Tag Archives: peace

Happy International Day of Peace!  

 

InternationalDayofPeace

When I became a freelance journalist in 2004, I’d met many incredible peace activists and thought I’d be sharing their stories with a wider audience.

Am blushing writing this because I realise that 20-something me was imagining myself as a Christiane Amanpour type without the experience.

Still, this was the impetus behind my going freelance in 2004.

Unsurprisingly, I only got a couple of ‘peace’ pieces commissioned but, as a coach and complementary therapist (later adding other therapies), I was being commissioned to write about what I began to see as personal peace and self-care. It was better known as wellbeing.

Over the years, I’ve learned that I’m far better able to focus on the larger world when I’m OK. Otherwise, I don’t have the energy to take any kind of action in the direction of contributing to a more peaceful planet.

Even on a micro level, if I’m not well myself, I’m far crankier than usual. For example, if I then hold a door open for someone and they don’t say thank you, I’m likely to feel irritated. This then has the potential to ripple out and connect with others’ irritation and anger.

With all that’s going on in the world, it might seem futile to attempt to, as Gandhi said, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ and yet, as individuals, we have more impact than we sometimes realise.

Irritation and anger (rage even) have their benefits but when we’re taking good care of ourselves, we can use our emotional storms to make us stronger.

What are your warning signs that you’re contributing to angst rather than peace in the world?

What helps you take better care of yourself and those you care about?

What are your dreams for peace at a global level? If you have children and/or grandchildren, what kind of world do you want to be leaving for them?

How can you infuse more peaceful energy into your day today?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

 

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Do you have TOO much empathy and compassion for others?

boundaries

 When someone hurts you, do you immediately imagine where they’re coming from and see their point of view in an effort to forgive and forget?

I was raised Catholic and when I was about 5, I had the very odd ambition of wanting to be a saint. Ideally a martyr (I blame having read waaaayyyyy too many Lives of the Saints books).

As I got older, I stopped going to Mass but hugely admired fictional characters like Atticus Finch (in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, NOT Go Set a Watchman) who turned the other cheek.

While still very pro peace, a key aspect of my work (and I was my first client) is encouraging clients and students to look after themselves first.

When people have experienced interpersonal trauma, been in any kind of minority group or have been bullied, it’s easy to automatically connect with the needs of more powerful people than your own.

But by recognising you deserve so much better, you can set healthy boundaries and maintain them even when people are taking the p.

It’s another practice (progress not perfection) but so worth doing.

Next time you notice yourself being compassionate and empathic towards someone you’re struggling with, ask yourself if you’re also being compassionate and empathic with yourself.

The more we can be whole ourselves, the more we CAN extend that compassion and empathy towards others but now it won’t be in a way that gives mixed messages or leaves us vulnerable to abuse.

Being boundaried is a practice – I have been working on it for decades and still get sudden crash courses which remind me I’m still vulnerable to getting hooked into old habits – but it’s so worth getting better at.

And now, when I get triggered, I’m a bit better at saying, ‘Thank you, Universe, for this new opportunity to practice setting and maintaining healthy boundaries’. Not immediately. I still often shame spiral wondering what I’ve done to attract the situation but not to the same degree.

Have you ever sided with a bully, abuser or oppressor over yourself?

What helps you turn your compassion and empathy spotlight back onto yourself?

 Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Happy Autumn Equinox and UN International Day of Peace!

AutumnEquinoxPeace2016

We may feel helpless in the face of many of the horrors going on around the world. But by paying attention to our own energies and what we’re contributing to the world, we can do a little to send out ripples of peace in our own days and lives.

This isn’t about suppressing rage and injustice, hurt and pain, but by having empathy for ourselves and whatever we’re feeling, not acting out on those feelings but finding healthy ways to express them, release them or even harvest them.

Our feelings (even rage, fury and anger) can be powerful when we use them wisely.

Similarly, while balance isn’t really sustainable as long as we’re alive (life can be messy), we can notice the things that support us in feeling balanced enough.

What might help you feel more balanced and peaceful (towards yourself as well as others) today?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Safety pins and self-compassion

safetypin

What a week!

Apart from here, the floods in Ghana, attack in Turkey…

There have been high emotions in the aftermath of the vote. I’ve shed a lot of tears, hearing about the increase in racist attacks, wanting to connect and collaborate with the world at large, not be cast adrift.

Also, respecting the democratic process and knowing we’re all doing the best we can with what we know at any given time.

A lot of us are struggling with our sense of identity.

I’ve been clumsily attempting to be super friendly to people who look like they might be not from here.

Then, to increase the strange looks resulting from my beaming at strangers in London and Essex, trying to be extra friendly to everyone.

Being naturally more introverted (I think I’m an extraverted introvert), I’m sometimes exhausted by it all.

In attempting to be more smiley to people, I’m no longer hiding behind books and newspapers on public transport but making eye contact (the horror! Joke – it’s actually refreshing), I’m remembering that the heartbreaking stories are far from the big picture.

Still, what could I do to (without freaking anyone out by being too smiley), help others feel safer?

I was delighted to hear about the safety pins being worn to show solidarity with immigrant communities (again, as the daughter of an Irish and Indian, via Kenyan, immigrant, it feels a bit odd to show solidarity with myself so am aiming for some self-compassion rather than beating myself up for all the times I’ve cried or welled up since Friday).

The safety pin is such a great example of someone doing something simple to stand up (quietly and maybe not even needing to stand up at all) and say racism is unacceptable. And I can dial back my beaming at people so minimise the risk of freaking strangers out by being potentially over friendly in an effort to compensate for a tiny by vocal minority of racist individuals.

I’m also aware of the reports of Muslim women being targeted more than men (sexism as well as racism) and talk of older people being accused of voting badly and the need (my name is Eve – am still working on my overdeveloped sense of responsibility for the whole world), recent progress for gay and trans rights and desire for everybody to be safe, free to flourish, able to be their glorious wondrous selves without fear of attack.

Is there something you’ve been feeling hopeless and helpless about?

What is something small – safety pin tiny – that might help you begin to remember that no matter what’s going on around you, everyone is doing their best?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

butterflysiglogo

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail