Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Heather from Shivaya Naturals: piece together peace guest post

As we walk our way through the piece together peace project, our intention is to bring those participating into this space. Each and everyone of us truly has the capcity to inspire others and to be inspired by others. I know I have seen a wealth of inspiration in the posts and intentions that have been put out as a part of this project. And for that I am truly grateful.

Our first guest is Heather, who blogs at Shivaya Naturals. Heather's post struck something very deep within me when I came across it and I knew it would be wonderful to share.

In Heather's words:

I was really taken with this project, and I spent some time thinking on what exactly peace means to me in the life that I am living right now. I find that the most peaceful moments in my life lately have been the ones that come from just watching my children enjoying their childhood.

That may sound simple, but children really do hold the key to happiness, to peace, and to a more harmonious world. The simple things that make them laugh, that bring them joy, and that allow them a freedom of expression is not only joyous to watch, but truly awe inspiring as well. Maybe it sounds naive, but I really believe that if we could all live as simply and easily as a child, the world would be no where near as complicated as it is.

Having said that, children seem to be bombarded with so much these days, that it feels as though those peaceful and simple qualities are more limited than when I was a kid. The challenge that I gave myself this past month, in taking part of Piece Together Peace, was to allow for as many moments of childhood as was possible. To put down my computer, to walk away from all the tasks that I put on myself to accomplish, and to just live with my children in their world, rather than trying to prepare them for mine.

I have to admit that in trying this approach, a lot has shifted for my little family. There is nothing major that you can spot, nothing out in the open that seems different, but there is a subtle togetherness that surrounds us in a new way. Work, finances, stress, marriage, relationships, housekeeping, these are things that we all face and that sometimes are surprising in the ways that they prevent us from fully embracing the joys of our own family.

As Joel and I set out to not force those things to go away, but rather to embrace the time with our kids more fully, we both felt that our own relationship with each other has shifted and grown. It is important to us that our kids do not define us by the time we spend on the computer or the phone, but it also important that they feel that we not only schooled them and taught them and cared for them, but that we truly played with them.

It is in the play that the peace occurs. The tossing of leaves for hours, watching them jump from trees into those same leaf piles for as long as they wanted us to, and sitting back and choosing to be fully present in those moments, that is where we found the peace.

When my oldest child wakes early in the morning, instead of sending him out to work on a project, I have gotten up and worked on one with him. It has gone from sleep I felt that I felt I was missing, to the best part of my morning. Instead of encouraging the kids to play a game with each other, I have tried to get down and play one with them every chance I could get. Instead of knitting while they are in the backyard climbing trees or playing hide and go seek, I have gotten involved (to the extent that I can) in their imaginative play. I may not always be right in the thick of what they are doing, but I am not just observing anymore, and that has felt much different.

We all work hard, and in so many ways we believe that we have to live within the stressful confines that the world puts on us, but choosing to seek out peace through the children we love so much is the best reminder that we get to choose the lives that we lead, and the way that we lead them. We can create peace by allowing as many opportunities for our children to find joy, and in doing so create a world of leaders for the next generation who will hopefully feel more connected to each other and the world they inhabit.

It may not be much, but it certainly has made a difference.


Thank you so much Heather for sharing your beautiful thoughts and words with us, and for joining us in this walk for peace.


  1. I've been going through a rough couple of weeks with my boy and not feeling confident that I know a way out for us. Yesterday, before reading this post, I just put everything down and gave him my full, playful attention. And it was magical. Before he was falling apart all the time and I was holding back my stress and anger, but when I just let all of that go and simply played, there was a beautiful harmony between us. And today we were at ease, and I was so much more patient. At night while falling asleep, he said over and over again, Mama I love you, Mama I love you. I think for December my piece has to be what Heather's doing this month, to be fully present in play, to find peace in play. This will be so helpful in these very cold winter months ahead when we'll be inside a lot. In gratitude, Elizabeth

  2. What a lovely way to create more peace in your life, Heather. Children are such wonderful teachers for us in so many ways. "..just live with my children in their world, rather than trying to prepare them for mine." That is the critical piece right there for me. Thanks so much Heather for sharing your wisdom, insight and inspiration.

  3. I can't stop thinking about the words and the actions of this post. Thank you so much for sharing this wisdom, Heather. I try to put so much love and attention into my interaction with my daughter- and this affirms and reaffirms and drives home how important it is to simply BE with them on their level in their ways. Thank you for sharing yor piece of peace.
    Much love

  4. Thank you for having me, and for these beautiful comments. This project is such a wonderful reminder to stay present with finding peace in our lives, and I a grateful to all of you for the daily reminders.


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