What Kind of World do We Want to Create in 2016?
I’m writing in the strangely warmest winter I’ve ever known - one where daffodils are budding in December and many parts of the country are underwater. Despite the protests by many of us, the UK government bombed Syria. Yet I still believe we have a choice and a chance to create our world. As the Dalai Lama says - “most of these problems are essentially our own creation, therefore logically we also have the ability to minimise these problems, or in some cases overcome these problems.”
I know that we each all bring something incredibly different and are all an essential part of creating our world, so here's some of my intentions for 2016.
Peace starts with each of us - The Dalai Lama
My working year closed with the event, A Gift of Peace - which was a profound celebration and enquiry into how we can create peace. Words of wisdom resounded in the beautiful space of St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace - from the powerful statements of the Dalai Lama, captured in the film Road to Peace to the insights shared by our panel and audience members. There was space for us to own that we are all approaching peace from different viewpoints and to reflect on how peace can start with each of us. It was a great honour to open the event in song, as it is my deep conviction that singing together is a great medium of peace-making - allowing us each to express our uniqueness, whilst harmonising with others. Singing has been used in peaceful non-violent revolution and I would like to see singing open every political meeting. How I can use song as a medium of peacemaking will be part of my ongoing enquiry this year.
Beauty is a necessity, not a luxury. Beauty moves us, awakens us, provokes us, bringing freshness and newness to hearts that have too easily grown old and stale. - Charles Kamut
So far my two year old nephew has not known the beauty of freshly fallen snow. I want to preserve, celebrate and contribute to the beauty of this amazing planet and the many other creatures with which we cohabit. The beauty of Charlotte Church singing This Bitter Earth outside Shell was an extraordinary moment in a campaign which resulted in the prevention of drilling in the Artic. When we are uplifted by beauty, we are often moved to take action - for me, the powerful beauty of singing continually motivates me to fundraise and lift my voice for causes which are important to me.
Relish everything that's inside of you, the imperfections, the darkness, the richness and light and everything. And that makes for a full life. - Anthony Hopkins
Richness in the West has come to mean the increasing accumulation of goods at the expense of others and our environment. We ignore the riches of planet and people when we overwork for profit, losing connection with the true treasures of our relationships and the resources which sustain us. We betray the richness of our learning when we label failures, darkness and endings as disasters. I’m continually learning to remember and say thank you for my true riches, to return to what is really important, to stand tall for my values and to harvest the juice from the wholeness of life.
Love is All You Need - The Beatles
Love is the glue that holds us altogether. We may not always like or agree with each other, but we can still love each other. We may not know what tomorrow brings but we can still love this moment enough to create something beautiful right here, right now.
Wishing you a peaceful, beautiful, rich and loving start to 2016