Monday, January 31, 2011

works in progress

Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.

~John F. Kennedy


Finding my peace has been a process of unraveling, creating many loose ends, stripping things down to basics, giving up, letting go, moving on, peeling away many, many layers…to get to some truth…to get to some essence of authenticity.  It hasn’t been slow at all.  It has been a continuous process that works on many layers simultaneously.  I want to pretend that I can just skip ahead to the final creation….but I know there many more layers to expose, more threads to pull loose to find my truest authentic core.  Along the way, I step into the dream of my most peaceful authentic self.  Like this weekend when I watched my son play with a Hispanic boy named Gabriel and an African American boy named Jamal…when  I witnessed people of all colors, ages, and faiths walk together in solidarity for peace and unity…when I joined hands with immigrants from around the globe to plant a peace pole….when I heard African prayers, Hindu chants, amazing uplifting spoken word, and the didgeridoo in a tiny little cultural center in the heart of Austin.  Slowly (not so quietly) colorful new threads are being woven together as the ones that are not serving anyone are clipped away. 


We are faced with situations that may appear to be very un-peaceful everyday. It is up to us to choose how we see these happenings and how we choose to react to them. This is not always easy, nor convenient. In fact, more often than not, I feel as though I am walking up a slippery slope, putting a lot of work and effort into the situation. My first reaction, is usually to scream, stomp my foot, and demand that things happen in a better way. But if I take the time to analyze how ridiculous that may appear, I know that the peaceful way is to take the time to talk things out, put aside my wants and wishes in that moment, and to give my all to the pieces in my life that need more tending to than others. I struggle between my quick reactions vs. what I want to see my reactions as every day...we all do. No one is perfect. If we were we would be perfectly enlightened beings. But the fact is that we are here now, learning our lessons, and taking from them what we will. We are works in progress on this beautiful planet. I'm so glad you are here with me.

Monday, January 24, 2011

our actions

We don't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts.
~Pema Chodron


We can set out to save the world, but it won't take long to realize that if we are earnestly in pursuit of that lofty goal we must start at the microcosmic level. We have to start with how we are treating ourselves. How we are treating all those we are closest to in proximity. And then on out to how we affect those in our neighborhoods, our communities, our geographical area, etc...We exist in concentric circles. Our wholeness and the world's wholeness depends on the strength of each one of those circles from the very center outward. 


So often as I walk through the grocery store, or down the street, I wonder about the people I pass. There used to be a distant feeling, like one that said I should steer clear and mind my own business. The more and more though, that I try to open my own heart to acceptance of all beings and wherever they are on their own personal paths, I see myself lifting my head ever so more each time to smile at strangers and say hello. Sometimes when my smile is returned I almost feel like stopping to learn a little bit more...and go a little bit deeper, because I know that all the people who I pass while I walk on my path in life, are only there to reflect a little piece of who I AM. I truly believe, that it is through these small things, where we can change the world.

Monday, January 17, 2011

in memory...unutterable fulfillment

"Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart." 
~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Synchronistically, for me one of these moments of unutterable fulfillment came when I joined the 13 Moon Walk 4 Peace which started in Atlanta at the King Center on 10.10.10. Talk about fulfillment…in just 2 months feeling lead by Spirit I completely rearranged my life and focused on the walk's mission to bring visibility to the invisible and a voice to the voiceless. That day, I stood in awe at the statue of Gandhi and the beautiful mural. But more than anything, I was in awe of the beautiful people who have dedicated their lives to illuminate and dissolve injustice fearlessly.

Why am I walking for peace? Very few people will ‘get’ it. It is just as King says above; words fall so short of explaining why I would walk and expect anything to come from it. Certainly there are family and friends who think I am a bit nutty and living in some fantasy world. But the only way to make a difference in the world is to face all those fears and the loved ones who mean well and instead of fighting them send them love. And that in itself is part of the peace work I do. I face the fears that create illusions of separation within myself and with others and I wrap my heart around them all. I break down barriers of ‘who is right’ and ‘who is wrong’. I accept and love everyone right where they are; even the ones who make this really challenging. As I do this work, my heart expands and I see more and more love and acceptance reflected back at me. And I guess that it the reason I walk…because I can.


I can remember several times in my life when the sun's rays warmed me just so; a child was close enough the melt her energy with mine; when the leaves on the trees seemed to be speaking through my thoughts, telling me all of life's secrets. These times were where time just seemed to evaporate from my sense temporarily. I remember feeling my heart swell as my skin became all tingly with life and my heart with love very vividly. It was these times where I almost tried to stop myself from breathing, in an attempt to halt my life and just pause in these moments where I felt total love and peace, hoping it would stay forever. Thinking back on the times when I have felt this way, I can remember clearly that I was either surrounded by children, submersed in nature, or bathed in sunlight. Those three things just radiate purity, acceptance, and love to me. They are what make our world go round.

Monday, January 10, 2011


"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t BELIEVE in magic will never find it"
~Roald Dahl


Today, the air was especially cold and the snow was glistening in a magical way. I love when I notice little things like that because for a moment my mind switches off and my heart opens up. In those gaps, I feel deeply connected to all that is.

Finding these gaps is like a treasure hunt that we can experience if we have the desire. We just need to slow down, step away from the computer, get outside, breathe, and wake up to the moment. When we wake up to the moment we wake up to all the possibilities.


Maybe because it is fresh on my mind, or maybe because I feel at peace right now with how things panned out, either way this quote resonates with how our bedtime ritual went tonight. My six and four year old had spent all evening planning out this magical "sleepover" together. They built a fort, got their clothes out for tomorrow, and got all ready for bed lickity split. I was super surprised at how quickly and quietly they went to bed on their own in their little fort.

About 45 minutes later my daughter comes down the stairs sobbing that her brother changed his mind and was too scared to sleep in the fort with her. She was so tired and just wanted to sleep in the fort she worked so hard to dream up and build. This could have been a complete disaster, but instead of getting all upset myself, I tried my best to compensate my time to help my kids figure out how to make what they needed to happen happen. My husband went to lay down with little brother, while I quickly and quietly helped my daughter set up the fort in her room, where she happily snuggled in and went to sleep.

All in all, by calmly dealing with the major catastrophes and quickly coming up with some alternative solutions, my husband and I were able to get back to a movie without much time lost. All I had to do was believe that yes, I could solve this situation with a happy ending for all.

Friday, January 7, 2011

piece together peace: january intention

We are off to a bit of a slow start for the year, but we decided to have peace about that...

This month we are going to try something a little different with the piece together peace project.  This month, we ask that you simply put out the intention for peace and see how it comes to you.  What I noticed with my own participation with this project is that even though I may set out a very specific intention for how I want to create peace in my life, most of the time I was surprised how peace profoundly showed up in ways that I had not imagined.  So I've enjoyed giving 'space' for peace to come to me in ways that were unexpected.  This month document your 'peace' with a photo, words, haiku, a collage, a drawing, a quilt or any way that allows you to authentically express yourself....that is, speak your peace.  Then, add your link to your blog post, flickr, or simply write it out in a comment below. 

Help us spread the peace by including the piece together peace button on your blog with a link back here. 

Walk the walk.

Be peace.

Be the piece.

Together...let's piece together peace.

Monday, January 3, 2011

live the questions

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.  Do not now seek answers which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them and the point is to live everything. Live the questions now ...." ~Rainer Maria Rilke


May the new year bring new possibilities, enthusiasm and light to your life!
We so appreciate each and everyone of you and feel incredibly blessed
that you are part of the vision and reality of threading light.
We will be back to our normal format next week...
Love and light~
Elizabeth and Lisa

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