This weekend I will be hosting an online event with theologian Matthew Fox and Buddhist spiritual teacher Isa Gucciardi, author of Coming to Peace. Isa is a psychologist and creator of Depth Hypnosis, a groundbreaking therapeutic model that has won rave reviews from psychotherapeutic and spiritual counselors alike.
In her book, Coming to Peace, she explores a process for moving through conflict in ourselves, our families and groups based on indigenous practices of honest dialogue and self-reflection. But for any process to work, she says these elements must be present in the people involved:
- Equality – Each person will be given equal time to speak, and every person’s experience will be considered of equal value to the experience of every other member of the group.
- Mutual respect – Each person strives to treat other people with respect. This means not interrupting someone when they are speaking and not making negative comments or characterizations.
- Honesty – Each person strives to tell the truth of their experience and be forthcoming about their actions.
- Commitment to personal responsibility – Each person remains fully accountable for their actions and agrees to seriously consider the effects those actions may have had on others.
- Compassion – Each person strives to hold a compassionate space for themself and the other members of the group.
- Tolerance – Each person agrees to practice tolerance even when they do not agree with what is being presented by other members of the group.
- Patience – Each person agrees to practice patience even when they feel upset by what is being presented by other members of the group.
- Willingness to engage – Each person agrees to participate in the process even when things become difficult, or when they do not like what is being brought forth.
- Cultivation of inner wisdom – Each person agrees to do their best to attune to their inner wisdom.
I love this list because it’s a beautiful encapsulation of a balanced and well-lived life. You show up in your fullest integrity, stay present for one another, act from a place of inner wisdom, and welcome what comes.
Conflict is inevitable in our companies, faith communities, families, and ourselves. James 4:1 says, “Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you?” In some ways, we are hardwired to lose alignment with ourselves and others.
To find our way back, we start with ourselves. We take responsibility for our lives – a radical act itself. Then we set about to live from a place of deep intention and fierce honesty.
The more we do this, Isa says, the more we come to peace.
We are in this together,