Once again we are confronted with horrific news of violence against innocents. Guns, bombs, slaughter and emotional trauma abound. As individuals we feel powerless against the machinations of evil doers but we are not in fact powerless. While we may not be able to prevent someone else from acting out in violent ways we CAN prevent ourselves from reacting uncontrollably to their actions.
We don't need to wait until we are personally confronted with personal loss or injury or the face of Death; practice NOW how to breathe in deeply and fully, practice releasing the breath slowly and with control to access our physical body's ability to stay calm in the face of chaos. Practice NOW how to move, stretch, and stand with conviction and inner strength so the body knows how to react in an instant to flee, fight, or stay in place not from a place of fear but with full awareness of our surroundings and confidence that we will act correctly.
We don't need to wait to teach our children, our patients, our clients, friends, and colleagues these same skills. If we wish to find peace in the world we first must find it in ourselves. If we wish to bring peace to others we must then learn to model peaceful behavior. We need to practice thinking peace, speaking peace, living peace as much as we can knowing that we are not perfect and will make mistakes, but practice is required for the theory to become obvious. Keep practicing and all is coming as the Ashtanga master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois was fond of saying.
OM Shanti, shanti, shanti (peace, peace, peace).