Day 10. Patience...

by Christina


Patience… perhaps this is one of the most challenging traits of peace. In a world where we are on the go rushing here and there, crossing off items from a never-ending to-do list, seeking instant gratification, and quick fixes, to have patience seems to have no place.

 Muddy waters along the Rio Grand, New Mexico

Muddy waters along the Rio Grand, New Mexico

I recently attended the Hunger Summit organized by the World Food Prize and spoke with one of the keynote speakers on malnutrition and violence. I’ll get to this topic a little later this week yet the conversation with her was breathtaking… literally. Have you ever come across someone that you knew you had to meet… to introduce yourself? I listened to her talk and I knew I must share with her the vision of Project Peace. I know, risky, you say… she could laugh… but it was a chance I knew I needed to take.

As I explained my background and pivotal life moments in what could be best described as a 3 minute play… scene 1, scene 2, scene 3… to present day. I told her of my dreams to plant seeds of peace around the world and to use that energy to pay it forward… to raise money that would continue the ripple… to help so that others can live in a non-violent world with access to healthy food and clean water. I finished my elevator pitch on Project Peace and my life story by saying “But I just don’t know where to go from here…”

She paused…. she took a deep breath and looked at me; all the while I’m thinking… it’s time to exit.

And then she said this…

“I don’t know what I have to offer you but I can tell you this one thing…”

I had chills… recall that this is the E-X-A-C-T verbiage used by Mr. Hagerty during our “Be Present” conversation.

“Be still.”

Yes, that was her “one thing.”

She said “there is some story about being still while standing in the muddy water and letting the mud settle long enough to make the water clear. I can’t remember the exact words but you get the idea.

You have all the ingredients, you just need to be still and let the mud settle so you can see clearly the path forward. You must be patient.”

I felt myself tense up “be patient?” No, I’m ready right NOW for the answer… I want to take that next step. Please tell me the answer I thought… you have to KNOW what I should do right now.

Be still. That was her answer… that was the next “step.”

Do you have the patience to wait
Till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
Till the right action arises by itself?
— Lao Tzu
 Clelar waters in the Lochsa River, Idaho

Clelar waters in the Lochsa River, Idaho

Peace seed #10.

Be present. Be still. They are intertwined yet different. As you knit (or walk or sit and drink your favorite cuppa) think about how you might cultivate the concept of being more still. What does “be still” mean to you?

 Winter stillness, Iowa

Winter stillness, Iowa


Day 7. Philosophy...

by Christina


And we persist…

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While attending a recent lecture, the speaker asked us “what is your career philosophy?” Hmm, I have a teaching philosophy as that’s a standard request in my field but an overall, big picture statement on what I wanted my career to be? To accomplish?

And as my mind was in the midst of it’s third summersault, she then asked “what’s your life philosophy?”

Now, I must have looked like one of those cartoons with the smoke exuding from the top of one’s head… life philosophy? My teaching philosophy centers around what I want to accomplish and how I’ll go about doing that; what I value as an academician… but apply those concepts to my life in writing in approximately a page?

My mind churned.

A page? How would I have that much to say?

A page? How could I possibly generate that much material?

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Do we have a life philosophy? We may have guiding values, beliefs, and morals but a statement on what we want to do in life, how we’ll accomplish that including our values?

Wow… that moment was another game changer for me. I have pieces and parts of those but nothing consolidated or anywhere but mulling around in my head.

Perhaps I’m the only one that doesn’t have a life philosophy?

When I first began The Healthy Knitter 4 years ago, I wanted to use my professional expertise to inspire knitters to incorporate healthy habits in their daily lives. Knitting is typically a sedentary act, one where we sit while engaged in our craft. Interrupting the sitting with regular, short breaks including standing and walking are a vital component of health.

To capture my aspirations for The Healthy Knitter, I wrote a little poem…

 The Healthy Knitter Poem

The Healthy Knitter Poem

When I read this poem from almost 4 years ago, I’m reminded that these are still my goals… for self and for others. If I could make any changes, after “walk every day,” I would add, “if able.” You can click on the image and download a copy of the poem if you like.

So, it isn’t a philosophy but maybe it’s a start. I’m now inspired to spend some time writing and drafting a life philosophy. I know that I want to embrace peace in my own life, plant seeds along my path and inspire others to pause and ponder peace…slowly those seeds will grow nourishing those around them.

What’s your life philosophy?

Peace seed #7.

I’ve often heard that the number one goal for most parents is they want their children to be happy. The follow-up question is always “where/how do we teach happiness?”

Take a few moments today to view the Action for Happiness website. They publish a monthly free calendar with daily tips to promote happiness.

Once you’ve settled in, jot down a few thoughts about your life philosophy. Miriam-Webster dictionary defines philosophy as the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual.

Perhaps you write a poem, a mantra, lyrics to a song, or a folk-story. Maybe you write one sentence… the comment you left yesterday might just be your beginning.

pause, ponder, presence…

May your day be filled with a moment of peace…

~Christina

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