Monday, October 2, 2023

Announcing Blog4Peace ~ Post4Peace ~ November 4-5, 2023!





Welcome Peace Bloggers who Blog4Peace!
 Welcome social media posters who Post4Peace
on a myriad of social media platforms including Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram and beyond! Wherever you are online, you can join our talented community for this annual worldwide event. We are represented on every continent and country in the world. 
This is our 18th year of peace blogging.

Whether you choose to Blog4Peace or Post4Peace, 
it's the same community and it's all good!

Bloggers and social media posters from all across the globe
will blog and post for peace

NOV 4-5, 2023

Our 2023 Theme is

"Change the Room"
The transforming power of walking in peace

Last year we wrote about FREEDOM and how that privilege is entwined with PEACE. We said No Freedom No Peace. You were amazingly insightful and bold from all corners of the Earth. We talked about how to GET FREE in the midst of unwanted invasion (personal or global). 
This year we're turning inward and moving outward. Let me explain.
This is my challenge to you 


Imagine what would happen if instead of trying to find peace, we walked in with it?
What if we simply carried it in?

What if we were the peace everyone else was searching for? 
What if we expected the room to change when we entered?
 Don't you think it would?
Why can't we be the water and the well?



When I was a little girl I watched my Papa change atmospheres all the time.
It was as effortless as changing his hat.
People acted differently when he was around. You never heard loud voices or cursing or strife when he was in the room; they respected him too much. 
What he carried was palpable. 

I've spent a lifetime trying to follow his example, trying to understand where that power came from, then founded an accidental peace movement from a ragged bag of his dusty marbles.  Decades later they came to life in the story that became Dona Nobis Pacem for all of us in 2006. It was only then that I knew his uncanny penchant for atmosphere shifts was no accident at all. 

Years later he is STILL transforming that wide-eyed little girl 
STILL transforming all of us.
A bowl of marbles and one person
His quiet unconditional love
changed rooms, changed atmospheres, changed me, changes you
Still.

What you carry is palpable.
HOW you carry it alters the atmosphere you're in


You either change the atmosphere 
or the atmosphere changes you

Maybe if we all learn how to change the room we could collectively change the world.
We have called attention to the absence of what we want. Instead of focusing on the absence of peace, why don't we just walk in with it like we own the planet?
Because. we. do. 

Maybe I was a bit naively ambitious in 2006 when I asked you to change the world and expected a peace globe to magically appear on 70 million blogs. Today there are 1.9 BILLION websites worldwide; of those, 600 MILLION blogs. Apparently, we're still expecting to make a dent in the atmosphere because, after all, we're still here. 

So walk in like you own it.
Because. you. do. 


The planet is groaning for peace and stability and the world is watching how you carry yourself. 
We are not the ones to fall down or offer tired platitudes. We are not the ones!!
If that's who we are, if that's ALL we are, then I'm out right now.

I'm about to make a bold statement! 
THIS YEAR you will write words that transform. And nothing less.
 You will draw and paint and sing and created from a place of clear knowing! This will be the most powerful year of peace posts we've ever seen.  

From the moment you set your pen to paper, you will feel it. It will happen in you. How do I know?  
Because you've been peace blogging for many many blog years and you just happened to walk right past me a time or two.
 I caught it then and I sense it now. 


So tell us. Tell us how you do it.

You will write stories of how you walked on seeming hot coals unscathed in the past year.
. When all seemed lost and you wanted to give up, you prevailed. When your body and spirit grew weary and the challenges seemed more than you could bear, you prevailed. . 
Someone out there needs to hear that story. 

We don't change the world or the room by ourselves. 
We pass what we carry to each other.
Peace expands.
We transform. 

People will behave differently around you. 
I promise. 


Let's go! It's a launch.

How To Blog For Peace
Get Your Own Peace Globe HERE
Peace Globe Templates HERE
Official Peace Globe Gallery 
(see thousands of globes from every country)

Peace globe #1


Use this blank template to make your own peace globe

Contact me at blog4peace @ yahoo.com or on Facebook if you have questions.
Images: Mimi Lenox, Pixabay
©Mimi Lenox All Rights Reserved 
Blog4Peace™ Blog For Peace™ Post4Peace™ BlogBlastForPeace™ et al



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Sunday, July 9, 2023

Monday Mimisms ~ Powerful Whispers

Where have I been? 
It's been a minute. The entire month of June got away from me. Complications showed up. I took a fall on the porch and spent a few painful days sleeping away the bruises. Friends said, "Rest and heal!" That's sooo hard to do. I'm a terrible patient. I keep pushing through sans common sense. 

Lost my writing mojo for one red hot minute while the anti-inflammatory meds became the most important task of the day - but sorely needed (pun intended).
Finding courage in an antique store
2013 - Revisited this post and reclaimed my writing chops

Then I got off my prissy behind (literally) and started venturing out again.
More thrifting. Lunches with beautiful friends to catch up. Soaking in Epsom. Burning lavender candles in the middle of the day. 


Looking for furniture as I redecorate my house. More gentle house decluttering. All gingerly. Slowly. Mindfully. Thankfully. I came so close to breaking my hip. Ummm....perhaps I should sloooooowwww down instead of thinking I'm a modern version of Laura Ingalls Wilder on the Bloggingham Prairie trying to do things I shouldn't be doing. Getting tangled up in a heavy water hose was NO fun. 

I couldn't sit for long periods of time, which turned out to be a good thing: it made me get outside and wander around. Sunshine and grass under my feet. Good for the soul....and the soles.
Naps happened.

 The Lion spoke ten years ago this spring. 
I remember the sound of the muse. Powerful whispers.
And his roar. I'd like to catch a glimpse of him again. It took falling down to get my attention.  I'm ready for a new set of words.
I'm ready for inspiration from the Lion. 
I wonder if he remembers....

Dusting off my pen and paper...






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Monday, May 22, 2023

Monday Mimisms ~ Toes Out the Window

I was seventeen. 
Performing in 1974

My hair weighed more than I did.
We'd just finished a Beatles medley for the student body of our high school
and all I wanted to do was step out of the Yellow Submarine we'd build out of  cardboard and slide into the passenger seat of my boyfriend's car
 Toes out the window. Coca-Cola in my hand.
Hair-in-a-ponytail-happy-I was.

Fast forward forty-seven years. 
and volcanoes are exploding in my pencil head
Pandemic Me


So much time on my hands
Thinking about the one I should have married
Thinking about the one I could have married
The one I shouldn't have married
The one I didn't marry
All of those shoulda-woulda missteps brought lifelong consequences unbeknownst to the long-haired girl.
The one who got away before I found myself at the ripe old age of thirty-something. 
What is it about sixty-something that causes one to psychoanalyze the whole of a life?  
Shouldn't I be knitting sweaters or something? 
Who does that?
Me. This week. That's who.

Then I hit a big bodacious bad brick wall. SCREEEEECCCCHHHH.
BAM. OUCH.

Last Thursday night I was sitting on the couch staring at the wall in silence, evicting a few rickety ghosts from my head, watching them fly away into mist. Scribbling on paper. I'd been there awhile...just kind of numb. Needing to not-think. You get that, right?  There had been unpleasantness, you see. 
I don't like unpleasantness. I like peace.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Meditate. Pray. Listen.
Before I knew it, all the ropes that held me down had been untied. I lit a match and symbolically burned a paper full of angry words in my left hand. 
Watched it burn. Watched it burn.
Ashes. Poof. Gone.
Then picked up what was left of those I-should-have-could-have-shouldn't-have people with my right hand and blew. them. away. 

I looked at the clock. It was 2 am. 
I straightened my dented crown and went to bed.

I've been on a slippery slope you see.
Trying to function and still save me.

There. I said it.
It doesn't matter how long ago your loved one last misused a substance or drank to excess or suffered a bout of depression, in a mother's head and heart they're always a fool's breath away from active destruction; except with addiction or alcoholism or even narcissism it's mutual destruction. A person with a substance use or personality disorder can look at you stone cold sober holding a Bible in one hand and Holy Water in the other and you still won't believe they're sober or truthful.

That's my problem, not theirs.

I don't want to cover it up anymore.

Not because of my beautiful loved one - he's been successfully working his sobriety for many years - 
but because of ME.

Standing in the wide weary gulf between helping and enabling 
when I found myself alone and climbing out of the recent brief foxhole we shared,
it resurrected all kinds of emotional baggage from years and years ago when he was actively struggling with substances. Oh, the memories. We found ourselves dancing to that worn-out record despite ourselves
my eyes were opened
to what I had become
what I needed to deal with
what I needed to admit
what I needed to understand
what I needed to
stop
doing

Don't you hate that word?
What word, Mimi?
Codependency
Yes, I hate it.

The day I started blogging, half my face fell off
Then all kinds of wonderful adventures began
Today, this many years young,
I found the other half again.

There is a thin line dangling between the edge of authenticity and the need for dignity and privacy. My writing has always walked that wire. But in every word and every story I try to err on the side of transparency, in the same way I would want less shame-based words applied to the people I love.

Addict is not a noun or an identity. Alcoholic is not a noun or an identity. Codependent is not a noun or an identity. They are disorders and struggles, not moral failures. The disease is not the person.

I've wanted to say it for years.
That I am proud of him
That I love him with all my heart
That I see him

Despite me and my uneven walk with worry and faith

But just for a little while, I think we need a mini-divorce.
Hush Homer. I'll be checking your medicine cabinet tomorrow..

 Just until I regain my sea legs and he sprouts more of those beautiful wings.

He can be free to make his own adventures 
 I won't be holding him hostage with my smothering
I can be free to make my own adventures 
 not holding myself back with fear 
What codependency does to your peace of mind is insidious and suffocating 
You don't even know it's happening! 
It's a learned belief and habit that I must unlearn

Have you ever seen your son or daughter nearly dead from a disease?
You'll do anything to keep that from happening again. Even when you no longer need to. Even years later. And therein lies the devil of enabling.

The job of addiction is to kill and destroy. When you enable (helping someone do something they can do for themselves) at first you believe you're actually helping. You feel good about it. You get a rush of feel good dopamine. Sound familiar? 
Here's the problem. The real sneaky job of enabling is also to kill and destroy. 

 My hardwired need to protect, spills over into the decisions I make about everything and everyone else in my life. Now that was an eye-opener.

Codependency grows from a normal natural parental instinct which screams protect.my.child. Mothers have it the moment their babies are born.
There's no shame in it. It's motivated by love. 
But with substance disorder, because of the unpredictable trauma that goes on in families as a result, it can grow wild and out of control and you start looking for a recurrence of symptoms in your loved one. It drives them away. It feels like moral judgment even when your intention is to only throw love. 



Sometimes I move about the world in shoe-drop mode, post trauma reactions that aren't even real in the moment. It's not irrational or hypothetical. The triggers of past events can still be seen in my mind and felt in my heart.

So I make up my own scary stories in the now and convince myself that I need to DO something to prevent them from happening again. It's that dead-child-coffin-dream fear, to put it bluntly. It's very common for parents of children who've suffered from substance abuse. It's like you're watching a horror show on the big screen of your life. The substance has the starring role, the protagonist. Everyone is in desperately twisted love with the alcohol, the pill, the high, the drama. Your loved one is drowning. You are the unintentional antagonist. Everyone dies.

You run yourself ragged trying to help. It doesn't help. It makes things worse because they lose the dignity of making their own choices. And you lose your mind watching them suffer.

I think I dented my crown when I hit that wall, my friends.
But I'll be OK.

No matter how many times I stick my toes out the window and put my hair in a ponytail, some days are like a roller coaster ride.  You either hold on or fall off.
But mostly, I discovered the amusement ride in my head wasn't fun.

I joined a support group. I took an assessment. I signed up for a codependency class online. I wrote emails and ask questions. I watched podcasts on parents who also struggle with enabling NODDING and NODDING and NODDING my head.
Who knew I belonged to a club that no one wants to belong to all these years? 

 I didn't join to fix him. I joined to fix me.



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Monday, May 8, 2023

Monday Mimisms ~ Getting Back To Me


         The housing market exploded into doom-for-buyers about the time they settled in. No reasonable rent to be found. No affordable housing on the horizon. 

          They were stuck here with me, Homer, Snickers, squirrels and trees. For the past eighteen months I've had guests in my house; changing jobs, seeking housing, and going with the flow of economic turmoil. The bonus? A delightful 3-year-old who calls me Mimi liberally planted kisses on the mirrors....and on me...every single day.  It's been challenging and wonderful all at once. At times the experience forged our relationships with in-your-face fire, followed by loving transitions of the heart, only to be followed by more fire. All necessary. Part and parcel for three generations under one roof. And probably long overdue.  I'm happy and proud to report they've moved on to a home of their own ... new commitments, new adventures. I still haven't washed the lipstick marks from the mirrors.


Now there are only the ghosts of Bloggingham...
 and me.

While I love them and will miss them, 
I'm rediscovering what it means to be truly finally retired and free.
My life has been on pause for a few years. 
Lately I've been to a couple of lunch meets with old friends and colleagues, bought a new dress for Friday night tip-toeing into a nightclub (if I remember how to walk in heels), found a new Farmer's Market and stocked the freezer with healthy foods. 

And the music?
 UP. LOUD.

Sleeping?
IN

Clothes and shoes?
FLUNG OFF
(did I say that??)

Mostly, I appreciate and value my independence. I don't think I'll take for granted, again, any little thing in my home.  Did I fully appreciate my space before? NO. Did I remember to stop and be grateful for pine cabinets, wood floors, porches and tire swings? Not always. 

I'd almost forgotten what it meant to hear silence.

 I have learned to be thankful for the smallest of things: the forks and spoons I now wash in the quiet of morning, the sound of a perking coffee pot, the sight of birds making new nests under inconvenient eaves and dust...even dust...because I get to do a big spring clean and spruce my home new into what I want it to be just for me again. I feel like I walked into a brand new house.
I need rugs. And lamps. And art on the walls.
I'm throwing out carloads of accumulated junk from attic to basement.
VERY liberating.

 I've lived alone for the past twenty-one years! Having others here for so long was an intense experience for me. I like my own company. I like my own space. I like my own routines. And let's face it, I drive people crazy!!!
(Just ask them!) 
Hush Homer..

Someone said to me the other day during one of our post-pandemic marathon phone calls, 
"You never apologize."
"Excuse me?" popped right out of the snarly mouth of mine. "I don't apologize??"
"You're the most unapologetic person I've ever known," he said. "You don't explain yourself. You're just who you are all the time. I admire that about you.
You don't care what anybody thinks....
I pay attention."

I appreciated the insight but me thinks I need to do some serious tweaking on this codependent thing and learn what boundaries I'm sabotaging for mySELF that causes me pain and stunts my personal growth. Inner Truth time. 

So this time in Act 3 of my life
it feels like starting over
from scratch
like flour and dough-making scratch  
mixing mud in a wild strawberry mud-pie scratch
making love in a cold backseat scratch
moving off to college starting over
scratch
lyrics and crazy chords
out of thin air scratch

staying home 
BEING

88 keys of blank pages
just waiting for me
and my time


That's what musicians do. 
That's what writers do.
That's what I do.
No apologies.



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