I have known Carol Daigneault for several years, I first became aware of her through her Feng Shui practice ( New View Studio) She has just published a book entitled “I Hold The Power of Peace” Her study and involvement in personal empowerment and metaphysics are of interest to me as well. We recently got together to talk about the book and how it came about. I suspect it is the beginning of an on going conversation. It strikes me that the ideas about peace, about intention and how we use our power are relevant to all of us, not just artists.
JP: How did the idea for the book come about?
CBD: The message, I Hold the Power of Peace, came about after September 11, after the attacks in the US. It was the day after and I went for a walk because everyone was very upset, obviously. They were still nervous about whether something was going to happen above and beyond what had happened.
I didn’t really feel very threatened physically because I lived in Maine and figured there were plenty of other places that would be attacked before we would. I went for a walk to clear my head and figure out how I should move forward from there.
It was quite a long walk and it became more of a meditative walk. On the way back, very close to my house, I just asked very specifically, ran the question through my head, “What can I do to help in this situation?” Immediately I heard I Hold the Power of Peace. I stopped and said I Hold the Power of Peace?
I could instantly feel the significance of the phrase. I could feel it in my body. It’s on each of us to take the responsibility to stay calm, to keep a consistent and clear energy around all of this turmoil and not to feed the fire of the discord by trying to stay level headed and calm and as peaceful as we could, which was a tall order at the time. I could really understand the whole concept behind it.
JP: The idea of asking a question, was that new for you or was that something you already practiced?
CBD: No, I’d been studying. That was 2001 and in late 1994 I took my first class in applied metaphysics and then continued on with a study group in intuitive development so I’d been working with developing those skills for 6 years. I was accustomed to posing a question or request for information and looking for outside guidance to follow in order to go to the next step.
JP: You said you ‘heard’ the voice, is that the way your intuition works normally?
CBD: Yes, I have some clairvoyance. When it’s me alone I’m probably a little more clairvoyant. I’ll hear suggestions. When I say hear, the thought will go through my head.
JP: I imagine intuition is different for everyone?
CBD: Oh yes, you can be clairvoyant, clairsentient, clairaudient. There’s all different ways of perceiving information. When I’m alone I just sort of have the thought go through my head.
JP: So you had an instant answer?
CBD: I did in this case. I wouldn’t say that was that common but I’d been really focusing on the situation for quite a period of time and hyper-focusing on the walk for well over an hour. So, I was priming myself to have some sort of understanding about the situation.
JP: When you heard I Hold the Power of Peace what did you think?
CBD: What did I think? At that moment that was what I needed to hear personally but I could also see that it was pertinent to everyone.
I remembered it for myself and the next thing that I did with it was make a bumper sticker. I handed them out and kept that phrase going as I kept wondering about the bigger meaning of it. I wondered what to do with it. I delved into more exploration and study in personal empowerment and how do you become peaceful and what does peace mean.
JP: What did that process look like?
CBD: Basically, it came around to keeping my energy as centered and aligned and high as I could.
JP: Does this whole idea of peace start somewhere else for you or really around September 11? Is the peace movement something you’ve always been interested in?
CBD: Yes, it has been, actually. I haven’t thought about that. It’s an interesting question.
JP: For it to resonate so strongly with you…I’m just curious.
CBD: I was born in 1956 so in the ‘60s when I was 8, 10, 12 years old it was the Civil Rights Movement and the Viet Nam War. I remember as a child sitting there watching the soldiers grabbing onto the airplane tires as they were leaving Saigon. It was very impactful. I remember my mother was a student at Kent State when they had the shootings.
I remember on May 5, the day of the shootings, we were in a store and the radio was playing and the announcement came over the loud speaker. My mother’s reaction was so striking that I said, “That’s really bad isn’t it?” She said “Yes, it’s very bad.”
JP: Do you think personal peace is the key to greater peace?
CBD: I do. That is where I am now. Start with yourself and make it your intention with your life to keep a certain level of clarity and alignment.
JP: Intention is a big part of it. To intend that, all the time whatever it is, in your life. Setting intentions is one of the things you talk about in the book.
CBD: It is one of the areas of study that has been very useful to me. I’m a person who tends to like to do 15 things at once and scatter myself because there are so many fabulous things to do, all the time! I’ve been introduced to the concept of intention as it’s been used in the last 10 years or so, through all of the writings of the modern day authors. Intention has helped me first to clarify where I want to head and what is most useful to me but secondly to help bring me back to that realization.
JP: It’s a practice that takes time and attention to keep coming back to the intentions you set. You don’t just set them once.
CBD: It’s a fluid process. You can intend something for the next day or hour but you can have a more encompassing intention for the year or your life. There are all sorts of ways to break it down and use it.
JP: What is the reason that intention is so powerful?
CBD: I think because it consolidates energy. I’m also a Feng Shui practitioner. Feng Shui is about Ch’i or energy. When energy is scattered it’s less powerful, less useful. All of this goal setting that coaches teach, used in the 90’s or late 80’s, that’s evolved into intention because it’s teaching a way to be able to pursue those things that we find useful and help us to grow and feel inspired and have a happy life.
JP: You just hit the 10 year anniversary of Sept 11. To reflect back and see that you’ve been holding that idea all that time and how the whole thing grew for you. It’s pretty interesting.
You didn’t know when you got the line what it was going to mean? You didn’t know that you were going to write a book?
CBD: No, not at all. I knew that it was an important message but I didn’t know what to do with it. Other than try myself to develop it, but in a tangible way I didn’t have a sense that I ever would do anything with it. I was always trying to investigate it from my own viewpoint.
JP: You have to not only start the practice but you have to know what you want. That’s probably as hard as doing the practice. You have to be clear on what you want.
CBD: I struggle with that as much as anyone else, knowing exactly what I want. But I’ve gotten to occasionally sitting down at the end of my day and saying, “I feel really great. I’m really satisfied with my day.” The next thing I want is for the Universe to send me what it is that would achieve that end. Not only is it that what I should be doing, what’s beneficial to me, but it serves others as well. Then things happen, like you contact me on the internet and I get to sit down and talk with you. If I was trying to figure it out on my own it might not happen.
JP: So, we can start to cultivate all these ways for things to happen.
CBD: I’ve been doing this type of study for over 20 years now. One thing builds on another and another. It’s my interest and passion. I just keep trying things and reading and plugging in information from one author and then another.
JP: It does take time.
CBD: I’ve been working at it for a while, yes. Cultivating it.
JP: It feels like we should have been taught this a long time ago. Why aren’t we getting these ideas when we’re children? Can you imagine what kids can do with this? Certainly they have imagination and not so many blocks and can really tap into thoughts and feelings.
CBD: I think it’s an evolving thing. That’s where we’ve evolved to, at least the people that are interested in this sort of thinking and exploration. We’re experimenting and trying it and pushing it forward and learning from all of the teachers that are now out there and available.
JP: It’s really gone into science rather than religion or spirituality or positive thinking or whatever the label would have been.
CBD: Definitely. The whole quantum physics part of science now is really starting to prove a lot of this. I’ve been reading Lynn McTaggert’s book about the power of intention and she writes about, since the mid 1900’s, the different scientists who’ve done all of these experiments with energy fields around plants and little ameba, how we’re all connected with this energy field and how the thoughts of one entity or plant or ameba influences another. So it is coming into the scientific community very strongly. I think there still is a transition period. Some of mainstream science is still not acknowledging it.
JP: Was that your intention with the book? Did you actually have a specific intention?
CBD: I wanted to write it for a broad enough audience that if someone picked it up who had never read anything about this topic before they could glean something useful out of it. I think in the same token I wanted to speak with people like you to be able to expand from where I was. Here’s where I’ve gotten and what I understand and what do you get out of this and where would you take it from here? I want to keep growing and investigating what it means.
JP: I like your phrase response-ability. It gives us another way to think about the idea of responsibility. Tell me what you were thinking ?
CBD: I was thinking about how easy it is for me to fall into old patterns. My perception of myself is that I’ve never been a naturally upbeat person so the concepts in the book – thought, emotion, feeling, etc. – give us a framework to respond differently and understanding the importance of holding peace within yourself and holding that same energy. Having the ability to have the response you want is a responsibility because having a higher thought or keeping your thoughts in a place of peace really makes you a more responsible person in the world. It’s all dovetailed.
JP: It’s a very different way to see ourselves and then to say I’m going to act differently.
CBD: My religious training taught me to keep my energy pure and love one another and that sort of thing. I don’t purport, at all, that this is a religious book. But everything circles back around. This is not a new message. It’s just told in a different way within the context of where we are in our society now with some of the New Thought teachings.
JP: Then you think, what can we do with that type of energy? That’s when it gets really interesting.
CBD: Right. You can cure cancer. You can end hunger. You can stop war.
JP: In a sense we all do have that possibility within us.
CBD: That’s the power, that’s the seed of the message, that we do hold that power. That’s another part of the responsibility of it. No matter what we think and do, that energy goes out and joins with others of a like mind. If we all commit to an intention of keeping as much peace as we can within ourselves as often as we can it naturally connects with others doing the same. Then peace just grows and grows.
For more information about Carol Daigneault or to get a copy of her book, I Hold the Power of Peace, please visit her website www.IHoldthePowerofPeace.com