How to Help Your Kids Find Inner Peace?

For many parents, it’s common to have children who experience different levels of anxiety and stress. It can often be disheartening to see your kids feel anxious or worried at such a young age. When you want to help your kids find inner peace, there are a few essential steps to take.

Set the Example

Kids follow our lead when it comes to how they handle stress each day, making it necessary to set the example. Remain calm in stressful situations and practice breathing methods to slow your heart rate. Avoid yelling, crying, or fretting in challenging circumstances, which will teach your child the wrong way to respond when encountering stressful situations.

Unplug from Technology

Make it a point to limit how much your child is connected to technology, whether they’re surfing the Internet or are watching movies on their tablet. Too much time on electronics can cause them to become overstimulated, making it necessary to set rules and boundaries that protect their emotional well-being.

When your child has the freedom and luxury of spending time on their electronics, download apps that will continue to promote peace. The apps can promote sleep and will allow them to stay calm. Everything from meditation tracks to inspirational affirmations is available, which will slow down your child’s body and mind when used each day.

Establish Quiet Time

Consider creating quiet time with your child where you can spend an hour reading, writing, or drawing without making any noise. Quiet time will allow your child to slow down and practice times where they have peace throughout the day, which can reduce their stress levels.

Create a quiet corner in a playroom or living room where the child can have personal space and slow down. You can add a few pillows to the area to make it easy for the child to relax and unwind in a comfortable setting that is cozy. Add a blanket and headphones where they can listen to slow-paced music and focus on their inner peace without any distractions.

You can also create a place where they can relax outside while still having peace. Choose a spot under a tree where they can sit and listen to the birds chirp. Adding a hammock will also help them take a nap or enjoy staring at the sky as they reflect on their day. Creating a space for them to slow down will make them have more of an appreciation and a need for their alone time.

Offer Encouragement

Encourage your child with affirmation each day to help them feel more confident in who they are as an individual as they spend time in the outside world. Anxiety in children is common when they begin to develop and are unsure of how to interact socially with different surroundings. Make it a point to encourage your child and point out their unique giftings, which will allow them to feel better about themselves.

Your encouragement will offer support to your child and can silence any negative thoughts that they have throughout the day when they spend time with their peers. Teaching them how to speak positively about and to themselves can also offer relief on days where they may be feeling insecure or incompetent.

Although you may not be able to have complete control over your child’s emotions, there are still ways that you can influence the amount of peace that they experience on a day-to-day basis. By taking the right steps, you can foster your child’s development and allow them to grow into a calm and composed individual.

 

How To Improve Life With Dreams and Goals

Dreams and goals are what makes life better. The relationship between dreams and goals have been the concern of many scholars for ages. Still, many people fail to make their dreams come true and stay focused on their goals. In addition, most people are running after money or funds to sustain their dreams and goals.

Why do we need to have dreams and goals? What is the relationship between dreams and goals? Read more to know how to improve your life through a good management of dreams and goals.

 Dreams and Goals: what’s the relationship?

The relationship between dreams and goals governs the achievement of a better life. Our happiness depends on the way we manage our dreams and goals. Considering that each of us is unique in his/her own way, we need to be careful about how we manage our dreams and goals. Dreams are visions, something that the person wants and desires to do. Dreams fuel our everyday life and help us be positive and self-oriented towards the attainment of plausible results. Goals define the success of our life, for they are specific objectives that we intend to reach in a given time or a given period. Besides, goals pave the way to the achievement of our dreams and is a rational way to build ones life according to an ideal. However, dreams are different from goals.

Presentation

How can dreams become goals that improve life ?

The status of our mind determines how our dreams become goals that could come true and then improve our life. In fact, human beings are made of body and mind. The mind works in the same way like the software of a computer. Our body is the hardware that could not function without the software. For a dream to become a goal that comes true, we need to have a clear mind. When our mind is clear, we have a better perception of life. We can easily identify our goals according to our dreams. That’s the way we could improve our life. Small goals achieved accordingly depend on the way our mind could work on a single goal in a given time. But how could we then clear the mind, so as to have a good perception of life, which leads to good dreams and goals?

Meditate to have good dreams and goals

In 2015, I was looking for a tool that could help me better my life by controlling the way my mind affects my dreams and goals. I was not really focused on my goals and my dreams seemed always far away from the reality. In 2016, I discovered meditation, and my life has become more positive, because I could now have good dreams and goals. Consequently, my goals become easy to be achieved. Not only does meditation help me improve my perception of life, but it also fosters my dreams and gives me the chance to practice letting go of bad thoughts or events that could ruin my dreams and goals. Meditation is definitively a tool that helps our mind be still, focused and peaceful. By making our mind standstill and focused, we easily attain our goals and by making the mind peaceful, we often have the best dreams of our life.

You may consider joining Peace Revolution to start your own experience with the practice of meditation. You may also want to read more about me and my practice of meditation here.

How Finding Inner Peace Changed My Life

Let’s face it! We all have a preoccupied life… Our daily life is all about waking up in the morning, rushing into the kitchen making breakfast for ourselves and our family, running off to work, getting back home exhausted and cranky, falling asleep in front of the TV and then repeating the same cycle (with some ups and downs) all over again, for the rest of our life.

Well, try my version: some time ago I started combining my Master´s studies (which is a crazy amount of homework, essays, lectures and presentations), an internship at the United Nations and working in a hectic job, while I am writing my thesis and translating a book. In the past, I used to come back home, crawl up somewhere in my house and cry over this stressful situation. During this time, I felt miserable and even when I was trying to sleep I wasn’t able to as the nightmares were sneaking in to haunt me.

But on one great day, it all changed.

Being Curious Finally Paid off!

It was a boring afternoon… I went to the kitchen to make tea and started surfing the internet looking for new internship opportunities. When I was surfing the internet I came across a website that was teaching self-development and inner peace lessons for free. I got curious and signed up.

During the first lesson, I had to sit down for 30 minutes and try to think about nothing (It felt impossible as I had so much work to do).  As the lesson went on, I categorised all the duties in my head instead of paying attention. I simply could not concentrate. But after 15 minutes, I was out of duties for the day and my body started feeling relaxed and I couldn’t feel my fingers (to be honest I freaked out, opened my eyes and counted my fingers before going back to meditation again!). After 30 minutes, I felt weirdly calm. It was in the afternoon but it felt as if it was six in the morning and that I was ready to wake up and start my daily routine.

Finding Nemo

The main point of meditation method was learning how to “be at the center of yourself”. The whole concept was vague to me for a while. The teacher would count down steps to calm the body down and then ask us to find the center in our body. Yet every time I was thinking:  where is the center?!

One night it happened. I was dealing with some problems regarding my studies and was in a desperate need of some minutes away from reality. When I got home, I changed out of my uniform, lit some candles, closed my eyes and sat down in the lotus position ready to start meditating. After a few minutes, it happened just like that. I was there – in the center, looking at my meditation object (the moon). It gave me a feeling as if I was finally in my own home. I could not hear anything, I could not feel anything, I was not even thinking as I was experiencing a genuine silence from the bottom of my center and was listening to the delightful sound of “nothing”.

Turning point

This practice that I started out of curiosity suddenly became a daily habit. It was the only “me time” during the day. I could not wait to finish my work and studies, get back home and start my inner journey. After practicing the inner-peace lessons for 42 days, I started to experience unique visions. I was visualizing myself in my most favorite place on earth, sitting by the Yara River looking at the magical sunset. One day, my visions took me to a mountain, where I was looking at the clouds passing by, caressing my face. The next day I felt the center of my body, reaching neutrality and felt deeply relaxed. The feelings were so deep that I was afraid to tell someone in case they would spoil it! Little by little, it changed my behaviour. I was able to make better decisions, think more clearly and be more focused on my work and studies. How incidental it was that a small moment of curiosity could change my whole life!

Want to be a Peace builder? Start with yourself!

We all want to change the world. I used to be obsessed about United Nations, following their pages thinking, “Wow, these guys are changing the world! It’s amazing; I want to do that too”. However, if you had asked me back then, how I was going to pursue this ambition, I literally had no idea. I would simply be waiting for someone to tell me what to do instead of taking initiative myself.

I believe it is great to have ambitions about changing the world, but now that I have more experience, I know that you can only achieve your goals if you start from within yourself. It is impossible to be a famous worldwide peace builder in one night. The most important thing is that you start somewhere, whatever method works for you. For me the inner peace lessons were very helpful. It does not have to take much of your time – 10 minutes a day is a good start and then before you know it, you are ready to change the world.

How to begin your inner-peace journey?

Here are a few suggestions if you are interested in experiencing the same journey to find your inner self like me:

  • Take your meditation posture on the floor,  chair,  or a sofa;
  • Relax your body and then your mind;
  • Concentrate and be aware of your surroundings. Find a central place within yourself and imagine it is a mental object, such as the moon;
  • Reach complete silence and equanimity in your mind. From this moment onwards, neutral observation and detachment to whatever may arise or occur is important. If thoughts arise, one can combine the mental object with a phrase (i.e. “Clear and Bright”)
  • Before getting up: spread the LOVE to all beings.

See you at the center!

How Can Inner Power Lead To A Successful Life?

Most of the people in the world are in a quest for a happy life, freedom and security. The search of happiness and successful life is therefore one of the common goals to everyone. How to acquire this happiness and how to enjoy life in freedom and security? Read further to find out one of the best ways to achieve beautiful things in your life and become an active agent of positive changes through strengthening your inner power.

Life is made of challenges. This is the reason why many people find it difficult. In fact, challenges are not made to handicap the attainment of our goals. Instead, they are the source of knowledge and experience. When we have a lot of experience in life, we become wise, and this wisdom helps us in many ways. Through challenges we learn new things, because life is a kind of school, where we never finish learning. In order to be patient and cope with everyday challenges, there is a very important key that is universal and could allow people to open the doors of happiness, prosperity and good life.

 Relationship between inner power and inner peace

Inner power is what we need to be confident and positive in everyday situations. Inner power is also referred to as inner peace. With inner power we find life easy and joyful because it helps to have the right perception of things in the world. Our perception becomes more clear, and we easily understand why and how certain number of situations need to happen in our life. Most of the time, things happen for good reasons. However, we fail to understand that just because we are in lack of inner power. When life presents a certain challenge, we often perceive it in a bad way with bad ideas leading to bad feelings and bad actions. Sometimes, it is after many years that we can understand the reason why we had to undergo the given challenge.

Ability to manage the thoughts

Inner power is therefore needed in order to be more positive and to learn to rely on our life. Inner power enables us to sharpen our views, to see life as it comes and practice letting go of bad experiences. Besides with inner power, we always know what is good or bad for us and can easily choose the best way to take. People who connect with their inner power are the most productive men and women in the world. Even when they are facing troubles, they always find a way out to keep on moving towards the achievement of their goals. The stability of our life also depends on how we manage our thoughts. Since everything starts with an idea, there is the need to control our thoughts or at least to have a full management of our emotions and feelings since our thinking process affects our life.

Meditation to build strong inner power

Moreover, good mental status impacts positively our life. It is the reason why we have to train our mentality through constant meditation. Mediation is the practice that helps us still the mind and paves the way to a strong inner power. When the mind is still, focused and peaceful, we find the inner power that we need in order to have a happy personal and professional life. You may consider joining Peace Revolution to know how to build your inner power through a practice of mindfulness and meditation.

 

How Meditation Gave Me A Meaning

It was more than three years ago that I discovered meditation. I still remember the doubt in my mind as I sat down to meditate for the first time: why am I doing this? I could be doing all those hundreds of things on my “to do” list. But I am just sitting here, in the middle of the room, with my eyes closed, doing nothing. The only thing that motivated me back then was the Peace Revolution Fellowship in Thailand that I would attend after completing 42 days of self-development program. So I did it. After coming back from the Fellowship, it turned out to be the most life-changing experience ever – now I wouldn’t skip a day without meditation.

Paradise Island

Imagine yourself on a beautiful paradise island. You are watching the sunrise while doing yoga, eating delicious Thai food, meditating four times a day with around 30 people from all over the world, interacting with Teaching Monks and learning from their wisdom, doing different activities throughout the day that help you be mindful and see goodness in others and yourself, start noticing your habits and realize how lucky you are to be alive. You are not allowed to use electronic devices and internet, but you don’t need them, and it makes your mind feel fresh and free. You follow the discipline and wake up at 5 am for the early morning meditation, and you find it exciting and doable.

We don’t usually have these experiences in our daily life, do we? We are busy with our work, studies, personal life; we often think that we need to achieve more, earn more and possess more to be happy. But is that true? Can external things make us happy? For how long? The Fellowship in Thailand was about leaving all the desire, greed and ego behind. In fact, it was not about learning something new. The designed program, the discipline, the opportunity to be disconnected from all the worries and problems back home was all about returning to oneself: pure, happy and free.

Lost in India

Before the Fellowship, it was already some time that I felt lost in life. Despite having a good education with a great background in journalism and abundant project experience from all over the world, I felt that there was something more than that. I certainly knew that my life was not about going to an office and doing a job that I didn’t actually like or following the patterns of society and starting a family at a certain age. Therefore, having finished all my assignments in Europe, I went to India, the country that I loved and where I had worked as an English teacher before. I wanted India to somehow show me the direction, perhaps give a job that I would enjoy, find a place where I would stay and solve my problems. I was disappointed to find out that nothing was falling in my hands as I had expected. I struggled to find a place where to stay (moving from one place to another almost every day), my money was running out, no jobs came to me just like that, and my knee started to pain reminding me of an old injury that I had not fully fixed back home. With a desire to become a published writer, I realized that this would not bring me any income leading me into more uncertainty and worries about my future, about what I wanted to do in my life. When looking back at those days, I am grateful that it was exactly this moment that I joined the Peace Revolution Fellowship in Thailand and started a journey to my true self.

Finding oneself

One may wonder: why is it necessary to find ourselves? What is there to discover, when we already have a family, job, personal life, hobbies that we enjoy. At some extent we know who we are. But is it our true self? Do the labels that we wear define us? Are they permanent? We never know when we are going to lose our job, end our relationship, change our status in society or on the contrary – get a new job, start a new relationship or move to another country; we want it or not, everything in this world is changing, and nothing is forever. This is why the external factors that happen to us, the roles that we play and the labels that we wear, even the thoughts that we have, – they do not define who we truly are. Life keeps on changing all the time, so the quest for the true self and for more purity is never-ending. This is why meditation for me is this amazing tool that helps to stay aware, that allows to stop and observe, that connects me to my personal space, my inner salvage where to return and where the truth lies. Once this happens and I have meditated, it is easier then to stay mindful about every passing situation and make sure that I act in the best possible way at each given moment of my life.

Sharing with others

It doesn’t mean that after the Fellowship, my problems got solved. I would still have my busy “to do” list, and I would still sometimes feel lost searching for answers. What has changed is the way I look at life and the way I do those things on my “to do” list. With meditation, I give more meaning to everything I do, I let go things that I cannot change and I approach problems with a positive, solution-oriented attitude. And though it is not always easy to remember it amidst daily responsibilities and busy routine, I know that at the end of the day there is something to return to, something that matters the most before everything else shall happen – meditation and my inner peace. 

After completing the Fellowship in Thailand, I joined the Peace Revolution project as a Peace Coach and later became a meditation and mindfulness trainer (Peace Architect). Now as I sit down to meditate, I feel a totally different motivation. I want to take care of my mind. Moreover, meditation has become my mission: I want to share it with everyone wherever I go.

Peace Revolution Fellowship 13 participants on the deck before boarding a boat to the Mooktawan island.

You’re Good Enough, And Always Have Been

If you’ve ever struggled or still struggle with loving yourself, know that you are not alone. And more importantly, know that there’s nothing wrong with you for feeling this way. In a world full of pressures and expectations, it is easy to feel less than. It is easy to compare ourselves to others or seek perfection when it is not necessary (or healthy).

Learning To Open Up About Your Struggles

I wholeheartedly believe that it is important to be open and honest about your own struggles. Without communicating our struggles, fears, and negative thoughts, it’s nearly impossible to start on the road to a healthy mind. Whether this means talking to a friend, family member, therapist, or even a journal, it helps tremendously to release your emotions.

Let me start by opening up about my own personal struggles with perfection and never feeling good enough.

Throughout high school, I put a lot of pressure on myself to get spectacular grades. While it was fabulous that I wanted to get good grades, my approach was not healthy. Rather than being satisfied with my achievements, I would dwell on the smallest mistakes. If I missed one question on a test, I would see only that mistake, not the achievement. Spectacular was not even enough. In fact, perfection wasn’t even good enough–it was just “all right.”

When my high school years came to an end and I no longer stressed about grades, perfection slithered its way in differently. This time, I became obsessed with weight loss and health, never seeing myself as worthy of happiness if I didn’t achieve a certain weight or maintain a specific diet.

This struggle was with me from a young age; even when I was in middle school, I struggled with my weight and in high school I attempted diets, but ultimately made a lifestyle change. At first, I lost weight healthily but then I began to obsess over it. Weight and calories were always on my mind and thin was not enough–I had to keep losing more and more weight.

The peak of my eating disorder lasted the first semester of my freshman year of college, but the mindset took a long time to fade away. Throughout these struggles, I’ve realized that if you don’t love yourself, happiness is hard to come by.

Taking Care of Yourself, Every Day

After I began focusing more on loving myself, my mindset began to change. I replaced negative thoughts with positive thoughts, bad habits with good ones, and hatred with love. My whole mindset needed to change. It took a lot of time and work, but it paid off, and I work every day to be good to myself.

I want to repeat those last few words: I work every day to be good to myself.

Loving yourself isn’t something that happens over night. It also isn’t something that, once learned, can be thrown under the rug. We are constantly changing, so we need to constantly reevaluate our approach to self-love, and cater our efforts to the needs of the moment.

I want to remind you of a phrase that has helped me tremendously: You are good enough, right in this moment, and always have been.

I think we can easily spend too much time thinking about the person we want to become rather than the person we are right now. If we don’t work on loving ourselves in the moment, how can we expect to love ourselves in the future?

Of course, we can always improve and strive to be better people, but we don’t have to give up our happiness during this journey.

Self-love starts with this very moment.

Without caring for ourselves and communicating our struggles, fears, and negative thoughts, it’s nearly impossible to start on the road to a healthier mind.
If you want to read more by Jerry Ehlers, please visit his website Discovery Overflow.

Two Peace Agents joining forces in Spain

On September 3rd, in a small town in the southern province of Cadiz in Spain — Alcala’ de los Gazulez — two Peace Agents — Zulema and Gea — joined forces and organised a mindfulness activity for the town political meeting.

The story that enabled me to organise this small event with Zulema goes back to the International Fellowship in Thailand, ‘Peace on the move 18’, held in the Forest Sanctuary in Loei Province in which both Zulema and I met for the first time.

The fellowship is a 14 days intensive training program providing participants with deeper insight in the relationship between inner peace and sustainable world peace and enhancing their ability to create peace within their family, professional and social environment.

Last night after the fellowship, Zulema woke up early to go to the airport to take her flight back to Spain, but while packing, she forgot to take with her the PIPO book, a priceless source of wisdom taught by Luang Por Dhammajayo, the abbot of the Dhammakaya temple in Thailand, one of the most respected and experienced meditators for 45 years.

Zulema had won the book as a prize within a mindfulness context during the fellowship in Thailand. After noticing that she had forgotten it in the PIPO house, I thought it would be no problem for me to mail it to Zulema once back in Europe. But then, another thought occurred to me: why not go directly to Spain to bring the book to Zulema?

So I did. This turned out to be not only a chance to see a dear friend, but also to join forces on spreading inner peace around the world. Moreover, since Zulema is actively involved in the politic scene of her town (Alcala’ De Los Gazules), there was no better scenario than organizing a mini event in which we would share our learnings about meditation and mindfulness.

You may be wondering: what’s the connection between politics and meditation? Let me explain by sharing one of the lessons that I’ve learned from my dear teaching monk LP John during the International Fellowship in Thailand: meditation helps you clear the mind, a clear mind develops the right understanding and thus it is able to generate more positive thoughts; the positive thoughts will lead to positive speeches and the latter will bring about positive actions.

Since political leaders from big countries to small towns or villages are often people who most contribute and influence the building and development of our society, we are in need for leaders who better own the tools of right thoughts, right speeches and right actions, thus they can help to shape a better, a more peaceful and a more positive society around us.

With this in mind, during the third political meeting of the town of Alcala’ De Los Gazules, Zulema designed a full day event packed with activities, workshops and a meditation session. And I was very pleased to help with the event organization.

The program started with citizens gathering around a typical local breakfast in a bar located in the main city’s square. At 10.30 after a meditation session guided by Alejandra Barbe’ Sevilla, Peace Architect from Peace Revolution, we all had cleared our mind and were ready to discuss political issues and plan strategies for the future of the town.

After a tasty lunch followed by a nice walk around the historical city centre of the town, Zulema hosted a workshop “Los animals salen del armario” which tackled sexual diversity in the animal world.

We finished the day by refreshing ourselves in the communal swimming pool and had a yoga session guided by Zulema.

The event Program

Zulema sharing with the audience her personal experience during the International fellowship in Thailand. (Photo by Gea Bonaffini)
Online Meditation session guided by Peace Architect Alejandra Barbe’ Sevilla. (Photo by Gea Bonaffini)
The town political meeting. (Photo by Gea Bonaffini)
Zulema hosting the workshop “Los animals salen del armario”. (Photo by Gea Bonaffini)
Zulema guiding a yoga session in the patio of the communal swimming pool. (Photo by Gea Bonaffini)

Today, more than ever, our world lacks political leaders who are committed to bring real and sustainable change to our society; peace is a word we often hear about but hardly see.

We should not lose hope, because each of us can actually do something to bring the change in the world here and now and to make peace a daily reality. How?

By simply being the CHANGE THAT WE WANT TO SEE.

Why global peacebuilders should join the LATAM Peace Summit 2016

peacebuilders

Do you know someone that is doing a heroic act of kindness and cultivating peace in the world throughout their project?

Have you ever wanted to recognize the great work that person is doing in the community, but you haven’t known how?

Well, the wait is over. The LATAM Peace Summit 2016 in Mexico is a great stage to shout out to the world all the amazing and inspiring stories that need to be known.

It takes courage to stand up and create ripples of positivity in a place where people may feel discouraged and tired of their actual situation.

Young peace activists bring light and hope by using creativity and leadership as the best tools to touch people through their own actions.

Their generosity and empowerment go beyond borders, creating strong networks with people worldwide that are leading similar paths. They only know that they can go further by working with a team who is on the same page.

Jack Kerouac said once: “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!””. This is what a peacebuilder truly is.

So, one of the great ways to show these peacebuilders our support and respect is by inviting them to join the LATAM Peace Summit 2016  in order to let the world know of their awesome work, don’t you think so?

Go and share this special event with that peacebuilder you have in mind right now!