On January 1, I took the leap and announced peace as my Word of the Year (WOTY) for 2022. My stated goal was to create a list of simple actions that can bring more peace to others as well as to myself. So, what have I been doing to help realize this intention?
In my recent What’s On Your Bookshelf post, I shared the above books as part of my January reads. Each of these books addresses the topic of peace from a very different angle. The middle two are the most similar. They each remind us of the Dali Lama’s words, “Great changes start with individuals; the basis of world peace is inner peace in the hearts of individuals, something we can all work for.” They also focus on the power of taking a deep breath before reacting. I’m still working on this.
Although Five Little Indians is fiction, Michelle Good’s insights, compassion and message of hope make this novel an excellent choice for reflecting and moving toward peace.
The opposite of a light read, Peace in the Age of Chaos is both eye-opening and inspiring. Its author, Steve Killilea, is the founder of the Institute for Economics and Peace. He also initiated the Global Peace Index. Find out where your country currently stands on this scale. You can get a quick overview of Steve’s work here.
Also accumulating on my ‘To Be Read Peace Pile’ are: The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (Steven Pinker), What Peace Means (Henry Van Dyke), The Litte Book of Inner Peace (Ashley Davis Bush), Small Wonder (Barbara Kingsolver), Peace Dancer (Roy Henry Vickers), What Can I Do? (Jane Fonda), A New Earth (Eckhart Toll) and The Hill We Climb and Other Poems (Amanda Gorman). What peace-related books would you recommend for me to add to this TBR stack?
Through my readings, I have gathered several quotes regarding peace. This is one of my favourites — and a great WOTY reminder. It is not enough to set the intention. We need to believe it, talk about it and actively work toward it.
Other than a diary with a purple construction paper cover that I kept in third grade, I’ve never been much of a journaler. This Mind-Body Peace Journal has been perfect for me. Its short, daily prompts have made me think. Pictured above is a great example. Do your daily activities reflect your values? Again, I have work to do.
Along with this journal, I have kept a daily peace log in a simple word doc on my computer. I’ve successfully gotten into the habit of writing at least one brief line each day. This has been an essential tool in keeping me focused. It has been surprisingly easy to maintain.
When I am working toward a goal, I often keep it a secret. Less accountability? Embarrassment? Fear that the others will run away screaming? Most probably a mixture of all of the above. In the case of my WOTY, and especially the readings that it has inspired, I have more actively shared with others — including my Mom. Doesn’t she look great?!
Thank you to Sue Loncaric, Debbie Harris and Jo Tracey for creating this WOTY Challenge and inviting me to co-host with them. (How’s that for accountability?) Do you have a WOTY (or a resolution/intention/reflection) for 2022? If so, we would love for you to join us by sharing in the comments below, posting on social media (#2022wotylinkparty) or including your own post in the handy link up below.