Work For Peace (and Against Violence)


If you are like most people today you are fed up and angry about what is happening in the world. If you are like most of us, you are blaming one political leader or the next and spending your precious creative energy focusing on what’s wrong with the world.

I know, I do it too. My anger flares when I hear the news. My body tips the “danger” switch and I can feel the tightness creep into the muscles of my jaw and neck and shoulders.  I can feel my heart race and my stomach clench. My ancient “fight or flight” reaction is in full swing and I feel myself need to get up and move (or shout or rant!)

The other day while in the midst of this reaction, I found myself going to the question “What can I do to help?”

It’s a good question and I have a good answer. The answer comes from one of my very favorite teachers, cross cultural anthropologist, the late Angeles Arrien. Angeles taught us that as long as we continue to be abusive to ourselves (in any way) there is no chance violence can end because we are perpetuating it.

Stop for a moment and think about the enormity of that teaching. Violence again myself is violence against the world.

Telling myself I’m stupid, crazy, inept, a failure, an idiot, not good enough, too fat, too intense or less than this one or that one sends the low vibration of shame through every cell of my body.  That’s not good for me. The kinds of emotions that are evoked when I’m busy putting myself down in any way kills off brain cells, shut down immune function and create a dangerous amount of cortisol over time.

These are the kinds of emotions – shame, anger, disappointment – that when not acted upon and released wear away at our sensitive body chemistry and equilibrium – blood pressure rises, heart speeds up and muscles get tense.  In this state of stress, our delicate natural healing systems don’t operate very well leaving us more vulnerable to illness.

So here’s my Positivity Practice for lessening the vibration of violence on the earth. I start with me!

I listen to my self-talk, I track my thoughts. I listen for any thoughts that are negative or self-abusive and I turn them into self-loving thoughts. If I’m thinking that I’m “not good enough” because I’m not making the progress I’d like to on my book, I change the thought to, “I’m making progress and that’s what matters.” If I’m thinking that “I’m disorganized” I remind myself that I can take 15 minutes a day to tackle a pile of papers and I can put on music and enjoy the process. If I’m thinking those not-nice thoughts we think about our weight, I can recommit to walking more and take a quick walk right now. If I’m feeling adrift, I remind myself I can always trust my inner guidance.

By changing the way I communicate with myself I create more positive emotion for myself, and for any others I come in contact with today.  By communicating with myself in loving, supportive and positive ways I now add to the positive vibration on the planet.  By visualizing that peace is a possibility I make peace a possibility – even if it’s only in my own heart.

So you won’t find me ranting about politics and what we could-would-should do better on the global front. You will find me mediating, walking, and talking to myself in ways that encourage, elevate and inspire me to be the best that I can be and spread more of the positive vibe in the world.  My way to fight evil is with goodness.

Think about that one. If everyone did that the force of good would be so powerful that things would have to shift. Look within and make peace.




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