Tag Archives: Peace Challenge

Peace For Another January

Monthly Peace Challenge: The Neuroscience of Peace

What one thought will you focus on this year to bring more peace?  Call it a mantra, a resolution, a pebble in the pond of your consciousness that will send out ripples of peace throughout the year.

calm in your heart

I have a female brain.  I’ve decided to blame it for the fact that some days I can’t seem to focus on one thought for five minutes, so choosing a thought to last a year is a daunting task.

My mantras change with the weather.  But they’re all good ones.  Here’s a list which skims the top of the many different ones that go galumphing through my head.  I know, that doesn’t sound very peaceful, does it?  But if I can grab hold of a calming thought and breathe it in, I can also breathe it out.  May you find some small thing here to soothe your soul.

1.  Everything you go through, grows you.

2.  You were given this life because you are strong enough to handle it.

3.  Choose to see the good stuff.

4.  Let it out or it will eat you away.

5.  Feel everything deeply, both the pain and the joy.

6.  Find the calm in the storm.

7.  Be still and listen.

8.  Create something beautiful.

9.  Do small things with great love.

10.  Laugh.  Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

11.  Just do it.  Because why the hell not?

12.  Do not let the world make you hard.

13.  No one heals themselves by wounding another.

14.  Try being informed instead of just opinionated.

15.  Don’t waste the rain.  Play in the puddles.

16.  Choose kindness.

17.  It’s okay to make glorious, amazing mistakes because that’s how you learn.

18.  Be grateful.

19.  Your life has purpose, your voice matters.

20.  Tell your story.

namaste

my soul honors your soul

I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides

I honor the light, love, truth, beauty and peace within you

because it is also within me

in sharing these things we are united, we are the same,

we are one

bloggers for peace

December Post For Peace

party on

This months Peace Challenge:  Party on Garth – Plan a party that will ripple peace to the world.

This post has been sitting in draft limbo for 20 days here at Breathing Space.  Collecting dust and looking forlorn.  Because I’m having one super non-peaceful disharmonious time getting it properly started.  Sort of like a party that never got past the planning stages.  That crucial first sentence is supposed to be the hook that pulls you in and makes you want to read more but Christmas has numbed my brain.  Imagine each one of these really bad starts on a separate sheet of crumpled up paper used to practice basketball shots.

1.  I hate parties.  (That one sat around all by itself for two weeks) (Yes, it did.)

2.  I dislike parties very much. Strongly.  A lot. Please don’t make me go to your stupid office Christmas Party, I would rather poke myself in the eye with a stick.  Make that both eyes with two sticks.

3. I am not a fan of big parties because they seem to consist of crazy noisy drunken crowds, music that’s much too loud with overlapping conversations from six different directions at once so that I get a headache and my ears start to buzz and I just want to go home.  There is food sitting around at room temperature for way too long and I don’t want to get food poisoning and people who have had too much to drink always double dip. Gah.  I don’t like getting dressed up or dancing (I won’t dance, don’t ask me) and what if there are stupid party games, shenanigans and contests….omg, do people still do that shit?  Can I hide in the bathroom?

4.  ….party pooper,  stick-in-the-mud,  wet blanket…. (thank you thesaurus, but where’s my picture?)

5.  I am the exact opposite of the life of the party, which must mean I am the death of the party.

6.  I can’t remember the last time I got invited to a party.  Well.  I wonder why.

7.  I am not just doing this for the T-shirt you know……

Okay I’m done with the excuses and the procrastinating,  as well as with trying to find my inner party animal, because I obviously don’t have one anymore.  It took off somewhere around my 30th birthday and hasn’t been heard from since.  I guess I don’t hate ALL parties though.  Small celebrations and family get-togethers and informal dinner parties are all perfectly fine, as are kids birthday parties and conversations over coffee. This might give you the impression that any party I plan would be EXTREMELY peaceful, because everyone would pass out from boredom.  You could be right.

However, think about this for a minute.  What if World Peace Talks were combined with generous amounts of wine and cheese?  Do you think there would be any more disputes and disagreements after, say, a case or two of Chardonnay each and twelve different kinds of cheese?   Worth a try.  You can’t fight about something if you don’t remember what it was you were mad about or why you showed up in the first place.

wine and cheese

So my peace party will be a wine and cheese tasting extravaganza.  I will set up a table of all those exotic cheeses you see in the grocery store deli but are afraid to buy because they’re so expensive and what if they’re gross?  Well what you do in that case is bring them out and serve them to your guests, that’s what.  Somebody somewhere is bound to like at least one of them.  The choices are truly mind-boggling.  Pay attention, I’m trying to teach you something here.

Soft Cheese: Blue Castello, Boursin, Brie, Bucheron, buffalo mozzarella, Camembert, feta, goat cheese, Gorgonzola, Limburger, Mascarpone, Muenster, Neufchatel, Pave Affinois, Teleme

Hard Cheese: Asiago, Blue, Derby, Edam, Emmentaler, Grana Padano, Gruyere, Jarlsberg, Manchego, Parmigiano, Pecorino Romano, Raclette, Reggiano, Swiss, Wensleydale, Zamarano

Semi-Soft Cheese: Bel Paese, Baby Swiss, Colby, Fontina, Havarti, Kasseri, Madrigal Baby Swiss, Morbier, Port Salut

Semi-Hard Cheese: Cheddar, Chesire, Cotija, Danish Blue, Double Gloucester, Gouda, Graddost, Panela, Provolone, Roquefort, Sonoma Jack, Stilton

Don’t worry, I’ll make up little signs on toothpicks so you know what the hell you just ate.

Same with the wine.  I promise to buy a variety of red and white wines based on the proprietors recommendations and not just on my inclination to try the ones with hysterically funny names.

Soft Cheese Wines: Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Champagne, Cabernet, White Zinfandel, Vidal, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Chianti, Sancerre

Hard Cheese Wines: Bardolino, Tawny Port, Madeira, Sherry, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre, Côtes du Rhône, Rioja, Cabernet, Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello di Montalcino, Ribera del Duero, Chardonnay, Chianti Riserva, Beaujolais, Dark Beer, Sangria, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir

Semi-Soft Cheese Wines: Chardonnay, Champagne, Riesling, Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara, Bordeaux, Rioja, Fleurie, Beaujolais, Chinon, Bourgueil

Semi-Hard Cheese Wines: Chardonnay, Champagne, Riesling, Cabernet, Sancerre, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chianti Riserva, Barolo, Tawny Port

My plan is to choose one cheese from each category and one wine from each complimentary category, pair them together and pretend I actually know what I’m doing.

There will be crackers and olives, nuts, strawberries and peaches, pear slices, walnut bread and strong dark chocolate.  Figs, dried apricots, dates and maybe even some champagne.  We’ll call that dessert.

Everyone at the party must participate in one action for peace.  I will have been sampling wine all afternoon and will be in no condition to determine what exactly that action should be, so please surprise me.

Will this party bring more joy, smiles, love, and peace into the world?  Well hopefully, because that would be a lot better result than just a bunch of severe wine hangovers.

On a much more serious note, this is a video on YouTube called The Empathic Civilisation from a lecture by Jeremy Rifkin.  Perhaps I will make it compulsory viewing at my party.  The Bloggers for Peace idea that Kozo started almost a year ago has generated just this kind of awareness of our sociability, attachment, affection, and companionship with all kinds of people that we might not otherwise have met.  In our quest for peace we are certainly not alone.  We are all family, and every one of us wishes to celebrate this life we’re so privileged to be living.  It’s all about extending empathy until it encompasses everyone on the planet.  That my friend would be one big party.

bloggers for peace

More posts for peace:

Electronic Bag Lady B4Peace All together now!

Goldfish December Peace Party

Seeker Open Party: Give peace a chance ~ December 2013

March Post for Peace

“People in general would rather die than forgive. It’s THAT hard. If God said in plain language. “I’m giving you a choice, forgive or die,” a lot of people would go ahead and order their coffin.”   – Sue Monk Kidd

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz
Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz (Photo credit: Nutmeg Designs)

Forgiveness is not easy.

It’s not even easy to write about, never mind actually getting through the process myself.  To me, forgiveness means that I must stop blaming, stop being resentful, and give up the desire to hit back and get even.  I must try to be less judgmental. I must be finished and done with something to the point where I am over it and able to let it go and finally move on.

Sometimes it seems to me to be a never ending process that I will struggle with forever.  And even after all that I may never get it right.

This months Peace Challenge is Marching Towards Forgiveness. 

Forgiving Others

Forgiveness does not mean excusing or tolerating evil, and it does not absolve the criminal from the crime.  People do need to be held accountable for their wrongdoing.  Forgiveness should never mean having to shrug our shoulders and say that’s okay, when it’s not okay at all.

When we are wronged I believe we need to face our anger and our hurt head on.  We need to vent and call it what it is.  If we don’t, we will bottle up our feelings of rage, resentment and heartache until they harden into a need for revenge with no room left in our hearts or heads for anything else.  We will set ourselves up for an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.

It is never healthy to condone someones hurtful actions against us.  But at the same time we should try to understand that people hurt others as a result of their own pain.  We need to stay in touch with the other persons humanity, and believe in their capacity to change. Forgiving someone can mean giving them another chance, not necessarily because they deserve it, but because they need it.  When you forgive, you love.  You stop being a victim and you let go of the pain.  Forgiving others can give us back the laughter and the peace in our lives.

How does one know if she has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the  circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than  angry with him. You tend to have nothing left to say about it all.   – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Depending on the severity of the offense, the process of forgiveness may take days, or months, or even years. It is something that all of us will struggle with, every day of our lives.  If we respond to every little act of rudeness and inconsideration with anger, the situation simply becomes worse.  Every day we have a choice to be loving and kind and forgiving.  Anger and hatred, if left unfed, will fade away. People who are negative and complaining all the time probably don’t really want to be that way. So smile at the person who scowls.  Brush off the bad driving of the person who cut you off. It won’t be easy, but whoever told you life would be easy?  Let go of the little things that don’t really matter whenever you can.

Forgiveness is not always easy.  At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it.  And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.  – Marianne Williamson.

Being Forgiven

Every one of us has done and said things that we regret and wish we could take back.  Quite possibly it happened when we were facing our anger head on and venting our little hearts out.  We passed our own pain and suffering on to someone else.  It takes a great deal of humility and spiritual and emotional maturity to say I’m sorry, and to seek forgiveness from the people we have hurt.  But it’s the only way I know of to make the guilt go away.

Tell yourself that you are important, and that everything you do is important.  You have the power to hurt, and you have the power to heal.  Admit it when you are wrong, and then pay for your mistakes.  Make it up.  Do the right thing.  Deserve the forgiveness you are looking for.  Apologize, and really mean it.  Will that be easy?  Good Gawd no.  But do it anyway.

Forgiving Yourself

This is by far the very hardest forgiveness of all.  Forgiving yourself means showering whoever you are at this exact moment with love and kindness every day.  You must let go of regrets and guilt and sadness and stop wasting your energy on worry, self-criticism and feelings of unhappiness and depression.  You are human, and you are not perfect.  Everything you have ever done and said and felt has been a learning experience for which you must find it in your heart to be thankful.

When you foster warmth, kindness and compassion towards yourself, you can’t help but spread it to everyone around you.  We forgive our children everything because we love them unconditionally.  I think we need to learn how to love ourselves like that, so that our lives will become meaningful, more peaceful, and much,  much happier.  Love yourself, love your day, love your life.

With every single act of true forgiveness, I believe the universe takes a deep breath and expands and heals.  One forgiving heart at a time, we can change the world.

People are often unreasonable and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you.  Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.  Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.  Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.”
― Mother Teresa

bloggers for peace