The views expressed in this article reflect those of the author, not those of One Young World.
One Young World Counsellor, Dr Scilla Elworthy is a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee recognised for her work with the Oxford Research Group, developing effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers worldwide and their critics. She founded Peace Direct (2002) to fund, promote and learn from local peacebuilders in conflict areas and co-founded Rising Women Rising World (2013), and FemmeQ (2016). Scilla was awarded the Niwano Peace Prize in 2003 and was an adviser to Peter Gabriel, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Sir Richard Branson in setting up ‘The Elders’.
In her latest book The Business Plan for Peace: Building a World Without War (2017) Scilla demonstrates how 25 tried and tested strategies for preventing war can be scaled up and extended, in order to prevent armed violence worldwide.
Here, Scilla shares her tips for effective and connected leadership in the wake of the One Young World 2019 Summit.
Reconnect with nature yourself. That means: discard your device, go out to where there is grass, or a tree, and stand there in your bare feet. Yes - we have harmed and hurt and destroyed nature, but like the mother she is, she’s still there for us - she’s waiting to give us her full power. So if you want to take a stand on an issue you really care about, deliver it from a base of wisdom, from the earth (not from anger or fear). That means planting your feet on the earth and letting Earth nourish you, letting her guide you, listening to her.
Don’t get lost. You have a mission now - and you need your inner guidance, your personal radar. So spend time every day tuning in, listening to your own GPS - it will inform you what to do next. To do this it’s necessary to stay clear-headed, find your soul path, find your partners on the path, and then pour in your passion and your love. Make love your currency.
What to do when things look dark? When your inner critic has a go at you and tells you you’re not good enough, don’t push it away, but open a dialogue with it. Why? Because your critic may be like a dragon, but it has a diamond under its claw. That diamond is your truth, and only by talking to your darkness, your shadow, and getting to know the murkiest parts of yourself, can you get access to that diamond. That diamond is the integrity that will give you presence.
Remember, you are in service. Service is the highest attribute of a human being. Higher than survival, higher than learning, higher even than making your way in the world. Being in service means being 100% present to what’s needed in the moment. That means having a quiet ego so that your energy is attuned to others, not to you. It’s rather delicious actually, in this age of constant consumption and “me, me, me”, to be liberated away from that constant bombardment of “what do I need?” toward the freedom of “what’s needed here, how can I be of use?”. That’s where you will find your real friends, your allies, your combined power. That’s why you’re here.
When you are troubled, that’s the time for truth. That may sound strange, but I mean it. When you don’t know what to do, when nothing works, when nothing makes sense, try this: Sit somewhere quiet and speak it out, speak the questions, the angst, the doubt. You’re talking not just to yourself, you’re calling on your High Self, and your High Self will answer. Breathe slowly and deeply, stay quiet and listen. Listen. This is your inner power and on this, you can rely.
Marisa Drew & Dr Scilla Elworthy discuss effective tips for using your power to own the world you want to live in at the One Young World 2019 Summit.
The breathing pattern for heart/brain coherence:
1. Close your eyes as a signal to yourself that you will be focussing inwards.
2. Gently touch your heart centre with one hand. Make sure you’re comfortable.
3. Do slow breathing in and out, at a pace that’s comfortable for you. Pausing at the end of the in-breath and at the end of the out-breath.
4. Add in a sense of gratitude. I do this by mentally saying “thank you” in the pauses between the in-breath/out-breath and out-breath/breath. Find something or someone that you are genuinely grateful towards so that the feeling is a mind and body reality.
5. Remember to smile. Simply turning up the corners of your mouth, and crinkling your eyes is known to release happy chemicals from the brain.
Research has shown that doing this for 3 minutes gives you benefits for 6 hours. You can do it longer if you wish, of course. For me, fifteen minutes is simply delightful, and a good start to my day.
Apparently, there are 40,000 brain cells in the heart, and this breathing puts us in touch with the heart’s intelligence easily.
And I am reliably informed that this technique sets in motion 1,300 beneficial chemical reactions throughout the body.