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

The Way

Looking for a good movie?  One that you haven’t heard a lot about, but when you sit down, you’re sure to be pleasantly surprised?  That’s how I felt as I watched, “The Way.”  It’s a father-son project, where father, Martin Sheen starred and son, Emilio Estevez, wrote, produced, and directed.

The entire movie was filmed in France and Spain, along the actual Camino de Santiago, a route that’s been traveled for over a thousand years as a pilgrimage for any and all who are so inclined to do so.  The Way or ‘walk’, more appropriately called the ‘Camino’, is not based on any one religion.  For many, it’s not seen as a religious act at all, but rather a spiritual one.  And as it takes 6-8 weeks to complete the journey, it’s not something one jumps into without giving it due thought.

However, that’s what Tom, the main character did – he jumped right in, not even knowing at the onset why he was walking the Camino.  As I followed Tom as he made his Way, I was struck by the beautiful landscapes that unfolded in front of me.  I was reminded of my time in Spain and France and what it felt like to be around Europeans, the way they dress, the way they experience food and drink, the way life is lived at a much different pace than here in the United States.  And of course, all of these factors were exacerbated by the fact that Tom was on a pilgrimage, thus the spiritual undertones were present throughout the movie.  It was heavenly.

Below is a link where you can read more about the Camino de Santiago, as well as the movie, “The Way.”  Here is an excerpt from the link below that sums up many of my thoughts on the movie:

“The main protagonist of the film is the conflict we each have within ourselves of choosing a life versus living a life. This greater question of finding oneself is a matter of acceptance and choice. Given the circumstances of our lives, how do we understand ourselves, our family and our friends, and the choices we make? Do we blindly go through life unaware of our actions and how they affect not only ourselves but others, as well? What role does our community, friendships and faith play in our decisions?

The Camino, by its nature, serves as the ultimate metaphor for life. Footsteps along a well-trodden path may be our guide, but do not shield us from the questions that most of our busy everyday lives prevent us at times from fully recognizing. The road offers very little to hide behind. The process of life is life along whichever road, path, Camino, or Way we find ourselves on. Our humanity toward ourselves and others, our history and our future is what defines us. Take the journey of life. Buen Camino!”

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Man, I wish I had written those last two paragraphs.  They are sublime.  As is the movie.  If you end up seeing it, please let me know.  And one day, when it’s my time to walk the Camino, I’ll let you know.  For now, I’m content to live the metaphor, but ah, one day….

Click here for more information on The Camino de Santiago and “The Way.”

Still Waters

Please join me in welcoming guest blogger and talented photographer Carla Royal to Trust Life Today, in an original piece of hers that spoke volumes to me.  Thank you for sharing with us, Carla.

“Still waters run deep.”  English Proverb

It’s been a month since I’ve written in my journal and probably that long since I’ve sat in meditation and read spiritual literature.  I’ve done all three today and intend for this to be the first day of the return to my morning practices.  They are important to me.  They make a difference in the quality of my life and in my contribution to those around me.  They still the depths of my emotional waters, allowing the surface waters to swirl and rage as they will.

Do you remember the divers during the tsunami in southern Asia?   They were deep in the still waters of the ocean when the wave roared above them. They only knew of its existence upon surfacing.  They were safe.  They had survived.

I’ve been caught up in the surface waters lately and have forgotten the safety, comfort, and support of the deep, still waters.  It is not so much that I’ve forgotten really, it’s that I’ve stubbornly remained on the surface, frantically kicking to stay afloat the swirling, rushing, and rocky shallows.  I have known that all I had to do was take a deep breath, relax, and drop into the stillness.

As I drop down into the still waters, the heaviness eases and I am able to enter the current of peace.  I feel the soothing support of the deep calm.

Can you relate?

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Carla Royal, M.Ed. is a transformative life coach, blogger, and photographer.  Visit Carla at Sacred Witness | Witnessing the World Within and Without or Relieve Stress, Stop Anxiety for more information on transformative coaching, to read her blogs, or to view her photographs.  She would be delighted to have you drop by!