Category Archives: Peace

Doing the Inner Work for the Outer Work in a Suffering World

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For the last 3 weeks, I participated in an intensive program at Teachers College (Columbia University) for my Masters in Psychology and Spirituality. During 9-hour days, we immersed ourselves in an academic understanding of the inherent spirituality in children, and how spirituality relates to personal healing, education, substance abuse and depression, and communication. The experiential learning included heart based connection, artistic expression, individual and planetary energy healing, Jungian symbol exploration and, of course, lots of meditation and intention setting.

I will be honest – at times I found the experiential exercises excruciatingly annoying. I have been meditating for 35 years, have attended conferences since my teens, and teach about intention and balance at conferences around the world! For me, returning to school at 45 was clear – my intent was to develop a lexicon of theories in spiritual psychology for my public speaking, and potentially future books and projects.

This endeavor was for my mind and my intellect, not my soul.

As we sat, day after day meditating, I found myself getting more irritable. Because, the world continued to happen…

Brexit, stirring fear and uncertainty

Terrorist attacks in Turkey, Bangladesh, Iraq, Saudi Arabia

The refugee crisis

My friend mourning her husband’s death to cancer

Philando Castile and Alton Sterling

Police shootings in Dallas

Accepting that we had to let go of Cleo, my brother’s dog Continue reading

Intent of the Day: A Little Quiet

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This morning has come and gone, and maybe it was a frantic mess. Maybe, like us, you rolled out of bed 30 minutes later than expected with 10 minutes to be somewhere. Maybe this isn’t the first time this has happened. It’s no surprise then when you feel tired, discouraged and running behind all day until you finally get to crash back into bed and start all over again. Doing something different is going to require intention. Our intent is to start the day with a little quiet and so we want to decide what patterns, habits and mindsets need to stay while we also consider which need to go.

Needing a little less tornado in your mornings? Here are 3 things to help you: Continue reading

The Four Steps to Forgiveness

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The path through life brings many challenges to all of us. One of the most common challenges we face is the need to give and receive forgiveness. It’s something that bonds us all, regardless of our background or place in life.

The new movie The Shack illustrates this concept beautifully. In this movie, the main character loses his child in a horribly brutal way. The pain from this ordeal leads him to question everything about his life. Often it is through pain and tragedy that we are all forced to step back and examine our lives.

The character, Mack, goes through four stages of forgiveness that represent what we all need to go through at one time or another. Through his experience, we can all learn a great deal about hope, love, forgiveness and the divine power that is always available to us if we simply are willing to receive it. Continue reading

Intent of the Day: Conflict with Patience

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Patience and perseverance
have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.
-John Quincy Adams

These are tough times. It is hard to know the difference between what is real and what is propaganda, what requires our full attention and what is just distracting noise, what is truth and what is the fear of what-if. So what will disarm this fear? What is the best way to combat the anger? Will we fight fire with fire and will anything be left standing after the fire storm? Today our intent is to address conflict with patience.

How do we do that? Here are 3 things to help: Continue reading

Intent of the Day: Love Looks Like

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2016 was a particularly stressful year for many of us. Families and friends were divided politically, socially, geographically and that can force us to reconsider all we took for granted and expected from our relationships. What if we don’t agree? What does that mean for all of us? While this can feel scary, we want to consider a different and more empowering question. What will love look like when it’s full of intent?

We are excited about the opportunity to take an active role in deciding what love will look like for us. We are excited to be purposeful when it comes to loving those around us and beyond. To love with intent is to give our best effort at making a difference.
Today our intent is to decide what love will look like for us.

You too? Consider what it’ll look like to love these 3 groups of people in your life: Continue reading

Intent of the Day: Speak Kindly

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Today in the US polling places are filled with people who are going to make history with their votes. We’ve been inundated for months with opinions of every person with a computer, phone or video camera. Who should win this election? What are the issues that matter most? Which issues are being underrepresented? Everyone has an opinion and sadly, it seems like it has brought out the worst in so many. It happens when people feel violated. It happens when people feel unseen and unheard. It happens when people are scared. Regardless of what happens, the sun will still come up in the morning. The hands on the clock will move forward. Your neighbor will still be your neighbor. So today our intent is to speak kindly.

You too? Here are some things to help:

Think twice.
Not every thought we have needs to be spoken out loud. We know that may be hard to believe. But words, like the feathers of the proverbial pillow, have a hard time being gathered back up and replaced once they’ve been set free. Before rushing to say everything that pops into your mind, make sure you’ve heard clearly and correctly. Consider whether your opinion helps or hurts the situation at hand in this very moment. Not sharing something doesn’t make you less right. Sharing something doesn’t mean you are right at all. Today, choose to think twice before speaking.
Think of the bad day.
There are roughly 7.5 billion people on this planet right now. That is 7.5 billion people with 7.5 different upbringings, different day jobs, different routes they traveled to work today, different hours of sleep they got the night before. Before being harsh or seeing someone as a speed bump in your day, consider the possibility that this my be the worst day of their life. Imagine what you would want from a friend, family member or even a stranger on the worst day of your life. There is significant power in being able to empathize and maybe kind words are the unexpected solution to a bad situation. (We love this commencement speech by David Foster Wallace where he encourages us to see the people who frustrate us as complete humans with experiences we don’t fully understand, instead of roadblocks or hindrances.)
Think of what you’re making.
The words we speak are making something. They are building things up or tearing things down. They are strengthening and affirming or they are weakening and destroying. Some things in our lives need to be torn down and some need to be built up so, you decide your intents and the future you are trying to create. If it’s a world that’s a little more peaceful, a little kinder, a little softer, then do you part in your tiny corner of this earth to create that. Create that by choosing kindness when you speak. Choose it by letting your words matter every time they come out of your mouth. Because those words have weight and they give life to things that you may never fully grasp. Words of encouragement have encouraged the underdogs of our world to achieve amazing things. Words of discouragement have torn down many a brave and hopeful human. What are you making?

Intent of the Day: Forgive

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To be considering forgiveness means you have something to forgive. It means you’ve been hurt, betrayed, upset, done wrong. It is the story of us as people: helping and harming, sometimes in the same breath, and so many of us walk through our days with battle wounds amassed over the years. From strangers. From friends. From family. From our spouses.

Holding on to the anger and sadness has been a heavy burden, so today our intent is to forgive. We understand that forgiveness can be complicated and take a long time. It can feel unfair and it can feel weak, but we hope to change our minds on that. Are you creating an intent to forgive as well? Here are 3 resources that helped us: Continue reading

Intent of the Day: Peace in the Unknown

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Our intent is to be at peace with the unknown. That might be health. That might be timing. That might be your job or a relationship. The unknown can arrive at any time and rather than be scared of it, we intent to embrace it and walk forward in confidence.

You to? Here are three resources to help:

 

  • This video from eco-philosopher Joanna Macy about the importance of accepting the unknown as a key to success.Joanna Macy is imploring a generation to pursue health and repair of a highly damaged earth. Her encouragement? Not to be afraid of the unknown or the risk of failure in the pursuit of a lofty goal. It means that you are not guaranteed anything on the other side of a venture. Instead, you are led by purpose and passion. Make room for peace by accepting that you are not performing for an outcome.
  • This video from Mallika Chopra about pursuing purpose, peace and joy no matter what the circumstance.

    Whether you’re in sickness or health, good times or bad, richer or poorer, living a life of purpose, peace and joy is possible and so important. How to do  you get there when so much is unknown? Mallika Chopra shares 6 ways from her book Living with Intent. to tune your mind and actions.

Music: A Coping Mechanism During Bereavement

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Many of us know that experiencing the loss of someone in our life can be devastating.  Each one of us processes death differently and in our own time.  Finding tools to assist us in this process can be a miraculous thing.  Music can be an amazing catalyst to assist us in processing challenging emotions such as anger, sadness, guilt and anxiety that may occur in the bereavement process.  Songs can be amazing messengers in these challenging times that provide comfort and allow us to bring our feelings to the surface. As we begin to deal with our emotions, the healing process can begin.  Here are a few suggestions to utilize music as a coping mechanism during bereavement. Continue reading

Intent of the Day: What Does Peace Feel Like?

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We are familiar with the feelings of stress and anxiety.
We recognize the pounding heart, the tension in your forehead, the narrowed scope when it comes to listening and even seeing what’s going on around you.

As negative as those things can be, it can be easy to fall into what is familiar and culture can tell us that being stressed is standard. If stress is familiar, we can end up there over and over again. We can forget that it isn’t a healthy place to stay.

Do you know what peace feels like? It can feel more foreign than we realize because peace will require you to intentionally slow down to experience it, and the world is not always supportive of slowing down.

What does peace feel like? Does it feel like a lowered heartbeat? Does it feel like an unclouded mind? Does it feel like the weight has been removed from your shoulders?

What does peace sound like? Look like? Smell like?

If we don’t make space to experience peace, are we ever going to be in a mindset where we can make clear decisions, feel the fullness of now or really see people?

Not sure if you know what peace feels like? Here are some resources that might help: Continue reading

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