What is needed to change? To change the world, and, perhaps more fundamentally, change myself?
I am a practitioner of conflict resolution. I arbitrate, adjudicate, mediate, nourish, mentor, and heal. Yet, how can I do this work better, more effectively?
This past week, I attended the Oregon Mediation Association conference. We examined courageous questions and our own abilities and needs to find peace in ourselves, so that we could foster peace in others. I was led to challenge myself, my beliefs, my “state of mind”, and the true nature of my work with others in conflict.
“With mindful awareness, the flow of energy and information that is our mind enters our conscious attention, and we can both appreciate its contents and also come to regulate its flow in a new way.”
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
If you want to change the system you are part of, all you have to do is change you.
I sometimes create my own demise.
Choosing what we do takes us out of our victim role.
“If you don’t know what you don’t know, how to you know what you want?”
-- Steve Jobs
If you don’t know what something will be in the future, how do you now know you don’t want it or don’t need it. So, build it, make it, and then it will be useful.
If I want to change the result, I really need to dig deep inside of me and examine my belief system.
My belief system triggers
my thoughts, which triggers
my emotions, which then triggers
Real, fundamental change requires that I examine and change my belief system.
In all of this, I am in charge. Oh, I respond to my learned belief and behavioral systems, from childhood on up to today. But, I do get to decide how I believe, how I think, what emotions I am going to experience, and, ultimately, my actions. This isn’t easy work, but it is work I am capable of doing and work I can accomplish. I have to decide, fundamentally, if I want to do this work. But, I am in charge.
And, if I change myself, then I also change my environment, and thus I change my surroundings, the people I interact with.
If I come into my work filled with peace, I will have a different impact on others than if I come into my work filled with anxiety, or hatred, or other conflict-enhancing energy. Who I am, deep inside, has a direct and immediate impact on others, and on our relationships.
If change is needed, let it begin with me.
Neal Lemery, 11/6/2011