Day 2. The letter "P"...

by Christina


And so, here we are…

A pause gives you
breathing space
so listen
to the whispers
of the real you
waiting to happen.
— Tara Estacaan

But what does it mean?

That word… peace.

I recently attended a talk on “networking.” We were asked to chat with a neighbor about anything we wanted… so everyone naturally began talking about the weather, the traffic, where to get good coffee… you know, that typical conversation you might have with someone you don’t know.

Then we were asked to dive deeper with this stranger. Have a memorable conversation. My partner and I stared at each other until that silence became just a little uncomfortable. I had to fill in that space, that void, I needed to have words buzzing about…

And so, I broke that space of discomfort… “What does peace mean to you?” I asked. The silence continued; then she sheepishly said “wow, that’s a big question. I’m not so sure I know how to answer that.” Turn about’s fairplay I suppose. She did the most expected thing one does in a situation without an answer… she asked me “well, what do you think peace is?”

Now I’d done it. In 1-2 sentences I was supposed to sum up peace. How could I do this? And there it was… out on the table. What does peace mean?

I think about the “path of peace” image from Day 1 and reflect on the multi-faceted word that is peace. And when I begin to put peace into words my mind shifts to other words that describe peace… and that takes me down the rabbit hole of words that begin with the letter “p.”

Pause.

Perseverance.

Personal.

The list goes on…

pause color_350.jpg

Peace seed #2…

Today, I ask you to pause and ponder the meaning of peace. If we can’t describe it, how can we practice it.

Create a space where you can pause and sit with the silence. Perhaps you can get out of bed before anyone else and sit in the still of the morning…with or without your knitting, no phone.

So, take a few moments of your day, whether you are knitting or not and think about what peace means to you. If you need a way to get started, might I suggest you begin with listing words that begin with the letter “P.”

What does peace means to me?

What would it feel like if I had more peace in my life?

Pause and listen to the whispers… of peace.

~Christina


Day 1. Path of peace...

by Christina


And so we begin…

Peace... this we choose each day.
— Anonymous

Over the past three years marked by the beginning of Project Peace, I have been on a journey learning what it means to live a peaceful life… what that means to me and to others. I suppose a seed was planted that fateful day almost 14 years ago, when I attended a leadership conference and a speaker asked “How many of you want world peace?” Everyone raised a hand. We were then asked “How many of you actively choose peace each day in your own lives?” The hands went down. I don’t recall one hand staying up in that room of over 500 women.

So, if we wanted world peace but we weren’t doing anything as individuals to accomplish this goal how could we ever expect to achieve world peace? It dawned on me that “world peace” was perhaps an expectation that it would someday arrive. All we have to do is wait… passively, for it to be delivered. Right?

And now, peace is on my mind all the time. It enters into every interaction I have with someone… maybe successfully, perhaps not. Peace is a process, not a destination. Project Peace 2018 is about the lessons learned on cultivating peace and using knitting as a way to bring peace to our lives intentionally, mindfully, and in simple ways.

One of my biggest realizations this year has been how others perceive the word “peace.” When I chat with people about “peace” I receive many different reactions, not always positive. We’ve used this word so casually over the years (think “peace out”) that it’s lost some of the meaning. Part of my journey with peace has been an awareness that the diversity of what this word represents is part of the complexity of promoting and adopting a peaceful, not passive, way of life. As we navigate the next 21 days, I’ll ask you to explore what peace means to you…

There is peace as an individual, within a family, community, country, and globally; the strategies to create peace differ at each level. Project Peace is focused on cultivating peace in our daily lives so that we can begin to influence the other levels of peace.

I created the “path of peace” to provide a visual of the varying levels of peace. I’ve chosen to represent this as a pyramid to reflect that individual choices provide the foundation for peace. It really does start with each one of us. Peace at the individual level is grass-roots peace… it is the seed that nourishes all else. I’ve noticed and received feedback that some feel guilty focusing on “self” or think that “inner” peace is not important. Feel guilty no more… it is germane to our success.

 The Path of Peace… the knitted way.

The Path of Peace… the knitted way.

This year’s theme for Project Peace is “seeds of peace.” The idea for this cowl was conceived during Project Peace 2017 when a participant commented how the blog posts were like seeds. Over the winter months, I allowed the theme “seeds of peace” to percolate…  as if the idea was buried in the frozen winter earth awaiting the opportunity to spring forward. During the summer months, I walked and thought, traveled, met inspiring people, all the while, nourishing the design. In the early fall, the cowl came to life, a rib stitch that symbolizes rows in a garden surrounded by seeds, separated by three panels of half-triangles, a common quilt motif called “flying geese.” Each panel of geese represents one of the three Greek goddesses, Dike (justice), Eunomia (order), and Eirene (peace) to remind us that peace doesn’t stand alone, requiring order and justice for peace to be realized. Each panel begins with one large goose to remind us that we must at times lead but also be ready to bring up the rear. I’ve a fondness for geese and love how they work collectively to accomplish greatness yet they are individual creatures.

And now with Project Peace 2018, I release this pattern as if the idea is falling from the trees and returning to the earth to continue the cycle with hopes, dreams, intentions, and a commitment to a peaceful future.

Peace Seed #1

Attached is a “map of intentions.” A friend (Thank you Anne!) drew an image of the Project Peace 2018 peace loop (aka cowl) with 3 pillars of the flying geese separated by the seeded rib stitch. We’ve included a total of 21 geese on the map, one for each of the 21 days of Project Peace. Regardless of how many geese you are actually knitting, perhaps you are knitting a different pattern, or maybe not knitting at all, you can use this map to guide your intentions.

Today, print this map and write down your intention. Decide how you’d like to navigate the “geese.” Maybe you set an intention on day 1 that has to do with peace, on day 2, it’s an intention for order and on the third day for justice; maybe your intention is a word or a person. As you knit that day, think of your intention. Keep track on the map and by the end of Project Peace you’ll have a list of 21 people, items, causes, etc. that are most dear to you.

 Click on this document to access a pdf version so you can print your map.

Click on this document to access a pdf version so you can print your map.

You are a seed of peace… you are the foundation by which we can affect change at other levels. Peace begins as a daily choice; not always easy but most often an option.

With one seed, we can feed many.

Plant seeds of peace, nurture that seed to bring peace to self, family, community, the people of our world, and this beautiful earth.

With each stitch, step, and breath… peace.

Let’s begin!

~Christina


Project Peace countdown...

by Christina


It’s Wednesday… that means it’s only 3 days until we begin! Are you ready? Grab a beverage, pull up a chair for just a few moments and let me share a few items with you.

coffee with hat_350.jpg

In honor of the US holiday, Thanksgiving, I wanted to write all weekend and say how grateful I am for all of you… for the desire to be here and to share this journey together. But my inbox just kept piling up with one email after the next mostly announcing some sort of sale and I just couldn’t be one more email. It didn’t seem, well, peaceful. So, I’ve waited until after all the sales to say thank you for being here.

Honestly, I can’t wait for Project Peace. I’ve been planning, thinking, plotting, dreaming, writing, designing, and preparing for this moment for almost a year. I’ve utilized feedback, suggestions, and lessons learned to make this even better than before. I must say that as you walk the path of learning about cultivating peace, the more you learn that there’s so much more to know. As you are probably aware, peace is a complicated topic and intertwined with so many emotions, perceptions, and opinions; it’s a twisty path.

Name that goose!

One of the exciting pieces of info related to PP18 is that we will have our own mascot. Nicky from Knit for Victory has designed us our very own goose. Last year, Nicky provided everyone with a copy of her dove pattern but we’ve taken it one step farther… and now we have our own peace goose.

 THANK YOU Nicky, you are the best!

The meaning behind this goose will be revealed during Project Peace. You’ll all be receiving a copy of the pattern delivered through Ravelry later in December. For now, this little goose needs a name. The other day, I posted this photo collage on Instagram of our adorable goose and asked for name suggestions. Wow, there are some great ones but I really want your input as well since not everyone is on Instagram. Please leave a comment below with your suggestion. And if there’s a name that’s been suggested that you love, tell me that as well. I’ll choose a name on Thursday (11/29).

 Name our peace goose!

Name our peace goose!

As you prepare for the beginning of Project Peace, I’ve created a little checklist to assure you are ready for 12/1…

  • left a comment with a name suggestion for our goose.

  • pattern or ebook purchased from Ravelry.

  • Invite one more person to knit for peace. We almost have 1000 knitters. Just think if everyone asked one more knitter to join, we’d double the number of knitters engaged in cultivating peace. Perhaps you’d like to gift a copy of the pattern to someone? You can do that through Ravelry.

  • yarn on hand (or ordered if that’s the case)… some have asked me about the gauge. It truly isn’t critical that you get gauge for this pattern. There is a very stretchy and forgiving aspect of this stitch pattern that as long as you like the fabric you are creating and have sufficient yardage (based on sport weight), you’ll be fine.

    • There are still yarn kits plus super kit love/peace pins available from YarnScout.

  • Identified a journal to use to keep notes throughout the 21 days. I’ll be sending you a little surprise through Ravelry on Friday that you might want to use during the peace-along…

  • Have shown the pattern some love on Ravelry: clicked “favorite,” added to my queue, created a project page.

  • Have added my pin or left a note with my location on the global peace map in the Healthy Knitter Ravelry group to mark my intention to knit for peace.

And finally, we need to make a huge peaceful roar about December 21, world-wide knit for peace day. Start making plans now… make this your special day to knit for peace whether it’s by yourself, in a public place with a sign on the table that says “knitting for peace,” hosting a group at your home or in the community, at your LYS… the list goes on. Be a seed and cultivate peace.

Well, I’m off to get some yarn packages in the mail and then off to work.

Busy times… but it’s never too busy to find time to create some peace.

Here’s to a fulfilled day with time for a few stitches, steps, sips of coffee and maybe a moment of silence…

Christina