Sunday 20 September 2015

Finding Peace on International Peace Day.

Monday 21st September is International Peace Day, declared by the General Assembly as "a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples".

In light of the current refugee crisis throughout Europe and beyond we are all painfully aware that the world is not at peace, and far too many people have their lives affected and ruined by conflict and war. There is not peace among all nations and peoples.

It's impossible for me to look at those people and not think of their personal peace. Their children or parents lost, the life they used to know has gone. And on top of that they are having to run, and give up everything else they have. I can't understand where they find the strength to carry on. There is not peace within these people. 

In the last couple of years focus of inner wellbeing in the UK has begun to swing, and meditation and mindfulness are being taken as seriously as tablets and potions.

Mindfulness is about finding some inner peace, and being able to see just how much is left in that glass, taking time out to actually focus on the present, taking time off from the past and worries about future events. It's been recommended to me by my counsellor and by several friends. It seems universally liked, and is endorsed by just about everyone, from the article above to the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Dalai Lama - who frankly always looks really chilled and happy when you consider 10 million people are waiting to see what he says next. And some of what he says is pretty clever....
".....he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived." 
It's interesting to note too that in some schools in the UK children and young people are now beginning to be asked to regularly take 2 minutes of calm silence, or being offered Mindfulness sessions. Studies so far show the young people feel they benefit from better well-being and less stress. Always a good thing.

Maybe that 20 minute afternoon nap we all fancy isn't only to relieve us physically, it's to reset some of those thoughts and we wake up refreshed in more ways than we realise.

I guess at those times when we carry on despite all the odds against us, it is adrenaline and enforced mindfulness that keeps us going. Our present is so full that we have no room for dwelling on the past, or worrying about what might be. We can only focus on right now, and we have no time or possibility to try to improve our mood or take a breather, so we are accepting of what we are given and work with that. If you could only remove all of the unnecessary stress and worry without having the catastrophe to deal with, how delightful that would be....

I might just give Mindfulness a go, and I'm interested to hear if you've tried it yourself....

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