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.
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…