How Can We Practice Ahimsa | Non-Violence? 

Seek to understand the impact of our thoughts, words, and actions.

It is a confusing time where we may actually be quite comfortable, safe and yet still feel threatened by external forces like the media, social media, and cycles of disempowering rhetoric. There is real deep and subtle violence happening out there, and our mammalian brain is wired to ‘fight’ and ‘flee’ when faced with these uncomfortable thoughts, words, and actions. If we are attuned to it, we can see these as waves coming in through our personal and collective spaces. Yet, our flooded systems may not be allowing us to face the reality of our impact. Are we sheltered by our opinions or actively engaging with our impact?

Make space to pause and listen. 

When we are in conflict, it is helpful to find a safe and spacious place to listen to the first response of the body and inquire: what is my body telling me? Journal or involve a friend or partner that can listen without judgment. Get clear on whether there is a threat to life or ego; perhaps an old story is at play that needs to be addressed. Discernment is a skill; we exercise it well when we take a pause. The waves may indeed not be so big, and this small compassionate action of stillness comes to bear fruit. What choice is next? 

Take ownership of how you see and treat yourself. 

Your beliefs and perspective affect the way you see and treat others. Are you clinging to a past ideal image of yourself or others? Do you need to address the pain within you before you react or respond to others? We are all doing our best and there is space (if you make it) to improve and expand awareness. Embracing life in this way opens the doors for personal and collective transformation. It is courageous to be whole, own who you are and what you have done, and simultaneously be a work-in-progress…

Move, breathe, think, act and be heart-centered.

Let the spirit of non-violence infuse all areas of your life, not just in how you relate to other people; most importantly how you relate to yourself. How are you going to move forward if you keep stomping on your own heart? Respect the current bounds of physical, mental and emotional expansiveness. This is truly action from the heart, a space of endless love. In this moment, treat your body as your forever home. Let it serve as a safe and comfortable resting place again and again. I encourage you to observe the impact of this next step.

Practice: Find the beginning of the inhale, the end of the inhale, the beginning of the exhale, and then the end of the exhale. Pause. Begin again. Use this practice to build an intimate relationship with that which moves you to think, act and become!

Live Heart Center. 

Sun Dog on Ice Age Trail segment near Madison, WI 1/23/2022

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