“At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Choose to be the PEACE and LOVE you want to experience in the world.
1. Take a few moments to settle into your heart and reflect on what changes you would like to see in the world.
2. While contemplating, ask and answer the following questions with honesty and non-judgment:
- Do I feel peace and joy inside regularly in all areas of my life?
- Am I practicing non-violence by choosing love, respect, and compassion for myself and others?
- Do I listen to others without judgment and desire to understand their story?
- Am I quick to forgive and slow to anger when it comes to my imperfections or others’ mistakes?
- Do I make time to care for myself, mind, body, and spirit?
If your answers leave room for improvement in some area of your life, commit to becoming the change you want to see. Make a personal pledge to cultivate the peace and love you long for the world to experience.
3. Get started with 4 Mindful Practices:
- ADOPT A MIND OF LOVE
Choose LOVE in every situation, especially when it’s hard. Starting with fiercely loving yourself. Loving yourself looks like refraining from negative self-talk, forgiving your mistakes, taking care of your heart, and believing in your worth. We can’t give away what we don’t have, so open your heart and believe in the love you’re made of so you can share and receive it from others.
Acts of love and kindness are everywhere, and more of them come into view when we pay attention. Be intentional about seeking out examples of love all around you, and be energized by the positive vibe they bring.
If you can’t see love in a specific situation, be love. Being love is choosing to be a safe space for others to share their perspectives and express their fears without judgment. Being love looks like non-defensive and compassionate listening from the heart rather than being lost in the head thinking about what we want to say next. Being love is choosing a peaceful response even when we disagree.
The little things and the big things, especially when it’s hard. Starting with forgiving yourself when you fail or mess up. As Maya Angelou said, “We do the best we can until we know better. Then, when we know better, we do better.” You are doing the best you can with what you know. We all are. But if we refuse to extend ourselves grace for our imperfections as we learn and grow, we’ll struggle to offer others the grace they deserve. Be willing to accept your faults and failures so you can accept others’ slip-ups as well.
As Holocaust survivor Edith Eger says, “To forgive is to grieve—for what happened, for what didn’t happen—and to give up the need for a different past. To accept life as it was, and it is.” Forgiveness frees us from the unrelenting storytelling in our minds about how things ‘should be’ so we can make peace with what is. It’s from a peaceful center that we can find our way forward and create a better life for everyone.
- BE AUTHENTIC & CREATIVE
When we stand in our truth and live authentic lives, following the desires of our hearts, we feel alive. We resonate peace and joy. In honor of those who lost their lives, choose to embrace yours fully. Follow your inner compass and pursue your dreams. Try not to settle or believe you must earn your worth or approval from others by meeting their expectations. #Authenticityheals.
Remember, you are a creator. So, create! Learn to play the instrument, paint, sing, dance, write, act, sew, design, build, and imagine. Give your emotions and your essence an outlet to express. This energy is meant to flow. If we suppress our creative juices and stuff down our emotions, they become blocked within us and create dis-ease and disharmony.
- QUESTION YOUR STRESSFUL THOUGHTS
We have up to 70k thoughts a day, 95% come from an automatic, subconscious program created from our conditioning, and 80% of these subconscious thoughts are negative. We aren’t consciously choosing negative, destructive, and stressful thoughts; they simply show up as part of our patterning. One of the best ways to create sacred space in our hearts and minds to experience inner peace is to ignore these negative thoughts. They can’t harm us unless we pay attention to them and assign meaning. The negative meaning we assign and the corresponding negative emotions are what steal our joy.
So, start with noticing when you are not at peace. Focus on your breath with deep, cleansing inhales and exhales, and settle into your heart space. Without judgment, question any stressful thoughts surrounding your discomfort. Pause long enough to ask, “Is what I believe true? Is it helpful? Is this thought useful and leading me or others toward peace and love?” If not, let it go. The negative emotions will follow, creating clarity for you to choose a healthier, conscious, more peaceful response.
4. Spread the word about the mission with others and raise the good vibes around you by building community around your stories of change and transformation. If you feel called to share your story publicly, submit it below so you can inspire and encourage others with your commitment to peaceful change. If you want to dive deeper into self-transformation beyond these four mindful practices, explore the extensive toolbox below.