The short answer is YES! One person can really change the world. How????( and I add question marks in quantity) might be a bigger topic :) The topic of Peace is so enormous that many of us are probably left feeling like we need a PhD or two or three, spiritual guru status or perhaps even world leader status to even approach or tackle the topic. Well maybe, but perhaps, maybe not. As I wrote the last chapter of my new book Percolate - Let Your Best Self Filter Through (Hay House 4/14/14), all I could think about was Peace. Whether it was inner peace, world peace, tolerance, civility, human kindness and awareness or any version, meaning or view of the word "peace", I felt like a new discussion was needed in our world today. To answer this question best, I needed my "handy-dandy, Blue's Clues-like notebook". I write a lot in journals and notebooks. I wrote the first draft of this blog in a hot pink, composition notebook. I took pen to paper the old-fashioned way. (I won't tell you what color pen I used and honestly sometimes I write in crayon or markers.) Anyway, I went into the kitchen to make a kiddo a snack and this just started writing itself. My husband took over snack-making and I grabbed my notebook and started writing. All the while and still right now, I've had a little argument with myself about whether or not I am "qualified" to even begin to approach this topic and it was that little voice inside me just telling me to start, write and see where it goes. So here goes: We are each messengers. We are all capable. Peace in any form starts with each of us. Peace is a me and you practice first, which then percolates. It's hard to feel peace and feel like we are operating our daily lives at the level of creating massive or even the tiniest drop of social shifts, when some mornings, for example, we don't wake up feeling grateful or happy, worthy or loved and more. Many of us feel the responsibility rests with someone else. Many of us feel like no matter what we do, it might not be enough. Others might feel like each minute they spend here should be dedicated to helping the larger picture. The questions are hard right now and many are entrenched in politics or social tremors that can feel too massive to tackle. I often feel that way too. To begin, ask yourself a few questions: Are you living your daily life with as much peace and purpose as you can? Are you being your best ever you? Are you percolating peace? What's my why? What's my passion? (Keep asking questions. Make them up for yourself. Those are just a few that I use. Note that you may not have solid answers...) Many of us get saddened, and perhaps even disgusted when we see things on the news like violence, situations that don't seem fair, unrest, people living in conditions that many of us can't fathom and more. It could be awesome if the news was filled with stories of awesome achievements, caused-focused assistance, and stories that fill us with joy and happiness. However, often, our hearts pour out to those sick, hurt, sad, disrupted and injured for no apparent, comprehensible reason. Wars are going on in places that we have to go to the map to look up or perhaps in school we learned different names for those now new countries. We may be scratching our heads just simply wondering "Why?" For most of my life, since I was a very little child, I've felt very sensitive, perhaps even intuitive, and very concerned when I feel or see these various situations and have often "piped up" for various causes, sometimes often just hoping, wishing and praying someone's life would change for the better. It's up to us individually, to bring these callings for change or help or cries for love, even if they are just a faint cry in your heart, soul and mind, to the surface. You may not have any real solid reason why you feel this way and you may feel like it is or was a job only Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr. Michael Beckwith, or Carl Studna could possibly tackle, but the responsibility rests in our own heart, soul, mind and surface first. While these folks and anyone else you want to add may be much more visible and their messages much more widely known, peace in all forms is up to us each individually first. When your heart, soul, mind and surface speak to you, in whispers or shouts or regular voices, are you listening? Are you giving your wisdom any credibility? Are you ignoring or are you acting on your instincts with meaning and purpose? How do you feel? It's up to each one of us individually to behave in accordance with basic human standards, and yes, I feel that is a massive, much larger topic. Call it civility, call it human dignity, human rights and more. I know personally, It makes my head, heart, soul, spirit, surface and energy spin and whole being just cringe, when I see wrong-doing. I'm not sure I know what all of those standards are precisely, but we, as individuals know if our heart, mind, soul and surface feel they are even slightly violated in any way. You most likely know what you will and will not tolerate and we all know when we have those feelings of wrong versus right and even the murky shades of change in between. Sometimes the question, "How?" enters the picture at about this time. Now, you may have just had a fight with your spouse, dislike your own neighbor or even family members. Perhaps you don't feel well this past week and you are behind in your school work or work. Your jaw may be dropping at what you just saw on television. You may feel some personal violation or unjust situation. You may feel like the percolator is unplugged an not brewing up your boldest blend. I get it. I want to use the word despite here, to remind us that despite what is going on, at the heart of us is love and compassion. We may have lost sight of it personally, professionally or otherwise and it's up to us to bring these back to ourselves so we can percolate them to others. Think with your heart. It's pausing for a moment to think about another human being. It's pausing to think about your own behavior perhaps. What comes from your heart, soul, mind, spirit and surface? It's sharing your light and love with yourself and others. It's your peaceful intentions and acts that percolate into the world. What do you do to help others? Are you embracing your space, time and energy to your highest percolating potential? Do you feel like you are loved and bring compassion and understanding to yourself and others around you?
Recently, I was at the grocery store in the pet food aisle. There was an older women on the floor basically crouched on her knees picking out cans of cat food. I was next to her picking out cat food as well, but had more of a bent at the waist form. She said, "You are lucky you can bend like that. I'm so old I can't do that at all. It hurts my back." I smiled and said, "You are lucky you can be on your knees, because my old gymnastic knees can't take that." We both laughed and helped each other up. She had instant tears in her eyes. Crying she said, "You know aging can be really hard. I lost my husband four years ago and things just aren't the same. I used to do this with him and since no one has even helped me when I've been stuck on the floor in pain in this aisle. It usually takes me a lot longer to get back up." It made me cry. We each had such tender souls and loving energy to each other. We chatted so long our feet began to hurt. I ended up giving her my phone number to call me, especially over the winter, if she needed help because her family doesn't live close. On my way out, I saw her in another line waiting, so as I was exiting, I also asked a young man to assist her to her car, which he so very kindly did. I share this story with you, not because of what I did, but rather to ask you to stop and pause when you encounter other human beings. You meet people in your life for a reason that might just not be clear to you at the time. Even in this day and age of everything so fast-paced, there are many many people who are slowed down and in need of assistance. You interactions with each person you encounter matter. Let me add that your call may be more state, country or worldly than a local chance meeting at grocery store. We all can do what we can. From the door you open - to the smile you share - to some other act of kindness -- these moments matter. The moments matter to you and others. Peace in any shape or form, starts with me and you and becomes us and we. Percolate Peace. (#PercolatePeace) Think with Your Heart Love and Hugs, Elizabeth