Thursday was a profound day for me. I went to Nia Dance (Nia-Dance, helps to heal the body, spirit, mind and emotions), with a heavy heart after another shooting incident the night prior. 14 lives lost in San Bernardino, senseless killings, and there’s no way to even wrap myself around it. It happened again, and saying prayers this time did not seem like enough. I know praying was the right thing to do and I wanted more, to take action- to do something, to wake up more, to feel it all and to find some peace in the midst of it all. I wanted to feel God in my heart, the Spirit in my beingness, and to have compassion in a big and deep way- to feel the hurt, and to truly be with it all authentically.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
The weather was stormy in Ashland, wind swirling around, chilling cold, rain and gray skies. As we all showed up for dance on this morning I think most of us were feeling the same way… heavy hearts, and we knew enough to show up. I know it sounds like showing up for dance, big deal. In the midst of all that is happening in a painful, dark and barbaric way on this planet, dance? And I say YES, dance, and I will explain why. To start, it is a form of action for peace. We dedicated the dance class to world peace, and we came together in a circle and spoke about our hearts hurting, spoke of our dismay and spoke of our prayers to all involved. We dedicated the class to world peace, to peaceful movements and we allowed our hearts to open. We allowed love to come through and to bless the world in the best way we could.
“Peace – It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
– PRIYANKA ANNEIES
“Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm”
There were about 20 of us, and we danced, we danced and blessed each other, we danced and sent love to the world, we danced wild to feel our freedom in that moment. We danced tenderly to bless spirit and we danced together. We also danced individually to bless ourselves, to move to our own unique rhythm. For that hour and a half, I felt aligned to my heart, on purpose, and I felt in action. I felt blessed for the experience to bless and send peace and love to the world. I understood how it needed to start in me first. I felt it and as my heart opened I could send out peace to the world. I realized this is action, this is a call to peace, this is what I can do exactly in this moment. I felt the presence of spirit in the room, to quote the Bible, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Being in community for all of us is big, to live this life awake community is key, it’s nurturing.
After class I wanted to share this, so I called my fiancé and met him for lunch at his new office. I took a couple small gifts of love, went to the coffee shop and wrote this all out to share and to bring peace in my heart as I wrote it. In the afternoon I went and got a few Subway sandwiches and a few Starbucks gift cards to give out to those in need. It was something I could do that day, and it felt right when I allowed it to be just as it was- letting go of perfection and old beliefs that small things don’t have a big impact. I noticed how people kept smiling at me, then I realized I had a big smile. It’s contagious and I felt a lot of compassion for all of us.
I used to think if I couldn’t do something really big to change the world than is it really worth it? I realized now that it’s all of us doing what we can.
“World Peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think the manifestation of human compassion.”
– Dalai Lama
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
– Gautama Buddha
I kept thinking of the Dalai Lama that day. When I heard him speak for the first time he emphasized how peace starts in us individually, then in our families, then in our communities, then in the world. I felt that today at my core, and I thought if everyone did just what they could do for peace how quickly this world would change. A smile, a gift of love, compassion, a heartfelt conversation, a worldly deed. It could be anything that brings peace to our hearts, for that’s the energy that this world is calling for, and the change starts individually with each of us. To raise the vibration and do what we can do. Like one of the famous quotes from Gaudi, “BE the Change that we wish to see!”
It can all be so overwhelming during times like these, and it’s hard to see in the midst of the storm, that when tragedies happen, peace is needed in an active way. We need an active peace that takes reflection and courage to stand for love, to be compassionate. I believe we are called to act in what we want to see, in love….. to dive into hate only perpetuates hate.
“Darkness Cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King Jr
As I was in class that morning, outside was all stormy, gray, rainy , with the wind swirling around. In class we were in that nest of peace, dancing in love, dancing for world peace, being the peace in the midst of the storm, it felt surreal. I really did get it in a whole new way. I got what the Dalai Lama was talking about with peace starting within, what Martin Luther King stands for in being a place for love. I could see that if all of us took this kind of action in whatever form that speaks to our hearts, change will happen, and in us peace has already taken shape. We are that powerful, we are THAT, and it’s time we all stepped into our magnificence, into our divine birthright and stand for peace in a fierce way!!!! The time is now, and our purpose is calling us to continue to step into us, we are more powerful than we can imagine. We are infinite beings, and the small deeds of love and kindness are the most powerful, that is truly where change starts.
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
– Mother Teresa
We all know what that is for each of us, to be in a place of peace, even if it’s just for a few moments. It’s usually when we give to others, be of service, take extra care of ourselves, and love.
Let’s start looking in!!!!! What can we actively do today to bring peace to ourselves and out to others? What would it look like if we each asked ourselves that every day and acted on it to the best of our ability!?!?! It could be a prayer, a smile, a kind deed, being kind to ourselves, telling a family member we love them, sending love to the world, a letter to our congressman or woman, whatever it is for each of us, it’s perfect!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
– Marianne Williamson
YES, and we are that powerful, and an excellent place for us to start or continue is for us to be true to us. Live from our hearts and see what makes us come fully alive. Do what makes our souls smile.
Think about Nelson Mandela, when his heart softened in prison, he found peace in the midst of the storm. He was locked up and tormented by the guards, but he saw that he was in charge of his innerness. He found areas of peace in the midst of it all, his beloved garden, his writings, and his conversations with others had a great impact on him and others. He changed a nation. When he left prison he was asked if he was angry about how he was treated he said he would still be in prison if he was angry. His peace affected others in a big way and he became the first black man to be president in South Africa. He is still an incredible inspiration to so many! He started off as angry and fighting hate with hate, then became peaceful and understood that peace and equality for all was what was needed.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
To summarize and to try to bring this all together for each of us, we are to move to a place of action from our hearts and it is unique to each one of us. It is a place of love, a place of peace, for ourselves and then out into the world. We have the power, it is the I Am that is with us, the Christ consciousness. We are here for a reason, you are the divine individually expressed and you are so unique that no one is exactly like you. We are here for a reason. Come from our hearts and live true to ourselves. It is key to us building a world that works for everyone. Blessings!
Read Quote again….!!!!!
“Only the heart knows the songs which were never sung, the music which was never written.”