What a way to begin the New Year in the Goddess calendar as three amazing women, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkul Karman are the winners of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first female president of her African nation of Liberia and her countrywoman Leymah Gbowee is bringing Muslim and Christian women together working for peace. Tawakkul Karman is a peace activist in Yemen working to overthrow authoritarian governments and to provide human rights and opportunities for all women everywhere. In this month where we celebrate Thanksgiving I give thanks for these amazing women for their Vision, Courage and Stamina as they lead all people everywhere by example.
I also again give thanks and acknowledgment to the Native Americans who welcomed the pilgrims some 500 years ago. Without the help of the early Native Americans of this country the pilgrims never would've survived that first winter. I certainly never read that account in the textbooks I read as a child and that is why I'm mentioning it here.
I also watched a movie last night that unexpectedly unnervingly educated me on yet another detail that I certainly did not read in my childhood textbooks. It absolutely unnerves me to realize that we stole the territories of California, New Mexico and Texas from the Mexican people. By the time you read this newsletter I will have just returned from my first visit to Mexico. These details will certainly be in the forefront of my heart and mind as I visit their country.
I have shared before that I never use the word "history" when I am writing or speaking. The very word "history" tells only "his story." I read a story today by Katherine Marshall as she details the contributions of women that "politicians, academics and the media have long downplayed. Women and those they care for suffer disproportionately in war and conflict; but they are also at the forefront of work for peace."
In particular Katherine Marshall was detailing women's contributions in social services, with trauma healing, domestic violence and in spiritual communities where their faith, vision and courage give them the impetus to do the work they do as it contributes to peace in the larger world. She quoted noted Indian leader Ela Bhatt who said, "Peace is about the ordinariness of life, how we understand each other, share meals, and share courtyards..."
I highly recommend that you read Katherine Marshall's story in the Huffington Post about these three amazing Nobel laureates "who have forced change" by their amazing courage and steadfastness. I know with all my heart it is in all we think, say, and do that we embody Peace or not!!! I'm detailing these events as my tribute to all the unsung heroines everywhere who work tirelessly to bring Peace to our world. I'm grateful.
Sadly, I add the acknowledgment that I just learned that the Huffington Post was bought out by AOL about a year ago and AOL is deleting and censoring the progressive political voices that Arianna Huffington championed. This kind of change highlights the value and necessity of education as we move toward the cooperation style of honoring "Power within" and "Power with" rather than the domination style of "power over."
In my home church community we are studying Rev. Dr. Gary Simmons' book, "The I Of The Storm: Embracing Conflict, Creating Peace." It's a fabulous book. It takes us right into the heart of facing our fears directly, realizing from a new perspective there are no enemies and from that perspective Peace is possible.
I have shared my Understanding of the enormous Confidence that Reality takes. The attitude of no enemies means I have Confidence that I can handle whatever moment is in front of me. I don't automatically unconsciously shrink into a knee jerk, fear-based, survival-based reaction. I respond from a Calm, Conscious, Confident Peace. That takes Awareness and Presence. We are not taught those skills from a dualistic point of view where we label people, places, attitudes, and actions bad or good. We only learn those skills from the Unitive Perspective that Universal Energy and Presence (what many call God) is everywhere present; that all things work together for Good; that everyone and everything is inherently worthy and good; that matter and Spirit are one and the same, two Expressions of the Same Energy, the Impartial Activating Principle of the Universe.
To further the Knowingness of the Unitive Perspective I am offering a class in December titled: 2012: What's In It For You?" Check out my website: www.cathycombs.com under my Classes section for more info.
My belief is that we all are on an ever upward evolutionary spiral of conscious spiritual development. Our souls have called us into being. We have work to do here as we acknowledge: We are sacred. We are holy. We are individualized Expressions of the Universal Energy and Presence. We are one world, a sacred community of people getting to know ourselves and each other. As we cooperate rather than compete we will find that limitless opportunities present themselves. We will find that there is much more Joy, Peace, Health, Hope and Abundance than we ever knew. Fear is not our only Identity. Greatness is our Identity.
In a Spirit of Thanksgiving and admiration I also want to acknowledge one of my very favorite people: Gloria Steinem. I got to hear her speak years ago. Her peaceful, powerful Presence was mesmerizing. I echo her words of the 70s: "The personal is political. The political is personal." I couldn't agree more. I am so very grateful for the millions of people everywhere working together for Peace, knowing that it is from "Power within" and "Power with," not from "power over" that Peace is Possible.
I have a sign on my front door: "Peace Is Possible." I know it makes a difference to live from that perspective!!! That's why I'm doing what I'm doing and saying what I'm saying. Blessings to you this season and every day. You make a difference!!! Namaste!!! If you need a mirror to remember that I'll hold it up for you. As you do that too we bring Peace everywhere we go. What an awesome world to live in here and now. I'm grateful!! I hold the Vision with you that Peace is possible everywhere for everyone every moment!