Try this. It takes nothing away from you. And, in fact, will actually add something quite substantial.
Get still. Get quiet. Breathe deeply. Slowly. Fully. Inhale to the very end of possibility. Exhale till there’s nothing left. Pay attention to the breath.
As you inhale, envision filling every organ and muscle with life-giving oxygen. And as you exhale, envision letting go of that which no longer serves.
Now take the next several minutes, this carved time of focused silence, to hold sacred space for peace and goodwill. And this is most important: With each prompt, take your time to live in silence with it, before moving on to the next one. Be with your internal rhythm.
First begin by wishing peace and goodwill on our most sacred of servants: Our teachers. Our mentors. Our gurus & spiritual guides. Our wayshowers.
And now, wish peace & goodwill on your family, your friends, your loved ones. You may think of them as a collective whole of your great body of love. Or if, in this instant, they are coming to you one by one, if they are floating through your consciousness in this way, take this moment to call their names out loud.
Next, wish peace and goodwill on your acquaintances. Your colleagues. Those whom you genuinely hold in regard and respect.
Wish peace & goodwill on those you may know by face, but not by name. The ones we run across in the neighborhood, weekly, daily. We may not know their story, but what we know for sure is that they experience the same struggles and joys that we do.
Wish peace and goodwill on every stranger who has passed your way. The ones you may never think of again after that initial encounter. Again, who knows what their paths and histories hold, or what private battles they may be waging?
Wish peace and goodwill on those you have never met. Those whom you have only read about in newspapers, who may live in a world so radically different from your own, who may very well operate under a different set of ethical rules and belief systems, who may seem so remote from your own everyday experiences that they are a bit of theoretical abstract in your mind. And then remind yourself that no human being is an abstract … unless we all are.
Next, wish peace & goodwill on those you might be inclined to label “enemy.” It’s a word full of hyperbole, and yet stunning how often we actually use it in daily language. I refer to those whose towards you sits heavy on your heart, and those toward whom you hold animosity. Those you feel you cannot trust, those who have harmed you in some way.
Next, wish peace and goodwill on those to whom you have caused harm. The ability to do this requires the stripping away of ego enough to be able to own your part. That can be a tough one. But the lure, the appeal, the reward is that it’s also the most liberating one.
Wish peace and goodwill on all living creatures. The two- and four-legged ones. The ones who fly. The ones who swim. The ones who crawl or slither on the ground. The ones so tiny we don’t even think of them as sentient beings. And then ponder how tiny we are in the scope of the infinite celestial constellations.
Wish peace and goodwill on our planet. The earth gives us life and sustenance. And all that is asked of us, in return, is that we treat her with reverence, keep her alive and thriving, and crucially shift our consciousness from living ON the Earth to living WITH her.
And lastly, wish peace & goodwill on YOU. Every one of us in this room honors and practices in our lives some measure of compassion and mindfulness within us. Let us never waver from our resolve to daily renew our agreement with the universe to BE that in the world.
We also hold within us injuries, blocks and stumbles, our particular baggage and dysfunctions that we all try our daily best to heal, and to forgive … at this time, wish those Internal Agitations … peace & goodwill.
Do not banish them to a corner for being less than mindful. Invite those agitations to a dialogue. Ask them to reveal to you what need they are feeding.
And then … listen.
With all that is going on in our world these days, it becomes clear that we have been severed from each other … even severed from ourselves. More than ever before, we need to raise the vibration by holding an eternal space of peace & goodwill for all of humanity.
Let us BE that Highest Vibrational Frequency. Let us be a trillion souls, clasping hands and forming a great net of souls* in order to hold an eternal, cradling space of peace & goodwill for all of humanity.
The writer Anne Lamott once said: “Grace always bats last. But finally, when all is said and done, and the dust settles, which it does, Love is sovereign here.”
* This powerful bit of sacred imagery is from the writer Tony Kushner.
Photo credit: Gregory Colbert
Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD. Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.