Stephan V. Beyer, Ph.D., J.D., is a well-known writer and speaker on shamanism and spirituality. He is also a community builder, peacemaker, and carrier of council. He has been trained and certified in many areas of circle processes, mediation, and nonviolence and has offered peacemaking workshops to a wide variety of audiences, from therapists to theologians, and at Montessori, charter, alternative, and public schools. He has served as a Lecturer in the Department of Criminal Justice at Chicago State University, teaching undergraduate courses and graduate seminars in restorative justice and in the theory and practice of nonviolent resistance. He lives in Chicago.

Moving from anger, hurt and pain to forgiveness, self-love and peace has been a challenging journey. I began to understand just how much damage I was causing myself by blaming others when a Shaman said to me: Do you realize that every time you tell that “ain’t it awful story,” you let that person hurt you all over again? That was not the response I expected, but it did help me wake up and begin taking responsibility for my own life circumstances. On my healing path, I learned that I can forgive others without allowing them to continue to treat me poorly. They don’t even have to acknowledge what they said or did. It’s enough that I know and that I also forgive myself for having allowed them to continue to invade my boundaries. With forgiveness came an ability to see myself and others with compassion even when I left the relationship. This has led to an amazing feeling of peace within myself. Please join us Thursday to learn how to listen with an open heart and become a peacemaker.

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