photo credit: Rebecca Zaal
Too often we are hit with tragic news of violence and hatred in the world. It’s easy to be overwhelmed and to feel helpless against it. But no hateful action against another comes from someone connected to peace in his or her own heart. It’s difficult to connect to your inner peace in the midst of a storm, which is why many of the practices I teach such as yoga, meditation, and contemplation are perfect training grounds. They are simple, quiet, and easy ways to connect so that when you are in the real world and hit with true adversity, you are already practiced and able to manage it. The peace you connect to in your own heart will lead the way for peace in the hearts of others.
Here are a few ways you can start right now:
- Begin a gratitude journal
- Get into nature
- Try a free meditation by Andy Puddicombe, Tara Brack, Meggan Watterson, or Ravi Walsh
- Share a meaningful post on Facebook centered around your intention for peace
- Quietly enjoy a hot beverage without the distraction of your phone
- Make eye contact with the cashier at the store and say, “Thank you.”
What does this have to do with health and wellness? Let me answer with another question. How can you be kind to others, or support the existence of a kind world if you are not kind to yourself first? How often have we ignored our need for good sleep, healthy foods, or consistent movement for the sake of time spent at work or caring for others? It is all that much harder to be of service to others if we ourselves are not cared for well. Of course there are times when we simply can’t get the sleep we need or lunch gets passed over or the workout is missed for a week, a month, a year, five years. To quote John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” So when that happens, take one simply step toward course correction and know you can always try again. Sometimes, there’s no stopping the falls we take in life, but you can be intentional about getting right back up again…and again…and again.
When it comes time to course correct, review these simple steps:
- Remind yourself of your intention whether it is peace, compassion, understanding, patience, enjoyment, connection, or fun!
- Ask yourself, “What can I do that is healthy for me AND honors my intention.
- Keep it simple and keep it going! When you fall off of your routine, get right back on again.
World peace is an inside job. Start with yourself.