By Emily Hine, a Peace Ambassador
Inner disarmament first, then outer disarmament.
-- The Dalai Lama
If you are like me and attracted to the conscious offerings of The Shift Network, you are passionate about wanting to transform yourself and the world for the benefit of all beings. Sometimes, however, that level of passion can come at a high cost. Working long hours “for the cause” has become a virtuous badge of honor that has taken its toll on our health, relationships and the quality of our lives. I know that cost very well. After 25 years of working diligently to make the world a more peaceful place, I found myself faced with a cancer diagnosis. It was a turning point in my life and The Shift Network played a critical role in my healing. Here’s how.
At the time of my diagnosis, I was working at The Shift Network alongside Philip Hellmich, Director of Peace. Philip defined a new peace continuum from inner to international and infused the Peace Ambassador Training with this important broad perspective. In working with Philip and lead faculty member, James O’Dea, I realized that in my quest for creating world peace, I had been focusing externally and had forgotten the inner peace part of the equation. After both facilitating and taking the Peace Ambassador course as a student, the lessons solidified and here’s the greatest lesson I learned:
We don’t have to sacrifice our bodies for the job anymore!
I was relieved to hear that a new paradigm had emerged; one where the health of the activist is even more important than the success of the cause. After all, peaceful people create a peaceful planet. I took this lesson seriously and it changed my life.
In following my spiritual signs and with the support of friends, family and my Shift Network colleagues, I was able to take a nonviolent approach to heal naturally from cancer by pulling the disease weed by the root. This meant looking at anything in my physical or emotional body that was not “at peace.” The Peace Ambassador Training program gave me some of the tools I needed to explore what wasn’t at peace and transform it.
Now that I am healed, I have deepened my commitment to advance peace and compassion on the planet with one important change: I no longer sacrifice my physical, spiritual or emotional body for the job. I will forever be grateful for this awakening and life-saving perspective. And, I will forever be a spokesperson for making sure that inner peace is as high a priority as the peace work we are blessed to do externally in our families, schools, communities, states and even internationally.
I am not the only one whose life has been changed by the Peace Ambassador Training. As a former facilitator of the training, I saw many lives transformed when students learned from Philip, James and the other dozens of skillful global peace leaders who served as guest faculty members. Rarely does peace get this kind of comprehensive attention that leads students through inner to international peace building strategies. Through this program, I can easily name dozens of Peace Ambassadors who stepped up to new levels of awareness and then involvement in their local and international communities. When one transforms him/herself internally, one can’t help but transform the world. Inner peace, as it turns out, may be the most important way to reach world peace.
Emily Hine is currently Peace Officer at Holy Sit, President of HineSight Consulting, and a faculty member for the Peace Ambassador Training at The Shift Network. Emily has been trained in nonviolent communication through Bay Area NVC and is a teacher in training at the Center for Compassion, Altruism, Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford. If you’d like to follow her personal story about healing from cancer naturally, check out Holy Sit. Or, follow her Holy Sit Facebook page for daily musings on finding inner peace in a chaotic world.
The Catalyst is produced by The Shift Network to feature inspiring stories and provide information to help shift consciousness and take practical action. To receive The Catalyst twice a month, sign up here.
This article appears in:
2014 Catalyst, Issue 6: Peace Ambassadors for the 21st Century