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Be The Change You Want to See
by Nancy Pagaduan
Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could only do a little.

While recent news media is again showing us where in the world strife, hatred and violence have surfaced, I am aware of Ghandi's admonition to"Be The Change You Want to See." I want this column to be a forum where we can share good news that is happening. Even if it's only in small ways, at least it is a beginning/continuation. I'm confident that both, the tangible and the intangible, are important at this time in history. Continue to hope, pray and intend that the trends mentioned later be contagious and happen globally, as well as locally.

Inspired by James Twyman's book Emissaries of Light, lightworkers and peacemakers have begun to gather for the purpose of calling in the light and forming groups to synergistically increase the effect of meditating for peace. "Today peace groups, prayer groups, and meditation groups all over the world will be holding peace vigils throughout the day and night directing the light toward Kosovo. Please pray for world peace. Many spiritual teachers will hold pujas (spiritual ceremonies) in countries all over the world to raise consciousness/enlighten the world." The Women's Spiritual Network-surya@spidernet.com.cy

Think Globally, ACT LOCALLY. Inspired by WorldPuja (organization), two Portland women received a vision of a "peace room/structure" design. They called seven friends and held a peace meditation. As a group, they've decided to rotate homes and continue to anchor the light and to send the energy of loving-kindness to the world. Interested in more information? Itdance@teleport.com

Other World Peace projects: Cloth of Many Colors Peace Project. On the brink of the new millennium, grass roots groups are forming to create a single banner that will stretch around the United Nations building, on Jan. 1st, 2000. It will then be transformed into as many peace shawls as there are nations in the world. James Twyman and friends will then travel the globe, distributing them to the leaders, one per country. For more information contact Star- bliss@staressence.com

Bloom where you are planted! I’m impressed with her grace as change agent. Mary Button is a co-business owner (with her husband). They do remodeling. Children grown, Mary decided to add volunteer work to her already full life. She chose as the recipient of her volunteer hours to work with Sisters of the Road restaurant, which is dedicated to feeding those who find themselves in want of healthy meals at reasonable cost. Over the years, Mary has learned their style of communication and their protocol/ethics of decision making. As past president of the Portland Remodelers Association, she now serves on the board of the Oregon Remodelers Association. She says, "At times I found myself frustrated and angry about people interrupting each other so much during our meetings. I often noticed my feeling of helplessness. Then I went inside myself and asked, ‘What would I prefer?’ I knew exactly what I preferred. Once I was clear, I began to transfer the skills I had witnessed and participated in at ‘Sisters’ to the boardroom of, yes, a state-wide organization." You Go, Girl! We're proud of you, Mary.

Elegant solutions. I admire the wisdom with which this woman of the sandwich generation is handling her life. Dorothy Ann is close to 50. Her daughter, Maggie, 14, was a challenge, given that her ADHD and public school experience seem to be irreconcilable. Living in California, Dorothy Ann's own mother was ailing. She was too far away to be the dutiful daughter and too far away for a grandmother to have the positive influence the granddaughter deserved. With characteristic creative problem solving and thc wisdom of Solomon, Dorothy created a shift that is a Win-Win for everyone. First, Grandma Rae moved to Portland. Then they began looking for suitable homing for the three of them. Realizing that Maggie was not being served by public schools here (and private schools were out of the question), they relocated to rural Troutlake, near dear friends Dee and Gerry. Grandmother is not only healing, she's actually getting "weller" than she's been in years. Treatments and being needed, honored and wanted are a winning combination. And Maggie is thriving in the new community. It does, as they say, take a village (community) to raise a child. Dorothy Ann is much relieved of the relentless stress and worry of a few months ago. Parenting is important work. Single parenting is a true challenge, especially being a lightworker and establishing a home-based business. It had been too much. Wisely, Dorothy Ann took a step back to see her life from a higher perspective. We women have been notorious martyrs, giving till it hurts, or kills us. I'm so proud of Dorothy’s chutzpah, in noticing the true needs, opening to guidance, masterminding the team effort, co-orchestrating the changes and carrying it off. Elegant solutions take courage. A sense of deservingness … and team building. Good going, Dorothy Ann.

"It is better to know some of the questions, than all of the answers." – James Thurber. As I talked with people this week, I was aware that I am not the only one asking big questions about the Big Picture: what is happening, why, and how can we or should we try to alleviate the pain, and could we if we tried?

"If peace is to come, it will be the women who do it. Yes, it has to come through the women. We men have tried everything, and nothing is working." We've heard these kinds of comments over the most recent years, and I have always wondered; "Just exactly what would this mean? Isn’t this sentiment a copout for the male half of the population? So they can simply sit back and watch it get done without their participation? OR If it’s true that the women are to be the ones on the front lines (like it isn’t everyone's responsibility) then how exactly will women do it?

Thoughts, ideas and opinion received by June 1st will be considered for inclusion in Women's Voices, July-Aug. Issue. Send contributions to:

Women's Voices c/o Community ConneXion, PO Box 8068, Portland Oregon 97207.

Nancy Pagaduan, Design and Promotion coach, is a member of the Community ConneXion Women's Council and can be reached at (503) 649-6354.

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