Sitting in a colleague’s coaching studio the other day, I was drawn to an embroidered banner bearing the words: “To bring Peace to earth, strive to make your own life peaceful” - a Buddhist teaching.
‘Peace on earth’ - a favourite yuletide sentiment, but I have never considered how to actually make that happen. Or where I could personally contribute to that seemingly vast global wish.
But it doesn’t surprise me that, as the Buddha suggests, it starts with us.
The irony is that I’ve been feeling anything but peaceful at this time of year – racing around for last-minute purchases, anxious about who I may have forgotten, that it is not enough and concerned about everyone else’s happiness. I certainly haven’t taken the time to slow down and become aware of what I’m putting out there and ‘bringing to earth’.
Nor thought about what I really want that to be. I say I want peace on earth, but what does that mean? What does ‘peace’ look like to me - its component parts and measures?
When I dig in there, I realize that the peace I’m wishing for is not just the end of war or a quiet day. It is tolerance - people dialoguing, relating, finding common ground and bringing their best selves to collaborate and contribute to long-term goals that benefit all peoples and the planet.
And while the end desire is lofty, I don’t just want this for global leaders, or in the Middle-East, or Russia, but this peace in our community and even within our personal relationships and households. My household!
And indeed that is where we have to start - for as much as we might like to, or try to, we cannot control others… only ourselves. But if we each strive to make our own lives peaceful, we can at least model those intentions and behaviours as a form of positive influence and leadership.
The word ‘strive’ is important here. It may sound easy on paper, but remaining peaceful in the face of a world of distractions and the general tumultuousness of life is something that takes work and conscious effort and can understandably go awry. But when we slip off the peaceful path (have a meltdown, get caught up in the Christmas craziness, argue over boiled carrots or steamed) it’s about continually coming back to it. Berating ourselves for messing up is not very peaceful after all! Can we keep striving for our objective?
These same principles apply for anything we want to bring to the world, or more directly to our community, our family or simply to our own lives. If we want joy, can we strive to be more joyful? Love, Can we be more loving?
What do you desire to bring to the world in 2015? How can that start with you? What objectives will you set to guide your actions and strive towards through the new year?
Anyone looking for inspiration and to set themselves up for happiness, health and success may want to check out the ‘Renew Retreat 2015’, happening on January 18th - see my website for more details.
Wishing you all a very happy holiday and a peaceful new year!
Julia Pitt is a trained Success Coach and certified NLP practitioner on the team at Benedict Associates. For further information contact Julia on (441)705-7488, www.juliapittcoaching.com.
Julia is a trained Personal Development Coach, certified NLP Practitioner, writer and public speaker. Using coaching methods, tools and conversation, Julia helps her clients achieve the goals they set for themselves and transform their lives. Here she shares her own personal development journey on her life quest for authenticity, growth and having a good time!