Today, 21st September, is the annual “Peace One Day”, a day of non-violence and ceasefire, a 24 hour-long initiative for life-saving activities around the world.
I wrote about this in more detail a couple of years ago.
It all started 10 years ago with one man’s vision and within just a decade it is amazing how one man’s dream has become a universal day of peace and non-violence.
I believe that the majority of the people in the world just want to live “normal” fulfilling, happy lives in peace with enough for their daily needs.
Today on this international day of peace, we all have an opportunity to take a step back and look at our own lives and see what we can do to bring more peace into the world.
It is even more important to bring more peace into our lives first – then the world will become more peaceful anyway.
We also need to begin doing this from today and continue the practice daily, rather than waiting for one day, some day.
So the question to ask yourself on this momentous day of peace is how can I bring more peace into my life today?
To help you get started, here are some questions for you to reflect and apply in your life:-
What will I do to bring more peace into the world?
What will I not do?
What peace habit will I apply every day?
Who will I forgive and let go?
What or who will I stop trying to control?
What toxic or negative habit can I let go of?
What grievance can I let go?
I suggest you pick one or two questions, sit somewhere quietly and reflect on your answers.
In practical terms, you can start behaving in more peaceful ways, no matter where you are. For example no petty arguments, no road rage, no shouting and definitely no backbiting or gossiping.
To get you started, here are some ideas from the “Peace One Day” website:-
• Make peace with someone you have fallen out with.
• Swim or cycle for your own peace of mind.
• Bring your family and friends together for a meal.
• Send peace cards and emails.
• Organise some lunch boxes for homeless people.
• Make peace with yourself.
• Create or visit a peace garden.
• Light a candle for peace.
• Hold a few minutes of silence.
• Write a prayer for world peace.
The key is to make peace with yourself and everyone that you have ever fallen out with. And of course, to continue to do these activities every day and not just today.
For my own day of peace, earlier this evening, I attended a book launch party hosted by Suzy Greaves for her latest book “The Big Peace”. Her book launch was nicely planned by a greater power to coincide with “Peace One Day” and was held at an amazingly cool place in Camden.
Suzy’s new book is wonderful 90-day programme to find your missing peace. At her fabulous book launch party, she shared very passionately three simple practices to bring more peace into our life on a daily basis:-
1. Keep a Gratitude Journal
I have talked about this before and can highly recommend you keep a simple journal whereby you can jot down all the good things happening to you.
Just by doing this you will experience more gratitude and goodness – the very act of appreciation raises your energy, vibration and ultimately your inner peace.
2. Be Compassionate to Yourself and Others
We can all be so hard on ourselves and the people around us. By showing more compassion rather than condemnation or judgement, we can rapidly raise our spirits, and also comfort others.
Just remember that everyone is doing the best they can, even though our inner voice so used to condemn others may find this hard to accept.
Tests conducted on Buddhist monks using brain scanners have proved that their positive energy and vibrations shot up whilst they meditated on compassion.
Intuitively, we already know this – just remember how wonderful you felt every time when you showed a stranger some small kindness – such as giving them some directions or letting a driver into traffic lane.
At the same time, remember that compassion begins with you – so always be wary of that inner voice berating you.
3. Focus on Giving, not Getting
By moving the focus onto others and away from us, we learn to connect with others rather than being aloof and distant.
Instead of coming from a small place of competition, fear and scarcity, come from a bigger place. In any situation where your inner and outer peace may be threatened, ask yourself:-
How can I have a loving response?
How can I stop looking for what I can get and focus on what I can give?
How can I come from a bigger place?
As I write this, we are almost at the end of this year’s “Peace One Day” and I am left wondering just how effective the day has been in reducing conflict, violence and fighting around the world.
The cynics may argue about the futility of such a day but I would counter that no matter how effective or not such a day hsa been, it is vital in bringing about more awareness and understanding of the challenges we face today.
Even if just for a day some child has had a more joyous day or some mother has heaved a sigh of relief over the safety of her child soldier, then today has been been worthwhile.
Even if just two quarrelling neighbours have made up today, then the world is a better place today than yesterday.
And even if just one person’s life has been positively impacted by the kindness show by a stranger, then there are at least two happier people in the world tonight.
The challenge now is for all us to make the world a better and more peaceful place day by day, and not just wait another year for an international day of peace. It is up to us to make every day more peaceful than yesterday and make tomorrow even better than today.
Let today be the first day of true peace in your life everyday. And believe me, it will get better day by day:-)
It is only by all of us working to get more peace in our own lives that the world can be a better place.
Please do share one or more of your own key tips for bringing peace into your life and the world as a result…
Good points Arvind, thanks for writing this. I am reminded of one of my favourite quotes by the Father of India, Gandhiji – ” Be the peace you want to see in the world” ( sorta )
Thanks Shilpa for sharing my favourite quote.
We all have to be the change we want to see in the world.
Thanks for this hopeful post. It reminds me of a great quote, “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.”
Thanks Belinda for yet another Gandhi quote!
I guess the reason Gandhi quotes are so meaningful and profound even today is tha the truly walked his path of peace.
All great points Arvind, another one is look for ways to show mercy.
Thanks Justin – for me compassion encompasses mercy – and indeed compassion is something even greater than mercy.
When we are called to show mercy, it imples a judgement of right and wrong and perhaps some self-righteousness on our part.
So if we continue to show compassion to others, the mercy part will take care of itself as appropriate.
When I read the title, I remembered the play “Waiting for Godot” that I had watched a few days ago. It was about two people waiting for a saviour to come – in the meanwhile idling their time away.
You are right Arvind, the question I need to ask myself is how can I create more peace right now? i thought and thought and finally decided to wish a friend I had not interacted with in a long time – happy peace day!
Thank you 🙂
Thanks Meghasyham for your kind sentiments – do visit again and interact very soon:-)
Just as in “Waiting for Godot”, so many people wait all their lives for someone or something such as peace whereas who or what they seek is already here today if only they knew it.
It was wonderful to meet you at the book launch & share some lovely time chatting. I think you have captured the spirit of the day, and what Suzy said, in a very thought-provoking article here – many thanks!
My “peace practice” for today is to replace the busy-ness of worry in my mind, with the certainty that I am good enough for anything and I’m in tune with the universe.
Great to meet you too Tracey – it was indeed a wonderful evening – peaceful and inspiring.
Continue for ever with that peace practice – we are all good enough already and in tune with the universe:-)
Arvind, another very valuable post! I especially like to be reminded about the power of the gratitude journal whereby not only do i note down the great things that are happening to me and around me but also all the things/people/situations that i am grateful for. This one practice alone certainly sets me up for a more peaceful day.
thanks for the article,
Tania – we have often discussed the power of gratitude and I still carry that heart shaped stone you gave me as my gratitude stone:-)
Wishing you many more peaceful days.
Brilliant article, Arvind. I find the Gratitude journal and the focus on giving, not getting to be particularly powerful. If we all focused on this, the world would miraculously change. And as a bonus, you’ll find that the Universe responds in kind with your giving nature. I’ll be sharing this article with my readers this week.
Thanks Charley for your kind feedback and for sharing this article with your readers.
I do find that the more yuo give, the more you get back.
At the same time, we must be open to receiving as if we were all just giving, who would do the receiving?!
Arvind, I love this post.
realizing peace with yourself is indeed the cornerstone. If you are at peace with yourself, then the peace with others will come into place automatically. It is the same as with “Love thyself” is a prerequisite to “Love others”.
Great you mentioned the Gratitude Journal. It is indeed a fantastic tool and I have mentioned it a while back on my blog as the best way for learning to love yourself.
Peace for you and all people around you.
Patrick, great reminder that one has to have self-love for others to love you and to bring more love into our lives.
What I am learning is that you have to be more of what you want e.g. loving or peaceful or joyous or happy to have more of the same in your life.
Here’s to a loving and peaceful world.
This is a wonderful post, Arvind. The gratitude journal is a very powerful pointer. People usually use journaling to bring out their frustrations, but focusing on our blessings is so much more powerful. Also, your post has inspired me to start being much more regular in my meditation. As the Mahatma has said “Be the change you want to see in the world…”.
Thanks Krishna – and I am glad that my post has inspired you to meditate more regularly.
But surely with a name like Krishna, you must be in an elevated state all the time?!
Thanks for the timely article, Arvind. Suzy’s tips make a lot of sense. But most people would find it a challenge to put them into practice, especially in developing greater compassion and generosity.
I guess for those of us who are concerned about peace and have the opportunity to contemplate on such issue, we’ve to continue to remind people (like the way you did in this post), and to think of better ways to elevate readers’ consciousness beyond that of their own.
Thanks Wee Peng Ho for your lovely feedback.
I do believe that more and more people are waking up to greater compassion and generosity – and in the meantime it is up to people like you to shine their light:-)
Another great post and a good reminder for myself. The gratitude journal is such an amazing tool – also saying affirmations that begin with “I appreciate…..”
Jai – in Robert Holden’s new book there is a detailed section on the benefits of gratitude.
I will be writing a post about my learnings soon but a key exercise he suggests is “The One Hundred Gratitudes” exercise in which you write down 100 things you are grateful for in your life.
I will be doing this exercise over the next week and will post an article about my experiences.
Simply write down 10 to 15 things every day until you have reached your 100.
Hi Arvind – Great idea for a post. One thing that’s really helped me comes from some advice in one of Gary Renard’s books (I think it was “The Disappearance Of The Universe”). It goes something along the lines of…the world won’t experience peace until we each have inner peace. For me, that involves closing my eyes each morning, stilling my mind and beginning the day from a position of centeredness and peace.
Yoga London, welcome to my blog – and thanks for sharing your tip to get inner peace.
Now all we need to do is get the rest of the world to join you and me every morning:-)