Taming the Beasts

Fuzzy Buck Agrees! Nonviolence Please!

The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny — it is the light that guides your way. Heraclitus

That war is an essential part of life is a point of divergence between my views and those of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. His quote however aligns with my belief that we become what we think. We experience where we focus our attention. If we hold the belief that war and violence are necessary in life, our thinking will follow that belief. Then as our actions follow our thoughts, war and violence are the reality we create. The key is that we are at choice as to whether our ‘soul is dyed’ the dark colors of violence or the brightness and light of nonviolence.

Choice was one of the themes this week as I continued to follow the Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence and to reflect each day’s theme in terms of my own life and life experience. Each week has deepened my understanding of, appreciation for, and commitment to contributing to the seismic shift that seems needed to have nonviolence be humanity’s default operating system. Remembering that I am always at choice in what I think and how I be is key. I’ve needed to bring that understanding to the fore often this week as I experienced feeling unsettled and even agitated, as if picking up the disruptions of both humanity and the planet.

In the wake of two mass shootings in a short six-day period along with significant earthquake and volcanic activity, I’m grateful to engaged in the Season for Nonviolence during this time when it both Gaia and humankind are erupting. I feel a personal connection to both mass shootings. My daughter-in-love is from the Philippines and my grandchildren carry that lineage. While all violent targeting of others lands heavy in my heart, the events in Atlanta brought them closer to home. The shooting in Boulder, the community where I lived and worked when I first moved to Colorado, likewise felt personal as I sometimes dined in the shopping area where it occurred.

On some level, the simple themes for each day seem inadequate to support a collective shift to nonviolence. Yet no brick is insignificant in building a home and no act of caring is too small to matter. As I’ve so often written, EVERY thing matters. Every thought. Every word. Every deed. EVERY one!

Like choice, each day’s theme in its own way is an important thread (yes, I’m mixing metaphors!) in the fabric of nonviolence: giving, action, equality/equity, advocacy, honor, and ecology. Strengthening one builds others. Giving, whether ‘things’ or oneself in service puts attention on our interrelatedness each as one of the One. Taking heart-centered action no matter how small it may seem ripples far beyond where your eye can see and lives forever in the Universe.

I don’t know about you, but I’m challenged to see and hold some of those with whom I strongly disagree as equal. While my heart desires to cross the vastness that divides us, I hold back unless I know that I have an adversary whose heart is likewise open. How and where might I open more dialog with those whose life experiences and views are so different from my own? How can we advocate nonviolence in the face of those whose ways are violent, honoring the words of Thich Nhat Hanh: When someone stands up to violence a force for change is released. Every action for peace requires someone to exhibit the courage to challenge violence and inspire love.

In his words I notice themes for earlier days in the Season: courage, inspire. A reminder that no thread stands alone in weaving nonviolence into the ecology of our culture and of the planet. Every choice we make creates the environment in which we live. Our daily habits determine much more than we dare imagine. How willing am I to look ever more deeply at my choices?

The beasts we meet are many on the path of nonviolence. May we meet each one with the loving desire to tame whatever deters us from being the nonviolence we wish to see in the world.

Cindy reflects on life, writes, takes long walks with canine companion, Zadie Byrd, and stewards a small property at 8000 feet in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Southern Colorado. Her work focuses on personal growth and change, creating new personal stories from which to create new paradigms for life. www.cindyreinhardt.com




Life is learning to navigate on the planet. Experimenting is key! Master Coach-Writer-Mystic-Dog Lover-Nature Lover.

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Cindy Reinhardt

Cindy Reinhardt

Life is learning to navigate on the planet. Experimenting is key! Master Coach-Writer-Mystic-Dog Lover-Nature Lover.

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