Greetings to all who are reading. This Week In Peace is an accounting of personal and collective experiences of peace. Many of these experiences are profound in their abilities to teach. Practicing peace through dance, communication and all of our interactions is transformative. We learn as we go. We continually grow. What is revealed to us is what we need to know.
For over a year, the Dance of Peace has held a class. Every Friday at 10am, a group meets to practice the Dance of Peace. New folks are always welcome and there is a core group of students attending regularly. They have become quite seasoned at conducting light of peace. Annually, on 11/11, SJPJC partners with multiple organizations to ring a bell for peace. Armistice Day coincides with Veteran's Day in our country. One is focused on honoring those who have served in the Armed Forces. The others is to honor peace in the form of laying down the weapons of war.
The Dance of Peace has been a joyful part of this bell ringing ceremony for the past 4 years. I've performed solo, shining the light of peace, rallying alongside our citizens, clapping, dancing and celebrating in harmony.
This year, a scheduling conflict made it so that I could not attend. I asked my friend and fellow peace dancer, Sharat Lin, to perform the Dance of Peace in my place. I invited everyone in the class to participate as well. He graciously accepted. When the day came, they performed the Dance of Peace in my absence at the Bell Ringing ceremony at San Jose's City Hall. This was an extremely exciting time for me because having other people practice the Dance of Peace was a part of its original vision from the beginning. It was a great triumph and honor that people thought the Dance of Peace should be a part of the event no matter what!
Sharat Lin leading the Dance of Peace on Armistice Day at San Jose City Hall.
Fast forward to class this morning. I was eager to hear feedback from everyone about their first independent performance. I asked Charlotte, another friend and peace dancer her thoughts about the experience. "I thought we should cancel the Dance of Peace performance if you were not there but some people wouldn't hear of it." This was such juicy information! I believe that the ability to communicate honestly is one of the greatest tools of peace that we have in our world. Charlotte is a master at it. "So we did the Dance and it turned out fine. Not as good as when you're there." This was a golden opportunity to emphasize what the Dance of Peace is all about. The Dance of Peace is designed, engineered, created, predisposed and CONSTANTLY hoping to foster peace in the heart of each person. A person. People. Us. You. Me. The goal is to channel the high vibrating frequency (my pet name for this energy is "Source") of peace to people far and wide. It's mission is produce this vibration within and channel it outside, around and through ourselves. It takes focus, joy and strength to do this. These are qualities that every human being has within. We have but to take the needed time to develop them. It's true that it enhances a performance when the dancing is 'aesthetically pleasing'. However, a dance with 'proper' technique that lacks spirit is not much of a dance. All of the greatness in all of dance (and the world, for that matter) comes from the spirit of fun, joy, life and freedom from within.
At the end of the story lies an important lesson. Keeping one's own counsel. Being proud, happy and confident when we know that we have given our best effort to something that is important to us. One of the dancers who participated in the ceremony came to me after class. He was disappointed because he felt that his dance efforts got a negative reaction out in public. I asked him why the opinions of others meant so much to him. "I want to find out how I look to other people so I can improve." This sounds reasonable. Logical. Feedback can help us to grow and improve. If feedback is constructive, it can even be a source of inspiration. With one caveat. We should never base our self worth on the opinion of others. People speak from their own perspective, their perception. Indeed, there is no other place to express from. Listen respectfully to others. Learn what you can. At the end of the day, though, our sense of self and accomplishment must come from within. It contributes to peace in numerous ways when each person can be proud of themselves. Each person should be confident in their worth. If we all have proper esteem for ourselves, we can begin to heal our relationship with others and our planet. Thanks and see you out there!
Check out more of This Week in Peace Column:
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