My days away – teaching conflict resolution to healthcare professionals in a city which has known terrorism and disunity over decades – gave me much to think about in terms of being ‘a seeker of peace’. I learnt so very much from my illuminated and illuminating teaching colleague, and from our dedicated trainees. As my colleague said, these peace-reaching skills are ‘simple but not easy’. They involve reaching inside ourselves and ‘softening’, and letting that softening affect our communication with ourselves and with each other.
I lost another dear friend to cancer this week. I am feeling softened by life itself. Our politics spins both into meltdown, and also (or so it felt, just in the last few days in parliament) into new awakenings about the morality of politics. My work is more than I can handle and I’m dropping communications with loved ones. I am constantly looking out to keep my exhausted, limping adrenal glands going.
I am gently realising (again!) that the only place I will find the peace I crave is inside myself. And for that to be possible, I have to exorcise fear from my internal landscape. I have to dread nothing, so that when I turn to my inside world I find silence, respite and nourishment, not the churning of anticipation, rumination or nerves.
I need to become Lady Dreadnought! And then my inside world will be the peaceful haven I crave.
-31- Weapons are ill-omened things. Among gentle people the left side is the place of honour when at home, but in war the right side is the place of honour. Weapons are not proper instruments for gentle people; they use them only when they have no other choice. Peace and quiet are what they value. They do not glory in victory. to glorify it is to delight in the slaughter of people. Those who delight in the slaughter of people will never thrive among all that dwell under heaven. The army that has killed people should be received with sorrow. Conquerors should be received with the rites of mourning. (Tao Te Ching chap 31)
A highly appropriate reading! ‘Weapons’ or weaponised words and thoughts. ‘Gentle people’ value ‘peace and quiet’. Maybe this is about me becoming a gentle person – a gentlewoman! So many so-called gentlefolk, in old parlance, have turned out to be something else. Cads. (I’m thinking of some of our current esteemed leaders in this country.)
Is Lady Dreadnought a gentleperson, or a battleship?
Good question. I would like her to be a sailing ship on the open seas…
Do you value ‘peace and quiet’?
I am learning to. I wanted stimulation too, for so many years… It’s the Sagittarian in me, target-seeking… I imagine that part of me feels that peace and quiet is ‘boring’ or ‘tedious’, obviously as I’m still part teenager and child, as are we all, mostly. What would you want me to know?
Peace and quiet is ready for you. It is in you. It is perfectly ready to play the Dreadnought Game with you.
What exactly is the Dreadnought Game then?
It involves noting feelings of dread, anticipation or fear, and then walking towards them.
Ah, so not simply blocking feelings of dread, but actively strolling their way. ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway…’? Yikes.
You truly want peace? You’ll find it on the field of decisive action.
Aha. Uncertainty as the open door to darkness. I remember this stuff. (Napoleon Hill, right?)
‘Drifting’ was the word Hill used. So ‘peace and quiet’ is not to be confused with ‘drifting’. Decisive action, in a spirit of peace and quiet, is the route ahead.
I’m avoidant sometimes, aren’t I..?
What is your desire?
Peace, inner and outer. Energy. Focus. Connection with all that uplifts, energises, illuminates, enlightens.
So that is your Decision, your Desire, your ‘target’. Keep it in mind.
Ah, the ‘target slide’. Yes. What is my target slide?
***Med for 10 Min***
Image arising: Imagine if you had a long, heavy cloak on and it reached all the way to the floor, dragging behind you. Imagine you walked into a large hall with a dusty floor. As you walked, how would the floor look behind you? Polished.
This was the image that came to me when contemplating what happens when we walk in this world in a state of peace. We walk into the dusty areas, and leave them clearer.
And disposing of the dust gathered in our cloak? I saw a kind of whirling dervish moment, when all dust was cast out for cleansing and removal.
It is in the gift of all people to wear this cloak of peace as they decisively enter any seemingly fearful or difficult situation or place.
May we all walk decisively towards the places which are precisely not gleaming and pre-arranged, wearing this street-cleaning peace cloak. May we all be still enough inside that we can carry ourselves forward through all terrains without blinking. May we all grow in boldness, decisiveness. May we all be Lady Dreadnought, gentleperson and ambassador of peace, walking with curiosity and fearlessness towards the things we would avoid or flee.
I am Lady Dreadnought