Peace Begins Within
Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction.
The name Gandhi is associated with the word peace worldwide and there’s a good reason for that. Mahatma Gandhi is known for starting the peaceful revolution in India. Peace begins within- and this helped create the nonviolent communication movement. Gandhi’s birthday on October 2nd is a national holiday where he is respected and honored throughout all of India.
All human beings share the same basic needs. We also all contain the same ability to display compassion, and when we spend time to turn inward, we can share that compassion with others.
Nonviolent communication helps us take responsibility for our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Instead of manipulating a situation or lying, you work in partnership with another person to come to a peaceful resolution. It could be a conversation at work, a disagreement with a loved one, or perhaps even a political protest. We’ve all heard that anger is a waste of energy that doesn’t get you anywhere. And regardless of the outcome in your favor or not, you can first feel at peace with yourself in light of whatever the resolution may be.
Make Peace With Yourself
Want to make a difference in the world? You can make peace with yourself first! If you find yourself silently self-criticizing or falling into habits that don’t support you, it will be reflected in your actions and interactions with others.
People all over the globe are looking for solutions to make the world a better place… and it begins with you. Here are some ideas to help you develop of sense of inner peace:
Regular, daily meditation practice will begin to benefit your mental state and sense of inner wellbeing from the onset. There are numerous styles you can practice, so experiment with a few until you find one that resonates with you and that you can commit to. This is a practice to let go of your thoughts and clear your mind. You may find harmful thoughts lingering around and this is your chance to observe them and let them go.
Dedicate yourself to the practice every day to experience the benefits, as it’s said that 5 minutes daily is better than 30 minutes once per week! And if done in the morning, you’ll set yourself for a relaxed and calm day ahead.
Notice your interactions and conversations with others. What is your breath like? What is your body language like? Are you listening? Allow yourself to be fully present with another person and let everything else fall away. Leave any judgments at the door.
When you develop empathy, you can share in another’s experience, as if you were also wearing their shoes. Remember, it’s not just all about you. This is a part of developing your feelings and ability to emotionally relate. You are allowed to let your guard down instead of shielding yourself. Often, more depth and perspective arise.
Move Through Your Emotions
Be vulnerable. Allow yourself to cry. Give someone in need a hug (or maybe a stranger!). Find comfort in your emotions so they do not control you, your choices, or interactions in the world.
The next time you find yourself in a challenging situation, give yourself permission to become a witness. Notice if you can feel the difference between reacting to a situation versus responding. In the end, you can use the feeling of peace to guide you, so that nonviolence is a lifestyle for the greater good of all.