by Maryon Stewart
As I listen to news from around the world constantly filled with reports about people attacking others physically as well as verbally, it often seems surreal; even unbelievable. Open prejudice and violence, which causes injury and often death, are painful to witness for those of us who choose love over hate.
The majority of us – like myself – look on, horrified, from the sidelines, as events beyond our control make us feel powerless.
As a professional problem solver until recently, I found the powerlessness beyond frustrating because I couldn’t see a way for good to triumph over evil. I experienced huge relief when a feeling like a light went on in my head as I considered how different life on earth would be if we focus on that which is within our control. We should concentrate on mindfully loving more, hating less and doing random acts of kindness for each other because we can. Whilst that may seem a naïve concept, my attention remains with it. It made me wonder if the conscious ones amongst us could band together with love on the agenda, no matter what religion, and turn the tide on hate and fear.
I decided to discuss it with Judy Piatkus who several years ago set up a network, ConsciousCafe, which gives people the opportunity to engage in conscious conversations with likeminded others, to raise awareness of all that is meaningful in our lives.
Synchronistically, the very next day I received an invitation to a conference ConsciousCafe were holding in London on 27 November on the topic of Raising the Vibration of Love. It brought together leading-edge thinkers, opinion-makers, authors, therapists and respected senior executives to explore ways of reducing fear and increasing the expression of love in our lives with a common goal of making the world a better place.
The conference was opened by Elif Safak, author of several non-fiction works and ‘mystical realism’ novels, whose bestseller Forty Rules of Love has sold a million copies and blew me away with joy when I first read it a few years ago. Elif highlighted the fact that knowledge and information are different from wisdom, which requires emotional intelligence. She emphasised that we should allow ourselves to be changed by love and that empathy is the key to positive change, promoting less violence.
Elif’s thought-provoking words were followed by a panel discussion which focused on love in the workplace. Leading experts Oonagh Harpur, Norman Pickavance and Francis Briers, chaired by Judith Clegg reflected how through re-connectivity we can raise our consciousness and by doing so open ourselves up to empathy and learn more about meeting each other’s needs. They shared stories of initiatives connecting people worldwide and giving them a voice to generate ideas and collaborative action.
Videos of both these events will shortly be published on the ConsciousCafe website so that we will all have an opportunity to reflect again on these thought-provoking ideas.
After a networking lunch I took part in a workshop facilitated by Dr Dina Glouberman on intimate relationships. Other people chose sessions about embodying love in everyday life or expressing love through art. These were followed by a World Café session where we moved from table to table, engaging with others at a very deep level as we considered how we could each and collectively raise the vibration of love in our own lives as well as in the world.
The day ended with a guided meditation from Tom Fortes Mayer accompanied by singing and music from Virginia Thorn who sounded like an angel.
I came away from the workshop feeling significantly increased optimism about the chance, if together we step up in the name of love, that we could ensure good will triumph over evil, enabling us to thrive together on our beautiful planet. I am already looking forward to my next encounter with ConsciousCafe.
ConsciousCafe runs regular events and discussions in London and other places. Raising the Vibration of Love was their first conference. www.consciouscafe.org
Maryon Stewart is a health expert, author and founder of the charity Angelus. Her new website www.maryonstewart.com launches this month.