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Newsletter Dated: 12/4/2011 12:07:44 PM
Subject: Happiness Tips from Tina: The Shape of Peace
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Happiness Tip: The Shape of Peace
The holiday season is upon us, and everywhere there are songs and signs in store windows promoting peace on Earth, and selling merchandise with it. This year we have the great blessing of bringing troops home from war zones by the end of the year.
Despite all this celebration of the concept of peace, I still see so many people (as well as nations) putting far more energy into fighting, arguing, drama and blaming than into creating peace. The media pays holiday lip-service to peace but it is also endlessly searching for excitement and drama – the opposites of peace. We are immersed in this culture of over-stimuation. My colleague, dating coach Bobbi Palmer, and I were talking about the confusion our clients have about what constitutes a healthy relationship, and we agreed that those who can’t seem to make a relationship work have expectations of endless excitement and passion, when healthy love is a very peaceful experience. The more dramatic a relationship is, the more dysfunction it contains.
Learning to live peacefully isn’t easy in our current social and political climate. I admire the Occupy Wall Street movement for emulating Mohandas Gandhi and striving to be non-violent in their protests, even in the midst of being sprayed with Mace.
Gandhi said “When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always.” He brought a mighty nation to its knees by holding that thought.
Most of us cannot imagine taking the risks Gandhi took to wage a struggle in a peaceful way. But we can strive in our small ways to make peace not just a sentiment of the holiday season, but a centerpiece of our lives. Gandhi also said: “Peace is its own reward.” He was right, because when we are peaceful, life works better. Relationships go more smoothly, and problems are more easily solved, because when we’re peaceful inside, we can think more clearly and access our creativity.
Peace Pilgrim, who walked around this enormous country to promote peace, said: “When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” And Buddha said “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” I see it in my practice every day. When my clients learn to make peace on the inside, it’s much easier to wage peace everywhere.
Peace begins inside yourself. When you can remain calm even though things are not going well, or someone is being annoying, or you’ve been severely disappointed, you’re beginning to create a more peaceful world. When you can be kind, caring and walk away from things and people that are upsetting; rather than challenging, being defensive or getting even; you’re creating peace where there might have been conflict. When you spend some time relaxing, meditating, cuddling up or doing what you love, you’re creating a mental and physical experience of peace that lowers your blood pressure, reduces your stress, heals your body, and opens your creativity.
When inner peace reigns, it spreads outward from yourself to your friends and family; and even strangers. Your calm and caring interior creates “vibes” that are soothing and comforting to those around you. If you can smile at the grocery cashier after the previous customer was cranky, or touch your dear one’s hand when things get edgy, or call a friend who’s going through a struggle just to say you understand; you’re creating a more peaceful family and community.
Peaceful communities work together to accept and help each other. When your neighbors rally to bring food and medicine to a friend who is ill; when we all work together to fix a local problem or pass some beneficial community laws, or just say a friendly “Hi” or pass the time of day with our neighbors; we’re creating a more trusting and peaceful society.
When we take care to make thoughtful political choices, with an eye to what is good for our neighbors as well as ourselves, and consideration for the future as well as today; in response to reasoned thinking rather than reaction to agitated commercials, we are creating a more peaceful world. When we follow the old precept to ‘think globally; act locally’ we’re creating conditions for world peace and prosperity.
Happiness is not so much getting what we want as it is acting and thinking in ways that nurture connections and harmony. Within the nurturing environment we create, love and happiness can flow and grow . My holiday wish for all of us is to take the small, quiet steps and learn the shape of peace.
The Shape of Peace
How shall we know When peace is here to stay?
How can we grow in peaceful, loving ways?
When will the struggle be transformed into the dance?
Can faith be strong enough to take the chance?
Chorus: Hold out your hand and touch the shape of peace
And side by side we’ll watch the struggle cease
The Hand of God will touch and heal the breach
When we are one, when we have learned
The shape of peace
The shape of peace is in the silent stars
That dance in time to Power beyond ours
We can’t escape, we cannot shout it down
After the battle, the silence is profound
© 2011 Tina B. Tessina adapted from: It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction (New Page) ISBN 1-56414-469-9
If you want more, here are some related articles you can download from my website at http://tinatessina.com/monthly_column.html
Anger: Cleansing Squall or Hurricane?
Apology and Forgiveness
Aspects of Love
Attitude: From Negative to Gratitude
Comforting the Little Orphan Girl
Couples Can Cooperate for Success
Coping with Critics
Creating Connections: Draw Them In
Creating Unconditional Love
Creating Holiday Magic
Getting Along With Each Other
Gratitude, Kindness and Happiness
Guidelines for Being Understood by Your Partner
Handling Anxiety Effectively
Handling The Green-Eyed Monster
How Not to Fight
How to Have Happier Holidays!
The Importance of Humor
Kindness and Happiness
The Magic of Reassurance
The Nail in the Fence: Healing Wounds
No Two Miracles Alike
Peace Begins at Home
The Power of Politeness
Relating With Love
Season of Blessing
When Love is Kind: Mutuality in Relationships
Winning The War Within
Year of Peace
Your Primary Relationship
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Wishing you joy,
Tina B. Tessina, PhD
Re: The Right Way to Love
This was a good one, Tina. David
Thanks, David -- glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for telling me. Hugs, tina
Good morning Tina! I love to read your happiness tips, and I know everyone else does too. I'd like to buy your book that collects this wisdom....Tina's Happiness Tips # 1..... # 2.....More Happiness Tips..... When will you be publishing these small gems????? Laurie
Oh, Laurie, Thanks so much. You make me smile. I'd love to -- do you think I should self publish it, or do you want to agent it? hugs, tina
Good stuff, Tina...as usual. Thanks! Your stuff makes the reader think, that's why it is so good! Lloyd
Thanks, Lloyd: I really appreciate your analysis, and I'm very glad you find the newsletter useful.