Give Peace a Year – Meeting nineteen

hochbunkerPrison tower image by Christian Bardenhorst at Unsplash

With the aim of peace everywhere,

 starting here and now, transforming violence and conflict of needs  in life, one word, thought or deed at a time.

And because

it’s not the slog that will get us there, it’s the joy

for balance, things that warmed our hearts and made life a pleasure.

 

Starting where transformation is needed.

Examples from the group of peace lovers this week on Thursday 17th November

 

1.The US election result

After the shock had worn off, and, despite or maybe because of some disturbed sleep and nightmares following the election, we all seem inclined towards the same strategy

Don’t feed the fear.

Don’t give any more energy or airspace to talking about what’s wrong and stirring up the fear,

instead divert straight to sharing, and supporting, initiatives that address the issues and that stir up the love.

  • Safety pin wearing to show you’ll stand with those being abused
  • US non muslim citizens declaring willingness to register as muslim should such a register be established so as to confuse matters and show solidarity and let it be seen that such a register wouldn’t be effective

And many, many other examples of people showing support for one another.

Don’t feed the fear. Divert straight to love and create from there.

 

Barbara Hepworth prize winner to share prize

When things are made into a competition creating winners and losers and some humans are considered worthy of deciding who is better than someone else, especially in a highly subjective area like art, it goes to establish the feeling of lack, of not enough.

Native Americans say that if you win, you lose community.

Artist, Helen Marten, has pledged to share the £30,000 prize and so has found a way to benefit from the system whilst maintaining community. You can watch her acceptance speech and more at the link. She seems wise.

She’s also up for the Turner prize and would share that too.

 

Seattle Police Academy

Understanding that language is crucial, trainees talk about and see themselves as

Guardians of the Community

and not

Frontline Fighters in the War on Crime

And with that focus, de-escalation is a skill that is much lauded.

 

Prison Pheonix

A charitable trust offering yoga, meditation and books for prisoners

 

Next in person meeting

Thursday 1st December, 7.30 – 9pm

The Salisbury Arms Hotel, Hertford

Dates for the rest of the year here
Guidelines for the group here

Email to let me know if you’re coming and we’ll keep you a seat.

 

.

 

 

By Pauline | Posted in Give Peace a Year | Tagged , , |

Give Peace a Year – Meeting eighteen

chinese-characters

Photo by 金金 陶 at unsplash.com

With the aim of peace everywhere,

 starting here, now, transforming violence and conflict of needs  in life, one word, thought or deed at a time.

And because

it’s not the slog that will get us there, it’s the joy

for balance, things that warmed our hearts and made life a pleasure.

 

Starting where transformation is needed.

Examples from the group of peace lovers this week on Thursday 3rd November

 

Taking my sister to see an unexpectedly violent film

It turned out to be a whole lot more violent and about war than I thought it would be and shook me up a whole lot more than I expected it would. All in all a very unsettling experience. I might have left during the film had it not been that I’d taken my sister there. Actually she might have left early too… we both may have stayed just for the other.

There was no usefulness through awareness raising for me or a path to peace through the ire stirred by seeing the film. So I know for sure I’ll be checking more carefully and won’t go to see any more like that.

 

One that was a joy

Kubo and the Two Strings

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4-6qJzeb3A

 

Another joy

Finding that the Chinese characters that mean peace, are like two shields representing two forces that are equal.

Equality. Peace, and a joy.

(The characters in the image above don’t say peace. I couldn’t find a publishable version of those but did want to have an image of some Chinese writing…I hope they say something peaceful…do let me know if you know).

 

Drunken family shouting

In the John Osbourne play, The Entertainer.

There was a lot of drinking, smoking and shouting which just felt dated and not very entertaining and I certainly didn’t feel peaceful while watching it.

Entertainment proving unexpectedly violent seems to be a theme this time.

 

Walks at sunset

To heal my ankles, I’ve been taking daily walks, increasing by just one minute at a time so as to build up in a super gentle way.

Now, having reached 30 minute walks twice a day, I’m in need of some variety and in looking for new routes have found one that has a view of the setting sun.  I’ve timed my second walk of the day for the half hour before sunset and so now have the pleasure of walking every day in the golden hour and, if it’s clear, seeing the sun set.

 

img_1232

 

Next in person meeting

Thursday 17th November, 7.30 – 9pm

The Salisbury Arms Hotel, Hertford

Dates for the rest of the year here
Guidelines for the group here

Email to let me know if you’re coming and we’ll keep you a seat.

 

.

 

By Pauline | Posted in Give Peace a Year | Tagged , , |

Give Peace a Year – Meeting seventeen

scarlet-abstract-art

 

With the aim of peace, everywhere, starting here, now, transforming violence and conflict of needs  in life, one word, thought or deed at a time.

And because

it’s not the slog that will get us there, it’s the joy

for balance, things that warmed our hearts and made life a pleasure.

There was plenty this time. This joy... much gladness.

 

Starting where transformation is needed.

Examples from the group of peace lovers this week on Thursday 20th October

The pain of one dimensional conversations

Rendering inadmissible matters of the heart or soul, no feelings taken into account, only facts and things considered logical allowed. Not acknowledging or dealing with upset.

For example

saying ‘they get over their spats soon enough’ when faced with concern over physical abuse

giving unsolicited advice and telling me what the facts are when listening was requested and when the facts were not the point, the feelings were.

saying ‘homeopathy is rubbish’ giving that opinion as if it’s a fact, and the danger of that being taken as agreed with if unchallenged, yet not having the energy to keep offering alternative views every time this happens

I’d like more reciprocity? maybe…

an openness to the existence of views and experiences other than their own…

giving and receiving in the interaction, a willingness to listen on both sides so as to feel heard and understood and for the response to show that,  not to reject the non logical part of the human condition.

I would like a strategy… how to be, when I’m frustrated that the conversation and response I’m getting is in one dimension only.

I think if I can reach the point of accepting that the other person hasn’t the capacity or bandwidth or something, to hear those things and not to expect it.

Then to see whether I soften after that and whether what I feel able to do changes from that acceptance.

Bringing it here to open up the matter and start to explore it for myself.

 

The joy – oil paints and mixing colours

Splashing around with paint, with nothing to do but enjoy myself.

The luscious rich pigment in oil paints. Playing with mixing colours… the infinite variations with a squeeze more white, a blob more red.

Tord Gustavsen on piano playing along. So very happy making.

img_1225

 

Please don’t stamp on my intuition.

It’s taken 57 years for my experience to affirm my intuition.

Which is why I don’t appreciate anyone stamping on it and the reason I now trust and follow it.

In my teens I had an intuitive flash, a knowing, about religion and spirituality. I then spent the next 57 years listening to others talk about it in ways that were different from my intuitive flash.  I erred on the side of believing them. I went the experiential route to find and test out what was so for me and have ended up right back at the intuitive knowing.

It’s taken many ‘signs’ for me to catch on and get the message but I’m listening now and feel confident about leaving a path to travel a new one.

I’m bringing this one here to share, be heard and celebrate the peace I feel having reached this point and trusting myself.

 

Having a place to talk about ways to make more peace

I love having this place to come where we can talk about things and think things through, without being given unsolicited advice or attempts to fix you or tell you you’re wrong.

All of you

These words came during a session of Writing Raw, a class with Julie Daley and seem to be apt for the themes from this meeting of Give Peace a Year. They resonate for how we are here with one-another and also describe well what guides the corporate and private coaching work that I do.

I’m calling it ‘All of You’ for now. ‘Whole’ might work too.

 

“Make the space, for the truth to safely surface

for what’s really wholehearted, to be safely felt

for what’s tight in there to unfurl a little

a little, a breath, a little more

it’s ok – it really is

 

What is there, in there

what is it that’s needed

it’s alright – truly it is

take care with it, take care of it

 

Unfurling, the beauty, the space

it can be, you can be

breathing again, deeper now, feeling the expansion

of the space, where you can be

where you can unfurl and be seen, seen by yourself at least

 

What wants to be, to be seen

what wants to be taken into the world

the world needs it

needs it especially now”

 

Fried eggs and brown shrimps for breakfast

Staying with friends who really like having you there.

And who serve a beautifully chosen and cooked breakfast

 

 

 

Next in person meeting

Thursday 3rd November, 7.30 – 9pm

The Salisbury Arms Hotel, Hertford

Dates for the rest of the year here
Guidelines for the group here

Email to let me know if you’re coming and we’ll keep you a seat.

.

By Pauline | Posted in Give Peace a Year | Tagged , |

Give Peace a Year – Meeting sixteen

bright-orange-autumn-leaf

 

 

With the aim of peace, everywhere, starting here, now, transforming violence and conflict of needs  in life, one word, thought or deed at a time.

And because

it’s not the slog that will get us there, it’s the joy

for balance, things that warmed our hearts.

 

Starting where transformation is needed.

Examples from the group of peace lovers this week on Thursday 6th October

 

1.Violence as entertainment.

Given our discussions here, I’ve been noticing more where there’s violence around me.

This time it’s been violence in films and tv programmes – as entertainment!

Smashing up cars and guns everywhere It’s become totally normal to see this and we’re just accepting it as normal. And more than that, enjoying the violence as entertainment.

Violence for fun!

I’ve recently seen the army at school fairs and town ‘fun’ days inviting young children to handle guns and point them at targets as part of a fun day out.

How has this come to be?  That having guns, killing people or smashing up cars has become a thing that is done for fun?

 

 

We’re all human – film helping us to see we’re the same

One film, The Soloist, lets us get to know, as a person, one particular homeless man, as he is spotted playing a violin, coaxing music from its remaining strings.

Being able to see as human, to be helped to see past the outer, see past the circumstances to the human qualities and gifts.

To see the way in which he has qualities, to see how he’s a person, to see what about him that I recognise.

Might that play a part in helping us extend compassion to those that we don’t know… to ‘the other’.

 

Catherine Henderson of Herts Welcomes Syrian Families, (as well as other humanitarian groups) has been concerned, and raising awareness about the plight of refugees.

There is much concern about the bulldozing of the site at Calais and what will happen to the estimated 1000, many unaccompanied, children there. Last time the site was bulldozed, hundreds of children just disappeared.

The question of whether we care, what blocks a compassionate response, and to what extent our care or lack of it is linked to the extent to which we feel connected to or the same as refugees.

Whether coming to know someone, to see how we are the same, could be instrumental in helping the situation. Whenever we hear from an individual person and that their job in Syria was a cameraman, or a tailor… hearing things that have us come to know them a little…

Might that, education, telling human stories be a help?

 

Where are the men?

This meeting, the get together in Welwyn Garden City, as well this Give Peace a Year meetings have been taking place regularly, with an active, engaged, lively and fiercely interested audience. Wonderful. And it’s an audience of entirely women.

We were curious…  why no interest from men?

 

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-12-22-05

Autumn

Season of stunning colours outside

Season of curling up with books inside.

Both of which, for me, are an absolute delight.

 

When I was in primary school, in Scotland, way back when…

Our teacher read to us, for a whole afternoon, every week.

We’d rest our chins on our hands on the desk in front of us and listen to him read to us. Wow… what a gift… we had no idea how much of a gift that was.

We didn’t then have to write an essay about it, or a critical review or analysis of the style… nothing required of us.

It was just for the pleasure of it.

I particularly remember The Hobbit.

Curling up with a book, just for the pleasure of it.

WHAT a joy.

Thank you Scottish 60’s education system that allowed that.

 

Next in person meeting

Thursday 20th October, 7.30 – 9pm

The Salisbury Arms Hotel, Hertford

Dates for the rest of the year here
Guidelines for the group here

Email to let me know if you’re coming and we’ll keep you a seat.

.

 

By Pauline | Posted in Give Peace a Year |

Give Peace a Year – Meeting fifteen

Labyrinth at Woodbrooke

 

With the aim of peace, everywhere, starting here, now, transforming violence and conflict of needs  in life, one word, thought or deed at a time.

And because

it’s not the slog that will get us there, it’s the joy

for balance, things that warmed our hearts.

 

Starting where transformation is needed.

Examples from the group of peace lovers this week on Thursday 8th September

 

1.Use of the word grab.

It’s come into common usage and I used it myself the other day at a conference. I saw someone who had presented and that I’d like to ask about some things and said

‘Oh, I’ll just grab a minute with her’

A person I don’t know but who was standing beside me at the time picked me up on the use of ‘grab’ mentioning that that language could be heard as quite a strong, potentially violent thing to do.

I was pretty surprised both that anyone would pay that much attention to my language and extra surprised that a stranger would mention it.

We talked a bit more about it and I can see how I use the phrase unconsciously and actually the situation didn’t call for any grabbing in order for me to have a moment of her time.

It was quiet and there was no-one else around vying for her attention, nothing to stop me just asking whether I might have a moment of her time.

I wonder whether it’s come into such common usage because scarcity of time has become common. That it’s going to be the norm that if you want some time with someone then it’s going to have to be grabbed or snatched and have a hurried feel about it.

Encouraging and wonderful to see

At the Green Party conference people were willing and able to get together and work through issues where there was disagreement. So healthy. 

Also the use of an inclusion card. It allowed issues of inclusion to be raised easily and resolved on the spot. Like the repositioning of a sign interpreter so that they could be seen more easily and the addressing of language that was felt to be sexist.

2. Losing my temper

Two vans were parked half on the pavement close to the front of a couple of houses, on double yellow lines and partly blocking the entrance to a car park making it very tight and difficult for cars to go in. I got really angry. I said “you’re not meant to park there you know”  to the young men who’d pulled up there to get lunch from nearby shops.

They were quite dismissive and offhand and I got even more angry and said I would let the police know about their parking and took out my phone and made to take photos of their registration plates and position they were parked in.

It was such a minor offence and I was surprised at how angry I was about it.

I see that I’m really wanting more consideration, and the equality of access… the message that I’m getting from them is that their convenience being close to the shop was more important than others ability to get into the car park. Or in essence, I’m more important than you.

And then to wave me away when raising it with them added fuel to my unusually lit fire.

Consideration and equality of access… seem to be hot buttons for me. Who knew!

 

Much peace 

Walking the labyrinth at Woodbrooke.

Slowing things right down, giving things the time it takes to walk in and around and around and around. Starting with a question and walking the labyrinth with it. 

On the way in, allowing anything that stands in the way or blocks the answers to the question to drop away, not needing to know what they are, just that this is time for anything that needs to, to go.

Then in the centre welcoming answers, ideas or insights, receiving the gift of those.

And on the way out, insights about how to take whatever was received back out into service in the world.

 

3. Violent language in my head

On my way to a meeting I couldn’t find a parking spot where I’d planned and was likely now going to be late and suddenly found my head full of violent language… much swearing and blaming the town  over and over again and getting more and more wound up.

As we unpick what was going on, underneath it I was annoyed with myself for leaving it to the last minute, so there was no time left to find another parking place. I had to drive further out to find one and walk in further than I’d got time for.

If I’d allowed more time I would have actually enjoyed parking in the second spot as it’s close to the arts centre and I could have seen the new art there on the way past and enjoyed the walk too as it was a lovely evening.

Leaving things to the last minute is a tendency of mine, as is being late. And I have plenty of time, I don’t need to be rushing around.

Underneath the annoyance with myself, there’s a very tender part about taking time and giving things and myself due regard and allowing the necessary time for that.

Or not, as the case may be.

And whether the rushing and lack of time given equates to the value I place on them and myself.

I’d so like things to be more relaxed, and to be on time… to respect others time too and not keep people waiting or hold them up.

Mulling on this… gently though with this very tender exposed part

 

Not throwaway

Talking to a new friend, aged 94, on living well and dying well, she asked me about my work (the living well part) as a leadership coach. She had heard of but never met someone who worked as a coach and was delighted to be able to ask the many questions she had about the profession.

She listened intently, asked more questions for clarification and afterwards thanked me for telling her about my work.

I felt listened to and valued, like my words and what I had to say were important and that she was taking them in with care and would carry them off with her when she went.

Unlike a lot of conversations where words spill out and drain away, never really taken in…

Disposable conversation… words allowed to float off on the wind – the introverts nightmare – not this time.

 

Next in person meeting

Thursday 6th October, 7.30 – 9pm

The Salisbury Arms Hotel, Hertford

Dates for the rest of the year here
Guidelines for the group here

Email to let me know if you’re coming and we’ll keep you a seat.

.

 

 

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
By Pauline | Posted in Give Peace a Year | Tagged , , |