Cultivating peace in daily life.

Today's Theme: Balance

Balance care of self with care of others.

Theme for the 10th day of the month:

Can we take care of our personal needs and address the needs of the world at the same time? One answer is that we can, because we must. But we need to meet this challenge in a way that makes sense—we have to stay healthy, we have to stay awake, and we have to stay involved.

When we find ourselves aligned with the mission of peace, there’s a natural desire to act. This raises many questions, such as:
What specific needs will I address?
Where will I focus my actions?
Will I be effective?
What time, skills, and resources will I contribute?

Everyone has needs. Our families, schools, workplaces, and communities have needs. Millions of individuals and families in our own country, and across the world, have genuine needs at a level we can barely imagine. Finding a healthy balance between attending to our personal needs and attending to the needs of others, including those on distant shores, presents a fundamental life challenge for everyone.

Too much focus on personal circumstances can leave us self-absorbed, isolated, and unrelated to the world. Too much focus on the needs of others can leave us exhausted, prone to resentment and despair, and without the necessary clarity of mind and heart to make sound choices. Neither of these conditions is good for anyone.

Today’s theme encourages using both compassion and common sense to address the challenge of balancing personal needs with the needs of others. This balance is never static, and always changing. We approach it but never reach it, making adjustments every day. With a strong commitment to self-care, and sensitivity to the needs of others, we’re better able to discern where to focus our actions.

Sustaining our participation in activities that cultivate peace is a complex and long-term challenge. It takes time and energy, courage and resilience. It takes commitment. The challenges of creating a culture of peace should never be underestimated. Yet, we can be certain that those of us who are inspired by the vision of one human family, united in peace, will meet the challenge, and we will do so with every resource we have.

At the most fundamental level, genuine self-care recognizes the needs of body, soul, and spirit. It helps clear the mind, soften the heart, and generate fruitful actions. We each find a personal blend of a diet that works for us, exercise we’re willing to do, stress reduction and renewal practices that sustain us, spiritual practices that bring us connection and meaning, support from others, etc.

Our self-care doesn’t have to be perfect. We do what we can. This care we give ourselves provides us with the energy and clarity required to meet our personal needs while participating in addressing the needs of the world. Far from being selfish, it builds stability and strength, and enriches our capacity to engage with life and give generously. Today is a good day to reflect on the balance between your personal self-care and your engagement with the needs of the world.

We’ll continue to strive for a healthy balance between care of self and care of others in the months and years ahead. This will give us the energy for what we need to do. May all who contribute to the rhythm of peace, and have the courage to take action, be nourished and sustained in their efforts...

Rhythm of Peace:  Cultivating Peace in Daily Life
Download the Rhythm of Peace calendar of daily themes

Check back tomorrow for a new theme!

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin. ~Mother Teresa