Originally posted in December 2015 following the November attacks in Paris. Unfortunately, we’ve only seen a progressive uptick of gun violence and senseless tragedy since then. No need to wait for the next ‘big event’ to re-share this post when we sadly hear about a new one nearly day. So let’s double down and start with ourselves. Whether you desperately need inner peace for yourself this time of year or desperately want to it out to the world, or both. I hope you’ll join me in the following practices/ideas….5 days is all I ask. And please share!
DECEMBER 2015 …
I surely don’t have to reiterate the senseless tragedies we’ve seen in our world, both near and far, as of late. And at this particularly special time of year you may be feeling scared, anxious, confused, empty, extremely sad–maybe even with fleeting moments of hopelessness for humanity.
These thoughts and feelings have certainly spent some time in my head and heart. The feeling however that tends to really stick with me, and makes me the most frustrated when I read of the affliction and watch the news coverage, is helplessness.
I want so badly to help, to heal, to comfort, to help change things!
But as removed as I (thankfully) am, I’m left asking myself, what can I do?
There must be something I can do to help–to make an impact, however small.
Well there is, and you can too.
UP FOR A CHALLENGE?
Join me this month for a 5 Day Challenge. You can begin whenever you like but I ask that you try to complete all five days.
I call it the Peace Begins with Me Challenge because if nothing else, we can start with ourselves.
Commit to five days of behaviors (below) that will not only impact others through your direct interactions, but effect the energy of your surroundings, raise the vibration of your immediate community, and through that ripple effect, can and will absolutely change our world.
You never know how a simple act of doing any of the following may impact yourself or another individual.
What you do or say could change a mind, soften a heart, change an action or even change a life.
And if someone else is changed for the better, chances are that will reverberate, endlessly.
Pick one of the following, a couple, or do all five!
But whatever you chose commit to doing it for 5 days and be the change we need in the world right now.
1. FIVE DAYS OF COMPLIMENTS
Consciously give a compliment to 5 different people each day of the challenge; anyone from your spouse, to your boss, to your barista, to the grocery-bagger at the store. See how sharing unsolicited kind words affects your own mood as well as theirs. You have no idea what other people are going through. A simple word of kindness could completely turn their day around, and if they subsequently pay it forward, even better! #rippleeffect
2. FIVE DAYS OF GRATITUDE
Commit to a gratitude practice daily for 5 days. I like this one based off the 5 min Journal—take a couple minutes in the morning and a moment at night to complete the following.
Pro Tip: Get the App, or just put this in the Notes section of your phone and set an alarm so you don’t forget to do it! Simple, easy, and yet so powerful.
What are you grateful for today?
What would make today great?
- I am___________________
- I am___________________
- I am___________________
Three amazing things that happened today:
3. FIVE DAYS OF MEDITATION
Have you been meaning to start or need to get back to meditating? Commit to 5 minutes a day for the 5 day challenge. If you need a mantra, may I suggest “Peace Begins with Me” 🙂
Not sure where to begin? Check out Insight Timer for a wide variety of both guided and silent meditation of all types and lengths.
4. FIVE DAYS OF ACTS OF KINDNESS
This one may or may not take some planning, but is totally doable. Each day during the challenge find one thing to do for someone else, big or small. Some suggestions; shovel your neighbors walk, give $5 to the man on the corner, pay for the person’s coffee behind you in the drive-thru, donate to your favorite charity, donate to a relief organization, take 30 extras seconds to hold a door open for someone…you get the idea.
5. FIVE DAYS OF PRAYER
This is straightforward. Pray however you like of course, but pray purposefully.
And may I suggest this sweet yet powerful prayer which is so perfect for our purpose: The Peace Prayer of St Francis. Any denomination can say this prayer! It is about getting out of our own way in order to help and heal others.
Say it daily for 5 days (or longer!)
Sarah McLachlan has a beautiful rendition of it as well, see below or listen to it here.
Prayer of St Francis
Lord make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Thank you for joining me in this challenge. Please share this with everyone you can and hashtag #peacebeginswithmechallenge so I can see the awesome things you are doing!
Now is the time to start with ourselves, peace does begin with us and the world needs it now more than ever!
I truly believe we have the power to make our immediate worlds better, brighter, more full of love and acceptance and our ripple can be very far-reaching.
If you’d like to share in the comments below which action/s you’ve chosen I’d love to hear!
You can also comment and post on Facebook.
Start today, start now, be the change.