Get Ready for International Peace Day!

Peace. What a lovely concept. What an elusive dream. The
idea of peace seems so unrealistic, so out of our reach, especially when we think about it in world-wide dimensions.What if peace could be attainable, right here, right now,
in real and tangible ways? What if small, individual contributions could make a significant difference in the world?These are the kinds of questions running through the minds
of the people who initiated International Peace Day, which is celebrated on September 21st.Most of my readers are not aware that the creation of
http://www.blended-families.com and the StepHeroesTM newsletter came out of heartfelt prayer about what I could personally do to encourage peace on the planet after the atrocities of September 11, 2001.As one person, I did not at first believe that there was
much, if anything, that I could do to make a difference in the world. As I continued to meditate on this question, I began to notice the peaceful interactions in my family, and remembered that this was not always so. I also noticed how when conflicts did arise, as they so often do in blended families,
that we seemed to effortlessly move through the anger and get to the heart of the matter – the pain and fear underneath. Where there had once been “looks that could kill” and slamming doors, and storming teenagers, we found that we had a home that was loving, respectful, understanding, and unified in our collective goal of harmony in our relationships. I realized that we, as a family, had achieved peace in what had been a war-zone in our own home. And when the inevitable “emotional landmines” were triggered, we had the tools to quickly and easily defuse them and get back to a place of connection and
harmony.I also saw the same results in the families that
participated in our monthly couples’ group, and in the lives of the foster and adoptive families that I was working with at the time.I began to write about my observations and the tools we
used as a family to get to where we were, while relating stories of where we had been. I called my newsletter “StepHeroesTM” because, in my thinking,
anyone who chooses to be a stepparent is a true hero. Heroes are people who take action with courage and determination, even against the odds. So, at the end of each article was an action step that could be put into practice that day,
and that would bring more peace and connection into the home.I found that other step and blended families enjoyed these
articles and wanted to learn more. In my own way, I began to touch the lives of hundreds, and then thousands of people who also sought to have more peace and harmony in their families, in their homes. It only takes a pebble to start an abundance of ripples that don’t stop until they reach the shore. It doesn’t take a massive boulder, or a truck load of pebbles – just one. The power of one.With all the overwhelming world issues that confront us
every day on the news and in our lives, it can be hard to believe that we can make a difference and that what we say or do really matters. I can speak from my own experience that by setting an intention to bring more peace into the world, I have made a far greater impact than I ever imagined. I have gone from working with individual clients in my local community to serving thousands of blended families on 4 continents. Due to the wonders of the internet, I have been interviewed by journalists from around the world, and I have advised major T.V. executives on projects for shows designed to serve blended families. I now travel internationally, sharing the tools and strategies I have to offer to groups as small as 10 people in someone’s living room, to auditoriums of thousands at international conferences. All because of a simple question that I sought the answer to. I am no different than you are. It all started because I chose to act on what I care most about.Action Step: Think about what you can do, today, to bring
more peace into your life. Some simple things you can do right now, include:1. Turn off all electronics in your home tonight and play a
fun game together as a family; or get together with friends and play together.2. Send a hand-written letter to a loved one that you have
some fences to mend with and share, from your heart, what matters most to you.3. Invite your neighbors over for a pot luck, and ask
everyone to bring a fun question that everyone else has to answer (eg. What was your most embarrassing experience? What is your favorite memory? What do you care most about in the whole world? If you could do anything, with total
permission and no worries, what would you do? If you won the lottery, how would you change your life? …)4. Smile at everyone who provides you service – the gas
station attendant, the checkout girl at the grocery store, the mailman – and
genuinely thank them while looking them in the eyes – make contact.5. Pay it Forward – do something unexpected and nice for a
total stranger, and ask that they do a kind turn to someone who they don’t
know.For more ideas on how to promote peace and cultivate
meaningful connections in your life, visit the Got Heart? Project http://www.got-heart.org. The quickest and most effective way to bring peace into your life is to come from your heart and to connect with the heart of the person in front of you. This site is all about promoting those kinds of connections. You can become a Heart Hero and share you ideas for encouraging and spreading peace in your life and the lives of others around the world.
For more information about the International Day of Peace,
visit http://www.internationaldayofpeace.org/ and learn about ways that you can actively and easily promote a peaceful world in your own life.