In alignment with this day of International World Peace, I am considering what each of us can empower ourselves to do, to contribute the development of our peace. There are many pathways, visions, ideas and indeed actions already in play. To contribute to peace does not require a constant state of peace, although that would be a wonderful ideal, to contribute to peace, is to make mindful effort to grow in peace as much as we can, when we can, and many of us are already doing this, in our own unique ways, throughout most days of our lives.
Anyone who practices peace, anyone who makes the choice to accept and to forgive instead of to fight, anyone who makes a kind or compassionate choice, anyone who actively supports well-being and positive living, anyone who researches on how we can create more positive communities, anyone who chooses to heal their emotional pain and suffering, anyone who is able to love, accept and nurture a child, anyone who supports the sustainability of our planet, and the care of our animal, anyone who tolerates and accepts varied beliefs, anyone who promotes the awareness and integration of positive values, anyone who chooses to listen to their heart, anyone active in resolving conflict in positive ways, and anyone who marks this day as the initiation of a commitment to be more peaceful in thought and action is contributing to peace and there so many more people and pathways than I have touched on here.
We know that we need peace and that many of us want more peace at many levels; internally in thought and emotion, within our daily lives, and on a global political, religious and environmental scale. What I believe we need now is a vision of peace. I do not believe we need to strive for one ultimate vision because our differences in viewpoint and opinion are the colours that make our world beautiful. I believe we are at the stage of understanding what growing peace in our lives means so that we can visualize it within our own minds and that our minds will, at a deep level, align to create a a peace that we may not be able to imagine, because the sum of whole is greater than of the individual.
What does peace mean to you and me, to our family members, our students and teachers, our colleagues and community leaders, and to those we choose and trust to lead us. We need to really understand the meaning of peace, if we are to take it from an idea or ideal, form a vision and integrate peace into our daily lives.
What does peace mean to you? I am not going to tell you what your peace means, what I can do, is share with you what peace means to me and how I am finding peace, and perhaps through this, inspire in you the emergence or connection with your personal truth. When we are each clear about what peace means, we are half way to creating peace in our world.
I discovered peace after many years of working through my own fears and anxiety. I developed the mind management tools to dismantle my fears, choose positive perceptions, practice relaxation techniques, choose healthy distractions away from spiralling descents into a whirlwind of fearsome thoughts, while managing fear and doubt and uncertainty. However, although empowering, this alone did not bring me peace, but I needed to understand how to manage my fear before I had any chance of moving into peace and mind management techniques gave me this.
In time, my healing process lead me into years of learning to truly understand and integrate the art of acceptance; to accept my past and my present, to accept who I was and who I have become, to accept my limitations, to accept things I do not like about myself and my world, to accept feelings and emotions that are uncomfortable, and to accept my perfect ideals and some of my really important dreams may never be, but that certainly that I will never give up working to live them. As I integrated acceptance, through the way I would think and talk to myself, and the way I reacted to others and my environment, I witnessed an emerging sense of peace. At the same time, thoughts of gratitude and appreciation for what I had arose from within, and with this, I felt deeper sensations of peace. With more time and inner work, I encountered forgiveness, as if a natural progression from acceptance, and in forgiveness, so much could be let go, making space within me for more peace within. Then, as if a natural flow, I found myself meandering into moments of compassion, because with growing understanding, acceptance and forgiveness, gratitude and appreciation, I began to not just know, at an intellectual level, but to feel, that we are all so alike; we are connected and we influence each other every moment of our lives. To choose compassion connects you and me at the heart, and from the heart, no longer analysing or thinking, just being present in love, it seems to me to be a natural occurrence that the arising thoughts and actions we make are positive, and that my presence with myself is more at peace. My work now is to make time to connect with my heart and make this a lifetime practice, because in this, I find my peace, often inspired by natural beauty and random acts of kindness that I witness in my world. I know that we have the power to create peace in our world; we are the emerging peace and we have the choice to make it grow.
What does peace mean to you?
What is your vision of peace?
How can you grow more peace in your world
If you are interested in working with me to develop your fear and mind management techniques and grow through the process of learning to live from the heart, please feel free to get in touch. You are welcome to request a no obligation 30-minute complimentary discovery session, to experience how working together can benefit you. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org Learn more at: www.antoniabehan.com
Embrace Your Power
It’s time to go back to school. This can mean something different for every individual. For some teenagers, this is an exciting time to re-connect with those friends whom they have not seen all summer. For others, returning to school comes with the reminders of peer pressure, worries about acceptance, fears about bullying, concerns about performance and grades, and stress about how they are going to cope.
There are many things you can do as a parent or teacher, to help prepare your teenagers for a positive new year. Coaching teenagers on how to embrace their power is one way that you can set them up with a good foundation.
What does embracing your power mean?
Essentially, embracing your power means learning to like, love, accept and believe in yourself, it means honoring your truth and values, standing up for what you believe in, and setting strong boundaries. Achieving this requires mind mastery skills and self- love.
Coach Your Teen to Develop Mind Mastery Skills:
When your teenager is feeling stressed, anxious, and afraid or worried, you can help them to embrace their power by coaching them on managing their mind. Often it is not the situation that causes feelings of stress, worry and anxiety, but what we tell ourselves about what is or might happen. By identifying thoughts and beliefs, it is possible to work through them to create a story in which your teenager develops into managing the situation, and creating supportive thoughts to help them cope.
You can try a series of questions to help you and your teenager to identify thoughts and beliefs that may be causing them to feel stressed or anxious, and guide them in finding empowering solutions.
Coach your Teen to Love Themselves More:
When your teenager is concerned about peer pressure, being accepted, or worried about being bullied, you can help them to cope by developing the love they have for themselves. This means that your teen knows they are the only one who judges them, they are the one who decides they are an acceptable and like-able and love-able person, that they stand up for their values, and they are the one who decides to believe in who they are, no matter what.
You can help your teen to grow love by:
(Learn about this here: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/03/06/390143641/pot-can-trigger-psychotic-symptoms-for-some-but-do-the-effects-last)
Talk with your teenager about what is the most important thing to them: their health and well-being, or what other people think about them. You cannot stop your child from experimenting, but you can educate them to make loving choices.
(Drug and Alcohol Resource www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/teens_brochure_2013.pdf
Sexually Transmitted Infections resource: www.cdc.gov/std/life-stages-populations/stdfact-teens.htm)
Ask your teen what he/she likes and loves about themselves; sometimes we all need a reminder, and keeping this information fresh in mind helps provide a barrier against the spiteful and negative words of others.
Teach your teen that when other people do or say things, your child can hold onto their power by deciding their truth about who they are is more accurate than any judgement made by another, for the simple reason that other students do not and cannot know your child/teenager as much as they do. When you and your teenager hold the voice of acceptance and love and self-belief, this provides a powerful shield of defense from bullies.
Teach your teenager about their mental filter. You can do this by demonstrating the gap between your words and their ears. Ask them to imagine placing an imaginary filter or shield in this gap. Then, as your words come towards them, they can decide to let them bounce of the shield/filter, because they are negative, cruel and unkind, or let them in, because they are positive, kind and loving. Other people can say negative things, but we have the power to choose if we accept their truth or let it go.
If your child is being physically hurt, they need to know that violence is never acceptable. They may be afraid to speak, in case the situation gets worse; this is a common fear. Self-esteem can be maintained if they and you do everything you can to stand up to this bully. Get the school involved and talk to the parents of the bully. The school should have a bully prevention policy. Ask to see it. A general policy may suggest that after a warning, detention and suspension, the bully should be expelled. It an extreme situation you may choose to move schools, because you have the freedom to make choices in any situation and no one can take that away. Remember, the Dalai Lama fled occupied Tibet to save his life and continue to support his people from safety in exile. From what I can see, I do not think he lost his power: his love is strong.
We may not always get the outcome we want, but if a child is supported to always maintain their self-esteem, and their power, to know their options and make their choices, with your blessing and support, they will feel this support and it will carry them through the challenges in life. If you do change schools, it can be helpful to arrange self-esteem coaching or counselling for your teenager, to help them prepare for embracing a new school from a positive and courageous state. Best case scenario, the school does supports you, the bully is managed, and your teenager recognizes that you and the school and life are on their side, and they grow in confidence as a result of seeking help and learning that they do not have to cope alone, help is out there, and things can change for the better.
It is an act of strength and an act of love to ask for help and support.
If you or your teenager would like empowered support on managing any of the issues raised here, I reserve coaching for teenagers from 16.30-18.30, to avoid missing school. Sessions available at Ocean Clinic (Gibraltar) on Wednesday’s and Atlantic Clinic (Nueva Andalucia) on Thursday’s and Friday’s. Skype sessions available for adults. Complementary discovery sessions are offered to parents wishing explore whether coaching with me is the right approach for their son/daughter for the presenting circumstances.