Journey of Peace, Final Reflection, Susan– 02.13.41

SusanWithPearls

The final task for each Journey is to take some time and space after the daily writing has ended and reflect on the Journey, on your process, and on yourself. The Guest Journeyers reflections have been posted over the past few days.

Also: Thank you. To all of you who are here, thank you. To all of you who are on your own journey, thank you. For all of you discovering, uncovering, and getting at a deeper part of yourself, thank you. For all of you finding and expressing your authenticity, thank you. For all of you who care about others, thank you. For all of you who care about the animals and the earth, thank you. For all of you who care about your soul and connecting with your Inner/Higher Self, thank you. For all of you who care about justice, healing, equality, and/or peace, thank you. When you are lifted, I am lifted; when you are lifted, all are lifted;  we ascend together, each alone, yet all one.

 

 

Reflections on the Journey of Peace
Susan

My Journey of Peace took a different form than Lita’s, Mary’s, and Steve’s. It began the same, but then it evolved into something different.

Each Journey of 2019 evolved into something different for me.
I learned a big lesson this year…one that I am still learning.

 Because of the evolution of this Journey, I did not keep my original commitment. And I am at peace with not keeping that commitment. And…I owe Lita, Mary, and Steve a debt of gratitude for being themselves–which corresponded naturally with helping me, and with maintaining the Journeys here on this site.

Here is the lesson I have been learning all year:

Resting is Restorative. There is something concrete and real about keeping the seventh year for rest.

There is a Jewish tradition known as Shmita, or “the year of release”. It is probably most widely known as the year that fields lie fallow, giving the soil a year to regain its nutrients and rest. “When we refrain from planting, pruning, plowing, harvesting, or any other form of working the land, the land is allowed to rest and move towards the return all of creation to proper relationship with God.”  In the tradition, however, there is more to it than that. It’s a year to forgive debts (giving people a fresh start), a year to open storehouses to feed people, and a year to open private lands to the public. (see: myjewishlearning.com)

But just take a moment and think about how this can and does apply to activity more broadly:

  • Waking (action) – sleeping (rest)
  • Spring (growth) – winter (rest) – bears (hibernating)
  • Sport Seasons and off season
  • Academic calendar

There are natural periods of rest both in nature and in human calendars.

Imagine doing an activity without a break. It’s hard on the body, hard on the psyche. And yet, so much of modern Western society advocates a “go-go-go” mindset. There’s an idea that you’ll “fall behind” or that you’re “not good enough” if you can’t keep up. But really: Everyone needs a break sometimes. Everyone needs a reset. Animals need a break. Our eco-system needs a reset. The planet needs a reset sometime.

This is the core of my 2019 lesson.

Taking a break and resetting actually rejuvenates, regenerates, and re-invigorates.

This applies to mind, body, and soul.

I stumbled upon this over the past year. I would begin projects with the best of intentions and commitments, but then not be able to fulfill them. Literally: by body shut down, my brain froze. I was not able to finish things I had started (including Journeys), despite my whole-hearted willingness.

When I finally stopped fighting and trying to accomplish things (including the Journeys), everything opened up and evolved. I experienced a relaxation, a peace, which I can only describe as rejuvenating, regenerating, and invigorating!

It was Journey of Peace that I finally gave up the struggle. I finally thought, “I am going to experience Peace, even if that means I am not going to write every day. I am going to be At Peace, even if I don’t fulfill my original commitment. I am on this Journey. Period. I allow Peace to lead.”

And lo! Peace prevailed.

2019 was the seventh year for me doing these Journeys (I began in 2013). Shmita happened, without me consciously intending for it to happen. I now think that–since these Journeys are all about aligning one’s heart-mind-activity with the Divine, that maybe, just maybe, there is hope for the complete return all of creation to proper relationship with God. It happens naturally, when we align with the Divine.

And I must say. I am all set now for 2020, and really digging in to the Journeys, starting with Journey of the Heart in January. YAY!

 

 

Journey of Peace, Final Reflection, Steve — 02.13.41


Recap of Why, Preliminary Day 02.13.00

Why? Why embark on a journey of Peace? What can be gained? Can it make a difference? What is peace? How does it manifest in the world, how does it manifest in me?

Why? In my heart, I know it is a journey worth taking. I do not know where it will lead, I am not sure of the destination. The journey is the path. It is a path of discovery.

Peace for all. It certainly does not belong to me, and yet, I sense I must have some measure of internal peace in order to help others on the journey. Or, perhaps I must help others in order to find my own peace.

Peace is universal.  Ultimately we all want the same things, peace, harmony, happiness. And yet, it seems so elusive in the world around us.

I don’t know if this journey will provide answers, but I am sure the questions are worth asking. My sense is that peace comes deeply from within, from an inner source of faith, in experiencing the connectedness of all life.

My intention is to be open to, and explore, the question of what is peace.

Reflection

Did I keep my commitments? Yes, I did. To the letter, and largely I believe to the spirit. Certainly there were days where I did not feel inspired, yet I stuck to it, and found a way to engage with each day’s guiding thought. Some days were easier than others.

The commitment was important. Without it, I am reasonably sure I would have sloughed off some days, if left to my own devices.

I enjoyed the creative process quite a bit. The reflection, the composing, the writing, the posting of my thoughts. I discovered I had something to say, and it was worthwhile to ponder, and put these thoughts down on paper.

What did I learn about peace? About peace and myself? About peace and others? One of the things that stands out to me after having completed the journey, is that I have choice. That I can Choose peace. I can Choose Love. We can choose peace. Together.

Was it worthwhile? Absolutely. Will it make a difference? I think it does and will continue to make a difference in my life. I felt a sense of purpose during the journey. Exploring what it means to be a Peace Steward, and the many ways that can manifest in our lives. From being kind, to helping others, to being more environmentally aware of how our actions impact Mother Earth. Kindness and compassion lead to peace in our hearts.

I found Peace in my heart, connecting with nature on walks on the beach. I learned that Peace is not so much a state of mind, as it is a state of the heart.

Doing the journey together with Susan, Mary and Lita was very meaningful to me. Although we each wrote our own responses, knowing we were doing this journey together was a good feeling to me.

And I was very impressed with the quality of the process and the website itself, and how well it all worked.  You’ve done a great job Susan.

My reflections here, today, are simply what it is in my heart to share for now.

Peace be with us.

 

Journey of Peace, Final Reflection, Mary — 02.13.41

The final task for each Journey is to take some time and space after the daily writing has ended and reflect on the Journey, on your process, and on yourself. Here is Mary’s reflection (Lita’s reflection was posted yesterday, Steve’s reflection will be posted tomorrow, and my reflection the day after that):

Reflections on the Journey of Peace
Mary

It’s nearly Christmas. People are busy shopping and decorating and gathering near to loved ones. Carols of Peace on Earth and good will to all are filling the airwaves all around us. I think again how sad it is that we often pack away our Christmas spirit along with all the decorations at the end of this season of kindness and joy. I am determined not to pack away my Christmas spirit, not ever! Taking the Journey of Peace was an extremely timely experience for me. My father had passed shortly before the Journey began. I had knee replacement surgery and was in the beginning stages of recovery at the onset of this Journey.  The Guiding Thoughts went a long way in helping me to be at Peace with the curveballs life sometimes throws our way. I was getting comfortable with feeling I had done a good job of embracing Peace in my day-to-day living, then day 39 rolled around, the end of the Journey was in sight,  and I had a moment of disharmony. I realize I have a long road yet to walk, and have the intention of carrying on this Journey of Peace to the end of the road. These Journeys claim a daily commitment for 40 days. What I’ve learned is that, for me,  those 40 days are only the beginning of a Journey that will endure for the remainder of my life. As Lita, another Journeyer, states, we have the opportunity to be Big. These Journeys encourage us to be as Big as we choose, in a safe and supportive environment. I have great love and gratitude to Dr. Susan Billmaier for presenting the Journeys and to Steve, Lita, Amy and all the others who Journey with us. The Journeys are an exploration and a vehicle for Self-realization. I invite and welcome all fellow travelers on the path. Let all our hearts join in the prayer for Peace on Earth. If it is to be, it is up to me! (and you, too!)

Journey of Peace, Final Reflection, Lita — 02.13.41

The final task for each Journey is to take some time and space after the daily writing has ended and reflect on the Journey, on your process, and on yourself. Here is Lita’s reflection (Mary’s reflection will be posted tomorrow, and Steve’s the day after that, and my reflection the day after that):

Reflection
Lita

Journey of Peace – Reflection

This is my second round of Journey writing.  At this juncture, I can say that the process of reflection and writing is that of un-layering: the sorting and removal of thoughts, memories, and emotions which no longer serve my way of thinking and being in the world. It is core work for sure. And then comes the re-layering: new thoughts and practices for living.

This Journey of Peace has been but another opportunity for un-layering and re-layering. In some respects, it has been more challenging, I think because the longer and deeper my commitment to this process becomes, the more I am faced with my own edges.

The daily writing and posting keeps me honest and accountable. My commitment to the exploration of consciousness and to the greater good has certainly helped me to find/create ways to stay big. This forum holds my feet to the fire, so to speak, but in a kind and nudging way.

In this period of rest and reflection, I experience Peace as a gentle mist or soft sun – available to me, to all – settling into the marrow of my being. This is the re-layering bit, informing how I move and interact with the world around me. I can stay big while staying kind.

I return again and again to Wendell Berry’s, The Peace of Wild Things:

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

 

Seeking Guest Journeyers for January, Journey of the Heart

Journey of the Heart is about connecting with your heart, meaning, your deepest inner Self, your Highest dreams, wishes, Purpose; your Inner Truth.  If this is something you have been pulled or pushed to want, to seek, to pursue, this might be a great opportunity for you.
Guest Journeyers do their Journeys here, live, daily. Meet the recent Guest Journeyers here. Read their Journeys here.

This is what is required of Guest Journeyers for Journey of the Heart:

Step One (one day): Think about and decide why you want to connect with your heart. Write about this. The writing can be 100 or 1000+ words. The main point is to spend some time reflecting, then writing.
Step Two (one day): Decide to commit to the Journey–committing to a minimum of 10 minutes each day to do the contemplation/reflection. Write down your commitment. Also, if you choose, add a dedication (“for the benefit of all sentient beings”).
Step Three (40 days): Using Guiding Thoughts to focus your mind into your heart, listen to the words, while you draw/paint/color or write. Since the heart does not use words to communicate, this is a creative connective endeavor; the words merely lead you into what the heart wants to communicate. A minimum of 10 minutes is recommended daily for this Journey. You may listen to the Guiding thoughts here:
they loop automatically. Alternatively, you may read the Guiding Thoughts for 5 minutes prior to drawing/coloring/painting/writing, or you may record the Guiding Thoughts in your own voice and loop that while  drawing/coloring/painting/writing.
Step Four (one day): After the 40 days are complete, take some breathing room for a few days. Then, reflect on your Journey–an overview, self-assessment, “progress report” so to say–and write a bit.
Those are the basics of the Journey.
To be a Guest Journeyer there are additional administrative considerations, which we would have to work out: You’d have to either send me your reflections (drawing/coloring/painting/writing) or you may use your WordPress account, and I would add you as an admin on susanwithpearls, so you can log in and post the reflections yourself.

If you are interested, please email me. susan@withpearls.com

Questions, curious inquiries, requests for more information welcome.

Beyond Understanding — 02.13.40

Guiding Thought

Knowing the essence of All as my Self, I respect and revere All Life. I love my Self; I love All Life. I bring this Love regularly, sincerely, and thankfully to all my activities and interactions. I now Know the Peace inherent in Oneness. I Know All as my Self. I Know my Self as Love.

Reflection
Steve

Peace is timeless. In the Peace of Oneness, there is no time and space. No beginning, no end. As a dear friend once wrote to me, Peace is Beyond understanding. It’s not that we don’t understand. Beyond understanding is Where we will find peace. Beyond understanding is of the heart, not of the mind.

I started this reflection by reading the guiding thought, and nothing came up. I read the words, my brain/mind don’t have a clue how to respond. I wait, I pause, I let go of wanting to sound smart, of wanting to have just the right response for this Day 40 reflection.

I re-read an email discussion with a dear friend from 2013. It is here that I get my inspiration. This is where the Beyond Understanding comes from. Over 6 years ago, we were in discussion about Peace. I was struck by how the message “peace be with you” is totally absolutely non-denominational. Peace be with You. A little email, a big discussion. Now 6 years later, it comes back to me, and the message is timeless. I am Peace, I must Be Peace. I make a difference, we all make a difference. Just a little discussion of Peace has rippled through time, to touch us again. I know myself, ourselves, as Love, and we make a difference.

May Peace be with us All.

 

Cat as Teacher — 02.13.39

Guiding Thought

The purpose of Life for all beings is to experience happiness, peace, contentment, and safety, Knowing the Oneness and Immortality of the Divine Self. Such Knowledge is beyond speech, beyond thought; it is found in the depths of the heart where communion (co-union) with All is reality. I bring the unifying force within my heart to all people and experiences and thus Know myself as the happiness, peace, contentment, and safety I Am.

Reflection
Steve

We are at the ocean for 3 days, and our cat Red is at home inside. All by himself. He has lots of food and water, and 2 clean potty boxes. So he is safe, contented, very peaceful, I am sure he is getting lots of sleep. But is he happy? He can’t go outside, which is a normal daily activity for him. He often spends the night outside. He has no one to cuddle up to, no lap to sit on. I know he will survive; we’ve done this before. Yet I worry for him during our absence. What is his experience like, how long does 3 days by himself seem?

The potentially missing experience for him is happiness. His humans are gone, his routine has been limited. When we return he will meow up a storm, and then run around outside, then eventually he will return, and want to be petted. We like to think he is pissed at us, of course we really don’t know.

What occurs to me about all this?

  1. We are all One In the depths of our heart. This crosses all races, all genders, all species, all living and even non-living things. All sentient beings want happiness, peace safety and contentment, A snake basking in the hot sun on a rock I like to think is content.
  2. Love is forgiveness. Our cat will not hold a grudge for how we confined him. Although possibly troubling, he won’t take his frustration out on us (at least, not for long). I know I may be anthropomorphizing here, but even the Dalai Lama gives blessings for animals. It is sometimes simpler to understand our emotional complexities in our relationships with non-human sentient beings. There is a purity in their responses. Many animal lovers will attest to this.
  3. The Oneness of our Divine Self crosses all barriers, and thus we share our infinite peace, contentment, happiness, and safety with all.