love-rumiI am in the process of co-authoring my first book. I have been a writer and a poet my whole life, but never fully understood the power of conscious literature until conceiving my own project “Letters Healing Poverty”. On my journey, I have met others on a similar path. It is a great honor for me to take up this new project that I will share with you!

Azim Khamisa, author of “From Forgivesness to Fulfillment”, “From Fulfillment to Peace” and “The Secrets of the Bulletproof Spirit” and the founder of the TKF Foundation, is one of the most powerful forces among the peacekeeping community, joining the ranks of Nelson Mandela, Gandhi and Desmond Tutu. His work, inspired by the murder of his son, has brought incredible healing to thousands of prisons, families, communities and schools. His exceptionally practical and spiritual work has not only inspired my own work, but given me the strength to put his 6 principles of Non-Violence into practice:

1. Violence is real and hurts everyone.
2. Actions have consequences.
3. We can all make nonviolent choices.
4. We can all choose forgiveness instead of seeking revenge.
5. Everyone deserves to be treated well.
6. From conflict, love and unity are possible.

At this mornings coffee meeting to discuss our book, I listened to Azim discuss the fifth principle of oneness. I was immediately reminded of Yogi Bhajan’s quote “Recognize the other person is you.” I wanted to explore what that means and how it applies to non-violence and forgiveness. As Azim continued to paint a deep picture for me of this fifth principle, he said “In Los Angeles there are over 100 languages being spoken. We are living in a country of so many different cultures, ideals, backgrounds and histories. It is so important for us to be kind to one another. To respect one another.” It is so common that when we are unable to relate to someone, we immediately being to judge them. What is it that prevents us from relating to other human beings? Is it lack of empathy, incapacity for compassion? “When I get asked to fill out my race-African American, Hispanic, Asian, White…I always select “Other” and I write “Human” Azim continued. “We are ONE human race.” What Azim is speaking of is so important. As the population rises, as global tension rises, as we fight for connectedness and individuality and even survival, we run the risk of disassociating ourselves from the one spirit that runs through all of life. We can make powerful and uplifting choices by choosing kindness and not rudeness, sweetness and not bitterness, silence over yelling, forgiveness over revenge.

When we consider treating another human being as we would like to be treated, we are acknowledging the one law of love-the one law that is the code of ethics by which our presence graces this planet. To love others is to love ourselves. It means to be able to dilute the hatred, the pain and the anger that has accumulated from your wrongdoings, from you being wronged by others, from your separation, from your sorrow. To treat someone who has wronged you with love, is to say to the universe that you are one with it-that you honor all of life and not just your own life. The most honorable practice that we can have in life, is the practice to treat others kindly, to treat others as we would like to be treated. A great starting point is to begin loving yourself first. Being kinder to your body, being less hard on yourself about making a mistake, forgiving yourself for all your choices and knowing that the darkness was just an opportunity for you to be brought into the light.

Let us take this practice of the fifth principle that Azim has shared with us and live in peace, so that we may be freer, happier and more fulfilled.

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