And you thought we weren’t listening

Be pretty. Be smart. Be strong. But please, please, please, won’t you be quiet too?

Hell no.

The slumbering beast has been stirred. In the foggy distance you hear a groan, a lurching movement, a rumbling that draws closer. Ever closer.

Sixty countries. 600 cities. Seven continents. Even Antarctica has stood up for human rights.

We are not alone.

(c) 2017 Klaus Polkowski

(c) 2017 Klaus Polkowski

This evening I attended my first French demonstration. In the rumbling of our rage, my tenth grade French was awakened. Suddenly, on the slippery wintery steps of Place Kléber in Strasbourg, I understood every word of French that was spoken.

On est là. On est toujours là. Notre diversité est notre force.

And as some people try to temper my anger with their stalwart online glances, I laugh in their faces. No longer pretty. But very smart. And no, no, no, not quiet.

For an hour I cheered with my mom on the phone who, by a force of synchronicity, marched simultaneously and across six time zones, for the very same purpose.

For those of you who are uncomfortable with my rage and for those of you who claim I spew hatred, I will tell you this: I stand for love. For understanding. For dialogue. For truth. I have learned ever so much on this journey. And will continue to do so. Thank you for those who have corrected me when I have been wrong. I appreciate your patience and your desire to make a difference. You have. And so will I.

I would rather risk failing in the name of humanity than grasping for the power you cannot attain. You will never, ever gain strength over me or my brethren. We are stronger than you could ever imagine.

Your money does not impress me. Neither does your attempt to control that which you cannot.

The world is watching. Your influence is shrinking. It might be time to think about Plan B. Which, under the scrutiny of a billion, will B ours.

 

A Message of Peace

It is easy to express words of gratitude, peace and love when you aren’t challenged, when things are going along swimmingly, when the world seems to sparkle in the blessings of the season.

I have seen little of that in the past few weeks. And while I have tried to keep my inner world as peaceful as possible, I have failed there as well.

Be careful what you wish for.

The other day I told my daughter I felt like everything would be alright if only I could spend two full days in bed. My post-November 8th world had taken it out of me. I was tired and needed a break.

Within two days I got my wish! Marvelous isn’t it? Well, not really because…

Boom!

I got the flu. And got to spend those two full days in bed. Because I literally couldn’t do anything else.

Now, sliding toward the side of a somewhat healthier state, I have to laugh at how powerful our subconscious mind really is.

In the era of Orange Boy, it feels like the subconscious collective mind has been given a platform where it gets to shout out to the world like never before. And because of the public’s voracious appetite for scandal and negative news, we listen, curl our lips, puke a little in our mouths and wonder why the world has become so ugly.

This morning I watched a video of a bilingual man and his brother get escorted off a Delta Airlines flight because a woman felt uncomfortable when he spoke Arabic to his mom on the phone. He videotaped it and posted it on Facebook. While I didn’t see what happened before that, I watched as (white) people waved him “good riddance”. He was later interviewed on a radio show where he admitted he cried after having to deplane.

Our lives have come to this. Social media has fueled such negativity when it was meant to be a connector. When I first joined Facebook almost ten years ago, I thought it was a silly little platform where I could send virtual ‘gifts’ to my old college friends. It has turned into the largest stage for shouting and spewing falsehoods. And yet I can’t seem to get away from it, as if by some miracle, everything will look different if I check in just one last time. As if the hatred and the bigotry and the ugliness would end.

I realize that such things have always existed. Social media has simply made it more visible for the entire world to see the injustices that exist. Yet I can’t help but believe that it is feeding a negative impulse that is growing within our global collective mind.

So if my subconscious mind can land me in the bed with the flu for two days, I speak from its source to give a message of peace:

  • If you don’t know first hand about something, question its truth.
  • Never stop asking questions.
  • Treat everyone as you would have them treat you. Would you want to be kicked off a plane for speaking your native tongue such as English?
  • Know that nothing is impossible. If Orange Boy can become President, we know this to be true.
  • Be careful what you wish for.
  • When in doubt, opt for love. Fear feeds fear. Love conquers all.

Wishing you a peaceful, beautiful holiday season, all. May 2017 shine with the glitter and sparkles of love that each and every one of us deserves.

Summer’s Farewell

The sun raskyys pierce through the open sky. The smell of decaying leaves fills the air. Summer gasps its last breath as we say fare-thee-well for another year.

I have never been at such peace to bid the hot months goodbye as I have been this year. Something has awakened within me to appreciate the very moment instead of mourning the passing of summer. I have somehow grown wiser, or more accepting, of the Earth’s need to pause.

A predictable deceleration takes hold as the days grow slightly shorter. The pressure to “go do something” eases as we tap into our inner chipmunks that seek dark places to hide in the warm shelter of our homes. Pumpkin soup suddenly seems appealing. Cooking is a treat once again. The rhythm of life slows as we match the pace of the weather patterns lulling us into hibernation.

It is okay to take it down a notch. To retreat to the depths of our caves. To reflect on a most spectacular season. To be alright with the nothingness that more restful times bring. It is no longer necessary to keep searching. Everything we have ever needed sits quietly in our laps.

I am so very grateful for this life. For the pain. For the joy. For the ever-present moment of now. Every bit of it. Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays a most significant role in our own becoming. The change of seasons grants us license to make our own radical changes where necessary. Such transformation, the Earth tells us, is the natural course of things. I find reassurance in its implicitness.

What used to feel like death to me is now merely a place in the cycle of life. It is so very beautiful to be a part of it all.

Would you agree?

 

The Peacemakers

Flash back to 1990. American University. Washington, D.C. I studied peace and conflict with a professor who had been tortured. He of all people had reason to be angry. But he wasn’t. He saw the importance of bringing peace to a war-torn world. And he taught us that conflict can only be resolved when you make peace with yourself.

The news of Paris brought me to my knees today. My life partner and I stared at the screen, holding hands and crying for the people who were directly affected by senseless acts of violence. I felt a deep sense of loss, as if a piece of myself had died with them. Later today I felt a surging need to make the wrongs of my own past right and reached out to a few people who hurt me deeply. It only felt right to stop my internal warfare. I did it for the people of Paris. I did it for world peace. I did it for me.

We often carry bad feelings around with us. Past hurts we thought had healed really won’t until we forgive. It starts with each one of us.

I have been studying peace for twenty-five years. And it wasn’t until today that I realized war begins with individuals. People fight for a cause — and against nations to push through their own agendas. They ban together, using strength in numbers and random acts of violence to grab the world’s attention. We often think we need bodies of governance such as the United Nations or the European Union to bring peace to the world. But what we really need is to make peace within. If we do that, we reverberate that forgiving power to the rest of our lives. Others are positively impacted by our willingness to forgive. Our willingness to love. Our willingness to be kind.

So what do you need to begin your own peace negotiations?

Trust. Trust yourself. Trust your truest intentions. Trust that your gesture of forgiveness will garner its own reward for it will bring you eternal grace.

Listen. Listen to yourself. Listen to others. Lend a caring ear to those who are hurting. Show them they matter.

Risk. Risk being vulnerable. Risk rejection. Risk the chance to make amends. Build on that momentum and you will be free no matter how others respond.

Love. Above all else, love yourself. Be kind. Accept your imperfections. They make up who you are. Know that you deserve Big Love. If you give it freely, it will return to you.

Fear won’t heal the world.

Loving kindness and the courage to forgive in the face of our ubiquitous pain and suffering will.

The Chain of Events

Do you believe in chance? You know, those ‘chance meetings’ or events that sculpt our lives in unforseeable ways?

I like to think of such things as fortune.

Life is an unfolding mystery, yet it seems as if it is scripted in some ways too.  Some people believe past lives inform our current ones. For the longest time I didn’t understand that, but life has taught me that there is something to be said about karma and our connection with others.

Just today I was passing by a café that I visited a few years back. I was reminded of a ‘chance’ moment in which I picked up a newspaper and read a feature article about a local filmmaker. Long fascinated by the movie-making process, I read the article with great interest. Then four months later I happened to pass by a movie theater that was playing that particular movie for the very last time. The show was to start in 15 minutes so I grabbed a ticket and watched it.

And then, by chance, I noticed the credits and the name of a local TV and film casting agency, which I googled when I got home. I added my profile to their Web site and started a new phase of my life behind and in front of the camera.

All because I stopped for a coffee that fall.

One nudge in a certain direction can change everything.

And that’s a very good thing.

We can look at many moments in our lives in which we meet perfect strangers who give us a nugget of wisdom (trains are great for that!) that further us in our journey. It is a part of the secret that is slowly revealed to us all.

If you doubt that your life is informed by a chain of events, look closer and you will see everything happens for a reason.

It’s your fortune. It’s your life. It’s your time.

May you be blessed on your journey, wherever it leads you.

 

Tap into Your Extraordinary

Your environment matters. If you live in a dark place, chances are you won’t feel as bright as someone who lives under the sun 365 days a year.

The landscape matters. If you are in an urban jungle, you might not feel as consistently grounded as someone who lives amongst the red rock of Sedona, Arizona, for instance.

I had the pleasure of visiting Sedona this week. Known for its vibrating vortexes of energy swirling up from the minerals in the ground, Sedona holds a special kind of vibe I have never experienced in my life. Go there and you will realign with your highest self. That’s all I have to say.

Sedona, power of slow, energy vortex

Sedona, Arizona

Even if you aren’t apt to make your way there, consider where you live as your sacred space. If your office is lifeless, without plants, water or some kind of sunlight, consider placing a portable water fountain on your desk. Place special rocks or other meaningful items around you. They hold positive energy, something everyone could use a little more of!

It is easy to tap into your extraordinary when you have peace of mind. All it requires is a little time to reflect, go inward and really listen to yourself. Take a few breaths, light a special candle, and think about how extraordinary your life is. Every day you get a new chance to live that life to the very best of your ability.

Some times all it takes is a beautiful landscape to set you free. You can create it right where you are. You really can.

The Best of Summer 2012 ~Audio # 3 on Silence

Silence is a rarity in our 24/7 world. Enjoy The Soothing Sound of Silence audio post. To listen, click on the link, and you should automatically be able to hear it. If not, right click the link, then save to your desktop to listen on your own audio software.

Walking the path from ‘no’ to ‘yes’

When I was a kid, I had a dream to become either a dancer, an actor, a writer or a peacemaker. Two out of four ain’t bad!

William Ury, author of Getting to ‘Yes’ describes his experiences as a peacekeeper in conflicts ranging from former Yugoslavia to Africa to the Middle East. He vividly unleashes the power of Abrahamic kindness in this TED talk.

So do a dance today as you watch him reveal his wisdom. Peace, folks.

 

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