Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Today I'll outline a few different ways you can personally increase Peace within, and outside of, yourself.
First, Meditate. If you are not comfortable with the idea of "prayer", start with meditation. All you need do is breathe. Which most folks do, believe it or not--incorrectly!
Sloooowwwwly. In, deep breath, (inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth. Your tummy should expand when you inhale, and collapse when you exhale)hold. Release. Do this three times, and keep your eyes lightly closed, your palms up and open. Breathe. Listen to sounds within the room you are in, then the sounds outside the room. I like to listen to my body, too. If you are really still, you can even hear your own heartbeat, which is pretty amazing...It helps to repeat a word, something simple, like Peace, or Love, or Jesus, or even the name of your beloved. Do this, several times. With each breath, you'll feel your body become more centered, focused. Human beings are actually "hard-wired" to do this. In studies of our brains, it has been discovered that we function at a "higher"(please forgive the somewhat awful pun, here!) level when we meditate, or pray. That's because we calm, and can concentrate more fully. On our blessings. On our goals. On Peace.
Next exercise:
Try Walking. This may sound like it has nothing to do with Peace, but it does. In our cars, segregated from one another, we do not "interact", we "react". I've given this a great deal of thought, and I fully believe that a tremendous amount of rage in society is not merely "road rage", it's rage that builds up, over time, from a variety of sources. "Road Rage" is the symptom, not the cause. (Although I'm sure there are folks out there driving--I'd be one of them--who probably go so slowly, that it could enrage someone!) One way to reduce that rage, is not merely to lessen time driving(where we may likely feel able to take it out on someone), but to increase interaction with others. When walking, we look up, we say hello, smile, meet others' eyes. It's impossible to both look into someone's eyes, see them as a fellow human being, and say Hello, and still be angry, rage-filled. What may follow, is Peace. Or, we may simply become preoccupied with our errands, etc. But Peace is the possibility, and the eventual PROBABILITY, of walking. It's also a "greener" thing to do, which aids in the causes of Peace & Social Justice. So go outside. And WALK!
Finally, Smile. Did you know that the mere act of forming a smile, causes endorphins(the so-called "feel good" chemical) to be released by your brain? It's true. And it's impossible to feel anger, while smiling(unless you're a sociopath/psychopath)...Actors often will commit to an action, in order to create the inner emotional state. For instance, if I pound loudly on a door, screaming, eventually, my face will redden, my hands will hurt, I will become angry--my voice will get louder, blood pressure will rise, etc. I will have CREATED anger and rage. Conversely, if I smile, and greet others with respect, not only will I create an environment likely to respond positively towards me, but I create those same feelings of love, inclusion--and yes, Peace--within me--that I look for in the world.
I'm telling you, kids, this all works. Even if you're a skeptic. Heck, especially if you're a skeptic, try it. You'll be pleasantly surprised!
Peace, kids.

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