Let there be peace and let it start with me.

Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world”.  Years ago, when the kids were young and I was searching for sanity, I started a practice that gave me strength and direction.  It was a simple practice… When things just no longer made sense, I would sit and journal starting with the words: I am the change I want to see in the world.

On the one hand, it was an affirmation of what I aspired to be.  I say aspired, because I was far from being there and at times still today, I find myself lost and needing to find my way.  On the other, it was all of a sudden true, and there it was written, in my own script on the page of my journal for me to see and believe.  And so, the words would flow because being the change opened my world up to different possibilities.

So instead of being the Judge and Jury of Small Children, I became the Peace Angel, the Understanding Angel or even at times Mighty Mom.  I needed to create these characters to help ground me in concepts that I could easily visualize.  Personae that transcended my own damaged humanity and gave me courage and power to rise above.  To start being by acting as if I was.  And in the acting, I became.  Not perfect!  It had to stop being about being perfect and had to start being about being human.  And, all of a sudden, just like that, I was and I am.

There is a freedom in this.  It’s as if once I made up my mind to be whatever I affirmed that I am, there was nothing else to do.  Just be.

Go ahead.  I invite you.  No, I dare you.  Get a blank piece of paper or a canvas or some sand on a beach (because it’s not permanent) and scribble the words I am the change I want to see in the world.  And then, allow yourself to write just one more sentence.  Just one.  And, if you feel like it, write another, and another… and another.  But only if you feel like it.  It is enough to just write the first sentence:  I am the change I want to see in the world and imagine it to be true about  yourself.

It’s just a practice!

If you start to laugh and doubt, be kind.  Perhaps you’ve never been on stage before this moment and allowed yourself permission to act.  Go to an improv show or sign up for an acting workshop.  Do the first thing that pops into your head even if that thing calls you to dance naked in the moonlight.  Your husband may get traumatized, but the neighbors will recover. Who knows, they may even join you.  No matter how crazy, just do it from a place of love and courage.  Because when you scribble the words, I am the change that I want to see in the world, a shift happens and when your soul is ready, it will grab hold of your pen.

And when your soul starts to speak through your handwriting, there is nothing else to do but listen.

If you are like me, though, you may not giggle or burst into fits of laughter.  You may sob.  And if that happens, let the tears come.  Let them be a reminder of the spring dying to burst forth from you.  Let the tears down and let the judgement, shame, and memories go.  And, when you’ve let go of enough, start filling yourself again but this time, take care to fill yourself only with that which your soul thirsts for.

Come on.  It’s easy to start.  Give form or voice to this simple affirmation:  I am the change I want to see in the world …  Dance it quietly if you must or shout and sing it out – no pen and paper needed.

What sentence would flow out of you next?

For me, this morning it was a very familiar prayer:

Let there be peace and let it start with me.

Come on, get started.  I am the change I want to see in the world.  And, if you had one more thing to say, what would it be?

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