Peace Can Be Fun!

Yes!  Peace can be fun — and is fun at Peace Village!

In our last post, “What’s the Name of Your Village?” I shared with you many of the classes and activities the campers engaged in throughout the week.  From meditation to walking the labyrinth, from learning about nature and nutrition, to experiencing the wonders of Mother Earth.  All the while, having fun in a relaxing, loving, and peaceful environment.

Here, see for yourself….

Peace Village is surrounded by these majestic mountains:

 

Classes were held both indoors and outdoors:

Peace Village Co-Directors:

Co-Directors Susan Finch (left) and Kaylah Glasgow (right)
Thank you BOTH for all of your heart and soul.

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I met Barbara last summer and we instantly became fast friends.
Thanks to her generosity, Peace Village has been held at her High Mesa Healing Center for the past nine years.

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As I’ve said on numerous occasions, I believe we, as humans, seek Peace more than anything else.  That’s right.  More than love.  More than happiness.  I believe we seek Peace.

Thank you, TLT readers, for accompanying me on this journey.  As a lasting reminder, as we depart Peace Village this week, please join me in reading the words on the “exit sign” of the High Mesa Healing Center:

 

Yes.

Go

In

Peace

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Love,

Leslie

 

What’s the Name of Your Village?

I hear a lot of talk about Tribes and Villages.  They seem to be the new words/concepts for how we used to say, “My peeps.”  Regardless of the vernacular we use, we know when we’re among them.  These are the people who See us.  Because they want to see us, but also because we allow ourselves to be seen by them.  We breathe a little bit easier when among our tribe.

[Aside prayer:  I pray that one day I will be comfortable enough in my own skin to breathe easily no matter who I’m with or what the circumstance may be.  And so it is.  Amen.]

Back to our village.  This week I am here.  I am among such people.  And this place has a name — it’s very appropriately called:  Peace Village.

As I mentioned in the previous TLT post, “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is… I Did,” I’m spending this week at a camp in New Mexico, sharing lessons on Trust with kids ranging in age from 7-13.

Peace Village is a national organization which holds camps, as well as after school programs and adult workshops, all focusing on non-violence.  These programs are located in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington.  Several of these states have more than one city where Peace Village is offered (Oregon with many locations) and there’s even one site in Haiti.

From the About page of their website, you will read that their “programs host teachers and students from Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Native American backgrounds.  They offer students a comprehensive view of the messages and practice of peace from a variety of world traditions, both spiritual and secular.”

The particular Peace Village I’m attending is the only one held outdoors.  It’s located on the beautiful grounds of the High Mesa Healing Center in Alto, New Mexico.  Being surrounded by nature adds an element of peace which would be difficult to replicate within a church or university setting, which is where other Peace Villages are held.

Entrance to Peace Village. Alto, New Mexico

 

What a blessing it is to be here.  To share such an experience and loving energy with all you come in contact with is the epitome of a blessing.

And whether the kids connect the dots now or connect them later in life, they are also receiving a true blessing.  Their parents chose to enroll them in a camp that feeds their Spirit.  Each day they begin in meditation, then attend classes on topics such as:

  • nutrition
  • caring for Mother Earth
  • learning about the Circle of Life
  • nature and fire prevention (Remember the recent fires in New Mexico?  This was not a news story for many of theses kids, it was their life.)

 

The campers engage in the powerful, centering act of Walking a Labyrinth.  They learn the 3 R’s:

  • Release any stress, negative thoughts, emotions, or feelings as you enter and walk to the center
  • Receive blessings, love, and all Life has to offer
  • Return back the way you entered, with a sense of balance and peace

 

 

 

As these campers are guided through the wonders of Life, may they feel inner peace.  TLT readers, may you find your inner peace, as well as your tribe, your village — your peeps who See you.  And may you allow yourself to be seen for the beautiful creation you are.

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Love,

Leslie

But Where Is This Gathering?

labyrinth

I find walking a labyrinth to be a holy experience.

 

Labyrinth Healing

During the summer of 2011, I quite literally stumbled upon this labyrinth while on a morning walk with my mother-in-law in a remote location, about an hour outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We had not set out to find this destination.  The circular shaped barn and labyrinth seemed to spring up out of nowhere.

This photo captures the healing essence, the beauty, and the awe of all it all — of walking side-by-side with God in nature, of the mystery of the labyrinth.  It also reminded me of a Sufi poem by Rumi:

But where is this gathering?

- I don’t know, my little angel

But do the others know?

- No, they don’t know either

How can you go to a gathering without

knowing where it is?

- It suffices to walk,  just walk

Those who are invited will find the way.

labyrinth

 I invite you today — Explore your inner labyrinth.  Trust you will find your way.   Love, Leslie

48 Hours

I’m overwhelmed with the kindness and love I’ve received since my most recent post.  Your comments, emails, texts, even your rituals performed in seeing me as whole and healed are appreciated more than you know.  Truly, thank you.

As I wrote before, I am honoring myself as whole and healed right from the beginning.  Part of that healing has manifested in a 48 hour girl’s trip with one of my closest friends, my mother-in-law.  I captured it in photograph form specifically to share with you.  (Sorry Tracy, I’m no photographer…this is just me and my iPhone.)

We were surrounded with beautiful scenery in each outdoor dining experience in Santa Fe.

Harry's Roadside Grill (best coconut cream pie I've EVER had!)

Luminaria Restaurant at the Inn at Loretto

 

Next stop, the plaza in Santa Fe.  The art, the culture, and the mercados are all so colorful and uplifting!

 

After 24 hours of shopping and eating, the next leg of the trip took place an hour north of Santa Fe in a town called Ojo Caliente, home of a spa by the same name.  Ojo Caliente has a variety of natural mineral pools, each serving its own medicinal purpose.  My favorite was the mud pool, but I also enjoyed all of the others.

Slathered in mud!

 

Mud dries fast in this climate/altitude!

 

 

More of my favorite features of Ojo Caliente:

 

I did numerous walking meditations around this labyrinth.

 

 

Ojo Caliente Spa at dusk

 

Fire pit - where I'm sitting, although it's dark now.

 

Tomorrow morning I’ll be starting my day off with a nice hike:

 

Thank you, Nancy for coordinating this wonderful, healing getaway.

And thank YOU for joining me in seeing me as whole.  As healed.  Much love, Leslie