How are conflicts resolved?
By deciding to stop being afraid, says British life coach, international speaker and inspirational teacher Mike George.
“When two sides who have moved into a space of dispute seek to resolve it, the first step is to understand,” George says. Whether the conflict involves individuals, families, social sectors or whole countries, the principles are the same, he adds. “An attempt to understand is me saying I am tired of being scared— because where there is conflict, there is always fear, and fear is always of losing something.”
George is also the best-selling author of 14 books (published in 15 languages) on self-empowerment through self-realization, among them “Being Beyond Belief: 30 Beliefs You Will Have To Kill Before They Kill You,” “The Immune System of the Soul: How to Free Yourself from All Forms of Dis-Ease,” and “Mindsets: Create New Perspectives and Cultivate Clarity.”
He is Manila-bound for a series of free public talks that starts on Nov. 15 with an invitational dinner-discussion on how to “Release the Self from the Chaos Within” at the Brahma Kumaris Center in Makati.
Conflict as a product of fear, or fear as the result of conflict, is often founded on ignorance, George points out. “I could make an enemy out of someone just because I do not understand that person. The moment I do (understand), I dissolve the fear. I know at last where he’s coming from, and where he’s at. As soon as this understanding is created, the fear falls away.”
And if the effort at understanding the other is mutual? “That,” he says, “is the basis of all conflict resolution in the world. Fear is something I create inside, and has to be dealt with from there.”
“There” is the mind level, which George identifies as the “cradle of creation.” He explains, “I am creating (ideas, concepts, images, emotions) almost constantly. That’s what the human mind is designed to do. I choose what I create.” Or un-create.
George was an advertising copy writer, a job he describes as “very creative, but one that often misleads people.” He recalls, The quality of my creativity at the time was not very satisfying to me, personally.”
Finding a way out, he embarked on a farther-reaching journey of self-exploration, convinced that “to reinvigorate my enthusiasm was to rediscover my purpose.”
For the last 30 years, aside from writing books, George has been a corporate and community workshop facilitator with clients and sponsors in over 30 countries. Some 250,000 people have attended his courses, retreats and seminars, which have covered what are regarded as “the three key strands of the 21st century—emotional intelligence, leadership development and continuous unlearning.“ His style has been described as a “unique blend of insight, wisdom and humor.”
The blueprint apparently works, because some of his biggest corporate clients are Mitsubishi, Siemens, American Express, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Barclays Bank, Bank of Kuwait and the Middle East, GlaxoSmithKline, British Telecom, Sheraton Hotels, Unilever, Shell and Nestle.
George has coached bankers, lawyers, judges, IT experts, and government workers on self-management, personal development and, as a teacher of Raja Yoga, on reaping day-to-day benefits from a meditation practice.
Root of misery
His most frequently requested yoga meditation classes are those that discuss the ego as, in his words, “the cause of all misery” and why it should therefore be rooted out.
He explains: “Every object in my life exists in two places—outside, which is its external reality; and inside, its internal reality. If I have a new car, for example, externally it is just a car. When, internally, I recreate it in my mind with a personal significance and the many emotions that come with that, chances are I will develop what is called ‘attachment’ to it. I lose myself in that image; I identify with the car. If someone scratches it, I get hurt. I take the pain and so, at that moment, I *am* the car. I mistake myself for something I am not. That is ego—a case of mistaken identity. That is where all suffering come from.”
People get attached to all sorts of things, George notes: money, possessions, privileges, position, memories, other people… “Where there is this mistake, this ego, there is attachment. And there will always be resistance (emotional or physical) to something or someone in order to protect this attachment. This is how fear is created.”
On Nov. 18, George is the featured lecturer in “Why Me? Why Here? Why Now?” presented by the Brahma Kumaris Quezon City center. On Nov. 22, he will be a guest speaker in the dance concert “Being Yourself,” inspired by another book he wrote, at the Power Mac Center in The Circuit Makati. In between these free public programs, yoga workshops will be conducted for private groups. For details, interested parties may call 890-7960 or 414-9421. Emmie G. Velarde