When I first went freelance in 2004, my plan was to write about some of the amazing activists I’d met and heard about. I’d been involved in the peace and women’s movements for years and was regularly overwhelmed and awed by people’s courage, intelligence and more. I figured even though I could never go to such places or do such things, I could at least help braver souls than me get the word out.
Looking back, the year before, I’d been depressed. If memory serves, I realised something was wrong when I could no longer hold in my tears until I was somewhere private or even just crying quietly at my desk but was openly weeping simply walking through the office each day. I couldn’t stop imagining the devastation caused by our bombs and policies in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere (my name’s Eve – I used to feel personally responsible for everything).
When I told my boss I thought I better see my GP, she looked beyond relieved. I was in complete denial about all my own stuff at the time but knew I felt hopeless about the world and my ability to impact it. Rather than wondering why I was so upset, I couldn’t understand how everyone else wasn’t. The doctor signed me off for a couple of weeks and prescribed medication I knew I would never even fill the prescription for – I knew that I needed to change my life rather than popping pills.
I’d already started training as a complementary therapist and coach and going freelance while setting these businesses up made me feel more hopeful. Naturally, it was MUCH harder setting up than I’d ever imagined (and totally worth all the struggle).
My first ever press conference was at a www.vday.org/ conference in New York with Eve Ensler, Sally Field, Jane Fonda and activists from Iraq, Afghanistan and other places. (I couldn’t resist telling a startled Eve Ensler and Gloria Steinem that their writing had saved my life.) But, while I wrote about it for a couple of titles, mostly, the editors who were commissioning me wanted me to write about wellbeing.
Eight-plus years on (including a gazillion hours’ training in various wellbeing related disciplines and, of course, client hours later), I understand that world peace (feels embarrassing to type it but I DO still crave world peace) has to start with personal peace.
When we’re at war with ourselves, we’re cranky (angry, hostile or worse) with others. I know in my own life, when I’ve not been looking after myself, I’m that bit shorter with others. By taking responsibility for our own energy and doing the things that help us feel strong, centred, calm, loving and secure, we’re able to negotiate better with others even when things feel quite volatile.
So this new section of my blog will focus on some of the small but effective ways we can all (everything I write is still a reminder to myself to keep putting all this fantabulous stuff into practice in my own life) boost our personal peace.
We can all help make our own worlds and the whole world that bit more peaceful, kinder and more loving.
I hope you’ll enjoy it
Image courtesy of digitalart / freedigitalphotos.net