Although I like to think that 24 period can be a day of peace, the official website for The International Day of Peace offers:
“The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982.
In 2002 the General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace.
By creating the International Day of Peace, the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged all of mankind to work in cooperation for this goal. During the discussion of the U.N. Resolution that established the International Day of Peace, it was suggested that:
“Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace.”
They suggest that people gather together at events that honor peace. The website has all kinds of ideas and invite new and creative ideas.
I firmly believe that peace without, begins within. There have been many times in my life (even now) when I have been at war with myself and battling inclinations. While there is nothing wrong with honest disagreeement, there are moments when I have held thoughts that do damage to my soul and perhaps those of others. As Rosh Hashanah is approaching on September 28th, I am engaging in what 12 step programs refer to as Step Four: “a searching and fearless moral inventory”. Where have I been warrior-like, in a destructive manner, not just tenacious in dissolving and resolving conflict? Where have I wielded a sword that has cut through hearts and not just illusion? Where have I held on to resentment about things said and those not said…of perceived rejection and disapproval? Those are weapons of mass destruction as well. The thoughts I hold about myself and others can implode and explode, scattering emotional shrapnel.
They go on to encourage people to declare a cease fire, not only between countries, but individuals as well. Our relationships can be sanctuaries or battle grounds; the choice is ours. A Course in Miracles offers this wisdom: “The holiest of all the spots on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love.” Another intention I have is to ‘come clean’ with a few people in my life…sharing from the heart, some things I have held onto that have been holding on to me, keeping me stuck in slogged down mucky mud. When I have done so over the years, I have found great freedom…some from as far back as childhood when a boy I had a crush on used to tease me(: A few years ago we reconnected via Classmates.com and I shared (half jokingly) that after all these years, I had finally ‘gotten over it’. He apologized and said “I’m sorry if I caused you any angst. In my family, we teased each other.” It’s kinda like dipping a little girl’s pigtails in the proverbial inkwell.
One of my favorite bumper stickers reads Visualize Whirled Peas. Imagine a planet on which we could all enjoy Peace Soup, rather than Conflict Chili…a much yummier and nourishing dish.
www.thetimehascomeforpeace.com My friends Deb Chamberlin and Robert Wynn wrote an amazing peace anthem called The Time Has Come, that features Philly local performers such as
Phil Roy – www.philroy.com
Jim Boggia – www.jimboggia.com
Lauren Hart – www.laurenhart.com
Mutlu – www.mutlusounds.com
Caryn Lin – www.carynlin.com
Chinua Hawk – www.chinuahawk.com
John Francis – www.johnfrancismusic.com
Melody Gardot – www.melodygardot.com
Deb Chamberlin – www.debchamberlin.com
John Ferenzik – www.ferenzik.com
Robert Wynn – www.robertwynnproductions.com
Members of THE COW PROJECT – www.thecowproject.com
What made this event so poignant, was the memory of a particularly dark day in 1998. I had answered the pay phone in the waiting room at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia where I had spent several weeks by that point, holding vigil while awaiting a liver transplant for my husband that never came to be. The voice on the other end was that of my friend Barbara Cohen who has been in my life since we were 14 year old competitive swimmers who met on the bench prior to our event. She offered an honor to me. “Glenn and I decided to name you Cady’s God-mother, so you will have a little girl to spoil.” Grateful tears fell as I welcomed this gift and a distraction from my pain.
One of my favorite Cady memories was when she was around 6 months old. One of my hats is that of a clown who loves to teach people that humor is healing. I was prepping for teaching a workshop and wanted an example of the perfect laugh. What could be better than a child’s giggle? Cady was lying on a blanket, feet kicking in the air and we played the universally fun game of peek-a-boo. With a tape player nearby, each silvery twinkle was recorded. The members of the class loved it. Wish I still had the tape and wonder if Cady is still open to playing peek-a-boo. (:
On the bimah (platform/podium in front of the synagogue), Cady was enwrapped in a floral tallis (prayer shawl) lovingly created by her paternal Bubbe, which is Yiddish for grandmother, whose name is Corrine a.k.a ‘Cookie’. Cady’s older brother Alex and older sister Blake were similarly gifted by Cookie’s talents and in 7 years, their little sister Darah will be making her choice of fabric for her own tallis. I was honored to stand by Cady’s side and read a poem called A Rainbow of Friends and during the reception afterward was called to light a candle on the decadently decorated cupcake cake. Those were not the only tearful moments, but stood out among them.
I marveled at the passage of time as I took note of the friends of Barb and Glenn who shared in the joyous occasion as well. Jimmy, who was Glenn’s Best Man at their wedding ( I was the Matron of Honor), and was also my counterpart as Cady’s Godfather, had come up from Virginia with his wife Bernadette (lovingly referred to as ‘Bernie’). Caught up on the lives of Chuck and another Edie; creative types…Chuck works for an ad agency and Edie is a jewelry designer. A poignant moment came when Ralph, Barb’s formerly vigorous, tall father was brought in by wheelchair, pushed by her brother Tony. Widowed a few years ago, when Barb’s mom died as a result of a stroke, he maintains an active social life, playing cards with friends and spending time with family.
At the reception, while Cady’s friends where indulging their appetites at the buffet, the D.J. encouraged the ‘big kids’ to come out on the dance floor for what he referred to as ‘adult swim’. Motown tunes blasted out of the speakers as we had a blast, ‘sweatin’ to the oldies’. I do have to say brazenly and without modesty….we still got some moves(:
I offer you the song that was played when I was called up to light the candle. That’s What Friends Are For
Rob Breszny is the author of one of my favorite books, called Pronoia is the Antidote to Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings . It is a divinely decadent treat, a reverently irreverent romp into upliftment for those who may feel downtrodden, or even those who feel a need for a wee bit of mood elevation; like me. Rob reminds me to take a good long look at my beliefs and tweak, adjust, define and refine them. All along the way, he encourages humor as a companion. He seems unafraid to offend and that frees him to allow his inner imp to come out and play. A wonderful role model for this writer to emulate.
In addition to being a wordsmith, Rob is an astrologer and he calls his work Free Will Astrology. One of the aspects of his website that truly tickles my soul to giggly giddiness is what he refers to as his Beauty and Truth Lab. In it, he offers tips and ideas that may be a stretch for some, in order to encourage readers to become pronoiad rather than paranoid. One of my hats is that of a social worker who serves people with mental health diagnoses and on occasion, I pull ideas from Rob’s bag of tricks and share them with people who believe that the world is out to get them. Sometimes there is a breakthrough when I do. Their eyes light up and for an ever so brief moment, they get it, they real get it.
This morning, my friend Vicki sent an email that included this snippet from Rob’s astrological readings:
“PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): My Pisces friend Rana Satori Stewart coined some new words that happen to be perfect for you to begin using and embodying. “Blissipline,” she says, is “the commitment to experiencing a little or a lot of bliss every day; the practice of expanding one’s capacity for bliss and being open to receive it in any moment.”
A “blissiplinarian” is “someone who enforces pleasure and invites opportunities for more pleasure,” while a “blissciple” is a person who aspires to master the art of blissipline.
I encourage you to be a blissciple, Pisces, because it will put you in sync with the effervescent invitations the cosmos has scheduled for you.”
Although I’m not a Pisces and you who are reading this, may not be either; this is a perfect daily set of instructions for a juicier and more joyfilled life. As a Bliss Mistress (I used to call her my ‘alter ego’, but now say she IS ME), I claim blissipline as my daily practice and own my role as a blissiplinarian.
‘Discipline’ gets a bad rap, since it may evoke the concept of punishment and condemnation. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, as I have come to recognize. Years ago, my wonderfully wise friend and mentor, Yvonne Kaye would quote to me “Discipline is freedom.” It felt at the time, like an oxymoron to this free spirited cosmic foo foo woman who had a go with the flow attytood. Unfortunately, my lack of discipline often snuck up and bit me on the tush when things I would let slide, got in the way of living the life I had desired. Discipline could take the form of activities that take me from where I am to where I want to be. For example, if I want a healthy, fit and flexible body, I need to move it, shake it, dance it, stretch it, and feed it nourishing food. There are times when my inner ‘id kid’ who wants what she wants when she wants it without having to work for it, whines, “But I don’t wanna go to the gym or do yoga.” even though I know abundantly well how great I feel after a visit, so I get in the Jeep and roll to the gym or roll out my purple yoga mat. Calling them ‘playouts’ or ‘sweating my prayers’ or thinking of my yoga mat as a magic carpet, makes it more fun and gets me to that place of endorphin high and liking what I see in the mirror a whole lot more often.
In order to complete my book, I needed to take time daily to write, edit and polish it. There were absolutely moments when my fears got in the way and I dragged my feet, coming up with all sorts of creative ways to avoid putting fingers to keyboard to fill the pitcher with overflowing words. Any writers out there know what I am talking about. It was never about the dreaded writer’s block or drying up of ideas. It was always about fear that needed to be faced head and heart-on. As I write this, the Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary is within two weeks from her birth.
These would both be part of my blissipline.
So, how could you become more of a blissiplinarian?
Are you willing to make that leap into a life that sings and soars?
Can you stand under the sweet shower of life’s blissings and blessings, singing your soul song as you do?
I double dog dare ya!