Appreciating the Twists and Turns of Life

Editor's Note:

This Week in Peace chronicles the exciting adventures of San Jose’s own Dancer of Peace, Khalilah Ramirez. Written under divine inspiration, the column contains true stories of peace encounters in your neighborhood. In this edition, Khalilah talks about spontaneity and invites you to Viva Calle this Sunday to catch the Dance of Peace in Japantown.

Hello! Greetings to everyone reading. This Week In Peace is happy to be an accessible way for citizens to catch up on events that foster the energy of peace. This was a full week for peace events with a rising current of people, synchronistic experiences and joy, each one building on the other. It is vital to take the time to love life by looking back on it (and forward!) with ample gratitude for all that is. Yes, all. Learning to appreciate the twists and turns of life strengthens us for the journey. It is a practice worthy of aspiring to each day.

One of the most consistent facets of life we can be grateful for is the surprising spontaneity that it brings. Spontaneous is defined as "occurring without premeditated of external stimulus." It is described as being synonymous with "natural, uninhibited, relaxed, unselfconscious". That is just a few of the many attitudes needed to foster peace. On Sunday, a friend called wanting to do an unplanned drum circle in Cesar Chavez park. It was a lovely afternoon for it and we were able to find six people to help bring this idea to pass. When being spontaneous, involving people is optimum. That helps this creative, open-hearted energy to touch others. As we grow in our awareness of life, we will notice that working and playing together is essential if we want to thrive as human beings. We are designed to function together, a lesson best learned early.

Upon our arrival at the park, we smudged each other with sage to bring an element of spirituality to the space. No matter what personal beliefs we may hold, these small, silent acts involving nature and the intention of peace can heal the spirit. Experiment with this practice to see how the herbal fragrance affects you. Sage is native to California and has been used in peace and healing rituals for centuries. Other medicinal herbs like mugwort and sweetgrass are easy to obtain and feature potent aromas, properties and traits all their own. Why go on a tangent about burning dried leaves? Because, historically, it expands the energy of peace! We started the music without any plan or direction. There were congas, djembes, tambourines and even a berimbau, a Brazilian string instrument that is challenging to play. The idea was that interested people could approach, casually joining in by picking up an instrument and playing along. Finding rhythm together was a part of the adventure. It didn't take long. Drums are described as the heartbeat because across all cultures, drums play a role in bringing people together. Drums are recognized throughout the world as a call to attention, a dramatic action that is at once essential and artistic. The sound of drums simulates the human heartbeat, resonating on a subconscious level. The sound seemed to awaken the sleepy Sunday park!

People drew near from across the park watching with interest. The Dance of Peace unfolded effortlessly in the powerful rhythms with the hope of encouraging freedom of expression for all. This worked perfectly. The activity level in the park skyrocketed when the music and dance commenced. A sense of excitement filled the air. Children began to perform cartwheels and headstands in the grass. People on their skateboards moved to the music. Couples were clapping and puppies were yapping. The very experience of being alive was enhanced by indirectly affecting those around us with the intention of unity. These magical reactions can happen when we least expect it, turning an ordinary day into an adventure.

                                                                  Drum circle participants

If you do not have friends to partner with there's good news: Events bring people together! Fortunately for us, the people of the Bay Area constantly organize events, never ever allowing the social scene to become stagnant. On Sunday, September 17th, Viva Calle returns to San Jose. The streets will be closed along a specific route to bring communities together to walk, bike, skate and play. It is an all ages event featuring food, families and fun. The Dance of Peace will launch in Japantown during the event to ignite the dance spark lurking just below the surface in our citizens. These are ideal circumstances to meet new friends or to engage the ones we have. All of us can increase the level of peace in our communities when we bring our unique presence to events like this one. Thanks and see you out there!

Related Media:
The Peace Dancer Looks Back At The Eclipse
If You Can Talk You Can Sing, If You Can Walk You Can Dance
Open to the Lessons of Life

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