish our to-do lists, goals, dreams, we're less than and we don't measure up.

But here's the thing, the more we beat ourselves up over these things, isn't going to get us any faster towards our goals! If anything it can cause more self-doubt, disappointment, mental exhaustion, and worse, us just giving up. We have to be more gentle with ourselves, take off the pressure and just do the best we can (not more than our best) so we can fully enjoy life and just be happier!

Who doesn't want more happiness?

One thing is to set realistic goals. Ask yourself, what can I realistically get done today? And even if you can't finish that list, don't beat yourself up over it~ embrace the fact that there is only so much time during each day. Only so much energy you have.

Tell yourself constantly that you're doing your best. This will reinforce your positive attitude toward yourself.

Tell yourself, just because I couldn't finish this today, doesn't mean I won't ever finish it. You will start to feel the weight on your shoulders lift, I promise you.

Next is the importance of boundaries. You can have a ton of people pulling you in different directions, from family to bosses. Their demands may be too demanding and their expectations of you may be too high. I'm telling you that's their problem and not yours.

If you're truly doing your best then that's all you can do. Make it clear to yourself and everyone else that you're doing what you can. It doesn't mean you don't love your family or your job, but you can't give other people control over your life.

Your happiness is going to be because of your choices, not theirs. 

Thirdly, give yourself a break. I highly recommend daily breaks, weekly breaks, and even doing something just for yourself once a month. Taking time to just be with yourself doing something that you love. Something that helps restore your mind, body, and soul.

It could be something like taking frequent 5-minute mental breaks when you're at work. Taking a bubble bath once a week. Even getting a spa treatment once a month to get away for a bit. (You can so tell I'm a girl! Men, I'm sure you can think of some things that would help you restore too!)

Whatever it is, take some time for yourself. You deserve it. 

Most importantly, we need to be easier on ourselves. It's no wonder stress is the number one reason for all our health problems. We need to learn how to downgrade. Shift into neutral and coast sometimes. Never lose sight of your goals and dreams, but remember life is about the journey.

If we're not happy when we're chasing our dreams, then what's the point of having dreams at all?

We all have these ideal visions of ourselves. Our "perfect self" finishes all to-do lists with ease and grace. We look "perfect" all the time. We can "please" every family member, every friend, our boss, effortlessly, and all without struggle. Does this sound familiar? Constantly comparing ourselves to our "perfect self" will only cause more unhappiness.

Don't judge yourself. We live in a society that thrives on the criticism of others. Don't fall prey to that way of thinking. Especially when it comes to judging yourself! The more we over-analyze ourselves and others, the more we create distance and negativity. Just as one should try to find the good in others, we should be constantly searching for the good in ourselves.

Embrace who you are right now, imperfections and all. Set realistic goals. Know your boundaries and limits. And take regular breaks from the hustle and bustle!

Be gentle with yourself. I promise you, you'll have a happier journey & you'll truly begin living in light!

Like this blog? Make sure to subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better to get notifications on every new blog! It's free and your email is fully protected. Thanks so much for reading & have a wonderful day!

And remember, Jo may know better, but God knows best! Ask Him for guidance and He will never lead you astray. Amen.

Friday, November 22, 2019

8. The Power of Baby Steps - "Living in Light" Series

Most people want to make positive changes in their lives, but the truth is, change is hard. Most of the times it's uncomfortable and it makes us step out of our comfort zone. I've learned that the body hates change and that the mind resists change. We have our work cut out for us...

So what can we do to make change easier? Take it little by little. Small changes that are sustainable and repeatable. The secret is consistency. Consistency is the only way to achieve true success. The building blocks to get to the top of your mountain, whatever that mountain may be.

Some have a tendency to have an all or none attitude. (I know I used to be one.) We can work ourselves up, trying to convince ourselves we can do anything and we can do it now. We can feel so empowered, that we want to go full-bore. Then we can go full-bore off a cliff. I've thrown myself off that edge so many times, hoping to grow wings on the way down, but guess what? Never happened.

Recovering from falls, the disappointments, the self-loathing of our grand plans not going through, gets harder and harder. We can become more and more discouraged, leading us further away from our goals than we originally were.

So first, we have to change our mindset. If we acknowledge the fact that full-bore can sound exciting and tempting, but in most cases, it simply doesn't work in the long run. You don't want something that's just going to work for a day, a week, a month. You want these positive changes to take root in your life, your whole life, so you can compound your progress and live to your fullest potential.

The secret is making small changes that you can do again and again without taking yourself so far out of your comfort zone that you'll quit. Set some more easily attainable goals.

It's the little things that add up to big results.

One example that I'll use that most of us can relate to is "dieting". If your body is used to consuming 3,000 calories a day and being mostly sedentary, chances are abruptly changing to a 1,500 calorie diet and working out 6 days a week will be a big shock. You'll be hungry, if not starving, and probably exhausted by doing a lot with so little than your body's used to. There's probably no denying that the latter diet is healthier, but is it sustainable? Are you going to stick with it, no matter what, no matter how bad you feel and tired you get? Chances are you're not.

However, let's say you only cut out 300 calories a day and start doing some walking for 30 minutes twice a week? Do it for a month straight. Is this more sustainable and easily repeatable? You know the answer. If we use this mindset for all the positive changes we want to make in our life, we will have a higher rate of success. And once you see yourself making progress it's more likely that you'll want to continue and advance that progress.

Smaller changes are easier to make than big ones. 

With this method, there is tremendous importance on patience. I'm not a naturally patient person. I have to work to be patient. When I make a change, I want the benefits instantly. But I've learned it doesn't really work that way. When I have a hard time being patient, I remind myself of all the ways I think and feel when I'm not patient. I'll ask myself, "Do you want to feel anxious, frustrated, angry? Or do you want to feel at peace with your choices and decisions? Is slower progress, but progress nonetheless, going to be better than no progress at all?"

This is the power of baby steps. Setting small goals that are easily attainable and sustainable. Stick with your new goals until they become your new comfort zone, then make new goals. Go slowly and be gentle with yourself. I've made major changes to my life using this method and I know it can work for you! Consistency is key! Give it a shot, what do you have to lose?

And what does this have to do with living in light? Most of us want to have a life full of joy, peace, and progress. This takes time, energy and effort. So if we can make positive changes that are sustainable and consistent, we are more likely to have and keep a life of fulfillment, contentment, and overall well-being. Living in light is about living life to the fullest and doing our best, not more than our best. All we can do is keep striving for light so the darkness doesn't stand a chance!

Want email notifications on the newest post? Make sure to subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better ! It's absolutely free! Thank you for reading & have a wonderful day!


Monday, September 23, 2019

4. What Steals Your Peace? "Living in Light" Series

I wish I could say I came up with this idea, but I didn't! Joyce Meyer has been a guiding light throughout my transformation. I love how practical her advice is and she has a beautiful spiritual perspective to boot!

She recommends writing down every little thing that "Steals Your Peace". Whether it's a person, place or thing, it's all very important. When we can clearly identify our triggers we can nip them in the bud.

Sometimes we can be completely unaware of these things. Sometimes we think we're just having a bad day, going through the motions, absorbing whatever is thrown at us. But when you have awareness, you can identify all those little things that can equal a very bad mood.

Maybe you woke up late because you forgot to set your alarm. Maybe you couldn't find your keys. Maybe you got a disheartening text from a friend. These little things can set us off, especially when sometimes it seems like they just snowball.

The truth is there are a ton of things that can steal our peace. For me, one thing for sure, is usually watching the news, something I don't do anymore. It puts me in a mental state of anger, frustration or depression. For you, it could be something else. A friend that always seems to bring you down. A place that brings up painful memories. Even that creaky floorboard that gives an annoying screech!

The trick is to write down everything in your daily life so you can improve these situations. Try setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier. Organize your things the night before. Changing the channel when something begins to irritate you! It doesn't matter if it seems small. If it steals your peace at all, it's affecting you, therefore it is important!

Unfortunately, certain people can be more than irritating. You don't get to pick your family, but you do get to pick your friends. Be careful who you choose to spend time with. There will be a later post that delves deeper into this subject. But if you have a friend that constantly steals your peace, it might be time to start examining this relationship. What are they adding to your life? And moreover, what are you adding to theirs? Remember, misery loves company!

A major part of being aware is being resensitized. You can read the post "Are You Desensitized?" here: https://joknowsbetter.blogspot.com/2019/09/2-are-you-desensitized-living-in-light.html We can be dealing with something for so long that it just seems "normal" to us now. We've gotten used to being angry, depressed, bitter, or even numb about something that we accept it as "it is what it is". But the fact is, happiness is really a choice. Don't settle with a whatever attitude. This isn't whatever, this is your life! You have choices, you make decisions, you have control of your destiny!

1. Write down one thing that steals your peace. I'm sure you can think of just one. The beauty of this is that most of us have a phone or a tablet nearby, it's easy! Write it down!

2. Make a little list of ideas to make it better. All it takes is a little common sense.

3. Try one. You'll never know if it works until you try it. If at first, you don't succeed, try, try, again.

If you're so inclined, leave a comment below of what steals your peace and brainstorm an idea that could make it better. You never know if someone else has the same peace stealer. To have constant peace, live in light, we need to identify what steals it from us. This can take time, but I know for sure that it works!

Don't forget to subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for the latest posts notifications! Thanks so much for reading & have a wonderful day!


Friday, September 6, 2019

1. Cut Out the Darkness - "Living in Light" Series

The first way to live in light is to cut out the darkness. This first became known to me when I had heard the phrase, "You're never going to have peace if there is a war going on in your mind." I wish I could remember who said that. But the saying rang so true to me, that I'm never going to forget it!

I started to realize that maybe the reason my mind would never stop fighting with itself, was because I was constantly feeding it conflict, annoyances, injustices, just negative stuff, all the time. That's when I learned that what you focus on becomes your life.

I thought I was a positive person before I made these changes. And maybe I was more than most people, but that still didn't mean I was truly happy and radiating positivity. Some people from the outside that know me would have never have guessed that. I always tried to put on a happy face no matter what. But the war in my mind would never let me have peace.

I knew it was time to make some drastic changes. I was going to examine every facet of my life. Especially what I watched, read and listened to.

If you're constantly focusing on the negative, your mind will only become more negative. 

Also, I had realized how desensitized I had become. Things that used to really bother me on t.v. and movies started not to bother me anymore. My heart was getting harder and I felt numb to the horrors of this world. After following these steps, my heart has started to resensitize and now I feel things more deeply and with greater satisfaction, especially the good feelings like joy, love, and happiness. There will be more to explore on this subject at a later post.

1. Stop Watching the News - Okay, okay, I know some will fight me on this. I'm not saying to become completely oblivious and unaware of what's going on. But who can honestly say that 98% of what the news talks about will have some direct effect on you? My point is the news is so negative. Its focus is conflict and injustice. When was the last time you heard something positive on the news? We know that it is few and far between. The news counts on our attention to the negative to make money. That's how they stay in business. And unfortunately, the news has become so divisive, that it's constantly pinning us against each other. It thrives on conflict.

Try cutting out the news for just one week and see how you feel. I don't watch the news anymore, unless I know it may have some direct effect on me, like weather. But that's about it. I've never felt more at peace with the world. I've realized that other people's battles are not my own. Especially because so much of it is out of my control. When you learn to let go of what you cannot control, you feel weightlessness like never before. Side note: This includes getting your news on social media. More on this later.

2. Cut Out Violence and Graphic T.V. and Movies - Is it just me or have t.v. and movies gotten more violent and graphic than ever? Every top t.v. show or movie seems to be raising the bar on how much they show us. And here's the thing, you can't unsee things. If you're watching violence and horrific graphic depictions of the lowest of the low of human behavior, how do you think these will affect you? Whether you realize it or not, this does have an effect on your emotional, mental, and also your physical state as well. And the thing is, I didn't realize this. I was so desensitized to things, I could watch just about anything and eat at the same time. Something that I would've considered unfathomable just 10 years ago. It's only now that I have resensitized myself that I've realized how horrible the entertainment industry has sunk.

Try cutting out everything above a PG-rating for a week and see how you feel. I have completely and have never felt better. I will admit that this has cut down on what there is to watch, but this is a good thing! Less time sitting in front of the t.v. absorbing negativity. I feel less negative, anxious, depressed, worn down, deflated, angry, torn and just less helpless about all human existence.

3. Cut Out Social Media - Oooh, a hard one for most of us. We've become so reliant on it for entertainment, news, hot topic debates, and even good things like connecting with friends and family. But here's the thing, studies have shown that social media increases anxiety and depression, and with teenage suicides at an all-time high, this is no coincidence. A lot on social media can be very negative. It seems like the top stories amongst "friends" are always concerning political debates, racism, gun control, etc. And although it can feel noble to want to fix the injustices of this world, most discussions on these topics only lead to fighting, more divisiveness, and emotional separation between friends and family members. No wonder it's causing more anxiety and depression. We joined social media to connect, but it has created distance between us like no other. This is the power of negativity. This is why you need to cut it out of your life.

Try cutting out social media for just one week and see how you feel. I usually only use social media now for my career and very seldom use it for personal reasons. I am also super selective about who I am "friends" with and who I choose to follow. Another positive that I have garnered from this change is that I don't feel like I have to take on the weight of everyone else's problems. When people used to complain about things publically, my first emotional response was to either want to help them or want to push them away because their problems seemed so painful. I'm not saying that you shouldn't care about what you're friends are going through, but they can become overwhelming, especially if you have a lot of friends. If you do have a close personal friend that's going through a hard time, why not try sending them a personal text or even a phone call? This is a much better way to connect on a personal emotional and mental level.

What you watch, read and listen to does affect you. Pay attention to everything you pay attention to. Have an awareness of negativity. Cut out the darkness wherever you can. I urge you to try the things above as they have brought me a kind of peace I have never known before.

Please subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for the latest posts updates on the "Living in Light" Series. Thank you so much for reading & have a wonderful day!