Welcome to Day 1 of the 2016 Peace-along. I'm humbled by the magnitude of the peace movement that is literally spreading world-wide throughout the knitting community. We have exceeded 16,000 downloads of Project Peace on Ravelry. I suspect the numbers will continue to grow as the message reaches more and more knitters.
What can you expect from this peace-along?
I truly believe that peace begins with each and everyone of us. We can't expect to live in a peaceful world if we ourselves are not living a peaceful life. So, my focus is to provide you with simple acts of peace over the next 21 days. I'll certainly provide you with information on how you can conduct peaceful acts for others but I really want this to be a gift you give yourself. Throughout the next 21 days, there will be a few guest posts from some people I've met along the way that I've found inspirational.
Peace tips will be posted daily on this blog by 8 am central US time. I'll send out an email on December 1 (today), and every 7 days thereafter. On the other days you won't receive an email from me, you'll just need to stop by and read the tip for the day.
Many of you are knitting Project Peace to coincide with the peace-along. I ask that you really take the time to savor this process. Each day, knit a little bit (4 rounds are recommended) so that you can ponder the peace tip, take time to breathe, or create some space for random thoughts to pop into your head. While the finished product is certainly a treat, let's focus on being present with each stitch, each repeat, and each round.
Mark your calendars for December 21st, a day that we've decided to call "World-wide knit-in for peace." We chose this day, solstice, to represent the balance between light and dark in the two hemispheres. This will be the culmination of the peace-along... knitters around the world knitting with the intention of peace. Host your own gathering, talk to your local yarn store about holding a knit-in; whatever you do, make it special.
Peace Tip. Day 1.
I think it's important that you know the path that led me here today...the reason that Project Peace came to be.
Twelve years ago I went to a Leadership Institute, probably one of the best conferences I've ever attended. One of the speakers said "everyone wants world peace but how many of us are living peaceful lives?" That simple yet loaded statement was a life-changer. She was talking to me...my life was anything but peaceful with 3 young children, an intense full-time job with tenure on the horizon, and a husband that worked nights. I knew I wanted world peace but I suppose I thought someone else, like Gandhi or the Dalai Lama or Saint Teresa would solve this problem allowing me to live a peaceful life.
Later that afternoon while meandering in and out of stores, I found a silver bracelet with the following words embedded deep into the metal:
And there it was. To live peacefully was my choice; my circumstances might not change but how I reacted to them could. Now, certainly there are many life circumstances where this becomes extremely challenging and I'm not dismissing those situations. For me, it became about choosing to have peace in my life. My choice...sometimes I choose wisely, other days I don't.
Project Peace is about choosing to have peace. I questioned "is it possible to spread peace around the world?" Can others choose peace as well? So, with no help from Ghandi, the Dalai Lama or St. Theresa... here we are with over 16,000 people collectively thinking about peace. This has certainly taught me the power of how each and everyone of us has the ability to make a difference in this world.
So, here's your "tip". You can ponder these questions while you sit in a chair quietly, you can knit, or you can write down your answers. Your choice...
- Define peace...what is it? what does it look like? what does it smell like? what does it feel like?
- How can you choose peace?
- Name one thing that you would like to make happen during the next 21 days.
I'm so excited to be on this path for peace with all of you. May each stitch bring you peace and joy.