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Carole's Stories

Life needs more dancing!

After I met Ian and José Carlos on the beach, I took the shortcut over the rocks to the neighbouring beach. Rain and waves had churned up the water on this beach, and I sought calmer waters for a swim. I love swimming in the ocean; the buoyancy, quiet, and peacefulness are calming, and when there are waves I love body surfing. I always bring a mask and snorkel so I can float in a natural "serenity tank," or see whatever sea life is there to be found. But today, even on the calmer beach, I could barely see my hands in front of me.

The Peace "zone" is ever possible

I had the best day, and it's only 4pm! I find myself with an unexpectedly free afternoon and am wondering how to "spend" this gift of time. While I have many more Mexico stories to share, I want to share the joy of this day with you, while reminding myself that peace can be ever present. It is palpable to me today through intentional mindfulness and prayer. It's easy to be mindful and prayerful on a peace retreat — that's my sole purpose on retreat, and I can order my day around it, starting with meditation and prayer, then walking and speaking through my day with a wide open heart.

Finally, I've arrived (in Puerto Angel)

It’s my third day at the airport trying to get a flight out of Mexico City. This morning has started with its own frustrations. Moving from [non-working] kiosk to [wrong] line to [non-working] kiosk to [correct] line, I finally checked in my bag and found the gate. But my flight’s been delayed again. I’m taking the opportunity to write. It’s not in the setting that I’d planned, but I’m able to tune out the bustle of the airport to concentrate.

Finding Peace in Life’s Detours

Yesterday I landed in Mexico, a week in advance of the Baptist Peace Fellowship conference I’ve been looking forward to all year. Planning to meet a friend in Mexico City before proceeding to a writing retreat at the ocean, I booked a one day stopover in the city. When his plans changed last minute and he canceled our meeting, I tried to cancel my layover, anxious to start my retreat. When that proved impossible, I hailed a taxi to the city and looked for something to do near my B&B.

Jean Vanier: Change the world one person at a time

As we face the war on terror, the terror of war, and hatred among religions and races, now more than ever we must heed God’s call to peace. But how do we accomplish such a monumental feat? For answers, I visited Jean Vanier, a hero of faith, humanitarian service, and a champion of peace building. Jean Vanier shared his personal outlook, which has held true for him for more than fifty years: Change the world one person at a time.

How to be OK when life's not OK

Last week I attended chapel and heard a very inspiring message from a woman who's had cancer. Looking young, vibrant and beautiful, I would never have known she was sick if she hadn't shared it. But there were many days when she was neither vibrant nor beautiful, and struggled to know where her worth lay then. A woman of faith, she strongly believes in the inherent worth of all people, but when she could not contribute to the family, to her business, nor be productive in the usual ways, she emotionally, if not mentally, questioned her worth.

Positive Thinking versus Faith

A friend recently asked me how my back was. “Good,” I replied. “No more pain; that’s over with?” he responded. “I wouldn’t say that, but it’s better,” I answered. This led to a conversation about the healing power of positive thinking, and how proclaiming my pain-free present and future self could help actualise it. My friend expressed surprise that that my strong Christian faith didn’t result in a more positive response towards my own healing, and that he, with less faith, might have more hope.

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