Saturday, May 2, 2009

Doing The Unimaginable

From 3 amazing weeks in Israel and the West Bank In March to 3 sweet days in the US midwest in April … As fate (otherwise known as the infinite intelligence of the universe at work!) would have it, a minister and a professor played on my pro-am team last August when I competed in the Ohio Women’s State Open. Of course we got to talking about KiAi Golf and how the non-violent principles of Aikido help golfers to score better through more calm, balance, focus, and centered “peaceful power.”

By the back nine we were absorbed in conversation about Aikido and peace in the Middle East. My playing partners told me that community members from Ft. Wayne IN and Defiance OH have been visiting the Holy Land for years; how they love the people, sights and sites of Israel; and that they have been working with Palestinian educational projects in Bethlehem and the Galilee. They thought their colleagues would be interested in our Middle East Salaam Shalom Aikido peace project and lo and behold, eight months later they flew me out to speak at their church and college!

There are so many morals in the stories of our lives, the unfolding inter-related happenings of our daily experience. During these three chilly wonderful early-spring Midwest days, I feel like reminding myself and everyone to:

1) Be open and aware every minute, keep following the flow and connecting the dots each day. We just never know who we may meet, why we’re where we are, doing what we’re doing, being with the people we’re with and what may come of any meeting or experience.

2) Tune in to the deeper forces and greater intelligence that are at work at all times and places, and for what positive purposes.

3) Engage, enjoy and “trust the process” of things.

4) Relax and find how to accomplish much more with greater ease and unlimited natural power.

5) Keep seeing that as big and complex as the world has grown, its also becoming smaller and simpler. Likely and unlikely connections happen all the time, carrying much delight and emerging new possibilities and creativity.

Bottom line: Don’t be afraid to get together and to do great unimagined things!

Monday, April 27, 2009

In Defiance!

Here I am in northern Ohio and I just love “being in Defiance.” I love saying that I’m “in Defiance” and to think that people in this small town actually “live in Defiance,” year-round!

During my presentations at Defiance College I did my best to outline the history and context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; central points for just solutions and a lasting peace; and what we as citizens can do to support the people on both sides since everyone is suffering due to the ongoing violence and strife.

Conventional thinking says prospects for peace are bleak, perhaps even moreso during these past 3 years that have brought 2 highly destructive wars (Lebanon and Gaza), bitter division within the Palestinian Authority, a new hard-line government in Israel, and largely ineffective outside diplomatic efforts. Plus, as one Jordanian Aikido sensei put it: “The Mideast is a volcano - and its always erupting.”

Here’s where I suggest that it’s important for people everywhere to “live in defiance:”
In the face of all conventional wisdom we must stand for new realities.

  • We must hold that peace is possible, even in the Middle East and in the face of all odds and appearances.
  • We must allow for “miracles” to happen, and do the consciousness and practical work to help bring them about – no matter what!

  • We must defy time and space, knowing that they are not fixed realities, so that anything is possible.

After all, who would have thought or believed:

  • that communism would fall in Russia, and so suddenly and quickly?
  • that apartheid would come to an end in South Africa, under the leadership of a political prisoner leaving jail after 27 long hard years?

  • that Anwar Sadat would venture from Cairo to Jerusalem and Menahem Begin would sign a treaty with Egypt, or that Yitzhak Rabin and Yassar Arafat would ever recognize each other and shake hands for peace?

  • That America would elect a black president in our lifetime, especially a young junior senator unknown to the nation just 4 years earlier?
  • The moral of these stories is that we really do not know what might and can happen today, tomorrow or the next day. But we can defy ordinary time, space and logic to see what seems only a dream become manifest reality. As Jews the world over just said at the Passover table: “Bim-heyrah b’ya-meynu” – “Quickly in our days!”

    Today let’s all live in defiance! Just imagine what can happen as we are willing to defy “man-made” constructs, forget negativity and limitation, and freely declare:
  • Peace is possible and without delay to the Middle East!
  • I can play better golf and am improving right now!

  • I’m enjoying more harmony in my relationships, health in my body, peace in my mind and abundance in my life no matter what “the economy” is doing!

  • Nothing is impossible and there is always a way!

Thank you Defiance OH and watch out, you may have a lot of people moving your direction!