Integrating peace in our own lives, with our children, in our relationships, in the workplace, and in our approach to activism, through such methods as compassionate communication, mindfulness, empathy, and stress reduction…
|Learn about Be the Movement! and all Five Peacebuilding Cornerstones:|
Studies have shown that 8 weeks of mindfulness meditation can actually change the size of key regions of our brain responsible for improving our ability to focus; making us more resilient under stress; fostering our decision making; helping us be more empathetic listeners; and showing more compassion to our colleagues.
You may have heard that “peace” (or happiness) is an inside job. To a very large extent this is true, and there are methods and practices that can help us, and others, to do this job well! Peace can be cultivated through mindfulness & meditation, healthy communication, therapy, spiritual/faith practices and any number of other ways.
These are among the many resources that you may take advantage of yourself, and you may also promote in your school, workplace, or larger community. Such practices can lead to healthier and happier living and relating, and a greater capacity to “lead by example” in bringing about the more peaceful world we seek.
The value of “Being the Peace” in our own hearts, minds and actions is a core tenet to building peace in the world. From how we engage in our social and political activism, to encouraging a more peaceful and healthy approach to political discourse (among politicians and advocates alike), we aim to bring awareness and tools to this important peacebuilding approach.
Empowering Strategies and Programs, Proven Efficacy:
Compassionate/Nonviolent Communication: (also called Collaborative Communication) focuses on three aspects of communication: self-empathy (defined as a deep and compassionate awareness of one’s own inner experience), empathy (defined as listening to another with deep compassion), and honest self-expression (defined as expressing oneself authentically in a way that is likely to inspire compassion in others).
“I want to be a part of this! Keep me updated”
Mindfulness: The term “mindfulness” has been used to refer to a psychological state of awareness, the practices that promote this awareness, and a mode of processing information without judgment. Several disciplines and practices can cultivate mindfulness, such as meditation, yoga, tai chi and qigong. Mindfulness meditation consists of those self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control and thereby foster general mental well-being and development and/or specific capacities such as calmness, clarity and concentration [Walsh & Shapiro, 2006 http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.aspx]
Therapy/Counseling: Support in increasing our capacity to cultivate psychological and emotional well-being in families, relationships, parenting, and personal life.
Conflict and Anger management: The goal of anger management is to reduce both emotional feelings and the physiological arousal that anger causes.
Mediation: Mediation is an impartial, confidential, and voluntary problem-solving process to resolve conflict in which a third-party helps two or more participants better understand each other’s issues, interests, and needs and empowers parties to bridge their differences and find solutions that meet everyone’s needs. It is applied in a growing number of environs including the work place, our courts, between couples, within families and amongst business associates.
Additional areas of support:
- Parenting skill-building and family/domestic violence prevention programs
- Music/Arts Programs
- Workplace conflict mitigation
- Mental Health Services
Nonviolent communication and mediation services for elected officials.
Providing greater community resources for mental health services for families and individuals.
Greater funding and support for suicide prevention, research and support services.
Support strategic investments in suicide prevention, education, and research as a means of achieving the kinds of reductions in mortality that have resulted from strategic investments in other major public health concerns.
Key Statistics: Challenges and Solutions
Harvard Medical School brain scans show 8 weeks of mindfulness meditation can actually change the size of key regions of our brain responsible for improving our ability to focus; strengthening our memory; making us more resilient under stress; fostering our decision making; helping us be more empathetic listeners; and showing more compassion to our colleagues. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361002/]
Studies have shown that Triple P Positive Parenting approach had 25-35% reductions in rates of child maltreatment, hospital visits for maltreatment injuries, and foster-care placements, two years after random assignment. [Triple P System – Near Top Tier, Coalition for Evidence Based Policy]
UCSF, UC Davis, and Stanford University researchers found that schoolteachers who were given a short meditation training became more calm and compassionate.
There is abundant research showing that yoga practice reduces stress and improves our sense of contentment and connection, as well as autonomic nervous system function, and general physical well-being.
Approximately seven in 10 Americans report that they experience physical (69 percent) or non-physical symptoms (67 percent) of stress. Symptoms include irritability or anger (37 percent), fatigue (37 percent), feeling overwhelmed (35 percent) and changes in sleeping habits (30 percent). [American Psychological Association – http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2012/impact.aspx]
Organizations & Links:
The groups are listed here for educational purposes only. Listing them here is not meant to imply that they endorse the above ideas.
Center for Nonviolent Communication:
People who practice NVC have found greater authenticity in their communication, increased understanding, deepening connection and conflict resolution. The NVC community is active in over 65 countries around the globe. Find out more about how NVC is changing the world and how you can get involved. See also BayNVC.
Mindful is an initiative that celebrates being mindful in all aspects of daily living—through Mindful magazine, mindful.org, and social media.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a leader in the fight against suicide. They fund research, offer educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support those affected by suicide.
The Metta Center for Nonviolence:
Metta Center aims to promote the transition to a nonviolent future by making the logic, history and yet-unexplored potential of nonviolence more accessible to activists and agents of cultural change. They help people in any walk of life discover their innate capacity for nonviolence and use it more strategically for long-term transformation of themselves and the world, focusing on the root causes of injustice, competition and violence.
Association for Conflict Resolution:
A professional organization enhancing the practice and public understanding of conflict resolution. ACR gives voice to the choices for quality conflict resolution.
The Shift Network:
The Shift Network, Inc. empowers a growing global movement of people who are creating an evolutionary shift of consciousness that in turn leads to a more enlightened society, one built on principles of sustainability, peace, health, and prosperity.
National Peace Academy:
The National Peace Academy is a home for peace professionals and community organizers looking to hone their practice and for budding community leaders and changemakers who are seeking knowledge and skills to create safe, healthy and sustainable communities and nurture positive change in themselves, their family, neighborhood, workplace and the world
Triple P – Positive Parenting Program:
Many rate this as one of the most effective evidence-based parenting programs in the world, backed up by more than 30 years of ongoing research. Triple P gives parents simple and practical strategies to help them confidently manage their children’s behavior, prevent problems developing and build strong, healthy relationships.
The Foundations of Well Being:
In the Foundations of Well-Being uses science-based practices to help you re-wire your brain, changing the way you react, feel, and behave. These practices will focus on gaining more calm, confidence, and contentment.
The Forgiveness Challenge: Desmond Tutu
Human Journey is a new initiative co-founded by Desmond Tutu and Doug Abrams. HumanJourney is committed to spreading the African understanding of ubuntu–the realization that each of us thrives only when all of us thrive. We are inextricably linked to our family, our community, and our world. They create events–like the Forgiveness Challenge–media and a global community that can help people to thrive on their individual life journey so we can thrive on our collective human journey.
More to come…
“I commit to being a part of Be the Movement. I will invest time, energy and/or coin, at whatever level I’m able, to building upon one or more of these five cornerstones making them a core part of the foundation of our society.”
* Peacebuilding is a broad field that covers a wide spectrum of approaches beyond what we focus on in these five cornerstones. Our focus is primarily on those tools that directly improve the basic ways we relate and communicate with one another — enhancing greater cooperation. We advocate for policies, legislation and systems needed to move the work of peacebuilding forward. We welcome the work of all peace advocates and diverse peacebuilding organizations. Our hope is to align our intentions and collective peacebuilding actions for a brighter future.