And so we begin…
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.
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.
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.