It has been a long time and have some good news! It is only 2 more days to go for the launch of the campaign!! And most importantly – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, my guru, will be coming HOME! It has been 5 years, a long long time, since he last visited the bay area. There is excitement in the air, tears in people’s longings, joy in their words and what not. To add on to this, MC Yogi, the famous American hip-Hop musician and yogi is going to be performing LIVE for the campaign launch. His rap on Obama and Mahatma GANDHI went viral to become chart toppers.
Here is his website – http://mcyogi.com/ and here is his famous “BE the Change” Gandhi Rap.
I have been hitting on this topic for the last few weeks since I believe this the ultimate need for the hour for everyone. Why is the first step is to stress less? To completely eradicate stress in one’s life is a huge challenge- but not impossible. So the first baby step towards that would be to stress less :). Simple as that. Here are some ways on how to do that.
Ways to Stress Less. Picture courtesy – thepreppychicblog.com
I especially like the last two points in there. Can you look for opportunities in Life’s challenges and can you smile at the challenges? It is not easy if you have a confused and sad mind behind. This is where meditation helps. It calms you down. Helps you think clearly. A unmatched clarity dawns in you. For some, they get their answer to all their problems in meditation. That is why we have to meditate regularly.
The Stress Free Violence Free community campaign by the Art of Living provides just this. A platform for all of us to come together to build a society where there is less stress by meditating and spreading goodness around. That is why we need it more at this time. No matter where you reside, just sign up for the campaign and start spreading goodness around and you will see nature return it back to you :)). If you are in the Bay area, come and attend the launch event by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and listen to prominent members fo our society say about stress and violence.
Also help us spread the word around! Tweet with the handle #peacestarts of what act of kindness you did today or how you spread goodness around. Come and watch the videos on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Stressfreeviolencefree.
Remember one small step for man, huge leap for mankind!
It is time for a new theme and new actions to be taken! I am excited! This week’s theme for all of us is Health and Well Being! With only three more weeks to go for the campaign to be launched, we have a lot of people interested in and signing up.
The theme for Pre-Campaign week 3 is HEALTH and WELL BEING!
As usual we have so many ways to do our random act of kindness in here! Here is my list
I got these stats from the stress free violence free campaign website and I must say – these stats are really shocking. 1 in 3 women will experience sexual abuse in their lifetime! 1 in 7 students in K-12 is a victim of bullying or a bully themselves! Workplace stress costs US employers an estimated 22 billion dollars per year! 22 veterans commit suicide each day! Each day! Here are some interesting facts on Stress.
The following statistics are from a 2009 survey conducted by the APA where during the previous month many adults reported feeling the following physical effects of stress:
47% report lying awake at night
45% report irritability or anger
43% report fatigue
40% report lack of interest, motivation or energy
To deal with stress…
56% of women and 40% of men reported eating poorly
43% of women and 32% of men reported napping
25% of women and 11% of men reported shopping
18% reported drinking alcohol
16% reported smoking
These are all the more reasons we need to come together to take steps to avoid all these. And that is exactly what Art of Living foundation is doing with the StressFreeViolenceFree community campaign! This campaign provides all of us a platform to join hands and work together to effectively resolve all these issues in the society. Join the campaign for FREE @ stressfreeviolencefree.org and attend the launch event inaugurated by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar himself on March 24th at the San jose convention center!
The Campaign launch is happening on March 24th and we have only 3 weeks to go. This the Pre-Campaign week 2 and this week’s theme is EDUCATION! The previous week’s theme was Family.
The theme for Pre-Campaign week 2 is EDUCATION!
We can get involved in many different ways based on how much time you want to give it. Here are some of the things I came up. It was really interesting coming up with it :). Add yours in the comment section.
30 seconds act of kindness
Give words of encouragement to a student in your community
Praise a teacher for their service to the community
Connect with a lost school friend
7 minutes Act of kindess
Send a thank you letter to oen of your teachers – past or present
Join and comment on your alumni Facebook page or share it with other people
Buy a story book for your neighbor’s kid
Read to a child
Buy an educational event ticket and donate it to some one
Post a positive comment on any educational blog
30 minutes act of kindess
Write a letter to your local congressmen to help secure additional school funding
Few posts back, I had introduced the campaign started by the Art of Living volunteers to create a Stress-Free and Violence-Free community. Now here are some beautiful videos about people talking about the campaign and asking everyone to SHOW up for it.
First up, Bhargav, a freshman student in San Jose State university shares his vision on what he thinks about a violence free community and why it is important.
Second, Sunita Dash. A mother and employee of Apple, Inc. shares her experiences of the impact of stress and violence in community. She also shares her passion and vision for a community free of stress and violence.
This campaign provides everyone a platform to join hands, come together and create the society that everyone wants to stay in. Stress and Violence are huge problems and it needs every one of us to step in. We need this campaign as much as the campaign needs us. So SHOW UP for the launch event which is inaugurated by World Leader and Humanitarian, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and join thousands of others who have committed themselves for the campaign! Here is another video with people who are showing up!
If you are given an opportunity to make a positive difference in your community, would you take it? I certainly would. If the positive difference is the need of the current hour – even BETTER. Right now the violence in our society and world in general has seen new heights that it is unimaginable sometimes. Be it the Sandy Hook shooting or the Colorado shooting or the Delhi gang rape. Before trying to address this issue, lets take a step back to introspect where does it violence or what are its causes. Violence is the result of a combination of biological, social, and psychological factors, especially those that increase exposure to vulnerability, shame, and humiliation. Preventing violence must involve the opposite: making sure people feel safe, cared about, and connected, while ensuring they have a healthy and realistic sense of self esteem and self-worth.
Recently I was talking to a friend of mine where she was suggesting some changes in the law and educational system to remove violence. I was arguing against it citing many people have tried that before and it has never worked because it couldn’t be implemented in mass. Just one person trying to create a revolution against the government to bring about laws can create awareness about the issue but bringing about a change in the underlying attitude requires something more. A “X” factor that will change people’s core values itself. A change so basic that changes their total outlook towards violence. We finally agreed upon that currently there is no way of doing this. But we were so wrong!
It seems that we have solved this problem so many times in the history of man kind. Only that we have forgotten our history and the different ways of doing it. Core values against violence like Love, Affection, Compassion have always been imbibed in spiritual teachings and practices and this is the missing ‘X’ factor according to me. Everyone has to cultivate these core values from a very young age in them and make it a second nature in order to not fall into the trap. Spiritual leaders are here to help us but the problem is help comes after the event in form of disaster recovery or personal counseling or service project to help the victims. Very few proactive steps have been taken to avoid a problem and its sustenance and success trivial in a global scale.
Not anymore! 🙂 Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a global humanitarian and a spiritual leader who started the largest non-profit volunteer based organization, The Art of Living, has started a movement called Campaign for a Stress Free Violence Free Community where every individual can contribute towards the idea. The campaign emphasizes on bringing about the change that you want to see in your community in YOU first.
The Wright brothers appeared crazy before they flew. I have this crazy idea – a world without violence. With all the violence in the world this idea may appear to be hoping for a Utopia, but we need to dream, and we will get there. -Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
The campaign has got two main components in it. Go Inward and Take Action.
Any change that needs to be brought outside starts with you. Keeping a balanced state of mind and body is important. This is the first step in the campaign. Going inward. It is about how to get that peace and clarity inside of you. How do you do that? Meditate. Sit silently. Art of Living programs, etc.
This is the step which needs action. All of us need to come together to bring our peaceful voices and make it louder than that of violence. It starts with doing good to others individually and as a group. The campaign has got a lot of options for these.
Go Inward & Take Action
The idea here is to take a pledge to do an activity from each of these components for at least once a week. The campaign will run for 6 months from March until October and each week will have a different theme and a featured organization with whom we can work with or you can work with an organization of your choice. Anyone can get involved in only three easy steps
Attend the campaign event kick off along with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar(Yay! He is coming to the Bay area. Info in another post!) and other community leaders. You can buy the tickets for the event here – http://stressfreeviolencefree.org/launch/. It is only 25$!
Follow the campaign and stay engaged.
What is your excuse?
The main excuse that I had for joining such a campaign was TIME. The most famous excuse we all have. Who has got the time to do all these? Well, the campaign has answers to that too. You can make a change even if you have 30 seconds of free time! You can effect a change based on how much free time you have – 30 seconds or 7 minutes or 30 minutes or a whole day. It is totally your choice how you engage yourself. Here is a list of activities you can do – http://stressfreeviolencefree.org/campaign/
It is that simple! Just 3 simple steps to build a stress free and violence community. Can it get better than this?
Will it work?
I had this question in me – Can a small act of kindness by just one individual bring a change in a community of so many? This got answered by this beautiful video that I saw today. Enjoy!