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“The Anatomy of Peace” – Lessons from a Book

In my coaching practice I envision a world of conscious, empowered and peaceful people, and I see it as one of my biggest tasks in life to facilitate peace in others and myself, in all areas of our lives.

Therefore, when Maggie McKee, one of my wonderful business friends, recently recommended the book “The Anatomy of Peace” by the Arbinger Institute to me, it immediately perked my interest. I borrowed it from the library, only to renew it once my first term was up, and I’m now reading it for the second time around. I think it’s a fabulous book! … a practical guide to a peaceful world, wrapped in a captivating story that is told with lots of humour, compassion and wisdom.

One of the authors’ core messages is that the quality of any interaction with another person or group of people is determined by the state of heart that we find ourselves in when we engage in that interaction. Our hearts can be at peace or at war. We can look at other people as persons and as individual human beings with needs, beliefs, and feelings that are equal to ourselves; or we can view them as objects or members of a group of people to which we attach a blanket statement. The choice is ours.

It is my belief and experience that we contribute to our world’s well-being (or ill-being as a matter of fact) in every second of our lives. Through our way of thinking, being and doing we foster kindness and peace toward Self and Other, or we encourage animosity and conflict, with varying degrees. The choice is ours.

We carry responsibility for our life on a personal and global scale, and have a say in what that looks like.  If we want to experience greater peace it has to start with us. It doesn’t have to be difficult but it has to be our conscious choice to live from a heart at peace.

Acts of peace come in different shapes and forms and may look like this:

  • A small gesture of friendliness, e.g. a smile for a stranger
  • An act of kindness: Giving another car the right of way although it would normally be yours
  • A deed of compassion, when you take a minute out of your busy day to listen to a troubled colleague with sympathy and an open heart.
  • Relationship from a place of equality: Looking at a person as an individual with needs, beliefs and feelings that is equal to us
  • What would you add to the list?

No gesture is too small – every action counts. One peaceful act, one peaceful heart at a time we can make a world of peaceful people reality. The choice is ours. What do you choose?

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