15 March 2011

Season of Nonviolence – Day 45: Mastery

Welcome to Day 45 of the Season of Nonviolence – 64 Days of peaceful wisdom honoring the lives and nonviolent principles of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cesar Chavez.

Nonviolence begins with learning how to be less violent and more compassionate towards ourselves. We learn by building the courage to speak and act with respect, honor and reverence for our own being.

Day 45: Mastery

"If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things." ~ Vincent van Gogh

The dictionary defines mastery as 'expert skill or knowledge'. We can earn degrees that confer the title of Master, just as tradesmen can attain master status in their craft. Experience, skill, and knowledge have many applications beyond their specific field. For example, when one truly understands literature, they have a greater understanding of the human condition. When one is a master cabinet-maker, they have also gained knowledge of balance, beauty and functionality.

What have you mastered? Are you a master of juggling multiple projects or priorities? Maybe you are a master at getting what you want or helping others make their own dreams come true. We all have complete mastery over how we choose to show up in the world, even if we aren't aware of it. How we use our skills and knowledge makes all the difference!

Labor organizer Cesar Chavez teaches, "If you use violence, you have to sell part of yourself for that violence. Then you are no longer a master of your own struggle." Breathe deeply, silently counting backwards from ten to calm yourself and cool off before your speak or act with impatience or anger. Do this at least once today.

Journal about or contemplate what you have mastered, going beyond work and educational achievements. Have you used your mastery to make a positive difference in the world or to serve your own purposes?

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