"Peace begins with me. The more peaceful I am inside, the more peace I have to share with others. World peace really does begin with me."
It is hard to fathom the kinds of things that happen in our world sometimes. Tragic situations take place and we feel numb, shocked, and aren't even sure how to fully process it all. We want to shield our children and their innocence from these senseless acts of violence. We want to protect them and hope that things will get better, and they won't have to live in a world where violence is a common occurrence. But when the world gets shaken by a violent act many of us wonder, can we protect our children? Is peace possible? We all can't change the world in an instant and we shouldn't expect to, because that expectation is what makes us feel helpless, like there is nothing we can do to make things better. The truth is, we do have the power to make a difference, one small step at a time, there just isn't a magic bullet. Yes, a magic bullet would be nice and what we all want to give our children. But instead of becoming bitter or angry that that isn't a reality, let's put our energy into what we can do, starting with ourselves.
Last week, I spoke about finding peace in the now rather than waiting for a "perfect" moment in time to enjoy a peaceful, euphoric paradise. Everything we want to give to others and the world starts by giving it to ourselves. If I can't let myself find acceptance and peace in the moment I have right here and now, how will I ever be able to feel it on a grander scale? If I am constantly miserable and stressed because I don't have the peace I think I need, how can I enjoy the peace I have right in front of me? So to make the world a more peaceful place, we start home in our hearts and work on radiating that energy outward to our family, friends, neighborhood, community and eventually our world.
Humans are social creatures that want to feel a sense of community, to know they aren't alone. Especially when going through challenges in life. I can't count the number of times I was going through a hardship and felt a sense of peace when I received empathy, love and the news that I wasn't alone in my experience. We all want to feel that we are not alone, we are human and just want to feel a sense of belonging and connection. No matter what our differences are, we can all work together to foster a kinship as a species. The best thing I think we can do for the well-being of the planet is to connect to our inner world and show compassion to ourselves. That way, we can demonstrate this to our kids so they can learn do the same.
I took some time to talk to my 6 year old girl about peace, what it means to her and how to find it in the moment. Our talk encouraged her to paint some beautiful pictures of what she thinks peace is. Using the magic of art and creation, I was able to have a special conversation about peace with my little girl and see her light up with excitement to share what it all means to her! I was amazed by the love and energy pouring out of her as she brought each art piece to me, excited about sharing her words and pictures of peace with other kids in the world. That's what changes the world. Helping nurture the spirit of a young human and encouraging them to grow, express themselves and share their love and message with others. Try this with your kids and experience the joy and beauty of what they express! Here is one of her paintings, so simple, beautiful and honest:
Peace begins with me...and you..and each and every human being on this planet. If everyone can realize this and start within, we can build a culture of peace that is pervasive, and supported by each person. One seed at a time, building powerful, loving roots that can't be destroyed. We can stand together and face the fears, hate, and violence with compassion, love and respect. We can remember that nothing in life is promised to us except the power to choose how we get to live in the moment. When someone acts out in violence, we can choose to not hate back, and stand together in love to bring peace by supporting those who were affected.
Hope you take a few minutes to think about the question below and discuss it with your children. Ask them to express their feelings through art, writing, music or any other way they prefer. We would love to see what they create!
Here are some students from The Khabele School in Austin, TX, who share what peace means to them:
What does peace mean to you and how do you find peace in the moment?
Share your response with us in two ways:
Comment on this post below.
We truly appreciate your participation and support!
Wishing everyone in the world, peace, love and happiness in each and every moment we are blessed with here on this amazing planet.
Have a great day!