Shifting to Peace


I scarcely had spoken the words, “Since I seem to be incapable of…” when my son protested: “You are one of the most positive people I know, yet the words you just spoke are not!”  Rather than leave me dangling in self-condemnation, he offered this wise and gentle suggestion: “Perhaps what you meant to say was: ‘I seem to be struggling with this.’” 

His accurate, gentler assessment had an immediate impact on my mind and body: both softened, relaxed, and shifted to serenity.  Once I let go of my harsh commentary, I laughed, inhaled peace, and thanked my son for bringing me back to my right mind, the one where peace can prevail. 

Our thoughts and words are powerful clues to ourselves and others as to how we are feeling and experiencing the world.   When I say to myself or another, “You always make a mess of …,” the recipient of the judgment has many choices. Here are a few:

  • Listen and believe.
    • With this choice, we issue an invitation to berate and belittle ourselves as if that will magically “make” us do better.
  • Listen, believe, and carry the image of ourselves as incapable.
    • With this choice, we allow inadequacy to become our identity.
  • Listen and laugh.
    • When we choose to listen and laugh, we experience an immediate shift towards serenity which creates a nonjudgmental inner space in which to contemplate the situation and find a better way.
  • Listen, laugh, and consciously shift to peace enhancing thoughts.
    • With this choice, we take and use our power to nurture inner calm. After laughing, we can ask ourselves: “What are the most peaceful, gentle words I can say to myself right now?” Then we say them silently or aloud and allow their serenity to permeate our being.  
    • It’s easy to tell whether the words we have chosen bring us home to peace by how we feel. Any time we are not feeling peace, we can shift to another thought or stop thinking altogether and simply BE present.

May we shift  

our thoughts and words


vibrate with


May Laughter

bubble forth

freeing us

to be


Whether spoken or silent, self-talk is powerful and changeable.  Shifting to encouraging comments to ourselves can work wonders for us just as they did for The Little Engine That Could.  When faced with a supremely challenging task, she kept repeating to herself: “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” 

As we shift our thoughts and words to help build inner hope and acceptance, we allow the possibility of peace, especially when we choose to laugh![1]


Reflections – A week after the conversation with my son, I was speaking with a friend when she declared in a despondent voice that she could not remember such and such and was really bad about remembering many things. Without thinking to commiserate with or console her, laughter flowed from within me prompted by the vision of an endless stream of information I had encountered in my 77 years.  Then came my heartfelt response, “I am grateful not to be able to remember everything!”  Those heartfelt words shifted everything, and all angst dissolved in giggles and guffaws.  We were home again in peace.

As I was finishing this post, I received a phone call from a beloved family member who struggles with addiction and tends to call when not doing well.  I listened for a bit and then spoke the words of the Prayer for Protection[2] which is always soothing to both of us.  My dear one started to thank me when I burst into laughter.  Soon we both were laughing and had no idea why, other than the sheer joy of sharing our love through laughter.  I am so very grateful for this practice, the gifts it offers us, and the fact that laughter and peace flow spontaneously the more we nurture them.   

[1] [1] We have focused on Laughter before in this Peace Nurturing Practice May both of these blog entries be of value to you in continuing to increase your peace.

[2] Prayer for Protection by James Dillet Freeman

Your turn to reflect –Have you ever experienced yourself or someone else, shifting the conversation through words and/or laughter?  Can you think of a time when choosing to shift the tenor of the situation could have been helpful?  Can you visualize yourself doing that? 

Thank you for being a vital part of Peace on Earth by nurturing peace in your heart, in your life.  The more we embody peace, the more peace there is.


Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.  (Click on the blue link below.)

Jean Victor Balin Dove


Talk to yourself like

you would

someone you love.”


Karolina Kurkova


Peace Enhancing ThoughtsPhoto taken by Donna Day at T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Reserve 

I chose this photo because I love Sandhill Cranes and because I use it as a guideline to myself to know my words are peaceful and kind.  I know they are, if I can see and hear myself saying them to the baby Sandhill Cranes.


Please pass on the peace by sharing this post with friends and family.