At the end of this year's World Peace Meditation being held at Seattle Unity, we'll all join hands and sing the song Let There be Peace and Let It Begin With Me. What can that mean for you and me on an everyday, practical basis? Does it mean we have to get our signs and march in a demonstration or is there something a little less dramatic-though not less effective-we can do? I can think of five ways we can make peace daily and have a tremendous impact on peace for the entire planet.
Peace Action #1
Our bodies are our homes while we're here. Through them we're able to experience this world in whatever way we do and through our bodies we're able to have an impact on this world and the people in it. Without bodies we'd be in the spirit world and not able to interact with the material world in the ways that we do. This is reason to celebrate our bodies and to be thankful to them for all they do. From this perspective, does it really matter that you'll never make the front cover of People magazine for having the world's best biceps or bosom?
Having fought the fight of rotundity and the accompanying self-hatred that largeness in this culture engenders, I have been delighted to find there are a number of books available that offer a plan for this journey of self-acceptance. Most of them stress learning to love the body you have rather than trying to change it. Interestingly enough, these books can usually be found in the diet section of bookstores. If you are at war with your body for any reason, get one of these and work with the exercises.
If you are a person who criticizes the bodies of others for various reasons, realize this is a symptom of your own body discomfort. When you do this you are saying a lot more about your own bad body thoughts than you are about the other person's size or shape. You could also profit from self-acceptance work.
Forgive your body for not being what you'd like it to be and for the times it has been tired or sick. If you are currently sick, it is especially important to forgive your body and begin treating it like a best friend. How do you think it could ever get better as long as you're hating and berating it? Be-friend your body, begin to listen to it, and find out what it needs from you-then give it what it says it needs and wants.
Peace Action #2
The best way I know to make peace with the mind is to learn how to meditate. Meditation calms and soothes the mind, giving it a chance to slow down, focus on what's important, and shift into neutral. There are plenty of books, classes, and tapes that can lead you through the process of meditation. Pick one and use it.
Train your mind to bless everyone and everything you encounter. When you give your mind something positive to do it has less time to be roaming around getting into mischief. Not unlike a small child, if you do not direct it to go in the direction of your choice it will go where it pleases. You and your mind will be much more peaceful with one another when loving discipline has been applied.
Realize what a miracle your mind is. Although some days it might not feel like it, the human mind can still hold more information than a computer. Appreciate all your mind does for you; without it you couldn't even be reading this article, much less doing your work or being creative. At times I have found it helpful to simply follow my thoughts when they are ones I'd rather not have, as opposed to trying to change them. Sometimes, they lead me to new understandings about myself or others, even though the original thought was critical or judgemental.
Our minds are vast and capable of so much more than we admit to ourselves. Making peace with the mind also means that we can more fully tap into the incredible maze of ideas and creativity that are rightfully ours.
Peace Action #3
One of the best ways to make peace with our soul is to do some past or pre-life therapy in order to get in touch with the basis for some of the decisions that were made. An ongoing practice of meditation also helps since this facilitates our soul connection.
Peace Action #4
Until our society becomes very highly evolved, different factions within it will condemn people for a variety of things and try to make life more difficult for those it dislikes or fears. It is up to each of us to make our internal peace with viewpoints which may oppose our own. This doesn't mean we may not still work with these issues in the outer world, but when we do we will be coming from a place of inner peace rather than from rage and indignation.
Peace Action #5
Have your opinions and beliefs and let it stop there. Make it fine with you if others don't agree. Let go of the need to be right. This takes a lot of pressure off right away. When it is as okay for you to be wrong as it is for you to be right, you will know you've taken an enormous step toward world peace.
There are many ways in which our world is experiencing greater peace today than it was even ten years ago. We also have a long way to go before world peace is a reality. Although there is great political and personal unrest around us today, each person can take steps to move their individual world environment closer to being a peaceful one. Begin today to make peace with your body, mind, soul, and society while releasing the need to be right and you really will be letting peace begin with you.