Wednesday, February 03, 2010

64 Days of Nonviolence

Every year this time, my church, the Center for Spiritual Awareness in West Sacramento participates in an international Season for Nonviolence from January 30th through April 4th (the anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assignations). The creators of this event have made a booklet of 64 ways to practice peace in our lives on those 64 days. We're on day 5 so far, but I'm going to give you the daily tool and then write a little bit about it each day.

Feb. 3 BELIEVING "Today, believe that you have all the resources to move your life in the direction of peace. Be aware of simple demonstrations of peaceful responses."

On the surface, my life is pretty peaceful. I hardly ever hit or kill anybody. Ok, never. I am lucky enough to live in a peaceful community, with a loving family in a country that, while at war, the war seldom overtly affects me.

So why do I need to move in the direction of peace? Where can I be more peaceful? Well, a lot of places, frankly, if I'm willing to look at it. Much of the time I am not so peaceful towards myself. For example, I feel like I'm getting a late start this morning, it has taken me forever to get to this keyboard. In my head, the running commentary goes something like this, "Sara, why didn't you get up earlier? Why did you talk on the phone quite so long this morning? Those calls could have been accomplished much more efficiently."

That's a good inner monologue for me because I haven't called myself any awful names but how peaceful is it for me to be so critical of what just is? Can I do anything about the fact that it's already past 10am? Is it useful for me to bash myself? Is it really so bad to have a little bit longer conversation with people I love on the phone rather than be my usual curt self, efficient, on and off?

The answer is to all these questions, no. I could be more peaceful. Do I have all the resources? Well, if I don't, who does? I meditate and pray every day. I'm studying to be a minister. I have a wide range of friends who support me and love to hear from me when I need help being more peaceful. I can be more peaceful.

So a simple demonstration of a peaceful response today would be to laugh at myself for being late, laugh at myself for being critical, laugh at myself for blogging about it and just accept that my day is showing up the way it's showing up. I can change my focus at any time, but I cannot go backwards.

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