Inner Mind


August 2010

About Attitude and Keeping the Peace

There are often times in our lives when there is little we can do about the circumstances we find ourselves in, however we can always choose the attitude we have towards them.

A number of years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a ten day seminar presented by the Shamanic Institute. In preparation for this I did a journey to ask my spirit guides what my best attitude was for getting the most good out of my experience. The advice I got was to practice being content.

There were fifty participants in the seminar. They arrived from all over the world, each with their unique expectations, personalities and notions of reality. It seemed that the first few days were spent dealing with people's complaints about one thing or another: the accommodations, the way the program was organized, the drip in the ceiling, this, that or the other thing. I had many opportunities to practice contentment, to try to soothe the ruffled feelings of others, assure people that it would all work out. Eventually, all these dynamic human energies intermingled, sorted themselves out and bonded through the shared exercises. The group spirit prevailed and everyone had an amazing, satisfying and transformational experience. My attitude of being content not only saved me from personal distress but earned me the gratitude of the organisors and the friendship and respect of those I helped in their adjustment to the situation.

I remember another seminar I attended, this one for Yoga teachings. As we departed each session, the instructor would say, “May you have ease in wellness”. I had never heard this said before and thought about what that meant. Amazing as it may seem, it is not always easy to be well.

How do we reconcile our personal state of comfort and happiness with the “terrible” state of the planet and the misery of most of the humans on it?

The understanding of this that I resonate most strongly with came to me in the writings of an American shaman who was feeling guilty for not engaging with the war efforts of her country, neither for nor against, simply having no interest in it. When she journeyed to her spirit guides for understanding about this, she was told that there are people who are “Keepers of the Peace”. If no one is practicing keeping peace, holding a place for it on this planet, how will peace on earth ever be possible?

Energy follows thought. This is a “law” of the universe. What you think about, you give energy to, you strengthen, whether you are for or against it. The only harmless way to let something die is to stop thinking about it altogether, stop giving it energy one way or another.

Obviously, this is not always possible if someone is making war with you, threatening your survival, whether it is an external force attacking or internal conflict or disease. Then you must engage with that.

However, in the situation of being well in a safe place, the opportunity is there to “keep the peace”. To practice being content and satisfied, to envision how life may unfold without hostile intention conflict, to strengthen continuation of harmonious coexistence of all beings. What do we do in “paradise-on-earth” when we get there? What does this look like? How do you imagine it?