Be a Relationship Catalyst

Who are you really?

This is the question that has made many of us get to where we are today. If we are not the body and we are not even the mind, who are we really?

We are created with a name, not the one our parents gave us at birth, but the name we bring by nature, the personal print that characterises our own life from others, the reason why we were born in a certain place, with certain parents or without them, and certain circumstances around.

I believe that we come to this life in order to define who we really are. Each of our life experiences help us recognize our true nature, we are not alone, we are interdependent, not in a sense that we can’t live without others, but in a sense that we search for connection in order to feel SAFE. We also want to take care of others, and in exchange we will accomplish our life purpose.

Everybody is a reflection of you, and the Universe brings exactly what you need, when you need it. Each of them brings a message for personal GROWTH, only if we are ready and aware of that, we can take it as an opportunity instead of an obstacle for self-realization. For example, I hear a lot of people saying: “I regret all the time I lost with that person” instead of saying: “I thank that person for showing me the parts I don’t like about myself”.

Finding what “I” is, open up infinite possibilities for engaging in better and fulfilling relationships. Think about what part of yourself you want to show up. Be and decide who you really are because you can’t give something you don’t have. If you are searching for someone special, you need to become someone special.

What’s the right direction?

If personal interactions are fundamental part of life, it’s our duty to create the most powerful experiences possible. The meaning behind this is to discover where I am going and with whom, therefore, we have the freedom to decide everything we want, to design and create our present moment according to our basic needs and the desire of finishing the job of self-discovery, which is never-ending by the way…

As human beings we have two main characteristics by nature: self-control and love. We are not meant to be weak, this is a reality! You are the life to renew yourself no matter what you’ve been going through!

Self-control is supremacy of power, authority and strength over yourself. We need to say “no” to negative people and negative environments. It takes something to let go of everything that keep us away from being happy, and this is courage to reject what no longer serves us. But again, we need to know our limits, our weaknesses and strengths first.

Loving ourselves does not mean that we are becoming selfish, loving ourselves instead means that we choose only positive to come to us. Love from a compassionate mind requires loving without expectations. And here I want to share my point of view regardless expectations; having no expectations doesn’t mean that we are expecting to complete ourselves with others; or that we don’t need anything from anybody, but that we find ourselves complete and we are ready to share our completeness with others. We all have something to share: time, knowledge, space, interests… that’s why we decide to connect with others and share what we treasure the most.

Find the balance

“Be the change you want to see in others”. To become a catalyst you need to understand that the only person you can change is yourself. We spend most of our time trying to change people and things around us, but the fact is that we are losing our time. If you do something, do it for a reason.

A good friend of mine always reminds me of relating with nourishing and positive people no matter what’s my final goal, he also encourages me to find a real motivation in new projects. The energy I use in daily life for working, volunteering, dating, helping family and friends should be full of power and love. And don’t forget to give yourself.

“Let go and let it be”. Just because you decide to become more open and tolerant doesn’t mean you don’t care about it. If you keep a good perspective, you develop the ability to respond instead of react, avoiding unnecessary stress and arguments, give you the free pass for assertive communication and the right to express yourself better about your feelings and needs, leaving behind guilt and frustration.

Actions for lifetime relationships

Creating positive bonds is not so hard, after you find the right balance and decide who you want to be. It is time to try out your inner wisdom and start correcting your habits to keep that balance and not get out of track. How can we make it easier?

1. Pleasant: let go of the ego, stop trying to be right about everything, specially when it comes to the relationship with your partner or spouse. It’s okay to be angry at someone for a moment but ask yourself the reason why you are feeling that way. A simple “you are right, I’m sorry” bonds you to one another.
2. Positive speech: your ability to speak is one of the ways to connect. Be aware of giving compliments and gratitude to your beloved ones. Laughing, having a good sense of humour, making plans for a social meeting, as well as the tone of voice you use is a part of the mindset that you need to feel good and make others enjoy the time together.
3. Compromise: as I said before, you can’t complete yourself with someone, it’s necessary to give space and proper communication. Everyone has their own needs and opinions, we must respect each other and share their interest or at least motivate them to follow dreams and aspirations.
4. Acceptance: when you see someone as they truly are, you see their good and bad habits, automatically you stay present to the nature of life, and you stop the need to change someone.
5. Be calm: make an effort to be mindful, cultivate inner peace at all times, be the role-model for everyone around you. Make your mind neutral to all senses as all the things we enjoy with our senses will die or end some time in the future. Holding on to them will delay the purification of the mind.

“How deeply you touch another life is how rich your life is.”

How to practice patience when facing negative emotions?

I like to define patience as peace + science, or in other words, the science of peace.

Patience is the ability to overcome challenges without reacting with anger. You can show patience with a good attitude in front of life difficulties. Being patient is also the comprehension of life facts without forcing anything or anyone, without getting attached to anything or anyone, without any effort.

If the patience is part of our natural state, why do we “lose” it?

Patience is lost as we allow what does not correspond to our real nature. The enemies of patience are negative emotions such as ANGER AND HATE, which bring suffering. These negative emotions are created in the mind because the mind is like a sponge; it absorbs both the positive and the negative, unfortunately, it is proven that the mind absorbs more quickly the negative than the positive.

In the world we live in, we receive daily hate messages such as wars, abandonment, and injustice. In social networks and television, they show us a reality full of falsehood and materialism called “mass consumption“. All of this is absorbed and accumulated by mind daily. It is as if the mind were a glass of water and each negative thought is a drop of ink that falls into the water and becomes cloudy and dark.

When we faced difficult situations, the mind is cloudy and dark and, instead of responding assertively, it reacts with anger and hatred.

If something happens that I do not want, I get angry …

When someone says or does something that I do not like, I get angry …

When situations do not go as I expected, I get angry …

If we analyze this pattern, there is always “something” or “someone” that “steals” our peace or patience. If we let everything that happens around affect us, we end up suffering. And this is because we are so dissatisfied with life that we always want something more and we do not even know what that something is.

As the Chilean psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo says: “People find it difficult to be happy because they think happiness is to be happy with everyone and everything, be happy and nothing more, laugh at everything. But if we could realize that happiness is to be serene. And that serenity is obtained when one is on the path he chose. Not exactly because he does well, that would be very easy. But we expect so much from the happiness that we have made it impossible.”

In order to end the suffering caused by anger and hatred, we need to change our DESIRES. Desires are another cause of suffering, and uncontrollable desires can lead to death. People hurt themselves, self-flagellate, suffer from depression, anxiety and end up losing patience altogether.

We all face obstacles; if they have a solution, there is no reason to be angry, and if they do not have it, how does it benefit us to get angry?

But here is something important, NOT all suffering is bad, the small daily sufferings that affect us physically and emotionally, such as pain and illness, also prepare us to endure great adversities. If we become familiar with the challenges every day, we become stronger, and it becomes easier and easier to solve them.

How to cultivate patience?

One of the most effective ways to cultivate patience is to have TRUST, trusting that everything we need comes to us at the time and in the right way, without any effort. This we can call waiting, “wait patiently.” If we return to the example of the glass with water, if we let the ink settle in the bottom of the glass, we can see clearly and choose to respond assertively to the challenges, instead of getting angry.

Confidence allows us to understand that everything arrives at the perfect moment and time. For some strange reason, humans have developed the need to control everything, including others. This creates great disappointments of how life is according to what we expect from it. Through the practice of trust, we let everything flow without the need to control; flow with life is much more relaxed and effective than go against the flow!

One of the best ways to cultivate that natural state of patience is by means of meditation. Meditation is an exercise for the mind, which is, as I mentioned earlier, the source of negative emotions and uncontrollable desires. Meditation allows us to:

-Learn how to deal with our thoughts and emotions

-Connect with our natural state of inner peace

-Clean the impurities of the mind

-Control the desires

-Accept the nature of the world that is UNCONTROLLABLE

3 affirmations to cultivate patience

After recognizing the origin of the loss of patience and understanding that we can control our desires to stop suffering, we can pause and transform our life experience into a conscious experience of peace and serenity. Positive affirmations are the opposite of the negative thought patterns that we normally use and are the starting point for personal development.

For this reason, I want to share the following affirmations to cultivate patience in all areas of life:

  • Practice acceptance

Today I accept the people, situations, and circumstances as they occur. I know that this moment is as it should be because the whole universe is as it should be. I will not fight against the whole universe by fighting against this moment. I accept things as they are and not as I want them to be.

  • Take responsibility

Today I take responsibility for my situation and for all the events that I see as challenges. I avoid blaming others or myself. I recognize that every challenge is a disguised opportunity, which allows me to take this moment and transform it for my growth and expansion.

  • Remain defenseless

Today, I renounce my point of view, and I have no need to persuade others to accept my opinions. I remain open to all points of view and I am not rigidly attached to any of them. I choose to be kind before being right.

Would you like to know more about meditation? Please follow here.

Le Pouvoir Du Silence

Parler est une faculté naturelle à moins d’avoir un handicap qui nous prive de notre usage de la parole. Parler aide énormément dans le développement des relations avec les autres. Cependant, il existe un atout plus fort que la parole. Dans certaines situations de la vie, il est conseillé de garder le silence plutôt que de parler. Pourquoi donc s’abstenir de parler? En quoi le silence peut-il nous aider? En d’autres termes, quel est le pouvoir du silence? Lisez cet article pour en savoir davantage.

La nature de la parole et l’art de parler 

A moins d’être un handicapé, tous les Hommes possèdent la faculté de parler. Nous sommes donc tous en mesure de communiquer grâce à la parole. Cela aide dans la communication et l’expression de nos désirs, opinions etc… La parole nous donne la liberté d’expression et une grande joie de pouvoir mener de bonnes relations avec les autres. Il est donc normal de parler. Quand parler devient un acte excessif, nous désignons cela par le “bavardage”. Ce qui peux vouloir dire “parler à l’excès” pour souvent dire des choses qui ne vaudraient pas la peine. Dans ces cas, se garder de parler est mieux. Car parler sans raison et pour ne rien dire de bon peux ternir notre image dans la société. Par ailleurs, le silence peut sauver dans plusieurs situations. Parler “peu” ou “très peu” relève, pour ce fait, de la sagesse dans certaines traditions, cultures et sociétés.  Pourquoi donc garder le silence plutôt que de laisser libre cours à la parole?

Le silence comme signe de sagesse et de paix intérieure 

Le silence évite parfois l’humiliation. Parce que la parole qui sort ne peux être effacée. Les gens qui parlent moins sont dits sages, simplement parce qu’ils sont à mesure de bien contrôler leur langue et parce qu’ils ne parlent seulement qu’en cas de nécessité. Ces personnes tiennent pour la plupart du temps des propos constructifs et édifiants. Être silencieux nous aide aussi à mieux développer la maître de soi et le contrôle des facteurs extérieurs pouvant influencer notre paix intérieure. Dans cette condition, l’esprit en tire des bienfaits à cause du calme et de la tranquillité que nous procure le silence.

Le silence comme signe de respect 

Lorsqu’on est silencieux, l’on incarne le respect et la considération. Dans l’univers du travail, le silence permet d’imposer une distance de respect. Le silence est souvent considéré comme un acte de maturité, qui vaut plus que de nombreuses paroles dites sans fondement ou sans logique. Face à certaines situations où nous sommes confrontés à parler ou ne pas parler, le silence nous offre quelques minutes de réflexion profonde pour s’écouter et prendre les bonnes décisions pour nous-même et pour les autres. Ainsi donc, grâce au silence, nous pouvons développer l’écoute des autres au travail et augmenter leur estime personnelle.  Le silence nous aide donc à créer de bonnes relations avec les personnes qui nous entourent. Car nous nous confions très souvent à la personne qui donne aux autres le temps d’exprimer leurs avis. Ce qui n’est pas forcément le cas avec une autre personne qui ne nous laisse aucune chance de parler pour dire nos vérités.

Le pouvoir du silence dans l’observation 

S’écouter reste l’un des meilleurs exercices qui développent la conscience humaine. L’écoute de soi encore appelé l’observation du silence ou la pleine conscience éveil l’esprit de l’Homme en l’édifiant sur sa nature intrinsèque. Nous affermissons de même notre intuition grâce au silence. La réflexion profonde dans le silence éloigne de nous le stress et rafraîchi la mémoire. On se souvient mieux des choses lorsque l’on arrive à prendre une pause pour faire une introspection. Le silence nous aide à passer en revue notre propre vie pour une évaluation à 360° de tous les paramètres de notre existence. Il est par conséquent opportun de rappeler ici que la tranquillité de l’esprit découle de notre manière à bien observer le silence. Le silence permet à la pensée ou à l’esprit de se calmer, de rester immobile dans la profonde méditation pour faire grandir en nous un calme intérieur dont les bienfaits sont multiples.

Le silence au lever et au coucher 

Prendre le temps d’apprécier le silence au coucher et au lever est une chose importante. Cet acte qui nous prépare à la méditation, nous permet aussi d’être reconnaissant pour la vie, les choses que nous possédons et pour les personnes que nous aimons. Il est donc recommandé de garder le silence au moins une minute chaque heure qui passe pour manifester notre gratitude. Le silence est très utile pour la méditation. C’est dans le silence que nous avons tendance à entendre la voix des solutions à nos problèmes. Le silence renforce notre communication avec le divin qui sommeille en chacun et nous offre l’ultime chance d’écouter la voix de notre conscience.

Si vous avez envie de savoir davantage sur la pratique de la pleine conscience ou l’observation du silence pour votre développement personnel, je vous propose de visiter aujourd’hui le site internet de Peace Revolution où vous pouvez recevoir gratuitement des notions complémentaires.

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Dances of Universal Peace

A crowd of people in a circle, meditative music, simple dance movements, and mantras from a wide variety of world faiths all meld together… Attending a Dance of Universal Peace is an unforgettable experience. In hundreds of dances across the globe, people around the world gather in spiritual centers, churches, schools, therapy groups, and even prisons to participate in this event. There is usually no audience; everyone, regardless of skill, is encouraged to join.

By blending sacred phrases, scripture, poetry, and the beauty of nature, participants are able to strengthen their connections to each other, the earth, and their own spirits. In other words, the dances bring them closer to universal peace, step by step.

Samuel L. Lewis, known by many as Murshid S.A.M. (the title being Arabic for “guide”), was an American Sufi who introduced the Dances of Universal Peace on June 24, 1968 in an attempt to unify people — to lower the arbitrary veils that separate us. This year, nearly 150 events were held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Dances.

Each year, the scope of the movement grows to include new areas and people. How have the dances evolved in recent years? How has the current political climate affected this movement? Let’s dive into the issue:

Finding Peace Amidst Geopolitical War Games

Lewis’s home country has changed a lot since his death in ‘71. Trump’s administration, increased racial tensions, the Me Too movement — the face of the politics in the U.S. has changed drastically in the past several years. Due to a wide variety of factors, from food and water scarcity to America’s national security policy, the country has been politically fractured.

In spite of these divisions, people have sought ways to call for unity and harmony. Dances permit communities to demonstrate their tolerance and acceptance of diversity in the face of an intolerant administration. In a manner, these events are a form of passive protest. Rather than responding to discrimination with violent action, participating in these dances signals that peace is always an option.

Of course, political unrest isn’t unique to the U.S. In recent years, the Dances of Universal Peace movement has gained traction around the globe. In areas like Russia, Turkey, and many Latin American countries, political unrest has spurred people to find an outlet. Dances of Universal Peace work as a valuable collective healing practice in these troubled times. The Dances allow people to find common ground and connect with each other on a deep level, regardless of race, religion, or nationality.

When Murshid began guiding students in dance, he started with only a few students. As the movement he started has expanded, it has grown to encompass thousands. The global expansion of this movement is a product of the fact that many people have become discontent with the arbitrary lines between nations. Globalization in the business world and technology have also facilitated this mindset, as they have opened new lines of communication and exposed us to new cultures.

How These Dances Create Peace and Love

Recent years have shed light on why these events have worked so effectively. In our individual journeys, we must commit to self-love, and attending a Dance of Universal Peace is a great step in that direction. There are many reasons why they improve our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

Dancing and music are powerful tools for improving our holistic health. As Murshid S.A.M. once said, “(Dance) takes us beyond ourselves, bringing an initial taste of the state of non-being, which is really a balm for the soul.”   However, as recent research has proven, it can also heal the mind and body.

The physiological changes that occur within us when we engage in these activities can improve our mood and overall well-being. Listening to music and dancing can increase the amount of dopamine in our brains, a neurotransmitter responsible for making us feel happy and rewarded.

Dance and music also affect our bodies in many therapeutic ways. In fact, it may even be helpful for treating disease. According to an article on Medical News Today, “Dance and music therapy is being investigated for its potential use in the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson’s and autism.

Finally, these events allow us to create and strengthen social bonds. In recent years, specialists have found that socializing improves our holistic health, even reducing our likelihood of developing dementia. There’s no question that the life-long bonds that these dances create have led to healthier, more social lifestyles.

Given these insights, it’s no wonder that Samuel Lewis’s movement has grown into the worldwide phenomenon it is today. As this movement continues to expand, it will doubtlessly open dialogues, forge new social connections, and improve our well-being. In addition to helping us find inner-peace, it will continue to inch society closer to worldwide peace.

Are you interested in attending a Dance? Let us know in the comments below.

This is a collaborative post supporting our Peace In Peace Out initiative.

التأمل والبيئة

للتأمل أنواع، ومن أحد أنواع التأمل هو المشي في الطبيعة او ما يعرف بتأمل المشي“. والبعض يفضل المشي على الجلوس في الحديقة أو على الشاطئ. فسكون الطبيعة وجمالها يساعد الفرد في إيجاد الانسجام والتوازن.

ولا أهدف من هذا المقال تعزيزفكرة أن مكان التأمل هو الطبيعة، بل من الممكن أيضًا ممارسة التأمل في المكتب أو في المنزل. لكن ومن منظوري الشخصي، إن أحد أفضل الأماكن للتأمل هو الطبيعة.

البيئة لديها قوة تحويلية، فهي توفر الصفاء وتساعدنا في العثور على أنفسنا مرة أخرى. فالتأمل في مكونات البيئة من نبات وحيوانات يؤدي الى احترام وتقدير هذه المخلوقات، وهذا الاحترام يؤدي الى الحفاظ على البيئة.

مكافحة التلوث وحماية البيئة

في عالمنا الحالي نحتاج للتأمل للحفاظ على البيئة. ففي ظل الثورة الصناعية والتكنولوجيا واستنزاف الموارد الطبيعية، بات من الطبيعي خلق مفهوم جديد بعيدًا عن تسليع الموارد. حيث أنّ جعل الموارد الطبيعية عنصرًا اقتصاديًا قابلًا للبيع والشراء عزز الأنانية وأدّى إلى تفضيل المصلحة الشخصية على حماية البيئة.  كما دفع الكثير للتعدي على الموارد البيئية واستنزافها لأجل تحصيل المال. فنرى اصطياد الأسماك تحول من الشباك الى سفن ضخمة تجرف كل ما تمر فوقه. ولا يسعنا المجال لذكر التعديات البيئية.

وهنا يأتي دور التأمل والذي يزفّه المرء بالإحساس بهذه الموارد وتعظيمها.

تغير المناخ والتأمل

تغير المناخ من المشاكل التي تواجه العالم أجمع وتجر عليه الويلات. ولكي يصبح تغير المناخ أولوية عالمية، يجب خلق وتوضيح نقاط الاتصال بين حياة الناس اليومية وظاهرة الاحتباس الحراري.

ومن أحد العوامل التي أدت الى تفاقم هذه الأزمة والعديد من المشاكل البيئة هو أن الكثيرين منا لا يدركون ارتباطنا كبشر بالبيئة وأننا جزء منها ولسنا أوصياءً عليها. كثيرون لا يدركون فائدة إقامة علاقة أفضل مع الطبيعة. ويأتي هنا دور التأمل، الذي يمكن أن يؤدي الى الوعي المستنير الذي يمكّن فهمًا أفضل للمناطق الطبيعية المحيطة بنا.

يمكن لليقظة أن تؤدي إلى تغيير في طريقة تفكيرنا وطريقة معالجتنا للأزمات الاجتماعية والبيئية التي تواجهنا. لذا فإن تضافر الجهود عليه أن يساعدنا في بناء مجتمع أكثر استدامة.

نستنج من أعلاه أن التأمل يساعد في تنمية التعاطف وتعزيز قيمنا الأخلاقية الجوهرية مما ينعكس بدوره على رفع الظلم وإدراك العدالة الاجتماعية وتغليب المصلحة العامة. وعلى الإنسان أن يعي نعمة وجود الطبيعة الجميلة حوله فيحافظ عليه. فالوعي بالأخطار الناجمة عن التصرفات الغير واعية يؤثر سلبا على حياة جميع أنواع المخلوقات. فالتفكر ومعرفة أهمية الحفاظ على توازن الطبيعة يؤدي إلى تنمية مستدامة على الصعيد البيئي والاقتصادي والاجتماعي.

The Universal Values Behind Successful People

I grew up watching a lot of successful people on TV. When I entered university, I started working part-time for the hospitality industry where I got to meet many of these people too. It always interested me how they got to be where they were. So on a faithful day, a friend of mine named Boris and I went to a cyber cafe and spent hours and days researching on successful people and what makes them unique. At first, I didn’t quite understand how important these values played in their lives until years later when I got into the professional world. Below are the five main values I’ve come to realize most of these successful people share in common.

1. Punctuality
If you are from a country like mine (Cameroon), then you will get to understand what we mean by Black Man Time (BMT). For most people, if you put an event to start at 5pm, they will show up at 8pm. As a result, a lot of things have to be dragged to wait for the late comers every time. This I got to realize is the main reason why a country or a person could remain backward in life. Successful people understand that being punctual does not make you idle or less important. It means you have no time to waste. Being punctual also means having respect for others by not keeping them wait. Above all, punctuality gives a person an unworried mind because it prevents one from guilt and confusion. The best of the things usually have a limited time. Go getters know that and that’s why they are successful.

2. Politeness
Have you ever bought something you didn’t quite want to buy? If yes, what was your reason for yielding? I can recollect many such times, especially during my trips to Nigeria. This country is referred to as the giant of Africa not just for nothing but because they know the role that politeness plays in business. Sometimes you will find a seller greeting with you big titles such as Oga (Sir from the Igbo tribal language in Nigeria), Igwe (King or Chief) just to make you feel welcome. Other times they may give you water to drink while you are looking just to make you feel comfortable. The truth is if you deny, they tell you giving you water is not a must to buy but in reality, their polite manners will make you feel it is only right to do so. This is not the same with other sellers who do not even greet you when you walk into their shop. When we are polite, we soften other people’s minds. We calm down the stress they would have likely poured on us. This in turn may make them feel nicer towards us which could lead to other benefits. This is what successful people understand and do often as they know they may need you someday.

3. Cleanliness
Many people usually admire celebrities for their style. The ones that dress well are usually more celebrated than others that just have skills. Successful people in general are keen to keep their self image. They know the role cleanliness has in branding. This is not only bodily cleanliness but also environment. Most often they are very disciplined with themselves or their employees to ensure cleanliness of the office no matter how modest it is because they know the psychological influence it has on their clients. They also understand that once everywhere looks clean, their mind can easily feel clean too giving them the clarity they need to handle their affairs.

4. Orderliness
Most successful people are very organized people. They know what they want and what it takes to get there. They understand that if they do not put things or ideas in an orderly manner, it will be hard for them to find them and achieve their goals. They keep their environment tidy, and this helps their mind to stay organized as well. Being orderly means being realistic. A lot of unsuccessful people just follow the wave wherever it leads them, and this is why they find it hard to succeed. The truly successful ones understand that the miracles that happen are often a combination of many planned activities that have finally materialised into something great.

5. Self-discipline
If you observe the life of people who are successful, most often you will realize they have some key things they are highly self-disciplined about. It could be having routine exercises, yoga, meditation, prayer, reading schedule, diet plan etc. Could you believe Donald Trump has never drank alcohol? He said that recently as reported by CNN. Anyone can say trash about him but the truly objective can attest to the fact that getting elected to be president is not the same as riding a bike. I was also marvelled when I watched the Oprah Winfrey show and realized that Gangster rapper 50 Cent does not drink or smoke! There’s a lot we often assume by the public life of people but if we get really close to them, most often we will realize there are some strict acts of self-discipline they keep which is the reason for their success.

All the above values together with the practice of mindfulness and meditation  will allow a person to further attain peace and happiness as a result. I may have spoken about these values for success, and one may mistake it for financial success. No, no, no! When I talk about success here, it merely means being extremely good at whatever you do. You must not be a celebrity like musicians or athletes. You might be that classroom teacher that is known by the entire school for being the best at what they do. It may be hard to practice all these values but committing to practice just one such as punctuality can turn one’s life around.

Comment développer une mentalité «anti-balle» pendant la crise camerounaise?

Que faites-vous lorsque votre ville natale devient un lieu en proie au chaos constant? La première pensée est de s’enfuir. Mais pour aller où? Nous ne pouvons pas contrôler tout ce qui se passe à l’extérieur, mais la seule chose que nous pouvons contrôler, c’est notre esprit (état d’âme). La façon dont nous réagissons aux situations dépend de la qualité de notre esprit. Lisez cet article pour savoir comment développer une mentalité «anti-balle» pendant la crise camerounaise?

Peur, doute et panique

Je viens d’un endroit qui était autrefois une référence de la paix mais qui est aujourd’hui devenu un carrefour de la violence quotidienne. Bien que la possibilité de fuir puisse sembler la meilleure option, de nombreuses questions me viennent à l’esprit dans cette chaleur influente de la crise anglophone au Cameroun. Qu’en est-il des objectifs que tu as pour l’endroit où tu as passé toute ta vie? Où iras-tu si tu pars? Peux-tu vraiment fuir ton esprit?

Cette crise a commencé par une manifestation pacifique contre le gouvernement en raison de la marginalisation (de la minorité anglophone opposée à la richesse de la majorité francophone) et une demande de retour au fédéralisme. Comme c’est le cas pour toutes les manifestations qui ne sont pas gérées de manière efficiente, cette situation s’est aggravée, de la paix à la violence et à la quête de la sécession d’hostilités. Pendant que cette bagarre persiste, l’homme que je suis, est celui qui finit par être confus au milieu des deux partis violents.

Cet état d’esprit, composé de la peur, de doute et de panique, est celui qui est partagé par plusieurs membres de ma communauté. Ainsi, lorsque vous regardez autour de vous et que vous réalisez qu’il n’y a pas besoin de s’enfuir parce que les enjeux et l’amour pour la patrie l’emportent, la seule solution est de trouver un moyen de faire face à la situation. Cette conception est ce qui m’a conduit à faire un voyage de rétrospection où j’ai décidé de faire appel à un savoir-faire acquis dans un pays très éloigné de chez moi.

La Visualisation et le jardin de fleurs

Avec un groupe de jeunes épris de paix, nous avons créé le club de La paix de Buea, dont l’objectif est de permettre aux jeunes d’être calmes et résilients face aux coups de feu fréquents dans le quartier. Nous utilisons la méditation ou la pleine conscience, un outil de gestion mentale que j’ai appris en Thaïlande pour aider l’esprit à se déconnecter de l’environnement physique négatif. Cet outil nous aide également à créer une autre réalité imaginaire que chacun de nous visualisons pour ressentir le plaisir d’être dans un environnement positif comme sur la plage, dans un jardin de fleurs ou partout où nous aimerions être.

La preuve que la paix intérieure est la solution

Cet exercice mental a prouvé son efficacité en ce sens qu’il aide véritablement les participants du club à mieux gérer la situation chaotique de notre communauté. Lors d’une de nos rencontres, un participant nommé Joy déclare: « Je me sentais comme si je flottais, léger comme un ballon pendant l’exercice. Le mal de tête avec lequel je suis entré est soudainement parti! ». Beaucoup d’autres ont déclaré que l’exercice leur a donné un sentiment de liberté et de paix au lieu de la peur constante et de l’énergie négative engendrées par le son des coups de feu.

En définitif, le chaos n’a pas pris fin dans la région, mais nous, les membres du club, ne ressentons pas l’effet comme d’autres parce que nous savons comment contrôler notre état d’âme. Par conséquent, la méditation est devenue un gilet par balle pour notre esprit. Nous espérons que nous pourrons atteindre plus de personnes avec cette approche de la paix fondée sur l’intérieur.

Alafia II Fellowship: warm welcome, great impact

Everything that comes to an end marks in some form or another the beginning of a new. Alafia fellowship II has been an amazing, refreshing, and impactful event  gathering 25 participants from 18 countries in Ivory Coast from 12th to 14th of September. In the following lines, I give an account of my experience hoping it gives you a glimpse of the beauty that comes when like-minded young people gather to exchange, learn and find inner peace.

Ivorian in my past life?

Travelling from Cameroon with 3 other Buea Peace club members (Herdrine, Molinge and Mbua) made the journey very interesting as we had a mix of anxiety and excitement. Anxiety for the unknown and excitement for our expectations. Our flight lasted 2 hours.

Arriving at Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport and going through the routine checks, I was greeted with such warmth and friendliness which got me thinking if in my previous life I was an Ivorian. Surprised and pleased, I asked my other Cameroonian counterparts if they had the same experience and with a grin, they all said yes. “Akwaba” (Welcome) said the ladies holding the Peace Revolution banner as we stepped in to the arrival hall. After introductions, we were offered snacks by the volunteers at the airport so we could wait for other participants and leave as a team for Bingerville. During the wait we bought wifi codes that could enable us communicate with our families and assure them that we arrived safely, knowing we will have restricted access to our phones and internet for the next 3 days.

Welcoming and caring culture

Bonjour et bienvenue, je vous en prie pourrait partagez cet table avec vous, (good morning and welcome, can I share this table with you) said a calm voice behind me. Je vous en prie (you are welcome) I responded. My stranger and I began exchanging a dialogue, and I couldn’t help but ask her if naturally they are taught politeness and decorum or if it’s a special training just for the airport personnel in Ivory Coast. Generally Ivorians are very welcoming and caring, it’s not a special training, it’s our culture, she replied.

Abidjan is a beautiful city with kind people, I thought as we drove off from the airport to Bingerville situated about an hour from the airport. The open warmth of its inhabitants reminded me of Buea in Cameroon, often referred to “the town of legendary hospitality”. On our drive, we stopped to pick up 2 other Ivorian participants who were waiting by the roadside. Their presence in the bus reignited discussions as some recounted their experiences before and after they arrived in Abidjan.

Finally, we arrived at Domaine De La Sablière, Bingerville safely. The first group of participants already on site welcomed us and we all connected seamlessly like old buddies. Everyone was eager to identify their roommate but awed by the serenity of the environment, I dropped my bags and began to tour our home for the next 4 days….

(…to be continued)

Les arbres et les animaux peuvent-ils faire preuve d’empathie et d’altruisme?

L’empathie fait une partie intégrante de notre nature. En fait,  nous pouvons améliorer ces qualités en entraînant notre cerveau à travers la pratique de la méditation, de la pleine conscience et la bonté aimante. Les humains sont-ils les seuls êtres capables de montrer ces traces positives de gentillesse, de compassion et d’empathie les uns envers les autres? Qu’en est-il des êtres vivants, comme les animaux et les arbres? Quelles leçons pouvons-nous apprendre en observant le monde naturel qui nous entoure?

Empathie et altruisme chez les animaux non humains 

Les êtres humains ne sont pas les seuls à développer des sentiments positifs. Dans le règne animal, nous pouvons trouver de nombreux exemples. Dans son livre « Le temps de l’empathie », le biologiste Frans De Waal nous montre d’innombrables histoires de comportement altruiste et empathique dans diverses espèces d’animaux, selon des études scientifiques de grands primates tels que les chimpanzés et les bonobos, entre autres. Ces études montrent une véritable capacité d’équité et de réciprocité; aussi, à quel point ces espèces se soucient de leurs pairs et sont disposées à venir à leurs aides, même en mettant parfois leur propre vie en danger.

Certains comportements étudiés chez les chimpanzés par exemple, montrent aussi comment ces traits de l’empathie et la compassion sont ceux qui maintiennent la cohésion sociale et l’harmonie dans les groupes. Ainsi, les les hommes et les femmes qui occupent les postes hiérarchiques les plus élevés peuvent avoir un rôle clé dans la résolution des conflits au niveau des groupes. Ils interviennent souvent lorsque des différends entre les membres commencent à devenir plus agressif. Ils arrivent à aider par la médiation et la réconciliation. Ces individus sont donc extrêmement importants pour maintenir la paix et la survie des membres de leurs groupes.

Image : Selvan Tamilman, sur Unsplash

Mais qu’en est-il des plantes? – “The Wood Wide Web”

L’empathie est un trait ancestral qui caractérise les animaux et, récemment nous commençons à découvrir que les plantes aussi possède cette faculté. Des études conduites par Suzanne Simard, chercheuse et professeure à l’Université de la Colombie-Britannique, qui a passé plus de 30 ans à étudier la communication entre les arbres, raconte: «dans des forêts tempérées nous montrent comment les arbres ont un système de communication complexe dans le sol à travers leurs racines qui s’étend même sur des kilomètres dans la forêt, comme s’il s’agissait d’un immense « internet » souterrain secret. Ce réseau est appelez “large réseau en bois” ou en anglais, “Wood Wide Web”. Ce système de réseaux de communication et d’échange d’information est vraiment brillant: il est appelé «mycorhize» et se compose de la relation étroite entre les racines des arbres avec un champignon qui pousse autour d’eux. Ces mycorhizes favorisent la communication entre un arbre et un autre, leur permettant même de distinguer entre ceux qui sont leurs parents directs et ceux qui ne le sont pas.

Ce système de communication est si complet et efficace qu’il aide considérablement la survie des arbres, a travers des actions coordonnées dans des situations d’urgences et en montrant une solidarité remarquable. Ainsi, ces réseaux souterrains entre les racines des arbres et les champignons leur permettent de transférer des nutriments, de partager des informations sur les dangers comme les ravageurs, et aussi d’attaquer des plantes envahissantes ou des animaux prédateurs. Quand un arbre se sent menacé par des parasites (de l’attaque des insectes, par exemple) ou d’autres plantes comme les mauvaises herbes, il déclenche un signal pour les autres arbres et une «barrière» est réalisée sous la forme de substances volatiles qui modifient la production de protéines, donnant aux feuilles un goût désagréable.

Solidarité dans le règne végétal

Image: Wood Wide Web par “Hiking Artist”.

D’un autre côté, les arbres plus gros (appelés «Hubs» ou « arbres-mère») donnent une partie de leurs nutriments aux plus petits, étant chargés de favoriser et de protéger leur bonne croissance. Mais cette aide ne se produit pas seulement entre des parents de la même espèce, mais entre plusieurs espèces interdépendantes, ce qui serait des signes de solidarité entre les plantes.

Au suget, Suzanne Simard raconte: «Nous savons tous que nous privilégions nos propres enfants, et je me demandais si le cèdre pouvait reconnaître sa propre espèce. Alors nous avons commencé une expérience: on a planté des arbres-mère de cèdre avec des muettes « familières» (lié à l’arbre-mère) et d’autres non « familières». Dans tous les cas,  les arbres-mères on reconnus leurs descendants, et les ont favorisée en leurs donnant des réseaux mycorhiziens plus grands, en leur envoyant plus de carbone sous terre; et ont même réduit la concurrence de ses propres racines pour créer un meilleur cadre pour ses « enfants ». Lorsque les arbres-mères étaient blessés ou en train de mourir, ils ont envoyé aussi des messages de sagesse à la prochaine génération de jeunes plantes. En définitif, on peut conclure que les arbres ont aussi la capacité de se parler entre eux.

Image en vedette:  Valeriy Andrushko sur Unsplash.

14 Ways My Self-Transformation Happened Through Meditation

Since I started meditating on daily basis, I have had a profound and positive personal transformation. Here is what I learned since I started to meditate:

1) I understand that everything I do has an effect or consequence in the outside. If I think, speak and behave with positivity and optimism, the universe will answer me back with positivity.

2) I understand that I am constantly creating my own reality. I am a protagonist of my world. I have the power to change what I do not like, and no matter how tiny or little an action is, it is always having a positive effect.

3) I understand that there are things in life that only need to be accepted and there is no way in wasting energy and effort in trying to change the unchangeable. On the contrary, by accepting something I am liberating myself. Accepting brings freedom. It gives me a new perspective and new opportunities.

4) I know that everything I think, and every idea I create in my mind is possible of becoming real. There is a very short cut between ideas and facts. If I think about it, I am creating it to a certain extent. So be careful with your ideas!

5) What I call my Box of Negativity fades away! That cumulus of past negative experiences, telling me about catastrophic events or drama situations, and that sometimes determine the way I see reality was cleaned up. So whenever I face a new obstacle, no matter how difficult it is, it will not get stuck to the old negativities. On the contrary, I am able to see it as a new challenge, trying to solve it and then let it go.

6) I am much more able to let go situations, relationships or behaviours that do not nourish me. I do not get stuck so easily to difficulties but on the contrary, I am able to let it go and move on.

7) My creativity expanded as it never did before! I find solutions much easier because my imagination and innovation strategies just flow. Whenever I think about a problem to solve, I immediately figure out the solution. So, my mind is more problem solving or solution-oriented instead of problem creating! It is a switch that changes!

8) I am more confident and I trust myself. I doubt much less. I know what I have to do deeply inside myself.

9) I understand my life and processes in a much more holistic approach. Like looking at the labyrinth from the upside instead of being trapped inside of it. I see things and situations in a clear perspective. There is a break from confusion, a management of ego and a control of emotional dramas.

10) I used to be a person that took a lot of things for granted in life. But now, I have realized I have so much to be grateful for. So I am always being conscious about thanking for everything that is given to me.

11) I am having a more sustainable feeling of joy, pure and simple. My good mood is prevalent over my bad mood.

12) I feel much more connected to the present. I am able to enjoy things as they are at the moment they are taking place, without worrying myself because it won´t be forever but on the contrary, by appreciating them at their right moment and time.

13) I smile much more. And we know that people who smile more are much more beautiful!

14) I understand that even when I think I am controlling everything, there will always be something disruptive, a difficulty or something that bothers me because actually, nothing is perfect. So it is about the attitude I take to address those negative things that really matter in life.

I strongly believe that all this positive transformation has helped me to be a happier person. And the important thing to learn is that there is no way to happiness because happiness is the way. Imagine we all meditate and go under this kind of structural transformation! Isn´t meditation a powerful tool for a positive transformation worldwide?