How to Overcome a Doubtful Mind?

We all have doubted of something at least once in a life. Many times we fail to establish certainty about facts, situations, theories, beliefs and other aspects. In such a state of mind, it is normal that we fail to make a decision and we are afraid to go further until the mind is cleared and we are assured of how to act.

Doubting is natural
Doubt is a natural instinct in humans, which occur as a protective predisposition of our mind. It is therefore normal to doubt. We are talking about a doubtful mind, an excessive inclination to always doubt even when we ought not to. It may not be a hindrance to one’s life, not yet reached this level where everything is doubtful in our lives. Because having reached that level, one gets inner reflex preventing a move forward, an act of creativity, progress or any move to advance simply because one has less or no faith in its successful accomplishment.

This is not to refute though that most creative ideas come out of a doubt; a move to challenge the long established status quo which eventually leads to discovery of the truth, where new theory and belief can be formulated. Yet, here we are concerned by the mind that, for anything at all, we have to doubt till we lose trust in our own acts, till we lose confidence in ourselves to the point of lowering our own self-esteem. This is when we undermine our capabilities and prefer to be passive due to the fear of the unknown outcome of what we do, say and act.

 Bane to self-development

Hence, this doubtful mind can impede our self-development when we lose credibility in our own acts, when it leads us to denigrate the power to create what lies in our minds, when we fail to bring it to the light and discover the truth.

In the past, before I got to know the tricks helpful to overcome a doubtful mind, I have been a victim of the lack of faith in my acts, a lack of urge to make one more step forward due to the fear of the unknown. I would prefer to remain silent when I did not know where my words could reach, how they would be interpreted, whether they were right ones or not. I would refrain from doing something, because I had not done it before and had not seen good results, and this had nearly led me into a coward guy till I learnt to dare and act, and let whatever happens to happen.

It is at this stage that I understood that a doubtful mind was unhealthy state of mind. It could erode my own self-confidence, that kind of a doubt that leads to inaction for fear of uncertain outcome. This is what many could agree that it has been hindering the possibility of making progress. Long after I came of this, I saw that there is one main factor that led me there: ignorance.

Ask for a reason

When we have less knowledge on something, when we don’t understand or have a clue on some things, we tag them untrue, impossible, unrealizable, hence not worthy it all.

There is a beautiful quote from a philosopher I enjoy reading and that helps me understand this: “If you doubt first, doubt again”. That simply told me that there should be a reason why we doubt, ask yourself why you have such a doubt.

This assertion means, in the process of acting we have to analyse, vet and ensure that we are right, and this can lead to rational thinking and development.

However, when doubt becomes a part of our inner self, when it becomes a part of us as a habit, it will create a conflict within our mind, develop a close- mindedness which may lead to distress as one fails to act. Muhammad Ali said: “Give up what appears to be doubtful for what is certain. Truth brings peace of mind and the deception of doubt.”

Towards an innocent mind

Doubtful mind destroys us when it has become a habit which is hard to reverse. A way to prevent it is adopting practices that clear and clean the mind; something that can help us grow trust, boost self-confidence and raise self-esteem.

Spending a good amount of time calming the mind and emptying it from distracting thoughts and ideas, developing an innocent mind, we start seeing life differently. Meditation is like rebooting the system to go back to the initial settings of my life. A kind of resetting that truly works.

This cleaning and clearing of the mind means focusing on one thing at a time to increase concentration. In a long run, we feel relaxed and happy. Comprehending complex stuff becomes easy, handling tough deals become burdensome, and when the mind is empty, we can refill it with positive thoughts. We earn positive energy, and the world looks different from within and outside. Meditation did it for me. Triggered to try it? You may visit us here.

 

Overcoming Frustration With A Happy Body And Mind

Body and mind are two main components of every human being. It’s actually amazing how our body interacts with our mind. Ever since I started my journey with Peace Revolution practising meditation and mindfulness on daily basis, I have come to learn how mind and body mutually influence each other. In this article, I would like to share some of my personal experiences about body and mind interaction with a special emphasis on how to go about frustration and bad moments.

Softening the mind

In psychology, the word frustration is defined as  “a common emotional response to opposition, related to anger, annoyance and disappointment. Frustration arises from the perceived resistance to the fulfilment of an individual’s will or goal”[1].

It’s obvious that as human beings, we have to face frustration from time to time; yet, the way we react to it differs from one individual to another. When I get frustrated, I soften my mind in three simple steps, which I have learnt from my favorite blogger Henrik Edberg:

Step 1: Be here now

Frustration often comes with the state of mind getting somewhere in the future. This is somewhere you wish to be or you are reliving a stumble or failure from your past.  Snap out of those headspaces and calm down by focusing your mind and attention on what is now, right here at this moment. During day I find 1-2 minutes when I focus my attention 100% on my breathing or what is around me at this very moment with all my senses.

Step 2: Appreciate what you have

After I’ve pulled my attention back to where it can be most helpful, I focus on what is still positive in my life.  The quickest and easiest way to do so is to focus on appreciating what I have and becoming grateful for it.

Step 3: Focus on what you can do right now

With attention in the present moment, it’s now time to get constructive attitudes about what frustrates me. This can be done by asking oneself a simple question:  what is one small step I can take right now to improve this situation?  It may be seeing what you can learn from what frustrates you and trying another path towards your goal.  Or it could be trying one more time and keep going (because not all things in life will come to you the first, second or third time you try).

Freed from frustration

“Sometimes a bad day will just be a bad day; this is because no matter what habits you adopt, life will never be perfect, positive or awesome all the time. And that’s OK. That’s life. But the interesting thing is this: if you accept that life is like this sometimes – and let go of the dream of perfection – then you’ll create less suffering for yourself. And life will become lighter, simpler and happier……” Henrik Edberg.

From my personal experience, when you manage to get rid of frustration, you feel as if a heavy burden is being pulled out of your shoulders. With such a feeling, your mind and body create a kind of enthusiastic harmony which leads to happiness, joy and above all you are driven by a very strong positive energy.

The opposite applies as well; frustration and negativity affect the mind, and when the mind accumulates negativity, the body becomes weak and sometimes driven by negative energy which most of the time leads to aggressive reactions and bad actions.

Conclusion

Mind and body are good companions; they entertain a very close relationship with the mind being the central source of positive or negative energy. The mind, thus, needs to get a good care through a constant mindfulness practice or any other stress management technique.

[1]  Botton, Alain (April 2011). The Consolations of Philosophy, Vintage Books: New York, P. 80.

How To Express Your Best Thoughts Out?

One of the essential components of communication is the ability to deliver your feelings and thoughts effectively. For many people, it is difficult to put ideas into words.

However, to be well understood by people, it is imperative to give light to your ideas, feelings, and thoughts. They do not deserve to be hidden all the time. They are meant to be felt and expressed. If you know how to express your thoughts and feelings explicitly, it will be helpful in personal, professional and social life.

Scientifically it has been proven that not expressing your emotions can lead to adverse psychological results. When you are not able to channelise your emotions and feelings, such as anxiety, it can lead to various physical problems like a fast heartbeat, breathing problems, excessive sweating, and others, which can further be concentrated in physical areas like face, neck, and spine.

To prevent yourself from physical and emotional pain, it is important to learn to express your emotions. Following are the steps that may help expressing your best thoughts out:

1) Emotions and thoughts should be identified 

Whenever you feel some changes in your body and mind, just ask a few questions to yourself like: what am I feeling? what are the causes behind it? why is this happening?

2) Jot down your sensations

After identifying your feelings, you have to analyse what kind of sensation is created within you. List down all the emotions and see what exactly they are.

3) Your body’s reaction should be paid attention 

Your feelings and emotions are difficult to control as these are regulated by the limbic and nervous system. Pay attention to how your body is reacting to all those emotions. Settle down your feelings and think about it calmly.

4) Your response to the situation 

What makes you nervous is an important question. Is it the situation? Or your reaction to the situation? Observe yourself and answer this question.

The situation never makes a person nervous; it is always your response to the situation that is the root of the problem. The only solution to this is to change your reaction.

5) Emotions should be expressed in a correct proportion 

By following the previous step, you will be able to control your emotions correctly. By understanding precisely the happenings and the consequences, you can express yourself more accurately.

6) Be honest 

Express your emotions honestly. Do not ever try to be fake. Whenever you are annoyed, angry or irritated, never avoid a conversation. Instead try to understand yourself in a better way.

7) Always use a positive form of communication 

Being positive helps a person a lot in expressing his/her feelings in a better way. Express your thoughts by using a positive tone, by making an eye contact, and listening to the other person actively.

8) Choose the best circumstances to be expressive 

Before expressing your feelings, you need to choose the best situation for it. Analyse yourself, and the people around you and then decide what will be the best moment to express your feelings.

Sometimes your feelings and thoughts are not related to the present situation. They have nothing to do with one another.

Thoughts are a part of yourself, and you should accept it, just learn how to channelise them in the right direction.

Cherish all the feelings and remember that emotions are natural. We don’t need to struggle against them.

Just sit and relax and divert your mind to things that are important to you.

How Human Rights Contribute to Peace

people holding heart together

After a long day at work, many of us have the privilege to go home, take a hot shower, cook dinner, and sleep in a warm bed. For those of us who live a life of relative comfort and have our basic needs met, it can be hard to imagine what life would be like if we weren’t so lucky. What would the day look like without these basic things?

We might sleep outside on the street, hungry or even sick. Things as simple as consistent access to food and shelter are not a given for many people around the world. Without access to basic human rights, feeling at peace is unlikely to happen.

Peaceful people make up a peaceful society, and peaceful societies make up a peaceful world. Since scarcity often leads to conflict, societies that support their citizens by providing them with healthcare, education, food, and shelter, are generally more peaceful and prosperous than those who don’t.

What Is Peace?

Understanding what peace means is essential if we want to understand why it is so important — especially if peace is something we take for granted in our day-to-day lives.

At an International Day of Peace celebration organized by Peace Revolution Cameroon, participants from various countries weighed in with different definitions of peace. The word was defined in many ways, including “the respect for life and fellow human beings” and “freedom from disturbance.”

Peace might mean different things to different people around the globe, but it’s clear that without peaceful individuals, we cannot have a peaceful world.

Most Peaceful Countries

According to 2017 data released by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the United States ranks 114th out of 163 in a list of the world’s most peaceful countries.

“Data highlighted a declining level of trust in the U.S. government, as well as growing social problems such as income inequality, heightened racial tensions and rising homicide rates in several major American cities,” writes Megan Trimble in “The 10 Most Peaceful Countries in the World” to explain why the US ranked so low.

Which country tops the list? According to Trimble’s U.S. News article, it’s Iceland — a place where discrimination is illegal and citizens have access to universal healthcare. Iceland is widely regarded as a leader in human rights. The United States, on the other hand, demonstrates that it values capitalism over the well-being of its citizens. The success of Iceland and the problems in the U.S. clearly show that human rights are deeply linked to peace.

Challenges

There are many barriers to peace in today’s world. The unrest in the United States is a great example of what happens when a country doesn’t protect the basic human rights of its citizens. In the fight for peace, protest signs are as common a sight these days as birds in the sky.

Social workers have defined 12 major challenges that need to be overcome to create a better world. These challenges include making sure that everyone has access to healthcare, helping homeless individuals find dependable and affordable housing and food, and ensuring that all people have equal opportunities to pursue education. Let’s take a closer look at these challenges:

1) Access to Healthcare

In some countries (including the United States), healthcare is a privilege, not a right. Money, location, mobility, and availability can all be barriers to receiving medical care. As the need for chronic care increases, the elderly are especially vulnerable to lack of care.

Discrimination also impacts access to healthcare. Low-income communities often have limited access to healthcare facilities. Given the racial makeup of such areas, this is often a form of discrimination in and of itself. Healthcare providers could discriminate on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, economic class, religion, individuals with pre-existing conditions, and more. In areas where there is a dearth of medical professionals, this lack of choice poses a serious problem for minorities.

2) Access to Food and Shelter

It’s hard to achieve peace of any kind when you are hungry, tired, and don’t know where you’ll sleep at night. Food deserts and lack of affordable and accessible housing options are huge barriers to health and peace worldwide.

3) Access to Education

Education is one of the best ways to improve your personal options for success. But because of money, discrimination, and availability, not everyone has access to education. Oftentimes, lack of education means lack of job opportunities. In turn, that can lead to additional struggles like financial stress and trouble affording food and housing.

Solutions

Healthy bodies and minds are a part of the foundation of peace. Without them, people cannot thrive. So what do we do? To have a peaceful society, we must turn these challenges into solutions.

Positive change can take place in the very sectors that are often barriers, including classrooms, medical buildings, law offices, and social communities. Getting involved in any of these areas is a great way to help create a healthier and a more peaceful world.


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

How Can Music Sustain Peacebuilding?

The existence of music is almost as old as the evolution of a human. Words in melodious sounds used in conveying information to a particular group of people constitute the entity of music as a cultural symbol. Different types of music are peculiar for different cultures. For example, the Yorubas* have their orin ibile (traditional folk songs) while the Doualas in Cameroon have Makossa. But how could music bring more peace to the local communities and the world?

Need to sensitise people

In international relations, a dispensation of peace is not just the absence of wars but the presence of cultural and economic understanding by all parties. As per Eastern philosophy, peace is a state of mind.

However, diverse forms of violence, insurgency activities, and ritual killings are prevalent in the world today. The source of these gruesome acts exists amidst the grassroots of each society. It has to do with the selfish mentality of humans to amass all for themselves and leaving others deprived. The major cause of violence can be attributed to this disorientation. Therefore, there is an urgent need to combat this and sensitise people on the importance of building and sustaining world peace. At this juncture, the impact of music cannot be overemphasised.

Cordial relationship

Music integrates mind, body, and spirit thereby connecting the inner self to the outer world in order to create a connection of inner peace, motivation, instruction leading to a deep understanding. Music serves as an entertainment tool which makes occasions lively and peaceful. It subsequently creates cordial relationship among the people and promotes societal norms and values.

Ogunrinde (2013) posited that African music practices are first and foremost meant for and directed by the community’s ideology, economic, social, religious, recreational tendencies and rite of passage rituals. Thus, there is an inseparable link between the community way of life and musical practices. This shows that music is an effective tool in peacebuilding in every society.

Sustaining peace

Music is not only useful in preventing conflicts but in sustaining peace. A composition by late Samuel Akpabot titled Cynthia’s Lament, in 1963, explains it. The Nigerian composer and Cynthia Boudreau, a 16-year old white woman, were denied service in a Pittsburgh hotel on the basis of racial discrimination. As the young woman fled the scene tearfully, Late Samuel made a musical piece (Cynthia’s Lament), thereby preventing the issue from degenerating into conflict.

Also, the concert organised by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said in 1999 developed into a permanent programme which unites Israeli and Palestinian musicians. This permanent programme tagged West-Eastern Divan Orchestra has enabled the sharing of knowledge and comprehension between people from societies historically known as enemies. This shows the impact of music in sustaining peace among societies in the world.

In addition, the famous British singer John Lennon used music in his peace activism which had so much impact that the perpetrators of war could not stand it and decided to take his life. Even decades later, Lennon’s music still lives on and has been performed at the UN by nowadays singers in an effort to sustain peace.

Reduces violence and heals trauma

Further research explained that music, as well as other forms of cultural expression is a vital resource in the healing process of individuals and societies who have been afflicted emotionally and mentally. This is with reference to communities who lack peace as a result of wars and crisis. Examples can be seen from Ivorians in West Africa and South Africans who all used music as an escape from the violence and trauma they were going through, and till today music is still a strong cultural export of these countries. The influence of musicians like Espoir 2000 in Ivory Coast , Brenda Fassie and Lucky Dube of South Africa cannot be undermined when it came to curbing violence and especially apartheid and other forms of discrimination.

From the critical points mentioned above, there is no gainsaying that music is a powerful tool for building sustainable world peace in the globe. Therefore, all strategies should be employed to build capacity by sensitizing, developing knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that prevent conflict. Music is an integral part of this as it enables inner peace in human beings and connects it to outer peace inevitably leading to sustainable world peace.

If you are a musician, why not make it a commitment to have at least one song in your album that inspires peace in the world? Sounds great, right? Together we can change the world not just by talking or writing but also through creativity and entertainment. Peace In, Peace Out!

Photo source: lee-pigott, Unsplash


*Yorubas – tribe in Nigeria

**Makossa  –  traditional music of the Duala tribe and from which most contemporary music originate in Cameroon

Research Shows That You May Need A Holiday Soon

Peter is in the office with Talia finishing up on his work. Both of them are expatriates mostly travelling through several countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. They are working on huge emerging projects that involve several people, and reports can be frustrating. Actually travelling, as cool as it may sound, ceased to be fun as most of their time is spent in between boardrooms, meetings and the rush to beat crucial deadlines. Talia, with a sigh, looks up at Peter and says, “There’s a lot going on, I need a vacation!”

Collegetimes.com

And don’t we sometimes anyway?

Holidays are breaks, time taken off from work, away from home on leisure and recreation. These are the times to rest, recharge and refocus.

Sadly, several statistics indicate that stress and anxiety in the workplace have escalated progressively over the past few decades. American Psychology Association 2015, reports that 65% of workers feel stressed and nearly half of them say they need tools on how to manage stress. Additionally, the number keeps rising every year across several workplaces in the world. Imagine what that means for their families, their friendship and the state of their health. It’s like running a thousand miles in the right direction, only to spring back double in the opposite direction.

The conversation on stress and vacations is an old one, and several people take lavish time off to treat themselves to spas, trips and beaches. However, what we are yet to figure out is the quality of the time spent out on such vacations.

Here is a scenario: Peter and Talia, decides to take one weekend off the work to go to Chiang Mai, an exotic tourist destination in Thailand. Friday afternoon, finishing up on the work in the office, they hardly notice the work anymore, because their minds are on the flight to Chiang Mai already. Flash-forward, Sunday evening, they are having dinner in Chiang Mai, and they look sad, because their midnight flight to work awaits them.

New approach to a holiday

As this happens in the real world, World Peace Initiative Foundation has created a new approach to a holiday. On the 18th to 20th May 2018, the organization hosted a 3 days mindfulness meditation holiday with Buddhist wisdom on how to live mindfully and relax your soul.

The unique experience combined meditation, mindfulness, Buddhist philosophy and Thai cultural excursion together in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

The retreat center was carefully selected to give participants a chance to access Ayutthaya Historical Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Floating Market.

From Buddhist wisdom, physical exercises and individual talks with a Teaching Monk to fun-filled excursions and guided meditation sessions combined with unique mindfulness practices meant to leave a lifetime mark in the participants’ lives.

Here is some of what the participants said about the retreat:

“The program is very good and very organized. The schedule was perfect, allowing us to do things at our own pace. I sought to learn meditation and was able to have a good meditation that I didn’t expect…At some point, I got a light relaxing silence that I couldn’t hear my breath or my disturbing inner voices. For once, my inner voice was not talking…” Nary 

“Catching moments when I had no distractions brought lightness to me. The monks were very inspiring and practical…” Aylin Boya

To find out about upcoming meditation holidays, click here.

How do you spend your holidays?

Share your experience with us in the comment section below and do not forget to share this post with your loved ones to bring more self-efficacy and a recharged life to our communities.

Featured image: HealthGuidance.org

How Personal Development Can Bring Inner Peace

A man smiling

Personal development is a lifelong and continuous process. As a term, it is used quite commonly and misunderstood the most. Personal development is the process of analyzing your own behaviour, skills and qualities. In order to be better at life, one needs to analyze the above to set life goals and priorities. This, in turn, helps one to put his/her best to whatever they are doing and maximise their potential. Hence, personal development affects every aspect of our lives.

Personal development literally means to evaluate and focus on yourself to be better prepared for life. Life is unpredictable, in all spheres. Be it your work or your personal life, you don’t have control over what life may throw at you. Even though we don’t have the power to manipulate our lives, it is in our control to respond to it accordingly. You might want a certain thing in life, but don’t necessarily have to wait for life to make it happen. You have to take the initiative to make it happen. There will be times when your plans fail but the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment will be priceless. Life feels more rewarding when you take charge and commit to pursuing your own objectives. Making that commitment to personal development is the first step to inner peace.

What does one mean by being in peace? Isn’t peace a state of mind that everyone sees differently? Yes, it is. To me personally, being at peace means being in alignment with my inner values and my sole purpose in life. It could be absolutely different for you, and that is okay. What is inside you can’t be given by things or people around you. For example, I am a writer who loves plants. I will never find peace in working for an organization that encourages deforestation. As individuals, we take responsibility for how peaceful we are in our body and mind. The way we shape ourselves plays a major role in how peaceful we are.

There are 3 major pillars of personal development for a peaceful life:

1. Spiritual connection and realization

As humans, we are the smartest species that the earth has today. Have you ever wondered what makes us different from the others? It is our spirituality. This is certainly a debatable topic, mostly because people connect spirituality to a particular religion or God. Spirituality is much more than religion or God. What if someone says it is a superpower who is kind and powerful and looks over you? It makes things easier when you believe that someone else is taking charge of things in your life. A clarity in your thoughts will help you greatly in maintaining your sanity.

2. Physical Health is very important

Our body are our most important asset and often goes neglected in our busy lifestyle. It is the house we live in; the house others see from the outside. Our physical body and mind play a major role in our success stories in the marketplace. This is why it is important to feel good about yourself inside and out. The way you feel within your body depends on how you treat it. If you have bad and lethargic lifestyle choices, it shows on your body and to the others too. Good nutrition and exercising are two ways of maintaining your body healthy.

A healthy body gives you confidence, that shows to others in the marketplace. Physical looks matter to people because that is the first impression a person has of you. Don’t judge a book by its cover is just a myth. That’s the hard truth. Imagine two cafés in front of you, one is dimly lit and has a broken door while the other looks beautiful. Most people would go to the second one and ask for a coffee. It can be good coffee or bad coffee, that will decide if you continue going there. It is the same with people, the initial ice is broken with your looks and then the course of the relationship is decided on solely what you are on the inside. You can’t just look good and be clueless about everything else, that certainly won’t work after the first meeting.

3. Mental Health should never be compromised

You must have interacted with your share of people of different personalities. Different people respond very differently to the same situation or crisis. While one might break down under pressure, the other might face the situation with whatever he has. The society adores people of the second type, because of their mental stability. Our physical bodies are what our minds function on. Mental stability is a vast term, it includes positive thinking and also mental stretching. It is humanly impossible to have knowledge about everything or be expert in all spheres. While one can choose not to do the task, the other would want to learn the trade and complete the task. If you back out of unfamiliar situations every time, it is certain that you are not progressing.

A great way to harness your mental abilities is to read. It makes you knowledgeable and hence confident. Always remember that learning is a continuous process and should never stop in life.

Working on your personal development will make you more focused and motivated human being. But for that to happen you need to value yourself the most and be at peace with yourself.

Photo credits

The Top 5 Regrets To Avoid for a Happier Life

Have you ever wondered if there is something you could learn in this moment of your life; if there is a source of wisdom you could access by connecting with those who are your seniors that could give you some advice on how to save your time, energy and prevent you from repeating the same mistakes?

One way to do it is to go through the top 5 regrets that people express as they reach the end of their lives:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself

It is important that on everyday life you accept yourself as you are in the present moment, get in touch with your feelings as often as needed, listen to your inner talk, be honest, forgive yourself, and feed your curiosity.

Then, dream big and know your heart’s true desire, – and the path will reveal.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard

Stress, burn out, feeling overworked and underpaid from taking on too many responsibilities is the cause of many stress-related illnesses. In order to maintain work-life balance, set appropriate boundaries and intentionally look for a career and a position that will allow you to make a good living and enjoy your life.

Health brings freedom and a multitude of possibilities, so use it right. Money is not the goal, but the means to fulfil your desires.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings

What we feel but don’t manifest is often not fulfilled. Bitterness and resentment affect both the mind and the body. Here are some steps to get the courage to express your feelings: clarify your intentions, consider the risks and benefits involved, take accountability for your own emotions, start small and practice regularly, respect others and keep a positive attitude.

4I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends

It has been proven that the quality of our relationships with others will dictate our level of happiness. Wondering what you need to do to stay in touch with friends often? Call them, set weekly reminders, meet regularly, contact close friends in times of “crisis”, be present on important occasions, find ways to show appreciation and know when to say “sorry”.

5I wish I allowed myself to be happier

Here’s what you can do to be happy every day: wake up early and plan your day, prioritise your health, make time for regular meals and being outdoors, learn something new, declutter – social media included, spend time with your loved ones and do something nice for yourself every day.

Happiness is a choice. Feeling comfortable in patterns that keep you miserable shuts the door to happiness.

Be bold and set compelling goals that are motivating. Take time to get a clear vision of what it is you would like to achieve and try to see yourself in 5 years, having achieved all these goals. Imagine yourself having accomplished your goals in bright colours and fine details, turn up the volume and hear the excitement in other people’s voices. Keeping yourself busy, motivated, surrounded by the right people leaves no space for regret.

Photo credits: Leon Liu@unsplash.com

4 Ways You Can Use Inner Peace for Sustainability

Inner Peace is the first step towards sustainabiltiy

Climate change is rapidly becoming a big problem of our time. It creates and exposes vast inequalities, and it also threatens the delicate physical conditions needed for life to flourish. For peace and harmony to thrive on Earth, we must address the impact we’re having on the only home we’ve ever known.

But how? Climate change is a big problem, so how can we, the little people, really make a difference? It’s important to pressure politicians and corporations to make changes, but ultimately we are the ones who create our own reality, putting us in the driver’s seat for creating meaningful and long-lasting change.

Mindfulness brings inner peace, and from this position, we can tackle the problem of restoring balance, harmony and peace to the World.

Not convinced? Here are four ways inner peace contributes to sustainability:

1. Living with Compassion

Through mindfulness and meditation, we begin to see interconnectivity, interdependence and impermanence as the true Nature of things. And this perspective fosters compassion.

It starts with compassion for other living things and their suffering. All living things are in a conflict with the physical and metaphysical, and this causes great distress. Mindfulness and meditation allows us to see this, forcing us to approach problems from a position of compassion and not accusation.

But mindfulness also asks us to be aware of consequences. Recognizing the interconnectivity and interdependence of all things reminds us how each and every one of our actions has a consequence, positive or negative.

To achieve environmental sustainability, we need to express more compassion towards the delicacy, difficulty and fragility of life. And we also need to be mindful of our actions to make sure we are positively impacting the environment.

Furthermore, living life with compassion is a powerful way to achieve inner peace. It better equips us to deal with our emotions, and it helps us improve our relationship with ourselves and others. Using mindfulness and meditation to develop compassion helps us achieve peace with ourselves, but it also puts us in a position to live in better harmony with Nature and to tackle the environmental problems we face.

2. Patience as a Key

Patience is key to inner peace, and it’s also critical for tackling climate change and repairing any environmental damage we’ve done. Through meditation and mindfulness, we begin to relinquish control of the reality in which we live. There are some things simply out of our hands.

Achieving inner peace requires us to accept this fate. The frustration that comes from wanting something that cannot be is a great source of suffering. We must recognize our desires for what they are, and accept our powerlessness in whether or not that desire is met. But we must also have faith that awareness and mindfulness will steer us in the right direction.

Making changes in our own lives to promote harmony with Nature will not reverse the effects of climate change overnight. But this does not discount our efforts. Patience helps to ease our worries and concerns, and it reminds us that our actions do have an impact, helping us persevere on the long road ahead towards peace and harmony on Earth.

3. Accepting Impermanence 

Everything is impermanent. Empty. Attachment leads to suffering. This is evident in our societies today. We have so many things, yet happiness still eludes us. Because once we get something, we are immediately dissatisfied and want something else.

Learning to detach from things breaks this cycle. It stops the chasing and pursuing and makes us more mindful and aware of what we have. This allows us to live with more gratitude, and to better experience the love, compassion, harmony and joy that is often right in front of us.

Accepting impermanence and being more mindful of where you are and what you have will bring peace, but it’s also a key change we need to make on our quest towards sustainability.

Our attachment to material things holds us back. It produces an economic paradox: we must grow infinitely in a finite world, which puts tremendous stress on the environment. And our perennial dissatisfaction and desire for more creates incredible waste that threatens life all over the planet.

Embracing impermanence brings peace within, and it gives us a chance at building more sustainable societies.

4. Choosing Positivity

Our thoughts have the power to create the reality in which we live. If we live with fear, anger, guilt or hate, these emotions will manifest themselves in our reality forever. Our collective focus helps determine the future.

This is why Mother Theresa said she’d never attend an “Anti-War” protest but would always go to a “Pro-Peace” rally. This small distinction has powerful implications. Being against something is still dedicating mental energy to that thing, which perpetuates its existence.

To some extent, we cannot control our thoughts; they arise from our experiences and environments. But we can control which one’s we engage with, especially when we practice meditation and mindfulness. When we learn to detach ourselves from our thoughts, we become better at choosing to act with love, compassion, harmony and joy.

Over time, by dedicating our mental energy to positive thoughts and emotions, the reality we create will reflect this positivity. And when lots of us around the world do this, we can shift our collective consciousness to help radiate and attract positivity, peace and harmony.

Think global, act local. Find your inner peace

This saying is popular among sustainability advocates, but it’s also relevant to mindfulness. Peace with yourself is the first step to Peace on Earth. It positions your actions as something truly connected to everything else, helping you live more in harmony with the true Nature of all things.

Peace Revolution Visits Guyana

This inevitable human growth comes with a certain turmoil: as children, we are ignorant to the outside world, we are unaware of what the working world is like, what paying bills are like and what the everyday decision making brings with it. As we advance from childhood to adulthood, we have a more precise view of it. Some may say that adulthood teaches us a lot while others think it brings a discomfort caused by our inner dissatisfaction of where we are and where we want to be. As such, we tend to be unhappy and dissatisfied until, most of the times, our materialistic goals are achieved.

Then along comes two beautiful souls who are trained in mindfulness and meditation, the technique that has allowed many to have a new-found sense of calm and well-being on finding inner peace. Ana Laura Lloveras and Stephanie Bianchi are a part of the Peace Revolution project, and visited Guyana between April 27 and May 1, 2018. These angels are sent to allow us realize a new perspective on inner peace and remaining calm in a world that is constantly giving us reasons to be dissatisfied. They are humans but have the aura to brighten up the room as they enter it; they are capable of making a profound and positive impact on the first meeting which is much needed in the world.

The PR tour allowed me, one of the organizers, to have a new perspective on the importance of inner growth. The techniques of yoga and meditation were taught, and never before had I realized the impact it can have on the mind. The 5-day tour allowed me to see the impact yoga can have on children who are victims of their surrounding. These children would have been a product of their negative surrounding but were able to relate to the exercises and discussions on meditation and yoga and how to make their mind at ease. 

As the tour came to an end, my appreciation for the art of meditation grew. It showed me the importance of not being caught up in the fight to achieving something that is beyond myself – the materialistic items. Meditation taught me that self-care is important especially that of the mind, and taking a few moments for my mental well-being can have a profound impact on my everyday life. Being an adult, I am filled with lots of decision making, problem solving and being caught up in the everyday happening of the world of work. But through the realization of inner peace – a result from meditation – I can be my true-self.

*The tour was organized in cooperation with The Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassadors Network (CYPAN).