Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 76 A Second Chance

Today I had sort of a second chance at a situation I posted about in October. I was in a museum in DC when a Mom got very angry with her son. I didn’t hear the exact words that she said because she said them in a low voice, but they were threatening and she had gripped him by the arm in a none too gentle way. I had a similar experience in a parking lot outside a store in October and didn’t know how best to react. Today I remembered that experience and remembered the judgment I had felt toward the mother, which I’m sure didn’t contribute anything positive to the situation. So today I chose to react differently.

I stood calmly a few feet away and continued to look at the display in the room we shared. Rather than judge her for her anger, I simply found my center of peace and focused on letting it flow from me. I also chose to remain there to allow the peace to continue to flow but also to stand witness to that moment. She knew there was someone else there and the child knew there was someone else there. I don’t mean stand witness as in a witness to a crime, but more to hold the space for peace in that moment and to be a reflector for each of them to see themselves in, for whatever that was worth. I stood calmly and peacefully where I was, looking around until after they left the room.

I will never know if they felt the peace I offered in that moment, but I felt it and I felt the difference reacting differently made in me. I can only hope that it created an opportunity for peace to be felt for them as well.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 75 Contrast as a Teacher

Today was not a day filled with Peace. There was no particular reason for it to be less than peaceful, at least not one that I can put into words. It just seemed that even the air around me was not peaceful. It could be all the chaotic energy of people traveling and stuck in traffic or the chaotic energy of the end of the year, but either way it left me feeling decidedly less than peaceful. It even got the point where I was thinking to myself, I’m tired of being peaceful all the time! Now that’s me pretty darn far out of my center of peace. And I couldn’t easily find my way back to it despite all my practicing. It was as if I simply couldn’t remember any of my practices of peace. That is not a pleasant feeling for me. At some point though I had to just be ok with where I was and try not to interact with people from that place but allow myself to feel it. We all feel that way sometimes and there isn’t much point in denying it. The key is what you do with it.

Well today what I did with it was feel frustrated, scream at the sky, rant at my computer and just plain feel unlike myself. As uncomfortable as that was, sometimes that’s the best I can do. So I allowed myself to feel as unpeaceful as I was feeling and really notice the discomfort of that. I didn’t like it, but it did show to me how much happier I feel when I am living from a place of peace. When I am living from and choosing from peace I don’t often scream at the sky! I guess contrast is a valuable teacher even if it is uncomfortable.

Now I just have to figure out how to not allow the chaos of the holidays or the world around me be such a distraction from my path of peace. From now on, at least I will have that contrast to refer back to as incentive.

I also had the opportunity to look at another aspect of it when my beloved gently reminded me of how intensely I have been looking at and thinking about peace for over two months now through this Pledge of Peace and Love. As he said it I also realized that I hadn’t blogged in a few days. Was there a connection? I know that this Pledge truly does keep the focus on Peace and Love on the forefront for me. How do I keep it there if I’m not blogging for a few days as I did over the holidays, or worse yet when this Pledge ends? After all it was only supposed to be through the end of year. I’ll be pondering that this week, hopefully from a place of peace.

For now I will be grateful for the contrast that showed me how truly beautiful that center of peace is. I’m grateful as well for this Pledge that has given me the opportunity to place Peace and Love so front and center in my life that to be without them even for an afternoon felt so terribly uncomfortable.

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 74 A Gift of Love

On Christmas day I received a gift beyond measure. My youngest daughter gave me a gift in a lovely green box. When I opened the box I found written on the bottom of the box the words, Look up. When I looked at the inside of the lid of the box I found the word Love. She had given me the gift of love. It was a most amazingly beautiful gift. Love given so freely and so purely and so joyfully. A box full of love was just exactly what I wanted for Christmas! I must have been very good last year.

It also served as a beautiful reminder of the true meaning of Christmas – a day that celebrates a gift of love to the world. And according to my daughter, all I need do to receive that gift is look up. How profoundly simple. I might say look within but really it’s the same thing. Look to the source of all Love and live from there.

I’m so grateful to my sweet daughter for the reminder and for a gift that so touched my heart. I hope that you received a gift of love as well.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 72 Christmas Eve ~ The Light Within

On Thursday on the Solstice, I rejoiced in the return of the physical light. Tonight I rejoice in the return of the light of Spirit. For me Christmas is an opportunity each year to not only celebrate the birth of Jesus, but also to celebrate that same light in each of us that shone so brightly in him. It is an opportunity to allow that light to shine with nothing covering it, nothing dimming its brilliance.

For me it is a time of deep gratitude for the remembering that we each have a spark of divinity within us. I rejoice in seeing it in others and I rejoice in remembering it within myself. There is such joy in connecting with that light, sitting with that light and allowing it to warm me and radiate from me. I believe that each choice I make from Love and Peace fans that flame within me and makes it leap ever higher.

I think there is another reason that Christmas helps us remember that light within ourselves; children. A birth of a great light is celebrated on Christmas day and through the joy we see in children’s eyes we see reflected the light born within each heart. Babies and children are closer to their joy that most adults. Whether they are consciously aware of it or not, they seem to be more connected to Spirit than most adults. I think we are working toward a time when that shifts (hooray!), but I think that is part of what helps adults remember the light at Christmas – we see it all around us reflected in the images of the newborn babe and on the faces of the children in our lives. What a joy it is to see that pure light shining forth and what a joy it is to feel it flicker within me in response.

The remembering of the light within is a gift I hope each heart receives no matter what you celebrate this time of year.

I think it’s perfect that tonight on Christmas Eve it will be a new moon. All the better for each of our stars to shine brightly forth in celebration! Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 70 From Deepest Darkness There Came Great Light

For those of you who haven't seen this on Facebook yet. This is my gift of Love for the holidays...

This time of year is always inspiring for me; the returning of the light, the joy overflowing, the kindness shared, the love expressed. It is always the returning of the light that seems to inspire me in writing. This year was no different. I offer the story below not just to those who celebrate Christmas but to all who celebrate the light. It is my gift to each of you, in celebration of the light within each of us. Enjoy in Joy!

May your holidays be filled with the Peace of knowing and the Joy of wonder! ~ Lynda

From deepest darkness there came great light.

It matters where the light falls

A manger is a trough from which horses and cattle are fed. Once a manger was padded with hay that a baby might rest upon it and the world be fed. Gentle hands laid him to rest upon a bed of straw and a great light from deepest darkness fell upon him.

They did not know that it matters where the light falls, that if it falls upon a heart so open, it will find there not just a home, but a mirror to reflect it back. When they looked upon him they saw the great light shining back through his heart, his smile, his touch, his words. But it matters where the light falls. For some, the reflected light from deepest darkness warmed and illuminated them and they felt great and abiding joy. For others the light was blinding, and they could not look directly at it. They feared it because they knew that to look at the sun could do great harm. They didn’t know that the son meant them no harm.

It matters where the light falls. Some saw the light from afar and knew it was a beacon that could guide them. They let the light fall upon their hearts and found it would lead them across vast expanses and bring them at last to the source of the light. And so it did. It brought them to a tiny manger from which they were fed, one small heart reflecting the light for all to see. For that is what he was from the moment he was laid in the manger, simply a reflector of the great light from deepest darkness.

It matters where the light falls. If it falls upon the doors of an Inn that are closed, the light will warm and illuminate only the door, not able to enter across the threshold.

That night long ago, it fell upon a stable whose doors were swung wide and whose creatures were welcoming. That night it found an open manger, a receptive place, for the light to be laid with gentleness upon a soft bed created with love. That night the great light that sprung from deepest darkness came to rest upon the heart of a child. His heart, which was so great in one so small, welcomed the light and there was immeasurable joy.

His heart shone forth with the light. His heart was the light. His heart is each heart.

The great light from deepest darkness ever shines and ever touches all, it matters only whether it falls upon a closed door or upon a place with doors open and a manger waiting where the light can rest and feed all.

Lynda Allen
December 17, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 69 I'll have peace with my fries please

Today a funny thing happened. I am constantly in a state of wonder about how the Universe works and arranges things.

On my walk this morning at the farthest point from my house I noticed several pieces of trash along the sidewalk. It made me think that I should bring a bag with me on my walks to clean up things like that as I go. After all it is all a part of my neighborhood, my community. I didn’t pick them up though because I didn’t have a bag. I just made a mental note to bring a bag in the future and hoped the people who lived there would pick up the trash. As I reached my own house I noticed a piece of trash on the sidewalk. I smiled to myself and stopped to pick it up.

It was a McDonald’s french fry box that had been flattened. I picked it up gingerly. As I looked at it I noticed that it said in large letters, “I want fries with _____.” It was a contest. You fill in the blank with what you want with your fries and submit it for the chance at a $25,000 prize. I didn’t really think much of it but as soon as I got to my front door the words came loud and clear in my head, “I want fries with World Peace.” I laughed and thought that would be funny, but by the time I got inside the house the words and thought were flowing. So I typed up why I wanted World Peace with my fries and how I wanted to do that with McDonald's. I told them I’m a writer and I want to write a booklet about peace for them to put in all their restaurants and that I want the fries box to have a peace sign on it and quotes about peace from around the world. Why not?

Who knows what will happen with it, but the opportunity fell right in front of me and who am I to question opportunity? My heart led me and I followed. After all that’s what this pledge is about. And if there is one person at McDonald's who reads the entry and thinks more about peace, that’s spectacular. If they like the idea and put a booklet about peace in all their restaurants so that lots of people think more about peace that would be beautiful. I will let you know how it goes! You may get to vote for it one day next year…

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 68 Celebration of Life, Ruth Carver

I went to a celebration of life service for Ruth Carver that was the perfect demonstration of how a life lived from love can touch so many lives so powerfully.

The service was for a friend’s Mom. I didn’t have the good fortune to know her while she was with us, but after the service I feel like I know her now. She was outspoken yet kind. She stood up for what she thought was right and even sometimes stood up for a different perspective just to make sure all sides were considered. She was an advocate for life long learning. In each picture they displayed of her there was a twinkle in her eye! She loved her family deeply and would do whatever she could to encourage and support them without judgment.

Each person who spoke about her at the service spoke with love and reverence, with joy and sorrow. They were each grateful that she had been a part of their lives and for whatever time they had shared with her. She had touched all of them deeply; she had been an inspiration to each of them.

She had lived from love and it showed in each person who knew her. What a beautiful legacy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 67 Stoplight

I was sitting at a stoplight today and noticed in my side mirror a pickup truck pulling a small open trailer. I remembered another time when I had been at the same stoplight behind a similar truck and trailer.

That day I was running late for work and the person with the trailer was driving rather slowly because the trailer was full – he was most likely heading to the dump which was nearby. I remember the day because it was an excellent learning for me.

I had been behind the truck for a few blocks and he was going entirely too slow for my liking. I got stuck at that light that day and of course it was his fault! I sat there at the red light fuming at him. Thank God I had that moment though because it gave me the time to notice how tense and angry I was. I stopped my train of thought and asked myself, is it really his fault that I got out the door late?

It was a moment of transition for me, a moment when I shifted and became more conscious of my choices and thoughts. I realized I had a choice. I could let go of the stress and simply wait for the light to change, knowing it was my own choices that made me late that day, not his. I wished him well on his way. I was so glad I got to shift the thoughts I was directing at him before he drove away.

Today as I was at that same light and remembering that day years ago, I wondered what if he had been able to feel and hear my thoughts? What if the people around us could hear our thoughts? Would we continue thinking the way we do? I felt kind of sick at the idea of him feeling all the anger I had been directing at him. The sad part for me is that I know that energy did reach him. He may not have been aware of it, but it did. I’m sorry that I touched his life with anger. I wouldn’t want to touch anyone’s life that way.

I’m deeply grateful to him and his trailer full of trash. I learned a valuable lesson then and today I saw it more deeply. How am I touching someone’s life today? My intention is to touch lives with love and peace. Thank you to the man in the truck for touching mine with the grace of learning.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 66 Caroling

Tonight I went Christmas caroling with a large group of people. I hadn’t been in years. I think many of us who hadn’t been caroling in a long time or ever, felt a little strange at first. I quickly realized the amazing gift of love we brought to each house and the gift of love we received in return.

It is an annual event for some in the group and so there were a couple houses where they expected us and even one that had cookies waiting for us! Many other families though were completely surprised to find people singing at their door. If you could only have seen their faces with me! The delight, surprise and wonder of finding us there was beautiful. They brought their children and dogs out into the chilly night air to listen. Their smiles were worth every chilled finger and nose. I was brought to tears several times watching their reactions.

I knew we had set out with joy in our hearts, but I had not anticipated the outpouring of love that would occur. Voices raised in song often bring me to tears with the harmony and unity of the voices and the emotion they can carry. Tonight they carried love and love was sincerely offered in return – the light in a woman’s eyes and smile as she held her son’s hand on the porch, the happiness on a man’s face as he held his daughter in his arms and they listened together, a family of four on their porch not only for the song we sang for them but also for the one we sang at their neighbor’s house. It left me speechless.

Love offered in song without expectation and love returned with joy. What a beautiful, if not silent, night.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 62 Peace, Lynda

In almost all of my emails I sign them Peace, Lynda. I could just make that my email signature and not have to type it each time, but I chose not to. I enjoy the act of typing it to each person. I feel like I’m genuinely wishing them peace and sending them peace. Is it possible to send peace electronically? Yes and no. Does the peace reach them through cyberspace? Probably not. Does it reach them through actual space? Yes. Because each time I type it there is intention behind it. There is the energy of peace intended for a specific person or people. I think that intention does carry that energy to them.

Of course, I don’t stop and think that intention every time I type it. Sometimes I’m rushed and sometimes I’m already thinking of the next email I have to write. Alas, I am human. However, it is part of my practice of peace. It serves as a reminder to me each day of what I am sending out into the world. I’ll admit that when I began signing emails that way I wasn’t nearly as clear about why I was choosing to do it. I simply was practicing peace and using my words to express that. Now I better understand the power of the intention behind it and what it carries forth into the world.

All the more reason to continue the practice and to let it serve as a reminder each time I type it.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 61 Peace Behind the Wheel

I was writing the other day about how the path of peace can sometimes be challenging. I didn’t realize just how challenging until I put the word Peace on my license plate!

First of all, you have to understand that I’m from Jersey. My Jersey take on peace is that your path of peace really come down to just two choices – two fingers making a peace sign or just one finger making a less than peaceful sign! Simple right?

I thought that I was pretty well along on my path of peace when I got my new license plate a year or so ago. I was wrong. Apparently my car was my last stand for a place where peace didn’t have free reign. I had become a far more peaceful driver than I used to be, no gestures and rarely any raised voices but still once I put that license plate on I quickly noticed where I wasn’t being so peaceful while driving.

It’s actually an excellent reminder to drive peacefully. Every single time I even think about driving aggressively or explaining, from the safety of my car, how the other drivers ought to get the heck out of my way, I remember the license plate. Then I imagine the faces of the other drivers as I zoom past them. In my mind I can see them roll their eyes and take my behavior as an affirmation of their skepticism about the possibilities of world peace. It may seem like a lot of pressure to put on myself, but the idea of anyone losing faith in the idea of peace because of my choices is enough to take my breath away. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that it’s enough to make me find my breath. It is enough to make me slow down, breathe, be polite and realize that I will get where I’m going even if I drive more mindfully. I will probably get there with less stress too.

The other drivers may never know the internal choices I make each day as I drive, but at least I know that when they see my license plate they have a chance to get a positive reminder of peace. That’s enough to make even the Jersey girl in me offer up a peace sign.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 60 Is Love Alive?

A friend shared a song this morning called Winter Song. There was a line in it that jumped out at me, Is love alive in me? What a beautiful question. My answer was simple, yes. I love how that statement feels, love is alive in me.

Love is not just a feeling, not just a noun, love is an energy, love is alive. Love enlivens me. It is the source of life, it animates my human existence, it is my soul in motion through me. Love is in every cell of my body. Love is the core of who and what I am.

Living is simply an expression of that love. To live fully I need only let love flower from me, allow myself to be a bloom of love in the world. I cannot adequately express the joy of living the full expression of love. In the moments when I do fully live it I feel us all lifted, feel us all connected, feel the world of love that is possible.

This is why I am here, to allow love to be alive through me. Hallelujah!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 59 Peace is every step

Living a life of peace is a beautiful gift and I find it gets easier every day that I practice, but getting easier and being easy are not the same thing. I love the book Peace is Every Step by Thích Nhất Hạnh. It is a wonderful guide to living a more peaceful life every day. It has helped me immensely. Still, I find that walking peace in every step is work!

It takes a commitment to living consciously in each moment, which of course is a goal of mindfulness. However, in the society I grew up in that was not what we were taught. It wasn’t that I was taught to live non-peacefully, but I wasn’t raised believing that I was creating my life in each moment with the choices I made. Quite honestly when I did begin to look at that as a way of living years ago, I didn’t really like it too much! It meant taking responsibility for my life in great and small ways. It meant that I couldn’t just point my finger at someone else and blame them for my life. It meant that I had a choice in each moment about how I would react to the events in my life.

It was work. It still is. The practicing shows up in all areas of my life. There are times as a parent when I would love to just say, “Because I say so!” Yet, that’s not how I’ve chosen to show up as a parent. We talk about issues that come up. We look at them from different sides. We talk to each other peacefully (most of the time) and we listen peacefully to the other person. They each have a voice in our family discussions.

I’m sure it’s not easy for them sometimes. For instance, when they are stressed about a project for school with a looming deadline and are feeling angry and consequently are short with everyone, I gently ask them when the assignment was given and when they started working on it. The answers to these questions are generally reluctantly given. Eventually we come around to the fact that it’s not the teacher’s fault or the fault of the weather or the cats or anything like that. In fact there is no fault it was simply a choice they made to wait until the last minute to work on the project and there are consequences to that choice. While this may not be what they want to hear at that moment, they understand that they have a choice. That pays off because we then also talk about the choice they have now that they are down to the wire, they can continue to stress about it or they can focus and do the best they can. It’s almost always less bleak than it seemed to them once they take a breath and refocus. It’s not always easy though walking that path with them, but it’s always worth it. It’s amazing to see what they can do once they realize they really do have choices and really can create their lives through those choices.

Of course it also means that I can’t then turn around the next day and be short with them about a choice that I made. We definitely shine the light on the path for each other, which is a wonderful and challenging gift.

So while I love practicing peace with every step, sometimes those steps do seem to be uphill. Fortunately, the view of my life from the peak is breathtaking!

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ 58 Gratitude

I am blessed. I have many wonderful people in my life. I am grateful for the time I get to spend with them. Tonight I had the opportunity to spend some quiet time with two new friends. It is such a gift to spend quality time with people, to get to know them on a deeper level, to become better acquainted with their hearts and to share my own heart. Last weekend I had an amazing girls' night with six friends. It was a night filled with laughter, sharing, foot rubs, popcorn and just plain snuggling on the couch. I love that I have girlfriends I can snuggle with!

One of the best parts of all these relationships is the gratitude I have for them in the moment of the experience of them. I think that is because this year has been full of reminder after reminder about how precious life is and how precious each moment with loved ones is.

Gratitude and love go hand in hand. Gratitude is an expression of the love I’m feeling. Gratitude is an affirmation of love. I give thanks for each of the beautiful hearts that I share this path with; your light in my life is a gift beyond measure.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 56 Sacred Moments

An interesting day. I was listening to an interview on the radio today. There was some discussion of the interviewee’s travels to sacred places. I had that pang of, oh I’d love to travel to some of the worlds sacred places and immerse myself in that energy. At first there was a longing to it and a wishing. Then I remembered the title of a book called Everyday Sacred and I realized I was wishing for something I already have.

Each moment is sacred. Every place I walk was touched by ancestors. There is nowhere I can be where Spirit is not. Everything and every moment is sacred. Then I remembered the demonstration I had received of sacred moments just this morning.

As I was walking along the sidewalk some movement caught my eye. I looked down to the swath of grass between the sidewalk and the road and there was a mourning dove sitting there. It didn’t fly away when I looked at it. I stopped. I was concerned at first that it was hurt. I was standing only a foot or so away from it, but still it didn’t take flight. I didn’t see any signs of injury. It just stood there looking at me and I stood there looking back. It was a beautiful moment of intimacy being that near to each other and there was such openness in my heart as I looked at my bird friend. Love passed between us as we looked at each other, sensed each other. I was grateful to get to be so near to the beautiful creature without scaring it. I couldn’t help but smile with the joy of that moment. I didn’t recognize it as sacred until I was wishing for those sacred places they spoke of on the radio. It was then that I went back and felt that moment with the dove and knew the sacredness of it and knew that it is available in each moment.

Even in moments of sorrow, like when later in the day I heard about another shooting at my alma mater Virginia Tech. I know that today’s incident was not the same as the one that claimed 33 lives, but the sorrow for those involved is the same. Each life makes ripples and so does the loss of life. So I took a few moments to honor the sacredness of the lives lost there today. I was grateful for the reminder I had this morning of the sacredness of each moment, but only now as I’m writing these words am I struck by the fact that it was a mourning dove that served as my teacher.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 55 Voice

Tonight I watched some friends sing at an open mic night. I love to hear people sing, especially those moments when the voice is the only instrument you hear. There is something so powerful about a voice, it doesn’t matter whether is gravely or pure and true, as long as it’s coming from the heart and soul. It transports and inspires me.

Here’s the thing though, I always sit there and think, How brave! I know I’m not the only one in the audience thinking that. Yet, why should it take such courage to share our voices? One of our first great accomplishments in life is to learn to speak, to use our voice. When then do we become self conscious of it? When and why does it suddenly take courage?

It is a gift that we each have that is unique and beautiful. Yes, of course I’m not just talking about singing anymore. I’m talking about sharing our hearts, our souls through our words, sharing our insights and knowings, sharing our dreams and desires. These are things that should carry us to great heights, we should be able to soar on the notes of our own songs and celebrate how they weave together with others to create a universal harmony.

I think part of our hesitation is that we have not been taught to be good listeners. It seems we rarely take the time to be still when another is talking and truly hear them. If someone is honoring us by speaking from their heart surely we should honor them in return by listening from ours.

From a place of love I will share my voice and from that same place of love I will hear yours.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 54 Moon Lessons

Over the past week or two I’ve been watching the moon. I had never really thought about it before, but I love that in terms of the moon the opposite of full is not empty, but new. I love that perspective. I think it's a way of looking at things that we should adopt.

I have thought a lot about the idea of empty and full this year and truly have been watching the moon all year while pondering it. I wonder why it didn’t strike me until now the importance of the words we use to describe her.

When she is new she is neither empty nor hidden. She is there in the sky just as ever she was, only sitting quietly in the stillness, in the shadow. For me it’s as if she has turned her face away from us and gone within herself, only to slowly reemerge stage by stage, brighter and brighter. She has gone within to the light she can only truly see from there, the light that is always shining on that other side of herself and she returns to her fullness with the light shining forth, reflecting that light to all. What a wonderful teacher is the moon!

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 53 Indeed

Yesterday I was thinking about the word indeed. It is a word that has crept into my everyday usage over the past ten years. Until yesterday though I had never really thought about it. As my friends know I like to look at and play with words so it’s a surprise I never looked at it this way before.

It’s pretty straightforward, you break the word down and it becomes In Deed. But when I finally stopped and looked at that I was blown away. I realized the power of it when I looked at it that way. I am a firm believer in the idea that our thoughts and words have a power and energy of their own. So when I looked at indeed as In Deed I realized what I had been saying over the years. I had been calling for my yes to be shown in my actions, in my deeds. I had been calling for everything I applied the word to, to be shown in its deeds rather that its words. Underneath it all it is a word that calls for one to live life in integrity, for what you speak to be what you live, for what you believe to be expressed through your actions, your words, your choices, your deeds.

Some part of me must have understood the deeper meaning of the word because I began using it as my spiritual journey deepened. Part of me would say, my mind has finally caught up! Though I think the truth is that it is finally time for me to consciously look more deeply at it. I knew it was important as I noticed it cropping up in my writing and speaking but never stopped to consider it consciously. I just allowed it to be there and took note of it. Now I will be more conscious of the use of the word and what it means to me and how I am living it in my life and how I can live it more deeply in deed.

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 52 Path to Peace Within

I had to practice peace pretty intensely this past Friday night. I received some distressing news that I couldn’t do anything about. I had no power to help or fix or heal. It was a situation that was unsettling and sad. It was a night I had all to myself too, so it was very quiet.

It was the kind of thing that knocked me out of my peace and the worry it brought with it made it challenging to remember to return to a place of peace. Worry can definitely be a distraction from my inner place of peace. I think it makes it difficult because worry takes me right to my head and out of my heart. While in my head I can come up with all sorts of scenarios that are distressing!

Eventually, once I could feel the stress in my body and could notice the stories my mind was creating I remembered I had a choice. While I was still concerned for my friend I was able to use the energy of that concern more constructively. After all at the root of the concern was love. So I focused on the love rather than the worry. I sent all the love I could knowing that it would touch her in some way, knowing that sending love to her rather than worry would help her far more.

Of course it helped me too. Once I focused on love I was able to find a little peace with the situation. I was still unsettled and feeling sadness, which of course is ok, I just wasn’t letting it run away with me and so I was able to sit with those feelings more peacefully. It was good practice in both love and peace, and goodness knows I needed both that night.

All my practice over the years of remaining in or returning to a place of peace have helped me know the path to peace within myself which aids me in returning to that feeling and place within myself when I really need it. The knowing of that anchor of peace within me has been such a gift. That gift and the returning to the focus on love was what enabled me to sleep that night.

Since then, I have also been focusing on my friend knowing the path to peace within herself and knowing that she is loved. I hope that she can feel both.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 50 Hey Lynda!

You may wonder what some of the observations I share have to do with peace and love. For me, each song sung by a child or a bird or the light on a tree or in a person’s eyes, is a heart opening moment. They are reminders of how it feels to have my heart wide open and that is how I choose to live my life. I need reminders because sometimes I forget, after all I am human. There are things in this human existence which encourage us to keep our hearts closed, safe behind walls. I tore those walls down long ago, but there are still occasions when they try to reestablish themselves. Those moments of wonder or joy on my walks and throughout my day blow like a breeze through my heart and I remember the freedom and freshness of living with it wide open.

It is with a heart wide open that I can live from peace and love. I don’t succeed in every instance, because like I said I am human. However, each time I meet a heart opening moment my heart recognizes it and checks in with me. Most times we simply rejoice together in the wonder and joy of the moment. Other times it’s a wake up call saying, Lynda, are you paying attention?

It was an interesting road to get here, but so worth the journey of learning to trust that heart and its Hey Lyndas. I’m so grateful I listened.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pledge of Peace and Love ~ Day 49 It Matters Where the Light Falls

It matters how the light falls. There is a big difference between whether or not the light touches an object directly and whether it is lit by ambient light. The leaves that the light fell directly upon were visible in detail, in rich color, they appeared illuminated. The leaves that were lit only by the general light of morning were dull and appeared without detail.

It was a fascinating reflection to compare the effect of standing in full light or not. The tree (unless it’s an Ent) can’t move itself into the light. I can. I can choose to stand in the full light of day or linger in the half light or shadows. All are ok, but when I looked at the tree my eye was drawn to the detail and color of the leaves in the light. I knew the warmth they felt. They were radiant.

I choose to stand in full light, blinding though it may sometimes be. I choose to share my full colors. I choose to let the details of my heart be seen. And as I saw the tree do, I will radiate that light back into the world.