Even as I write this column, Brussels is still on high alert and the general feeling of anxiety that has swept us all up is only now easing.
So it seems both timely and fitting that we should focus this month on calming our fears and restoring our faith in each other and our world. Here I have to thank two of our writers in particular, David Arenson in “Shine Your Light” and Charlie Hogg in “Creating Calm in Chaos”.
While David is as appalled at the Paris violence as anyone else, he sees it as part of a pattern of violence that is almost a daily occurrence elsewhere in the world – Beirut, Baghdad, Nigeria and of course Syria. When he says that when a poor country explodes or burns “nobody pays much attention”, he is undeniably right. It is only when the violence comes so close to home and harms people who could be us and shrouds one of the world’s favourite cities that many of us have visited in a pall of darkness that we react. It’s an uncomfortable realisation.
What we all have in common wherever we may live is that we are at war with darkness, whatever name it might give itself. And the only way to combat that darkness, David suggests, is to disarm it with love – for ourselves and for each other. As we shine our own light, we encourage others to feel and express what David very eloquently calls, “the fundamental spiritual values of unity, forgiveness, acceptance and kindness”.
Charlie Hogg is another who understands the healing power of love and compassion. I’m sure many of you will have met Charlie in his role as National Coordinator of the Brahma Kumaris in Australia and experienced the palpable aura of peace he carries with him. So I’m delighted that he’s found time in an unrelenting schedule of travel to share his thoughts on finding inner peace against the backdrop of chaos in the world. I know just reading “Creating Calm in Chaos” will bring a sense of softness to your day.
Easing back and letting the stresses flow away is a recurring idea this month. Maybe it’s the thought of the holiday season ahead, but it’s good advice at any time!
Peter Dingle advises us on how to find the ideal work-life balance, a regular New Year’s resolution but perhaps becoming more urgent in this age of 24/7 connectivity; Jen Kaz shows us how to breathe mindfully for better health; Lyn Craven delves further into the healing powers of meditation – and it doesn’t matter what style you follow – Olivier Lejus reveals how Traditional Chinese Medicine can provide gentle and effective relief for all ages including the very young; and Daniel Sowelu shares his transformative experience during the recent Navrati festival in India.
And just before I go, take a look at our delicious raw chocolate treats for Christmas on Page 14. For something quick, cool and easy to prepare what could be better?
Wishing you peace and joy this festive season
Margaret Evans has a background in teaching, journalism and publishing. She is the editor of NOVA Holistic Journal.