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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. January Theme: "Peace"
Volume 2 Issue 2 ISSN# 1708-3265

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Aunty Nasty
with Nasturtium Blackwitt PhD. M.E.D., F.D. (Min. H.R.D.F.), Pr. Dip. P.K.C.

Warning: Some readers may find her opinions abrasive, disturbing, or even offensive!

"Looking for peace is like looking for a turtle with a moustache. You won't be able to find it. But when your heart is ready, peace will come looking for you."
Ajahn Chah (Reflections).

As a psychologist, clients desperate in their search for 'peace' constantly bombard me with their questions in the vain hope I can somehow magically remove their problems and soothe their troubled souls with the balm of peace.

What the majority of these self-absorbed individuals either can't or won't realize is that nobody else can do it for you. You have to be willing to do the work, make the changes, put forth the effort, get off your lazy butt and do it for yourself!

Sometimes I wonder if I might have to take a swipe at their head with a bookend to open their brain enough to get this concept through their thick skulls! Naturally, my taking such an action would be immediately followed by an assault charge, and wouldn't do a thing to help the client (although I wonder if it might relieve my frustration.)

O.K. so that idea won't work.

Of course, I can tell them another way to immediately find peace.

Go look in the dictionary, and you'll find it somewhere between 'panic' and 'procrastination'. Unfortunately this is another self-defeating concept - they'd just get ticked off at me being a smart-ass and never make another appointment.

So let's get to the business of finding peace. The concepts expressed in Eastern philosophies are most useful; finding your centre, grounding, meditation - contemplating the lint in your navel - but what if they don't work for you?

All of my clients live in a Western world, and the majority of them already have so much garbage in their warped minds - so asking them to sit and stare at a candle while humming a single tone is, quite frankly, a waste of time.

Their little 'psychies' are so self-absorbed with guilt or resentment or some other dysfunctional carryings-on sometimes they can't even sit still for the length of a consultation, but pace the office like caged beasts.

I've actually had to change the decor in this place rather radically because of my client's traumatic behaviour - had to have the worn-out wall-to-wall carpeting removed and the floor re-done in industrial-strength linoleum, just like a hospital! Replaceable area rugs are now the closest I can get to a cosy carpet!

So I teach these fools "Aunty Nasty's Western Way of Finding Peace". It certainly may sound too simple to be effective; but trust me - it works!

Here's the secret. By taking your focus off yourself, and instead actively looking for ways to help others, you can achieve peace!

I ask a client to start by start by making a list of all the things they do have, and all the things they know how to do - no matter how simple they seem.

And would you believe some of them are so really dumb I have to start them off with a little 'noodge'

You don't have any skills, you say? Balderdash!

Can you read? What about the idea of reading to someone whose eyesight isn't as good as it used to be? Or maybe you could volunteer at your local library and share your love of books with others who feel the same way.

Do you have a car, enjoy driving, and have some spare time on your hands? Think about volunteering to drive some car-less person to get their groceries.

Do you love to cook and putter around in the kitchen? How about making an extra pie next time you're baking. There is always a person out there who can't cook and would be so grateful and happy to have one of your excellent pies!

Don't forget to include the spare time you spend (or fritter away), playing computer games or just plain randomly surfing on the Internet!

If you don't have extra groceries to donate to your City's food bank, what about giving some of your time as a volunteer?

There are an overwhelming number of elderly people who are desperate for companionship; and an hour or two of your spare time would mean the world to a lonely old person.

If you can't relate to the old (which you all will be someday, remember this) then what about the young or even the middle-aged people in your neighbourhood? You only have to look about you to find a need you can fill.

Now, with all your blessings written down, can't you see how fortunate you are? Isn't there a little something you could share with others?

So now can you see how you can make a difference? Oh, you may not think it's anything much in the grand scheme of things - certainly in comparison to the big aid agencies' contributions - but remember; by doing your little bit you contribute to a greater whole. You can make a difference, no matter how small your contribution. The whole idea is to open your heart to the concepts of peace and compassion - and open your eyes to the opportunities all around you to help others.

Martin Luther King Jr. expressed it so perfectly when he said: "Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal"

So what will it take before people can finally grasp the concept of peace? Peace is the total cessation of all hostilities, and brings with it the ultimate acknowledgement that we are all responsible for one another.

Funny thing though, peace is one of those wondrous things - the more of it you give to others, the more of it you will find inside yourself.

Ms. Blackwitt is a noted psychologist who specialises in dysfunctional behavioural and abnormal sociological interaction. Her column features insightful commentaries on familial relationships, as viewed from her unique perspective.

Affectionately known as 'Aunty Nasty', amongst her many honours and awards are a Ph. D in 'Mammalian Excretement Dispersal' and a Degree of Familiarity with The Ministry of Human Remains and Dysfunctional Families.

Ms.Blackwitt also served in the Armed Forces on a 6-year tour of duty as a Diplomatic Peace-Keeper in Washington, D.C., during which time she rose to the top of her team, quickly attaining the exalted rank of Private, and was subsequently transferred to Bikini Atoll, (with undisclosed rank) where she gained extensive hands-on experience in Mammalian Excrement.

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