Tag Archives: peace

A Response to Terrorism: 5 Ways to Bring About Change

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By Michael Bianco-Splann

Once again the world is infused with a sense of horror and shock by the heinous attacks on innocent Parisians enjoying a Friday night in the City of Lights. And our collective response sensationalized by the media leads us where? The facts leading up to this attack should in no way be received as a surprise, for the endless stream of human barbarism and war has not receded in millennia. Our contemporary world order looks strikingly similar to many civilizations of the past.

What is an alternative response to terrorism? Merriam Webster defines terrorism as, “the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal.” The heart of terrorism is to get under your skin, churning a sense of dis-ease and fear.

Any response powered by fear demonstrates low frequency, low vibration and has an internal destructive nature that ripples across the collective unconscious. Let us find a better solution than more killing, more savagery and attending to the lowest human frequency.

Here are 5 ways to address terrorism to bring about change. Continue reading

Be the Presence of Compassion and Peace

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At the level of consciousness or spirit, we are all inextricably connected to everyone and everything.While our body may appear to be a solid physical structure, in reality it’s an ever-flowing river of energy and information, in constant dynamic exchange with the environment around us.

Our language reflects our innate understanding of our essential energetic nature. We say things like, “His words really resonated with me,” or “I got a bad vibe from that person,” or “My friend has such aradiant heart.” These aren’t just metaphors—we really do feel each other’s energy and are affected by it at a profound level. Think of all the qualities in another person you intuitively pick up at an energetic level. Besides telling if someone is happy or sad, you can sense whether they feel peaceful or perturbed. Looking into their eyes reveals alertness or dullness, tenderness, or indifference. It’s hard to think of any human quality that doesn’t have a kind of energy “signature.”

As energetic beings, our potential to affect others with our energy or state of being is both a great gift and a great responsibility. When we walk into a room, our energy emanates from us. Without saying a word, we communicate through our energetic signature, creating a ripple that can affect everyone we meet. If our state of being is centered in love and compassion, we communicate that energy to each other. In the same way, if we’re mired in judgment, hostility, or resentment, we communicate that too.

Through our energy or consciousness, we have an unlimited capacity to send out ripples that will help the planet and its inhabitants move in the most evolutionary direction—from fear, hostility, and unrest to love, compassion, peace, and joy. Continue reading

Mindful You: Where Did the Day Go?

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You arrive at the end of your day.

Do you know how many steps you’ve taken?

Do you know how many calories you ate?

How many minutes were spent on a phone?

How many spent on “you time” or wrangling kids or making dinner?

Where did the whole day go?

Sometimes our days are a cyclone at best. If we made it out alive, it’s cause for celebration. The trouble when we stay in a perpetual survival mode. We live constantly like we’re barely squeaking by- grab the cookie from the office kitchen since there’s not a second for lunch! Send one more email from bed! “What is this lady’s name?! I know I’ve met her before!!” Continue reading

How to Be at Peace When the World Isn’t

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We seem to be living out the Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” The curse is probably mythical, but our interesting times contain much turbulence. The horrific refugee situation in Syria, the rise of the even more horrific ISIS movement, not to mention Ukraine and news of natural disasters that never ends–from media reports you might think the humanity is unraveling and the planet with it.

But in the face of chaos, some facts remain constant and stable:  Continue reading

From Intent.com: Cultivating Peace

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I found myself sitting at a business lunch highly frustrated without knowing how I got that way. Had someone said something to make me mad? Was I mad at someone? Was I mad about the service? Or maybe something that had happened en route to lunch?
It sounds like a lot of questions about a simple feeling but recently I’ve started taking a moment to inventory a situation when I’m frustrated. Continue reading

Words to Inspire Your New Year

Last year, many of our Intent team chose words to focus on in 2014.
Words like “courage” or “fun” became our banners for the days to come and, speaking personally, having a simple focus made life so much easier.
My word being “fun”, I would ask myself:
“What is the fun option?” 
“Would this be fun to me?”
“Which choice is more fun?”
It didn’t always mean that my choice was the most frugal or the most realistic.
It simply meant that whatever I was doing was the most fun.
The singular focus was so helpful in easing the anxiety and complication of decision-making which happened to be my issue at the time.

This year I’ll choose a new word. I encourage you to do the same.
Some options? Continue reading

How to Start a Meditation Practice

meditationHave you always wanted to start meditating…but don’t know how? Or started a meditation practice and quickly fallen off the wagon? It takes a little instruction, but it’s simpler and easier than you may think.

As yogis have known for centuries and scientists more recently discovered, the benefits of meditation are profound!

Studies show, that MEDITATION can help you: lose weight, vastly improve communication and relationships, reduce anxiety and depression, overcome addiction, sharpen your thinking and master your emotions.

When you meditate, you access deeper brainwave states, helping to clear distracting thoughts, reduce stress and boost brainpower while cultivating a spiritual connection and reaching deeper states of awareness and wholeness.

Meditation trains us to use the inevitable challenges of life as opportunities to grow.

TOP 10 TIPS ON HOW TO START MEDITATING

1.    Get comfortable. 
We tend to make meditation more complicated and challenging than necessary. Take it easy. Start by taking a comfortable seat. If you’re flexible, sit on the floor, on a meditation cushion, bolster or blanket (hips higher than your knees). If you’re not, sit in a chair with your feet on the floor.

2.    Same “Bat Time”. Same “Bat Place.”
One of the most lucrative ways to coax the mind into submission is to create a ritual. Set a clearly designated space for meditation. This can be as simple as a candle, picture or stone, thoughtfully placed.

Practice at the same time every day. Start with the same protocol for each meditation. Routine triggers the mind out of the left brain (logical, linear) and into the right hemisphere (intuitive, non-linear).

3.    Sit tall.
Posture 101: Sit tall. Straighten your spine. Sit in a chair or against the wall if you need to. Lengthen the spine to help increase circulation and keep you alert.

4.    Start small.
Start where you are. If 10 min. seems overwhelming, begin with 5. After a week, begin to add 1 min. to your practice each week until you build up to 30 min. (or more) at a time.

 5.    Be nice to yourself (really nice!).
As renowned meditation teacher Sally Kempton says, “Meditation is Relationship.” Ultimately, it is all about your relationship to yourself. The way you do anything is the way you do everything. Meditation teaches us radical acceptance, compassion and unconditional love. Be sweet to your byzantine mind. Surrender to exactly who you are and what is happening – Right here. Right now. Smile.

6.    Note your excuses.
Meditation is a practice of self-inquiry. Observe the excuses you tell yourself. “I’m too tired.” “I don’t have time.”  You can carve 5 – 10 min. out of your day. Notice how your mind rationalizes breaking your commitment. No judgment. Just observation and understanding. Then, recommit.

7.    Find a meditation buddy.
Accountability is the answer to your excuses. Find a buddy. We all have an overactive, unruly mind. It’s built that way! Find a friend who is also beginning to meditate, join a Facebook group or online course. Your struggle is normal…and it will get easier.

8.    Practice Makes Perfect.
Or at least perfectly imperfect. As the great Ashtanga guru, Patthabi Jois says…”Practice. Practice. Practice. All is coming.” Like anything, we get better with practice. Think of your meditation as bicep curls for the muscle of your mind. You are training your brain to focus, concentrate and let go. Over time, with consistency…you will become more skillful.

9.    Just Breathe.
The breath is a gateway beyond the mind. Our mind is addicted to analyzing the past or projecting into the future. The breath is only ever right here, right now. Focus on your breath to anchor the mind into the present moment.

10. Start a “Benefit book”.
End your practice by observing the benefits of your practice. How do you feel? What is your emotional state or mood? Make note any changes so they register in your body and conscious mind. Next time you resist meditation, remember the benefits to help you motivate and stay committed.

Deepak and Oprah Announce “Find Your Flow” 21-Day Meditation

Screen shot 2014-03-17 at 10.34.48 AMGet ready – Deepak Chopra and Oprah are launching another 21-Day Meditation. “Find Your Flow” is designed to help you find your inner guide and transform your life. Registration for “Find Your Flow” is completely free and begins today (March 17) here. The meditation officially begins April 14 so make sure to sign up now and pass it along to all your friends who could get in touch with their inner selves!

“Our next ’21-Day Meditation Experience’ takes a quantum leap forward,” says Deepak Chopra, in a recent article in the Hollywood Reporter about the launch. “‘Finding Your Flow’ deepens the experience as we move our life into the lightness of being.”

If you’re new to the Deepak and Oprah 21-day meditation experience – every day offers a new audio recording to guide you through meditation and ask tough questions to help you navigate your way through the path of that meditation’s particular theme. Past themes have included “Desire & Destiny,” “Miraculous Relationships,” and “Perfect Health.” The “Find Your Flow” meditation breaks down the goals by each week:

Week One: Begin to understand the energy within you and awaken the powerful flow available to us in every moment.

Week Two: Activate the seven key energy centers that lie within each of us.

Week Three: Experience the transformation and harness the magnificent flow created by you, moving towards joy, love and fulfillment.

So if you’re interested in finding your inner voice and getting in touch with your passions – “Find Your Flow” will be the perfect meditation experience for you. These are guided meditations so meditator of all levels are welcome to join – whether it’s your first time or you’ve been practicing for years – there’s something here for everyone. And did we mention it’s completely free? Activate your energy because you have nothing to lose!

From Intent.com: 30 Days of Okay

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I was 24 when I had my first panic attack. I seriously had no idea what was happening. I was driving a car and I was fresh from a situation where I felt like there was no escape. Before I knew it, I was pulled over on the side of the road, crying and trying to catch my breath.

Your body will let you do a lot of the steering of your life, but it is during an anxiety attack that you feel a little bit like a PC being taken down into Safe Mode. At a certain point, everything shuts down until you can get your head back on straight and that is a scary thought. To think that as an adult, my body might still have to say “she’s not ready to handle mess when it comes our way” is more scary to me than the actual panic attack.

It’s been a long time of learning about panic attacks- what causes them, what ends them, what is actually happening in the middle of them. I wish I could say I haven’t had one in years, but that’d be incorrect. So the other day on Intent.com, I posted my new intent to practice “30 Days of Okay”.

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For 30 days, when I feel myself start to freak out, I’m going to focus on this intent.
I am, in fact, okay.
And while things might not be ideal at the moment, in the grand scheme of things, I am going to live.

I have good friends and family.
I have a job I love.
I have opportunities that I don’t even close to deserve.
And tomorrow is always a new day.
I’m going to be okay.

I’ve been super inspired by some of the other 30 day intents on Intent.com.
Like,

So what about you?
In 30 days, who would you want to be?

7 Pieces for Peace on Valentine’s Day

Love: As much joy that this word promises, it also comes with its share of pain too. Love isn’t created to give any sort of troubles though. However, our attitude toward love has created a lot of havoc.
Here are my 7 norm breaking tips on making peace with love on this Valentine’s Day.
1. Don’t categorize love.
You have been taught to shower a different kind of love for different people in your life. Your spouse gets a certain kind of love, your children get another, and friends and colleagues are reserved for other varieties. Who taught you to categorize love? Society! The custodians of society will always come up with reasons to categorize love, just like they have categorized religion. Don’t use any filter in your love. Let it be equal,  transparent and pure.
2. Learn to let go.
The day must end to give night its way. The rain must fall to let the clouds have their way. The child must come out of the womb, grow up, and set on an independent journey. Letting go is the necessity in life. You cannot hold on to something in the name of love. You have had your experience with the person or situation, but now its time to let go. Be it an ex lover or a beloved who has passed away, release them all from your memory bank.
3. Express yourself.
Learn to express yourself. When love is expressed in its entirety, life is no longer a pursuit of happiness; It becomes happiness. Be it the person that you admire on Facebook or at your work place or your loved one. Take time to compliment the best thing in him or her. A well intentioned compliment finds its way into the other person’s heart.
4. Liberate your love.
It could be possible that you were insanely in love when you met your “soulmate” but now it’s also possible that you both have evolved (or devolved) to a significant extent. It is perfectly normal to bid a happy goodbye to each other when it’s time to part ways. Liberate your love from day one. Your loved one isn’t a prized possession. In liberating your love, you will find your truest self.
5. Love isn’t about others.
Your health is about yours. It’s not about others. But if you are healthy, you can help others to be healthy also. In the same fashion, love isn’t about loving others. We do that to fulfill our insecurities and loneliness. Love is about being loving. Love shouldn’t be what you are doing. Love should be what you are. If you are in state of deep love, you can have others in love too. The whole idea of loving others is a sham as it’s created to satisfy the innate needs of feeling fulfilled mentally and physically. The authentic love travels far and wide beyond such shallow needs.
6. Love is not attachment.
In fact, love is the complete opposite of attachment. Most of us are attached to the people in our lives and continue to call it love. Hence, the problems begin! In attachment, you would yearn for approval and seek happiness from others. In love, you don’t seek any approvals because you have accepted yourself the way you are. The extraction of happiness from others doesn’t happen in love. Do yourself a favor and see if you are in love or attachment with others.
7. Love, the express train.
The perfect metaphor to describe love in today’s times is that of an express train. We get on and off of the love train very often. The moment the other person doesn’t fulfill our needs, we get out of it. The moment someone starts to make us happy (even if it’s momentarily), we get on the love express train. It is tragic, to put it in one word. You have used love to channel the happiness in life but how long does  it last? You know the answer.
My job is to questions your answers. If these 7 pieces question any of your answers, then I feel accomplished.
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