Nathan J. Snow, a successful West Coast entertainment executive, has been exploring spiritual solutions to everyday problems through transformational practices for over fifteen years. He writes that, despite the “noise” of our often conflicted consciousness,
“… here’s the good news: You can quiet the mind. You can learn to curb your gravitation to conflict. There is a practical order to achieving serenity and anyone, and everyone, can achieve inner peace. Through the 12 Tools laid out in this book, you will distance yourself from the temptation of conflict and move into a Light of acceptance and calm.”
Snow’s twelve tools form a progression from baby steps (making a “gratitude list”) to the very complex issues of relationship-building.
He suggests that we often “enjoy” conflict, that is, we are habituated to conflict scenarios almost as if we were on a drunken binge. The loose way that we often express ourselves when we’re in a rage can be very satisfying – until we experience the hangover, the regrets, the need for apologies, and the fear that if we had it to all over again, we’d find ourselves repeating the familiar patterns. Helpful steps in the right direction can include the simple “candle meditation”; an acknowledgement of the Light (God, or just “energy”-- the impulse that turns on the Light); and finding a “trusted figure” to confide in when the going gets rough, instead of taking your conflicted feelings out others.
To break old patterns, Snow says we need to practice on “little things”--he gives the example of losing one’s keys. Why do we let such a minor problem ruin our day, threaten our relationships, and leave us feeling foolish and exhausted? Learn to examine why you do what you do and how to do less in a minor negative situation--say less, regret less--as practice for such “less is more” behaviors when a big problem arises. “Go against the grain” of your inertia--start projects now, overcome your resistance to improve yourself. Just do it. Write stuff down. Make lists.
As you progress through the steps, they get more involved: pay attention to your body (the “storage container”) through healthy eating and exercise; break negative attachments forever by “drawing a line in the sand”; begin to reach out to and serve others; and pay homage to the cherished relationships in your life by working on them with brutal self-honesty.
Snow also advises that you “be careful what you wish for” and hints that once you have empower yourself by using the twelve tools, your wishes will be less for “stuff” (he advises us to “power down” from purely tech-based solutions) and more for that which is abiding and meaningful. He concludes with this encouragement: “You can break free from the bondage of conflict, attract abundance into your life, and quiet the mind. It is happening now!”
Snow’s book is a useful beginner’s guide to handling conflict (really, any negative situation) on your own, learning as you go through the stages he recommends, so that you stop repeating your self-destructive patterns and begin to develop positive habits for the future.