Peace begins with me

I have lots of stories and I have been struggling about which topic to write about first. Many of my followers will know my history and how this stage is set, though I already have new readers that don’t know anything about my influences. I have so many things to say about life what I am learning about myself, I wonder, should I start at the beginning? Maybe I could talk about my first attempt at pincha mayurasana or my Acro yogi teachers? Maybe I could talk about Portland’s quirkiness and Fred Armisen? Just as I was thinking it was difficult to make a conscious decision about what is most important to share today, it came to me—Peace!

As I was driving to a craft class last night, I heard the news on NPR. I listened to the man, who I gave hours of my time and energy to elect in 2008 so we could remove ourselves from an unnecessary war, talk about limited military strikes on the Syrian government. Then, I read last night about name-calling at the G20 summit. We need to talk about peace. Not just me, all of us. So this here new blog is really a conversation. I don’t want a political discussion; I am looking for something of a much higher vibration. I think it is a good time to start sending peaceful energy around the planet. And I think it is time our focus and energy live in a vibration of love and harmony.

I want to start by saying that what has been happening in Syria since the uprising in 2011 is atrocious. I first learned about the murders of activists, many of whom were children, from a friend last year who was heavily involved in the Occupy movement here in the U.S. The trouble in Syria has been on my heart for a year and I have struggled to know what it is that I can do.

And then I remember…Peace begins with me.

What do I mean by that? First of all, I do not believe more killing is the appropriate response or “punishment” for killing. Can we just stop killing? Secondly, I don’t really have a say in what happens about all the killing. I exercised my right to vote and this is what I get. Though, I am not personally doing the killing…this time; karmically speaking, I have done my share of killing and then some. I’ll tell you those stories another time. Suffice it to say, I am committed to practicing what we call in yoga, ahimsa, which means non-violence. I could write a whole post on that as well. And I will.

For now, I just want to examine an energetic attitude that we can all take in the spirit of what we CAN DO ABOUT IT, right now. I know, I know, we have Saturday stuff to do. Groceries, shopping, errands and family time, weekend drinks and BBQs and all manner of freedoms we so easily take for granted because, so far, our government isn’t using chemical weapons against us in our homes. But maybe just by taking some time to read this and think we can move into a daily spiritual practice involving peaceful action and reaction.

Have you ever left a situation or conversation and felt as though you could have chosen a more peaceful harmonious way to express your opinion or feelings? Have you ever felt like your emotional reactions took you over and made you say things, or maybe even do things, you never thought you would say or do? Have you ever felt anger or rage towards someone and chose to express it in a verbally or physically violent way? If you have (and I suspect all of us have to some degree as we are human) then you know what I mean when I say, peace begins with me.

I AM the only one I can control.

I AM in charge of my own reactions, peaceful or otherwise.

I AM an example of how peace moves through the world.

If I AM in a vibration of negativity, that permeates into the world and leaves an imprint of anti-peace.

I AM not my thoughts, emotions, or reactions, or even my physical body.

I AM spirit and, as such, I AM light and peace.

I can relate to our President in his name-calling tirade toward Putin as it is clear that he is frustrated, angry and vexed about what to do. Never mind government bullshit, he is human too.

Though the truth is, we always have a choice—a moment to choose our reaction—in peace. I like what my teacher, Myra Lewin, says about it. When confronted with anger or the temptation to react to situations negatively, imagine a rose out in front of your head between you and the other human who has you lit up. Focus your negative feelings into the rose and do your best to hold them there. This technique can help you channel what may be a normal human response (though an egoist one) into light and lift the urge to react from our lower self and project a higher, more peaceful vibration out into the universe. Don’t be discouraged about yourself if you don’t master this right away. This is a practice and it might not work the first time. Or the second or third. But eventually it will become easier and easier to channel light and peace. Just like a new asana (yoga pose), we may have to practice every day to get incremental improvement in our reactions. It doesn’t mean we are good or bad or that we have failed or succeeded, just that there is always further growth and work to be done.

Let me know what you think. What can YOU DO to be a warrior for peace?

Rainbows live in storm clouds. Find them

Rainbows live in storm clouds. Find them


P.S. I watched a documentary film last night called I AM.  If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely check it out. It’s on Netflix. No spoilers here, just my own thoughts on who I AM.

welcome to artlovemusicyoga

Hello fellow seekers, lovers, artists, yogis, friends and family. This is a brand-spankin’ new blog about the things I am most passionate about. I’ve been inspired to write one of these for a while and I am finally making it a priority in my life to start writing and sharing.

My inspiration for writing comes from you! Over the years, many of my friends and family have told me how they live vicariously through me. I do live a pretty interesting life. My sincerest wish in sharing my thoughts and experiences is to inspire, remind, laugh, open, and create a beautiful dialogue about the things I learn on my journey. Come here to find stories about art, love, music, yoga, peace, spirituality, health, food, travel, and positive personal transformation. Also, I am planning some amazing trips for this year and I want to document them here. I hope you will read my musings and feel warm, strong, creative and present.

I am embarking on another transformational adventure and I want you to come along for the ride. I don’t want to give too many spoilers so I’ll keep this short ‘n sweet for now. Just know that I intend to share myself authentically and humbly in the hopes that you’ll find some little spark that speaks to you. Maybe it will speak of taking risks or getting very honest with yourself. Maybe it will speak of setting goals and fulfilling dreams. I will always speak from my heart. So from my heart to yours, welcome!

"Did you ever grow anything in your garden of your mind?"  Mister Rogers Remixed

“Did you ever grow anything in your garden of your mind?”
Mister Rogers Remixed

Anna Amrita