From the deck of the “Freedom Flotilla” destined for the Gaza Strip, to standing on the frontlines of healing America’s own violent history, author and activist Alice Walker has been a voice for peace for nearly 40 years....
And in an enlightening conversation with The Shift Network, she shares the keys to being a LOVE Activist passionately committed to healing our troubled world through peace and an open heart.
1) Recommit Every Day
When you're on a mission of peace, your commitment to nonviolence is tested daily. So every day, you’re called to recommit to who you are, to keep your heart open and to stand your ground as a peacemaker.
2) Protect What Matters Most
Know what you’re defending: What’s within you that’s worth protecting so you don’t become just like the people who are trying stop you? Guard it dearly and use it as your inspiration for nonviolence.
3) Embrace Your Joy
Peace is not just the cessation of war. It’s also the act of embracing JOY. To have peace is to be fully awake and vibrantly alive! Find the small joys in daily acts of peace.
4) Stand for Truth
When you stand with, and for, the marginalized and abused, bring a kind heart, an open mind and a good conscience. This can only be achieved by acknowledging what has truly happened. The suffering must be seen and the wounded must be embraced.
5) Be Courageous
Women in particular have a key role to play in bringing peace into our homes, communities, spiritual circles and world. So be courageous, even audacious, speak up and share your unique gifts. The world needs your leadership!
6) Spread Forgiveness
When you forgive, others feel it deeply. Alice loves the Tonglen practice of breathing in pain and disaster as far as you can, and breathing out peace, prosperity and joy... spreading these good feelings out into the world.
7) Love the Earth
Nature is a vital life-giving source that we cannot take for granted. Be a conscious steward of the Earth. Treat Her with respect and nature will keep us happy and healthy in return.
Daily Practice: Bring Joy & Peace Wherever You Go
Look into the eyes of those you come into contact with. Smile when you're on the street and be aware of feelings of defensiveness and fear. Breathe in resistance, exhale ease.
Once you begin to practice being fully present in this way, you can see how much sadness and pain there is in the world. You’ll become less concerned about your own stuff and available to the present moment, so you can bring more joy and peace to others.
PS - If you benefited what you read above, we hope you'll join 50+ of the world's most esteemed peacebuilders for the free online Summer of Peace: