Deepak Chopra talks about peace and beauty with Mary Beth Janssen.
Speaker and author Deepak Chopra is known by legions of beauty and wellness professionals personally and professionally. His Chopra Center for Well-Being at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California has led the field in practical wellness, and his work continues to grow with the newly opened centers in New York, Mexico and Westminster, Colorado. His new book, Peace is the Way, served as the springboard for our conversation.
"If we're going to create peace in the world, we've got to create peace within ourselves," says Deepak Chopra. "We begin with ourselves. It's our soul's responsibility. We can do this through peace practices: âbeing peace,' âthinking peace,' âfeeling peace,' âspeaking peace,' âcreating peace,' âsharing peace,' and âcelebrating peace.'
"I have a practice for every day of the week. For instance on Sundays, there's a simple meditation for âbeing peace.' On Mondays, in âthinking peace' we mindfully send peace, harmony, laughter and love to others and envision this. In âfeeling peace' and compassion, there's a process. When âspeaking peace,' we make sure that every word that we utter has a calming quality to it.
"It's very simple and quite basic actually...but beautifully effective. And as peace consciousness becomes a part of our personal reality, then it permeates our relationships and our social interactions and our environment.
"We have certain rules on conflict resolution, which include nine steps: 1. Show respect for the other side 2. Recognize that there is a feeling of injustice on both sides. 3. Be able to offer and ask for forgiveness. 4. Refrain from belligerence. 5. Use emotional intelligence techniques (bond at the emotional level). 6. Understand that different people may have different values ... but they're still our values, and we must try and understand them. 7. Avoid passing judgment (and especially in making others out to be wrong or lose face). 8. Refrain from bringing ideology into the discussion. And most importantly, 9. Recognize that fear is a factor on both sides-the single most important element in conflicts.
"We start with those rules and then we go into incentives for conflict resolution, while also looking at what you get out of continuing the conflict. So at the end of it, everybody sees that there is much more to be gained by following the rules and by looking at what would happen if we resolved the conflict for our children, for our families, for our society and for our world. It's very powerful."
Chopra sees beauty and wellness professionals as frontline, direct "peace providers."
"Outer beauty is a reflection of self-esteem. The more our sense of self expands, the more our outer expression becomes a reflection of that. Our therapists [at the Chopra Spa] are centered in this knowingness as [they] serve our guests. When we do beauty treatments, we also take people
through a meditation on self-esteem and looking at their body as a field of consciousness.
"It's a very specific process we do when our guests go through a facial, massage or any other treatment, but essentially it's about expanding our sense of self, and understanding that our body is not just physical, but [also] information, energy and consciousness.
"And then to love ourselves and recognize that everything we experience in the outer world is a mirror of what is happening in the inner world. So the more that we are comfortable with ourselves, the more it will reflect in our beauty and well-being.
"This transformation begins in our hearts. As we celebrate the sacred in all that we do, we find peace. We then connect with spirit and are guided by the force of love."