Welcome to Peace Inside Out. My intention for this blog is to explore what a culture of peace might look like. A culture of peace supports being peace and being peace supports a culture of peace. What words would we use? What would a culture of peace expect from each individual? How would we treat members who were not acting from peace?
As you read this, notice your resistance or willingness to explore or wonder how you cultivate a culture of peace.
A life-changing experience for me was visiting the Achuar people in the rainforest of Ecuador. Still self-sufficient in the natural world, they rise with the sun, hunt and fish, tend their Gardens, love, raise children and die. They communicate with the plants and coexist with all life from insects to jaguars. They feed on life and go back to the earth when they die. They have beautiful well-toned bodies and peaceful natures. When anyone is out of balance, they fast and drink their sacred medicine, which brings them back to balance and harmony with the others. They travel in the Dreamtime, a world beyond the five senses, time and geology. They create their tools from nature for farming, fishing, hunting, and eating. Without interference from the outside cultures, their world is completely sustainable.
What are the components of their culture that we might adapt into a culture of peace? A culture of peace seeks no harm. Those who live in peace are part of the natural cycles of life, knowing that each part affects the whole. There is a presence and awareness of connection like the unconscious cooperation in the human body. The heart pumps the blood, the kidneys clean the blood, and the intestines take in the nutrients from the food. Each part does their job and yet each is dependent on the others.
A culture of peace seeks balance and is aware of being out of balance and the necessity to return to balance. A culture of peace is responsible for all of its parts. If one part is out of balance, the other parts must compensate and guide the imbalance to realign. Every part is alert and ready to assist each other. A culture of peace is highly evolved and responsible. It thrives on awareness, harmony and movement to maintain and create balance. A culture of peace is long sighted. It is relational with all life. It remembers the past; it looks into the future. It allows for natural cycles to unfold with patience and understanding of purpose.
How do we create a culture of Peace in this modern world?
It begins with taking responsibility for our self and our own peace. We must recognize when we are out of peace or out of balance and take steps to get back into alignment. It is possible that as we experience peace inside, we will be able to choose and speak from peace from a perspective of connection and relational wholeness. We begin by learning the new language and introducing others to an alternative way to express and view the world.
There are many groups that teach Social Emotional Learning (SEL) that include peace language. The BHW Women for Peace group discussion page lists Peace Groups. Please add your groups to this discussion. By connecting all the groups on a page and in our thoughts, with our actions and financial contributions, we add to the field of peace.
The BraveHeart Women Female Success Model, Nonviolent Communication, heart coherence, relational thinking, and the Language of Creation are examples of peace language that allow us to calm our sympathetic nervous system and our survival actions of fight, flight or freeze, and access our frontal cortex to respond. Notice and pay attention to how everyday language is unconsciously promoting conflict. What are you fighting against? Become aware every time you hear or use the word fight.
Once you recognize how your body responds to thoughts, words, and actions from the dominant culture that promotes separation and conflict, you have an alternative to connect to your heart and choose to speak from an intention of understanding and peace. Change the language and begin to change the culture.
What is your relationship with the peace culture?
Write your thoughts and assumptions in your peace journal and/or share your understanding of peace here in the Women for Peace group. Together we can create a field by focusing on what a culture of peace looks like, sounds like, and feels like. Here are questions to consider:
o Do I listen for and choose to talk in peace language?
o Am I speaking from my heart and inner peace or from my mind?
o Am I connected with and supported by any peace groups?
o Do I take daily actions for my inner peace?
o Do I take daily actions for peace in the world?
o What will I do today to create a culture of peace?
If your mind needs evidence that creating a culture of peace is possible, you can take the assessments and record your findings and insights in a peace journal. The assessment will also be available online to print out. You can retake the assessments at any time and reflect on how your inner peace is blossoming.
Using a 1 - 10 rating, 1 = Never, 10 = Always, where are you now in each of these statements?
o I am more aware of the violence in our culture than the peace actions.
o I don’t believe humans can live together in peace.
o I don’t believe that I can create peace on earth.
o I am unfamiliar with the language of peace.
On each exploration in Peace Inside Out you will have the opportunity to:
o Become aware of your assumptions about peace
o Assess where you are on a continuum rather than judge yourself
o Learn processes and tools to experience and embody inner peace
o Receive support and to share your process with others.
Namaste, The best in me sees and appreciates the best in you.