Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Nonviolent Practices for Urban Living

In today’s world we are constantly receiving news of violence, negativity, and corruption. The disappointing messages and constant reinforcement of anger induced behavior can make it seem like living a non-violent life is no longer a reality or a possibility. However, now more than ever we need tools on how to live a more peaceful and accepting life. Below are a few tips on how to (specifically) navigate living in a metropolitan area.
  1. Dealing with Anger: Often conflict leads to our own inability to properly deal with our confusion, disappointment, or even anger. But if we can learn how to deal with those feelings prior to acting then the likelihood of a situation escalating to violence will greatly reduce. Before anything else take a moment to check-in with yourself. What exactly are you feeling? When you can notice which emotion you are feeling then you can figure out how to work through it. If possible, remove yourself from the situation that is causing this internal reaction within you. This will allow you to think about the root cause of this emotion and think of a solution. Sometimes, we realize that our anger or frustration comes from making rash decisions which could be solved by talking it out.  
  2. Morning Routine: Living in a metropolitan area it can be hard to find time for yourself with all of the cars, people, and noise. But the mornings or even late evenings can be the best time of day to check-in with yourself. With that said, set up a routine. For example. I wake up around 6:30, make my bed, do light yoga-stretching to wake up my body, journal, and meditate. Afterwards I will either go and exercise or get my day started with breakfast and chores. Having a routine gives peace to the mind, allows you to set an intention for the day, and reflect on the previous day. 
  3. Slowing Down: Honestly, who isn’t busy these days? We have a lot of responsibilities and there is nothing wrong with that. The problem comes when we allow our responsibilities to overwhelm us and lead to frustration. In the morning or at the beginning of the week, review your schedule and see where you can make time to take a break and what you can actually accomplish within the day. Perhaps on the bus or in the long car ride to your next destination you can take that time to listen to soothing music or a positive podcast. During lunch time, allow yourself to step away from social media and work related jobs to enjoy your food and socialize with colleagues and family members. The overall goal is to not allow work and home to keep you from staying balanced. Because when we lose our balance, we lose our ability to stay in control of our emotions, think rationally, and make good decisions. 
Although these are just three tips, they will help you slow down your day and live a more peaceful life. Change does not come overnight but rather through consistency and the intention to improve. Once we realize that conflict is a normal part of our daily lives, we can begin to find healthier ways to address our problems and difficult situations that do not lead to violence. Violence is like the train wreck that we want to avoid. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, a famous American activist during the civil rights movements, “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

written by Selena Mitchell, CCVI Missionary in Chimbote, Peru 

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this article. This was a very good reminder on how to find peace in our daily lives. I think like the author stated it can be so hard to slow down because we live such busy lives and it can get so chaotic. I know that I find myself always rushing and thinking about a hundred things but this article reminded me to slow down and enjoy each day as it comes. These tips will definitely help me find and keep that daily peace.