your tablet or smartphone , a quote on your nightstand or desk , a piece of art in your bathroom , music in your car or on your smartphone or anything that allows you to be present to your chosen word throughout each day .
l Have a relationship with your word ! This is not a static or one-sided engagement . This practice is intended to surprise , engage , ruffle , disturb , comfort and expand your heart and mind spaces . It is not an exercise of sweetness and light although if that were a by-product of your relationship with peace we could each do with a little more of that in our lives ! It is about living more fully and mindfully as an activator and participant in your life and all of your relationships with others and the world . Like any relationship , your one with your chosen word will surprise you .
l Record and track ! To appreciate your relationship with peace monitor , track and celebrate your insights . Some people choose to write in their daily journal or keep a special book devoted to your word of the year . Others text or email insights to themselves and place those messages in a folder . One family chose to make it a family exercise in which the parents and kids used bright colored markers for their daily thoughts about their chosen word and wrote them on sheets of newsprint in their family room . You will know what works best for your personality and life . The point is to be able to revisit and mark your learnings with your chosen word .
As your relationship with the word peace grows and changes over the year , be mindful of these three dynamics that are essential to the many different ways in which peace becomes part of our individual life .
l Personal Peace . Invite new awareness and acknowledgement of who and what keep you from being at one with the wonder of who you are . Listen attentively to the goodness or beauty that others identify as your key attributes and begin to embrace and befriend those qualities . Or perhaps you are running from the essence of yourself or the shadows of your life . When your own well-being is as important to you as being friendly to yourself , you begin to prosper . Awareness is the cradle of insight and the incubator of courage to act on creating new personal peace ! Such a peace passes all understanding and shifts the ground you walk on every day .
l Peace in your orbit . Our lives are connected to a myriad of people with whom we have widely different levels of relationship . This is the orbit that is oxygen to our lives , even when our patience is tried by some . Be attentive to the words beyond simple slogans that others use , because those words reflect their heart and head space . Appreciate the acts of goodness and generosity others carry out every day , and especially those with whom you disagree or usually pay little attention to . Look with new eyes at the people you make assumptions or judgments about . Notice how others sustain , feed , challenge and stretch you . Imagine how your lives are collectively a force for the well-being of the community .
l Peace beyond your border . We each have limitations about our ability to see others for who they are , falling back on labels that diminish or demean others . Invite yourself to learn about a person or group of people you do that to . If you are at peace with yourself you will be naturally curious about those who differ from you ; expect that you will learn something from one another . The border of your mind , heart and consciousness will become interested in the mutual well-being that you yearn for , no matter how imperfectly you imagine or implement that .
Peace is gritty , real , illusive , surprising and life giving . It is also imperfect and close at hand while being seemingly out of reach . Each time I rediscover that my own life is valuable enough to cherish my well-being , the grounding of my life shifts . Peace is not for the insecure , the self-loathers , the self-righteous or self-promoters . Yet peace is a word that changes our lies and lives .
Be bold enough to choose peace as your daily word and it will confound , delight , surprise , challenge and enrich you beyond measure . Your expanded relationship with peace will inspire you to be an activator of peace and well-being . And it may also be a gift to others and to the world !
The Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation envisions a world in which everyone values human dignity and interconnectedness . Real peace will prevail when there is a culture of peace in the USA and around the world . That culture originates in the hearts and minds of our youth , the future leaders and peacemakers of the world . Our programs are based on the teachings of Desmond Tutu who has dedicated his life to reshaping conversations about peace , equality , and forgiveness . The philosophy of Ubuntu guides us with its meaning of We are all connected . What affects one of us affects us all . www . tutufoundationusa . org .