Peace stuff?

A young man came up to me today as I was teaching a class about peace. He said,”If this peace stuff is.suppose to be all that, why hasnt it worked yet? Why isnt the world peaceful? Why arent all people geting along? Doesnt that mean its a.failure?”

GREAT QUESTION!

Number one, the fact that this student asked this shows what we are displaying and showing our children. The news, the TV shows, the movies, magazines, newspapers, and the popular novels are all showing future generations that violence is the way and the onl y way. Kids, tweens, teens, etc fon’t see nonviolence working. They don’t see peace. the only peace that most of our future generations sees is a trendy sticker or cool necklace with the peace sign on it.

Future generations do not see adults acting in a peaceful way. in fact, they see adults acting in horrible ways. Look at the examples he show are young people on a daily basis- domestic violence, boxing, ufc(i understand its a sport…but not if you see it as fighting), war, terrorism, fight terrorism which war, screaming, yelling, gang violence, revenge, jealousy, ownership, kidnapping, if you do this all do this, street fights, riots, and constantly yelling at them. The younger generation is a mirror of what we teach them. They learn to act like adults by watching us. hey man how the world is supposed to be by watching us. if it seems like the world is getting worse, it’s because each generation take it a little further.

Of course this student came in asked me this question. This is a really good question for the student. this student go home and watches his brother protect their house, their stuff, and their family name. this student watches his mom get beat daily. this student watch violence in his neighborhood every day. this student is encouraged to play violent video games by his brother, his parents to buy it for him, and his friends.
This student watches violence in cartoons, violence in TV shows, violence that is coupled with humor, violence in movies(all the very popular are violent), and violence in neespapers and books.

Then I walkin that violence is wrong  violence is wrong and that there is another way. this is a thought that is completely foreign to most of the people I speak with. This idea I was completely crazy when I first heard it at 14. however, when I heard it and I saw examples that people were not all violent, it changed my entire life.

We have to start showing our students that peace is possible. We have to start join them examples of people who are doing amazing things to help others. We have to start showing them examples of nonviolence. Wehave to start showing the younger generation that the world can be a better place.

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4 Steps to speaking peace

About 2 ½ years ago (it will become obviouis later why I remember the exact amount of time it has been) I was sitting in a meeting when I realized how violent it all was.  Interesting enough, I was in a meeting speaking about peace.

There was one person talking about “shooting” e-mails, and “shooting” out a mass “blast” of e-mails.

There was another person talking about “hits” on a website and “hitting” and smashing the other groups that were being violent.

Then there was a person who was responding to the e-mails and the website saying and speaking about that it’s a good “rule of thumb” and “killing two birds with one stone”.

Suddenly, a young man jumped up and said, “We could totally “annihilate” their entire campaing.” (This young man was speaking about disproving a popular  violent sport’s commercial campaign) When the word annihilate escaped his lips, my only vision was the grainy black and white videos of the Atomic Bomb tests, and then the 1960’s stripped down colors the H-Bomb test on bikini atoll flashed back like a wave of mass destruction washed over me.

As I sat through the meeting I counted up the violent phrases that we see as absolutely normal, and I was flabbergasted at the numbers:  2 hour meeting, 200 violent phrases (That’s 100 an hour)

Let’s keep one thing in mind, these are NOT violent people. These are people who are doing amazing things to teach and promote nonviolence.  However, they are merely using words that they have heard, you have heard, we have all heard on a daily basis.

 

If we, who are trying to promote peace and nonviolence, are speaking 100 violent words an hour, imagine what is being spoken by people who don’t care to promote peace or who don’t even think about it.  Imagine what the media and TV are speaking per hour…are they just as violent?  Of course they are.  It was shown by a Princeton Study that the average American current person watches at least 8 hours of TV a day (remember if you’re watching videos on your phone…you fall into that category.). In that 8 hours, they will experience 274 killings, 520 acts of physical violence, 745 acts of verbal abuse, and most of these acts of violence will be accompanied with upbeat music and laughter.

Psychology piece: The magical letter B:   According to multiple studies, restudies, double restudies they have found: When you think deeply, or areconstantly exposed,  to anything— seeing the letter ‘B,’ for example, or violence — the same parts of your brain involved in performing that action light up.

In essence you are acting and performing these things when you see them

Science piece:  It has been proven time and time again that the more violence we experience, the more violence we commit. If we are hearing over 100 violent words per hour. then we watch thousands and thousands of violent pictures a day, we are encapsulated in violence every minute of every day. That is more violence than anyone can handle. Is it any wonder we live in such a violent society?

Acceptance of violence in our society is very big.

So let’s get back to our original group of people: They are the Primary Prevention Commite of Pinellas County. Their goal is to eradicate violence of qall kind through creating and enacting multiple efforts of primarty prevention in order to recreate the culture. I am honored to be a part of this group. When I brought this up to them, one of the other members had been working on this very thing for most of her career. This seemed to be an interesting task:eliminate all violent language out of your vocabulary. Really – how hard could it be?

These are the steps to eliminating Violence out of your speech (Try it…yes it really is that important):

First step, we tasked ourselves with eliminating violence in our language. You have to set a goal and put your intention out there, right? This turned out to be a lot harder than anyone thought. When we first began we started slipping up almost immediately. After an hour of “trying” to communicate correctly we realized – we are having a really really tough time doing this.

See, we are so connected to the violence and violent language we hear and use all the time, we don’t ever realize it’s coming out of our mouth. We speak it and teach our kids to speak it. No wonder verbal assault is so hard to stop for so many people – it’s almost cultural. (How sad is that.) Yes, that’s what I said (Yeah, I said it.) Look around…we are living in a culture of verbal abuse and violence.

Suddenly it made sense; the reason paying attention to your speech is so important is that it changes the way you think. When you begin to eliminate the violent speech in your language, you begin to see the large amount of violence that is in our language in the first place. Thought comes out of the Ether(soul, god, entity, divine, etc) and enters your brain, where it is turned into an action. A violent word is the result of a line of violent creations starting from…our mind.

The second step is usually finding out how much violent language is in your own speech. This si the step is the most frustrating step. Because now you have the knowledge of the violence and violent language swirling around you all the time. Not only that, you know all the violent words we use on a daily basis, not to mention you hear it yelled as you walk to your job (hopefully that’s where it ends, but not usually).  Then you begin talking. Speaking turns into speaking, and the words are coming our quicker than you can pay attention to each one…and a violent word or a few violent words slip out. You realize it as soon as it happens. Like grabbing the full tube of tooth paste too hard, you can’t put it back in once it has all come out. At this moment, a well placed cuss word is imminent…or at least in your throat.

The third step is the magic step, this is where you try to reform your speech. What you are actually doing, is changing the way your mind connects things to other things. Instead of a violent connection, it is now a peaceful connection. Suddenly, your eyes are opened up to the myriad of words that are available to you that are not violent and actually explain and depict what you’re saying in a better way. Not only that, when you stop and think about a nonviolent phrase, you because more conscious of what you’re saying and how you say it. When this happens you change your brain into a searcher for nonviolent phrases and inevitably nonviolent. When your brain becomes nonviolent, your actions are sure to follow.

 

Just by changing the words coming out of your mouth, you change your entire brain make up. It’s amazing.

Next step…

TRY IT!!!

Start paying attention to what comes out of your mouth. Try to eliminate the violent words that are coming out of your mouth.

Once we eliminate the sexist & violent words, we are 1000′s of steps closer to equality and peace, just by changing the way we speak!

BTW-Because of our little experiment, we begin working on a Nonviolent Thesaurus. A book that depicts all of the violent phrases and words in our language (at least as many as we could think of-always open for more)and the alternative nonviolent phrase or words. It has been fact checked by the harshest of critics – teenagers-and passed the test. Now, 2 ½ years later – we have finished it.  It is titled Say this, Not That.  PDF is available! Printed copies are available for the cost of shipping.

Nonviolent thoughts =Nonviolent words=nonviolent actions=positive change!

 

10 For 10 Summer Challenge – Day 2 – meditation

This is the second day of the 10 for 10 summer challenge

So far no one has posted for their 1st day.  I hope this means that people are just to busy to be able to post.

2nd day post

For my second day, I’ve decided to help many many people!  This post is dedicated to HOW TO MEDITATE!

Who can meditate?

EVERYONE!!!!  Meditation is not linked to any specific religion or idea of thought. Meditation is looking inward at the inner mind that watches everything, calming your entire body, and finally – finding real peace in your life…if only for a moment.  Every great religious prophet: Sidartha, Mohamad, Jesus…all spent time meditating!  In fact, meditating can even help your faith by thinking deeply on it for many moments.

What are the benefits of mediation.

To start:

Studies show that meditation is associated with improvement in a variety of psychological areas, including stress, anxiety, addiction, depression, eating disorders and cognitive function, among others.

Studies show that meditation is associated with improvement in a variety of psychological areas, including stress, anxiety, addiction, depression, eating disorders and cognitive function, among others. There’s also research to suggest that meditation can reduce blood pressure, pain response, stress hormone levels and even cellular health.

To quote from a great mediation teacher Rinpoche – “The real miracle of meditation is a subtle transformation that happens not only in your mind and your emotions but also in your body. And, this transformation is a healing one. Even your cells are more joyful.”

 

Beginning thoughts on how to meditiate:

 

  • Where Should I Meditate? You may wish to set aside a special corner of one room, your own private sanctuary, a calm, quiet and peaceful place. You might furnish the area with objects or icons that have spiritual meaning for you, developing a little altar or shrine. Use what will put you into a contemplative frame of mind. You may want to enlist the help of Mother Nature. Spend time at the ocean listening to the surf crashing upon the rocks…walk through a shaded forest trail with a cathedral of trees overhead…stand near a stream with water playing over the rocks or a waterfall…or watch the moon rise or birds fly overhead.
  • How Should I Sit When I Meditate?Although the classic posture is to sit with legs folded and hands resting quietly on the lap or the knees, the key is to find a way of sitting that is comfortable for you. And remember, you can meditate anytime, anywhere…even driving in your car.
  • Should My Eyes Be Open or Closed? Keep your eyes open if possible, to keep all of senses open. The goal is not to fall asleep, but to find yourself in a state of “relaxed alertness.” Nor are you seeking a trancelike experience, or an altered state of consciousness. Keep your eyes “soft” — that is, do not focus on anything in particular — and your mouth slightly open.
  • How Long Should I Meditate? Many texts recommend 20 minutes, twice daily, but it’s not how long you meditate; it’s whether the practice “brings you to a certain state of mindfulness and presence, where you are a little open and able to connect with your heart essence,” writes Sogyal Rinpoche in the “Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.”

To begin, try short sessions of four to five minutes; then break for one minute. “It’s often during the break that meditation actually happens!” writes Rinpoche. It may also be useful to get into the habit of setting aside the same times every day, be they for prayer or meditation. David Steindl-Rast, O.S.B., a Benedictine monk and author, recommends rising 15 minutes earlier than usual to give your day a “contemplative dimension.” Without these precious moments, he says, “your whole day can slip away into a mad chase,” but with them your entire day can be imbued with meaning and joy.

Ways to meditate:

 

Type Steps for Meditation or Relaxation
Guided meditation – With the help of a teacher or guide, or even a pre-made recording, take yourself on a journey through a place you find calming or relaxing.

– Visualize your surroundings, and try to incorporate as many senses as possible. Soak in the sounds, smells, and textures.

Mantra, or transcendental meditation – Choose a calming word or phrase. Repeat it over and over to yourself silently to prevent distracting thoughts from entering.
Mindful meditation – Take a break and make yourself acutely aware of your surroundings.

– Take deep breaths and feel your lungs swell.

– Allow yourself to think about your feelings, but do so without judgment.

Yoga or tai chi – Perform a slow series of varying postures while breathing deeply.

– As you balance and move, focus on the movements and not on the stress in your life.

– Attend a class to learn the basics, and then you can practice in your own home.

Prayer – Pray using your own words, or read prayers written by others.

– Reflect on the meaning of the words or write in a journal.

Deep breathing – Take deep breaths from your diaphragm, rather than short, shallow breaths from your chest.

– Continue until you feel calm.

 

In the end….SMILE!

Be happy. This is and never will be WORK!

meditation is a moment of silence to collect all thoughts and pressures, and then let them go!

Enjoy your meditation.

 

Make peace happen

image

I was walking through  a store and I saw the shirt. We see piece shirts all over the place comets kind of like the peace symbol and peace the word is trendy. It’s kind of need to think that piece is trendy, however, it’s the word and the symbol that is trendy not be striving towards the idea of Peace .

As a nonviolent educator, I’ll take whatever popularity: the word in the symbol of peace can get. It makes it a lot easier when everyone knows what the symbols are you just have to educate them about what it means. However, I come back to the shirt. You know what the shirt says? It says “MAKE peace happen”. There are a lot of things asking for peace, 113 peace, giving peace a chance, demanding peace, but never “making peace”.

This is a drastic shift in the nonviolent peace movement. Were no longer asking, wanting, or hoping for peace-its in our hands to create pracr, to make peace. It puts the ball in our priverbial court . It all comes down to the things we do, and the things we make  happen, and the actions and reactions that we cause to happen. This is Gandhi’s famous quote, ” be the change you want to see in the world’ to the next level. Gandhi’s quote asked us to change ourselves so that we are the example of how we want the world to be. Now, with the make peace happen movement, we not only teams are cells we work on changing the rest of our society, our country, our world into a more peaceful serene, accepting more positive world.

So i ask: how are you going to “make peace happen”

Acceptance and understanding

I was having a conversation with my son, who is high functioning autism, and suddenly he stood up, yelled, and ran into his room yelling at his sister. He threw himself on the bed and yelled and fell into a full fit.

I walked into the room and asked him what happened: “SHE WALKED IN MY ROOM AND TOUCHED MY STUFF!!”

If I tried to explain to him that it was truly no big deal or tried to explain why she went into his room, I would be greeted with anger/screaming/yelling/and a HUGE meltdown.

Autistic have ways, perceptions, and ideas completely different…not bad, just different.

Colors are brighter.

Sound is amplified.

Motion is intensified.

The order of things are rigid and regimented.

Life looks very different for someone on the spectrum.

 

Does this mean they are wrong and act in ways that are wrong? No..just different. They are acting out and reacting to perceptions that they have.

We want them to act differently..more normal. We strive to “correct” their behavior. Is their behavior wrong – it could be – but their perception is saying that this is the most appropriate way of behaving given the information that is coming into their brain.

We just have to accept their perception is off..and make sure they don’t hurt anyone in anyway.

But isn’t this how we should deal with everyone? What is normal?  Isn’t normal up for debate? We don’t truly want people to be “normal”…we just want people not to others.

So taking this idea – The Adverse Childhood Experiences test has shown us that our perceptions of the world are based on how we are treated and the experiences we have as a child. Someone with a high ACE test would perceive the world vastly different than a person with a low ACE test. Interesting enough, 90-98% of the violent criminals of the world have a very high ACE test…coincidence, NO! So in fact, many people have a very impaired perception of the world.

When we see someone commit an act of violence or are simply and plain nasty, or make some horribly questionable choice…it is possible they are trying to achieve happiness in the only way they know how. We can see it’s not a good choice, but they very well might see it as the only choice. Because of how they live and who they are, it is possible for them to have a very different outlook on the world…just like the autistic.

Like the autistic, we must first understand and accept these people for who they are. Not when they are already committing crimes, the ball has already been dropped by then. When they are kids we must start to identify them and reeducating them with acceptance and understanding.

What about the adults?  Let’s really talk to them. Let’s really understand why they have the ideas that they do. Why they are doing the things they are doing. Let’s see why they think violence is the right way of doing things. Why they think that stealing and destruction is the only way to money and happiness.

Through acceptance and understanding we have the ability to see an angry violent person as the child that was taught that anger and violence was right, and that this is the only way to deal with your problems. We can begin to see that their problem solving skills involve violence as a negotiation tactic.

When we accept they have been hurt, they have been taught this…we can reteach, and relearn, and help. Through acceptance understanding…violence goes away, anger goes away, and happiness and peace live!

Be at peace…and why not.

peace

Yes, the world is crazy.

Yes, there is violence all around you.

Yes, the kids are screaming and the dogs are barking.

Yes, there is more going on than you’d like it to.

Yes, we are way too busy than needs be.

You are at peace!

When you take a step back, for only a moment…you begin to see the peace that is always there. You just have to get yourself out of it. Peace exists every moment of every life in eternity, just most of the time we don’t see it.

So stop!

Look around.

Realize that you really do have this moment to reflect and be at peace.

Now bring that peace to the others around you?

How do you bring peace to everyone around you?

 

Chad Herman Motivatesd people to say Thank You

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSlZV7K5pWI

 

Someone came up to me and said…you’re always telling us we need to create positive change. We need to end negativity.

But how?  How can we change negativity into positivity?

How can we change the very negative world into a more positive place?

We can say thank you!

Thank Everyone!!!  Everyone.

I hope you enjoy and are inspired by the video.

More to come!