The Power Of Your Peace


I’m diverting from what I was originally going to publish this week, to share what’s on my mind.

It’s hard to escape the pain and darkness of our world at this time. My thoughts are on our brothers and sisters in Israel and others in the region who are suffering greatly.

Then there’s the pain in our own communities. This week we unexpectedly lost a member of our community — a father, husband, business leader and friend — whose pain was too great to remain in this world.

Combine the world and community’s pain with our own personal challenges and it can be a lot.

In fact, it can be really easy in times like these to get pulled in, lost, and stuck in the senseless behavior and happenings of the world.

But it is in these times of extreme noise and chaos that I am reminded how important it is to slow down. To listen to my internal guidance instead of the noise that will leave me incapable of serving myself and others.

A shaman I apprentice with describes it like this. “Be in this world — not of this world.” When we are of this world we become lost and stuck in the craziness. Our nervous systems become fried. We become weak, sick and die. When we do this we cannot be truly helpful.

There is a LOT of evidence that demonstrates feelings are contagious. Much like a cold, they spread.

Doesn’t it make sense then that if we are to be truly helpful that maintaining inner peace be our #1 priority?

But how do we do that when the noise is so loud?

I’ve found creating a daily practice of peace is one way. Spending more time in gratitude. Taking 5 minutes to be still. Saying a prayer. Listening to soothing music. Taking a walk in nature. Setting an intention to bring peace to my relationships and interactions throughout the day. Knowing what takes me out of peace and being on the lookout to respond instead of react the next time I have a chance.

Thursday my husband spoke with a colleague in Israel who described what he and others are experiencing at this time. The man said his neighbor’s son was one of the soldiers killed in the initial attacks in the south of Israel. The family had a funeral at their home. My husband’s Israeli colleague said 3000 neighbors came to be with the family. He reported everyone is doing what they can for each other. They are giving extra. Truck drivers are leaving their roles to drive the tanks as women are volunteering to help with burying soldiers.

I think to myself if they can do that while in so much pain, can’t I take 10 minutes of my day to cultivate the peace within so I have it to give to others?

In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state can result in large differences in a later state. What this means is that your smile to a stranger, your note of encouragement to a colleague, your extra patience with your child, your asking a friend “how are you really?” and listening to the response —- these things matter. They have the power to change the conditions of one person’s state which goes onto ripple out to 1000’s more.

At a time of senseless happenings and turmoil, be the peace that you and those around you need right now. Be in this world, not of this world. Don’t put your finger in the electrical socket.

We are able to lead and serve best when we are at peace. Being able to be at peace in the midst of chaos is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves, our friends, family members, and those across the sea.

Now more than ever find your practice that brings you peace. If you don’t have one, you can borrow St. Francis’ Peace Prayer.

And never underestimate your power to change a person or the world around you by the power of your peace.

The St. Francis Peace Prayer

​Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:

where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, and joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may never seek so much

to be consoled as to console,

to be understood as to understand,

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

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