I want to be an oasis of peace, but the kudzu of fear-fueled reaction twines around my being. I am anything but peace. Will ever eradicate the kudzu root of fear that has burrowed deep into the ground of my being? Will I ever be an oasis of nonviolence and peace in the world? Perhaps the better question is, “Will I ever cultivate an oasis of peace in myself?” Because, really, if I cannot be peace inside myself, I cannot be peace in the world.
Gandhi believes, “We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in our thoughts, words, and deeds.” Even believing this, he does not give humankind a pass. He continues, “We must keep nonviolence as our goal and make steady progress towards it.” No matter how many times we get stuck in our reactions, we continue to nurture a peaceful, nonviolent oasis in our self.
I can only bridge my intent to be nonviolent to my thoughts, words, and actions through mindfulness — focusing my attention on the unfolding world. Through cultivated awareness, I recognize the ways my fears trigger microbursts of reaction. I ask myself, “Instead of those microbursts of reaction, how can I use an awareness of my triggers to cultivate macrobursts of compassion?
The answer is found in my quiet mind. Mindfulness brings clarity. Our quiet mind identifies our “tells” — somatic, mental, and emotional signs that provide clues to how our unconscious beliefs, judgments, and fears fuel our reactions. When we are mindful, the clarity of those tell rumblings give us pause. Within those quiet spaces, we form responses.
When we are mindful, we recognize the raging internal battle. Alert to our tells, we defuse the internal violence. Defused it is less likely to be expressed externally. When our violence does not burst into an unsuspecting world, the tangle of fear-kudzu is easier to eradicate.
Through mindfulness, we calm the rage within — remove that kudzu root of fear — uncover what is really bothering us. We identify what we are not as we increase our awareness of who we are. When mindful, who we present to the world is who we really are.
We are imperfect beings in an uncertain world. While we may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent, our imperfections, manifest through microbursts, allow us to see who we truly are. Our authentic self is revealed through the mindful vigilance necessary to eradicate the kudzu of fear and violence that grows nourished by fear in the ground of our being.
Vanessa F. Hurst, ms, is a Mindful Coach, Neural Synchrony™ facilitator, Professional Speaker, and Author who weaves her inner wisdom into all she touches. Vanessa assists clients in navigating their life paths with intuition. Her books are A Constellation of Connections: Contemplative Relationships and Engaging Compassion Through Intent & Action. Contact Vanessa @ firstname.lastname@example.org for keynotes, programs, and consultations.