A common theme in many workshops was conflict resolution as a path to peace. Great responsibility was gently, but firmly placed on the speaker . . . on the listener. Respect for all ways was emphasized and a true effort to listen to other perspectives. The focus was often how to shift the energy in a critical situation, how to diffuse it. These skills were utilized in times of conflict or when a need arose to enhance communication and clear decision-making. It was understood, however, that only time and experience could lead to true understanding. The following are approaches to conflict resolution and peace. They are taken from the wisdom shared in the workshops of Paula Underwood. Consider what may be learned from this gathered wisdom. Consider what may be applied in your own life . . . the conflict within, the conflict in families, in communities, in our Nation . . . in our World.


  • Remember to always state your opinion three times, in three different ways, once for each ear, once for the heart, always checking for understanding.
  • Each of us, when we open our mouths to speak, is 100% responsible for what we say and 50% responsible for what the other person thinks he hears!


  • It is understood that what you see when you open your eyes depends on where you are standing at the time.

And where you are standing says a great deal about who you are and what your

life experience has been so far.

The view from the mountaintop, the view from the valley will be different views

. . . equally valuable, equally relevant.

  • Only move a little, to left, to right . . . gain a view from there. Tell me now, what does your New Vision show you? Move around the Circle of the Earth once more . . . and look again! A quarter turn to the left. A quarter turn to the right. Sit in the East and study life. Sit in the South and wonder. How is it to view the world from Moscow? Belfast? Bagdad? Jerusalem? Beirut? Darfur? You see how it is . . .

We are all Earth's Children, and each view has value.

Now turn the wheel on its edge. How is it now to view Life . . . as Wolf? As

Eagle? As those with a hundred legs? Crawling, walking, swimming through

Life . . . How is it now?


  • When an impasse has been reached between two opposing forces, introduce a third element. Little can be accomplished by focusing on the differences. It would be best to shift the focus to something that is of concern to both parties. In marital disputes, the focus can shift to the welfare of the children. In political matters, the focus could be placed on the well being of the People . . . the legacy left to the children as a result of the decisions being made.
  • If you want to change the course of a mighty river, climb a mountain, look around, and move a pebble.

The very act of climbing the mountain, navigating the ever-changing

circumstances, looking for a secure foothold, enables us to become someone who

upon reaching the top, knows which pebble to move.

  • Seek to perceive the flow of energy through each new possibility, how much is enough and how much is too much.
  • Unless we learn to weave our wisdom together . . . the wisdom within each, the wisdom within all.

. . . Unless we learn to take each separate strand of our many understandings and

weave them together into a whole understanding, we have not learned enough..

may you enable such braiding.

  • It was understood by the People that, All wise living is an act of cooperation.
  • . . . and they reminded each other that what is impossible for one, may yet be possible for many.

At the end of such a workshop would come an admonition from Paula, "remember, sometimes learning only comes after great foolishness." May we choose not to be so foolish.