September 29th, 2014

Changing the world from the inside out.

Today I had a conversation with a friend that is unhappy about her current work situation.  She told me that she felt God had humbled her to make sure she understood how good other situations in her life were.  My peace choice was to encourage her to look at it from a different perspective.  I truly don’t believe God is “humbling” or “punishing” her in anyway.  I believe God is using her in ways she may never realize. 

Without saying a word I believe she is capable of transforming a negative environment into something more positive.  She already knows that she won’t have to stay in that place for very long, it is an opportunity to live her authentic truth and maybe change lives in a very big way.  Today I remembered that just living my life, just being at peace myself, can make a difference in the world. 

September 28th, 2014

The Things I Can Do

Starfish in the Pacific Ocean are dying.  Millions of them.  It has been called one of the largest mortality events scientists have ever seen.  The waters have become so warm that it is causing a disease to spread that causes them to basically curl up and die.  Scientist think it is spread from the mollusks they are eating.  Starfish that have been fed a different diet have not gotten sick. 

Today has been a day where several people I know are dealing with things that are just not joyful or fun, and then I heard the news about the starfish dying. It was the type of day where I wanted to somehow escape out of my own skin.  I wanted to fly high above the earth and search for beauty and peace and things that didn’t hurt my heart. 

Those types of days are difficult to get through, but I’ve learned a secret to make it easier.  Even on those days when it seems like there is nothing you can do…there is something you can do.  So my peace choice today was to shred paper for recycling.  Piles of junk mail and old letters now lay safely shredded in a blue recycling bag ready for pick up.  Shredding away my sadness I remembered the importance of not refusing to do the things I can do even when I’m frustrated about not being able to do things I want to do.  It was a small thing but it lifted my heart and thoughts and removed some clutter from my environment. 

Peace is always a choice.

P.S. Maybe there are some of you out there that CAN help the starfish.  Follow this link if you live or will be visiting an area where there are starfish: http://www.sickstarfish.com/static/help

September 26th, 2014

Still Sweet…

Sometimes a peace choice can turn your day around.  I was driving home thinking about what a rough day it had been when I saw an older couple walking down the road with a gas can in hand.  After mentally checking in with the universe I pulled over to offer them a ride.  We talked all the way to the gas station and back to their vehicle. 

They were so sweet and even though I think they were older than me, they were as giddy as teenagers.  They had been high school sweethearts that had been separated through time and reunited two years ago through a stroke of luck.  They are getting married next week.  They were so cute, and after I dropped them off I couldn’t stop smiling.  Love always wins. 

September 25th, 2014

Unwinding…

Ten ways to unwind after a busy, crazy day:

1.  Take a hot bath, drop lavender essential oils or bubble bath in the water.

2. Sit on the front porch and drink a tall glass of ice water to make sure you are not dehydrated.

3. Write a short letter to someone you love.

4. Take a walk.

5. Spend 20 minutes reading a good book.

6. Google funny jokes and laugh and laugh.

7. Write down 10 things you are thankful for.

8. Get some crayons and color in a coloring page.  Make a point to go out of the lines.

9. Put on happy music and dance.

10.  Take a nap. 

September 24th, 2014

Dog Gone Good Idea

So what would you do if you were on a plane, everyone has settled quietly and been asked to stay seated due to turbulence and suddenly a woman jumps up in a panic raising the overhead bins, pushing things around then after finding the item she was searching for, start frantically slamming the overhead bins to close them? That was the scenario I found myself in on a flight on Southwest airlines going from Phoenix, AZ to Portland, OR last Thursday night.  I’m a fairly calm person, but this woman was starting to concern me.  Luckily the person who really was very calm was the very tall steward who sweetly got her attention and said, “Let me show you how to do that.” Then he proceeded to give her a lesson on how to open both bins and rearrange the baggage so the bins could be closed easily. 

I was so impressed with his kind approach to her.  His gentle confidence had wonderful, peaceful impact.  It is easy to get freaked out in all sorts of circumstances, but taking a deep breath and realigning yourself can make a huge difference.  Most problems can be solved with a gentle slowness that allows you to think through how to work through an issue. Like this steward, I want to be the type of person that helps others to see that working together, learning together, we can work through tough situations and find solutions. 

Today I found this video of an airline in Amsterdam that is using a dog-gone clever way to help passengers that have lost items on their flights:

Dog Gone Good Idea!

So what would you do if you were on a plane, everyone has settled quietly and been asked to stay seated due to turbulence and suddenly a woman jumps up in a panic raising the overhead bins, pushing things around then after finding the item she was searching for, start frantically slamming the overhead bins to close them? That was the scenario I found myself in on a flight on Southwest airlines going from Phoenix, AZ to Portland, OR last Thursday night.  I’m a fairly calm person, but this woman was starting to concern me.  Luckily the person who really was very calm was the very tall steward who sweetly got her attention and said, “Let me show you how to do that.” Then he proceeded to give her a lesson on how to open both bins and rearrange the baggage so the bins could be closed easily. 

I was so impressed with his kind approach to her.  His gentle confidence had wonderful, peaceful impact.  It is easy to get freaked out in all sorts of circumstances, but taking a deep breath and realigning yourself can make a huge difference.  Most problems can be solved with a gentle slowness that allows you to think through how to work through an issue. Like this steward, I want to be the type of person that helps others to see that working together, learning together, we can work through tough situations and find solutions. 

Today I found this video of an airline in Amsterdam that is using a dog-gone clever way to help passengers that have lost items on their flights:

September 23rd, 2014

Old Spaghetti Factory

Love eating at a great place that also provides a way for customers to easily help others.  The Old Spaghetti Factory in Portland, Oregon has a beautiful ambiance, incredible service (thanks Jeremy for sharing your story about your military mom surprising you with an unexpected trip home when you were a kid) and they have a program that rewards customers that donate to the no kid hungry campaign!

Yamhill Christian Camp

September 18th, 2014

September 21 

Sunday is the International Day of Peace.  I will be celebrating with some wonderful new friends in Yam Hill, Oregon.  Today I created a poster of peace photographs for my school.  Peace is all around us…we choose need to choose to focus on it!

September 17th, 2014

Constitution Day

We the people, these are the words that make today special.  September 17 is U.S. Constitution day, commemorating the signing of a constitution that was unlike any that proceeded it.  A constitution that put the power of the government in the hands of the people.  A document that has lasted the test of time even though the writers could never have conceived how much the new nation they were forming would change.  There are a lot of things about America that can frustrate me, but not our Constitution.  I love the way it guides our country and empowers We The People the ability to vote on choices, including choices that promote peace.  

Today I dedicated 30 minutes of my day to read the entire U.S. Constitution.  It didn’t take long, but it was a great refresher to remember the beauty of choice. 

September 16th, 2014

Transforming Soldiers into Farmers

It makes sense, but I never really thought about the fact that older farmers are retiring and there are not enough younger men or women choosing to take their place. This is why the video I watched tonight about soldiers coming back from war being retrained to be farmers was so fascinating to me. 

It brings meaning to the verse from Isaiah 2:4: The LORD will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore. -New Living Translation

For more information about the program check out this video: Ground Operations: Battlefields into Farmfields

http://youtu.be/fNCDAMpxHXA

September 15th, 2014

How to know when you are ready to conquer the world:

Today I watched a video about Mehmed the Conqueror that told about how he knew that his people were ready to conquer Constantinople.  According to the video he disguised himself as a common person and went into the market place.  He went to the first stall and said, “I would like to buy some cheese, milk, and honey.” 

The proprietor of the stall said, “I will be glad to sell you some cheese, but I have met my quota for the day and so I ask that you go to my brother at the stall over there to buy the rest so he can make his quota.”  The Sultan bought the cheese and went to the second stall. Here he  asked for milk and honey. The second proprietor said, “I will be glad to sell you some milk, but I would like for you to buy the honey from the stall beside me because I have met my quota for the day so I would like for you to give your business to him and help him meet his.” 

The Sultan then knew that not only were his people ready to conquer Constantinople but their hearts were so pure they were ready to conquer the world if they wanted. 

I love that story. 

September 14th, 2014

Bearing Witness

“Think about it: virtually every atrocity in the history of humankind was enabled by a populace that turned away from a reality that seemed too painful to face, while virtually every revolution for peace and justice has been made possibly by a group of people who chose to bear witness and demanded that others bear witness as well.”
― Melanie Joy, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism: The Belief System That Enables Us to Eat Some Animals and Not Others

Next week I’m going to be speaking to a large gathering of women and in preparing for that event I ran across this quote so beautifully stated by Melanie Joy. It is a hard thing to do, to bear witness when witness needs bearing. To be authentic when it is so much easier to fit in to the expectations around us. It takes tremenous strength and courage to swim against the current, but it can be done.

September 12th, 2014

The Lift

Today I saw an older woman and her grandson hurriedly walking down the road.  The woman kept putting her finger out like she was trying to hitch a ride.  I stopped and pulled over and gave them a ride to the car mechanic that had her car.  She was desperately trying to get there before the shop closed.  To my shame, even though I try to be aware of the struggles someone goes through when they are a member of the working poor, sometimes I just forget how difficult life can be even though there have been several times in my life I’ve been in that place. 

Trying to get from one place to another consumes a lot of time.  Having a cell phone that no one can use to reach you because your minutes have run out or that you can use to call a shop and tell them you will be there to pick up your car.  No transportation to get your kid to baseball tryouts even if it would mean the world to them. Small indignities and trials that build up so quickly.

I watched as car after car passed that woman before I got to her.  Just seeing that made me really remember, and be thankful for all the people that reached out to me and to my family during difficult times in our lives.  It is a long road, and you never know where it will take you.  Sometimes you just need someone to walk beside you, or give you a lift, and sometimes you realize just how blessed you are that now you can be the one to give the lift to someone else.

September 11th, 2014

Small Barriers, Big Differences

What is the biggest barrier to peace in your life?  If you could change that barrier what would you have to do?  Would you be willing to put in the work it would take? 

Today I had a parent that told me to let them know if there was anything they could do to help their child be successful.  Honestly, I wanted to say, “The best thing you could do is forgive your ex-spouse.”

Most of the time the ability to achieve peace in our lives is within our reach, forgiveness, letting go, moving on, trusting the universe to work for our good.  Available for us to choose, any moment of our lives…