Asia West Pacific

Conscience is the Key to Notice Transforming Power

7th International Peace Training Reflections

By Nurlaila Yukamujrisa (Riza), Indonesian participant

Riza (right) playing with blocks

I never thought about my own conscience or core self before I joined this training. I just did what I had to do or what I wanted to do. However, after I knew and found my own conscience, I felt something new in my life. I realized that I did meaningful things. I felt that nothing has to frighten or prevent me from doing the right things according to my conscience. It is the main thing that makes me notice transforming power. Indeed, this insight was, for me, the highlight during the training.

I need to respect myself, care for others, expect the best, ask for a non-violent solution, and think before reacting. Now I have started to implement those in my life. Good listening is very essential, also. How to communicate with everyone, including my family? I must do this if I want to change my family’s culture of violence to a culture of peace.

Everything starts with small things. And I do believe that I am capable of transforming myself first before I transform my society. In some cases, I can lose my conscience when someone inflicts violence on me. Then I thought about caring for others and reaching for that something good in others, even when they hurt me.

What stood out the most during the training was that social transformation must begin by personal transformation first. And it could not happen without transforming power, powered by the core self.

When I joined the training, I doubted if I would make it. I was so afraid that I would not be able to do the best I can. However, this training was really out of my mind. It’s quite different any other training I have joined. It was enjoyable and used playful approaches. The method was straightforward, even for the 12-year-old participant, who was the youngest in the group. I really learned a lot from the workshop.

I was genuinely touched by the material on prejudice. When we talked about what blocks me from doing the right thing, it is about the power gap. I realized that I genuinely experienced the dynamic of oppression, and it haunted me for many years ever since I have been a social worker. I saw that there were privileged people, and that I am nothing. I felt I had lower power than others. But then, in the session of breakthrough, I found that I have the inner strength to make equality and equity among me and the others through good communication, that I can do this and I should practice it every single day. And of course, always bring it back to the transforming power steps in the road map.

What was challenging when I got back from the training was the practice of the “I message.” I needed to be braver to speak up to someone on the things that bothered me. Then I started and tried to practice it to express the right ideas. But when I experienced bad things, I still keep it to myself. I know that that is not right. The anxiety I feel makes me numb. On the other side, I still shout out unexpectedly when I am furious and keep quiet and don’t communicate to those I have problems with. But now I do realize when I’m doing it, and know that it is a bad habit that I need to change.

Coming home, the tools that I found so helpful were: 
  • Tending Emotion. Let the bad go and let the good in. Relate to the things I do well with the kids in the correctional institution center when we do counseling, in groups or individually.  
  • Good companions. Learning about how to stay in my core self and remember the core self of others. 
  • Storytelling. It is crucial to focus on the questions: where did it happen, what happened, how did it feel and when was it over? Make it simple, and no need to explain much.  
  • Stories of Trauma. It is helpful to remember the painful experience in the past and be a brand new person afterwards. I do really love the method of drawing. 
  •  Labels. Learning about the patterns of prejudice and how good listening and respect interrupt them. 
  • Breakthrough. This  helped me find my conscience and my transforming power.
  • Journaling. I committed to journaling everything, then it could help me to be prepared and available. I love to write, but the boredom to start will always block me from doing the journal. But now, I always try to journal everything that matters to remind me of those good things.