A few weeks ago
I picked up the phone and called the insurance company to dispute a charge. I told the customer service representative that I am upset but it is not geared towards her. I am upset at the insurance company and even though she is their employee, I am not in any way arguing with her. I am just asking her to look into the issue for me from one human to another.
That silence on the line was all I got.
After a few minutes, she said:” In my whole life, no one has spoken to me like this. People always call to blame me as if I am the person who charged them. I just work here. I will do my best to help you.”
And she did.
I was astonished! Pleased! Content and a few other positive adjectives came to me. The credit of this approach goes to my mindfulness educator. I just followed what she mentioned. But this is not where the story starts …
Around 40 years ago
Growing up, Peace was such an esoteric notion for me. My very first acquaintance with Peace was the white dove holding the clove (?) on UNESCO publications. It always made me think: What is peace? And why did humans choose a dove and not a crow? My Farsi friends probably know that Naneh Kalagheh from Samad Behrangi works was somehow ingrained in me.
My first realization of what Peace means goes back to the on-going clashes between Israel and Palestine in 70s. Listening to the heated debates of adults, I realized one thing: When it comes to peace, no one seems to be right or wrong. Perhaps that is what makes it so hard and intangible or even impossible to happen.
In my childhood world, always someone was right. If mom was right then dad was wrong – after a lengthy argument. If the teacher was right then I was wrong without that lengthy argument. I just had to accept it back there and then. Somehow, it was all very black and white and somehow someone always wanted to prove that they are right at any cost: yelling, threatening, etc.
Around 30 years ago
Years later, Iran vs Iraq war happened. When I met death so close and personal with every ounce of my being, I updated my definition: Not being at war means that we are at peace. So, the war is the trouble maker. It is someone wanting to prove that they are right that causes war. So, that someone is the troublemaker?! Or the person who opposes them is the trouble maker?!
Around 20 years ago
A decade later, I understood that there are people who are peace makers and people who are trouble makers. You do not always need a big war and an army the size of Alexander, the Great to have a real war going on. The humans are very capable of distorting the peace pretty much on their own in the daily lives.
Even after this Grand realization, I was lost. When I read all people writings wishing for World Peace, I was confused: How can I even imagine 5 billion people agreeing on the same notion?!
I continued reading and hearing of people with their wishful thinking. I was obviously in the peace makers’ category and not wanting to always prove that I am right. However, I always wondered how does my contributing to the notion of white dove holding that Olive Branch make an impact on World Peace? By now I had realized it is not a clove and that the dove is holding an olive branch.
In 2016, in a much unexpected way, I came close to an answer.
In my working environments; I witnessed people who were opportunistic or even a pain to work with. There were good people out there but the ass holes and bitches stood out more than the good people. I always thought that the key to personal peace and happiness is to find good people and work with them and for them.
And I lived by that notion. In my heart, I knew I am not an asshole and a bitch so I believed I had nothing to change. My responsibility was limited to staying away from those people. I was very content by my very impractical and limited view that hit me really hard one sad day.
That sad day made me realize that the coexistence with all kinds of people is inevitable. My ivory tower was shattered and I felt very vulnerable and violated to say the least.
It landed me in a mindfulness at work workshop at UCLA. The educator talked about practices and techniques that impacts the self and people around them and how everyone can use these tools to navigate their way around world happier and more skillfully by building personal awareness. Of course, I jumped and asked: I can become the most mindful manager at work yet if all others have their old ways of being the trouble makers that they are , how do I save myself from challenges that they create for me?
The wise educator with her silver hair looked at me and answered in the most profound way: “Look in the mirror. You be responsible for your own acting mindfully and you will see the change.”
It took many months to register what she told me.
It took me embarking on a rigorous deep dive into myself and connecting with my heart and emotions in a self development journey to understand what she really told me that day.
I focused on my mindfulness practices and on my presence. Not only from a health perspective but also from the perspective of seeing the world from that Mindfulness Educator point of view.
What an interesting journey it became … and hence the insurance company call!
I tried to take responsibility for the outcomes related to me even if they were not entirety my area of responsibility or fault. I noticed how the other party would meet me half way or even more. Not always but many times and this way there were less clashes.
And this trend continued, until the day that I heard the topic of a speech at Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute program(SIYLI): How to move towards World Peace.
I thought to myself that this will be another endless, philosophical conversation that will portray the world in a beautiful, fairy tale .With that in mind but with an open heart , I sat and listed to Chade Meng Tan.
Let me tell you about Meng and his program.
With Search Inside Yourself, Chade-Meng Tan, one of Google’s earliest engineers and personal growth pioneer, offers a proven method for enhancing mindfulness and emotional intelligence in life and work.
Meng’s job is to teach Google’s best and brightest how to apply mindfulness techniques in the office and beyond; now. It is a course in health, happiness and creativity that is improving the livelihood and productivity of people.
He simply shared his plan for achieving World Peace.
If 1 billion people practiced Mindfulness based emotional intelligence and were connected to their emotions, if they all paused to think before acting, if they were building resilience in themselves, if they did not lean to the negative chatter of their mind that they are good enough, if… the list goes on. In a world inhibited with 1 Billion of these emphatic, compassionate people who embrace love and connection, why would there be war?!!
All of a sudden his plan made a lot of sense to me.
That black and white of whose is right and who is wrong probably fades into gray of tolerating each other’s thoughts and emotions. That is what I thought.
Honestly, the world Peace never seemed more plausible and close to me and my heart than that moment. I felt like I was given a blue print to build to beautiful home. Now, the job was to roll up the sleeves and make it happen.
I am on a path to help people connect with themselves and teach them heart based mindfulness. I am on a path to build awareness and contribute to collective consciousness. For I believe, world peace starts with us. It is time to stop looking outside for the answer and look inside more deeply than ever.
And I am not alone. There is a bunch of us believing in this mission and contributing towards it.
Join my tribe in this path. Together we are finally marching towards making the impossible, esoteric notion of world peace a possibility only if we are willing and ready to engage the one we see in the mirror in a deep conversation. Just start simply and ask yourself:
When was the last time that I paid attention to my heart’s desire?
And that is what your HEART feels versus what your MIND tells you to do.
If you connect with what you read, please share with your friends and family to spread this message.
Remember the goal is to reach 1 Billion people. Let 1 Billion people see the white dove land in their home and bring them that olive branch.
Any questions, comments? Share your thoughts.
If you want to learn more about how I am going about this mission, visit: Heart Mind Tuning.