Where does it begin?

September 21, 2013 at 12:52 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Today, the 21st of September, is the International Day of Peace. This date was established in 1981 by a United Nations General Assembly Resolution, with it being observed annually since 1982. I have written in the past about Peace One Day and the endeavours of Jeremy Gilley to add to the Resolution, making it also a day of non-violence and cease-fire in 2001. Some of the positive ripples that have occurred since that date have been inspiring, like more than 5 million child immunisations by International NGO’s safely happening in Afghanistan on this day over the past few years because of negotiations relating to the updated resolution. But the question posed in the video above is an important one, where does peace begin?

“Peace does not mean the absence of war, peace means the presence of harmony, love, satisfaction and oneness. Peace means a flood of love in the world family.”   – Sri Chinmoy.

Too often, I believe, we language and examine peace in a way that only is represented by statistics like ‘at least 1.5 billion people live in conflict affected and fragile states and are currently in urgent need of peace’ (The World Bank: World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security and Development) and therefore distancing ourselves from the difference we can all make as individuals for self, others and the world around us through our daily thoughts, words and actions. Obviously, statistics like these and other complex global village issues like the current unrest in Syria are vitally important for us as global citizens to be well informed about, as well as finding ways on all levels as individuals, communities and groups to advocate for and assist in facilitating basic human rights for all. But like all aspects of our life’s journey, the navigation of connection, successes and challenges, there is never just one aspect worth reflecting on. Ultimately each of us is only able to accept responsibility for our thoughts, words and actions, and then through example and deepening connection we may inspire others along the way.

“Growth comes through analogy, through seeing how things connect rather than only seeing how they might be different.” – Sir Ken Robinson (The Element – How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything)

This quote above is one that I read yesterday. Sir Ken Robinson’s work has and continues to positively influence me, both personally and professionally. His work around education, potential, passion and creativity in particular inspire me as I strive to provide experiences for participants that allow them to explore the possibilities, discover their potential and act authentically. There is no one way, one answer, one anything, rather opportunities to experience, connect, learn, grow and positively impact. So here’s an example that I love that to me epitomises this journey. Wake Up Project in Sydney and its founder Jono Fisher, a wonderful reflection for this International Day of Peace.

In 2009 Jono Fisher started an experiment, he quit his job and began fostering a community of people who wanted to celebrate kindness and wisdom. Four years later this community is more than 20,000 people strong and growing. Wake Up Project allows people to connect through music, film, meditation and conversation. They also mail out the free kindness cards to anyone who wants to participate to help foster kindness within the communities in which we live. The process: do something for someone else and leave the card to explain that a good deed has been done for him or her, now they can also pass it on. Kindness rippling, I like the sound of that!

Have an awesome weekend!

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Reflections from an interesting week…

September 7, 2013 at 12:09 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“We learn the ropes of life by untying its knots.” – Jean Toomer

As I lay here writing this week with my foot up I am reminded of the quote above. Lets start this post a week ago, this time last Saturday I was preparing for our basketball semi final, excited for the game ahead and a chance to make the grand final that would be played on Sunday. This was to be my final weekend of representative basketball after playing in junior and senior teams for my local association on and off over the past 20 years.

To cut a long story short, in the second quarter with the game progressing as we had planned and our team playing well I felt what was like a massive thud in the back of my lower right leg as I took off to run. I immediately knew my achilles had ruptured as I lay on my back on the court, hands over my face as it all sunk in and with the pain being felt. This was definitely not how I saw this weekend playing out.

So many people over the course of that evening and the subsequent days since have assisted me in the process of rehabilitation I now begin. So with a boot on my foot I wait for surgery on the achilles next Wednesday. It has been a week of appointments, planning and rescheduling. It has been a week of looking after the leg, hopping around and getting used to the crutches. It has been a week of being grateful for all the amazing people in my life.

The theme of challenge and struggle has been one that I have been discussing with many lately. Some great speakers I have listened to in the past month or so have provided some incredible food for thought in this area. In an ever increasing culture of trying to eliminate challenge and struggle, especially from the lives of children, we must remind ourselves of its importance in shaping who we are, our thoughts, words and actions, and therefore allowing us opportunities to make a difference in our own and others lives.

I am of course ok. We live in an age of incredible expertise, technology and products that will mean that surgery and rehabilitating an injury like this is relatively straight forward. But more importantly, the connection we have to others mean that family, friends, colleagues and our Explore Discover Act clients have demonstrated amazing understanding, care and assistance that empower me within the process of navigating the various challenges and struggles we all experience as human beings.

The quote I started this post with is one of my favourites. I believe it is a beautiful metaphor for this journey we are all on. With all our best efforts, planning and preparation we can not eliminate challenge and struggle from our lives, but why would we want to? It is such a powerful teacher and opens us up to experience connection, opportunity, achievement, success, joy and love.

Have a great weekend!

 

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