I've been away the last four or five days at a board meeting. We've been hashing out strategy, finances, and all sorts of fun stuff. Monday, as I was in the meeting trying to stay focused, this came across my Facebook feed:
"I opened the morning paper and found my friends on the front page! A beautiful description of nonviolent alternatives to youth detention."
That is the organization that I have been working so furiously hard on this past year. The back of the head (baseball cap) at the top of the picture is one of the youth we have wrapped around, Joe Cotton to the right, and Saroeum Phoung to his left. I'm sitting almost directly across. I'm the very blurry person. 🙂 We are all trying a new thing. It is hard and takes time more than anything else.
At any rate, my picture along with Jimmy Hung is below the fold. On the front page. I was shocked and surprised. And I found the first place I went to in my head was not, "Oh great! They are publicizing our work! That's fantastic!" It was, "Wow, I wish I was twenty pounds lighter and sitting up straight."
So today for our prayer time, I'd like to offer two prayers. One is a Native American Prayer of Peace from The Peace Seeds. I offer this to honor the tradition that our work is grounded in. We do Peacemaking Circles that comes from the Tagish and Tlingit First Nation people. We are mentored by Saroeum Phoung. Although our photo is on the front page, the work would not exist if it were not for the Tagish and Tlingit.
Native American Prayer for Peace
O Great Spirit of our Ancestors,
I raise my pipe to you.
To your messengers the four winds,
And to Mother Earth
Who provides for your children.
Give us the wisdom to teach our children
To love, to respect, and to be kind to each other
So that they may grow with peace in mind.
Let us learn to share all the good things
That you provide for us on this Earth.
Affirmative Prayer for Loving and Accepting Yourself
I know that there is one source of my being. Life Itself lives through me. Love Itself sustains me. I am important and connected part of this universe.
As an integral part of the universe, I can love and respect myself. Therefore, I no longer believe in unworthiness, limitation, and shame. I no longer believe that I am undeserving of the best life has to offer. I deserve and accept all the good things in life – for myself and everyone else in my world.
I ACCEPT my own beauty, and I see it reflected in the world around me.
I ACCEPT my own power, and I use it wisely.
I ACCEPT my own worth, and I live abundantly.
I ACCEPT my own love, and I share it freely.
I ACCEPT my own potential, and I live it fully.
My past, my false beliefs, and my feeling of unworthiness no longer limit me. I accept full responsibility for my life, my thoughts, my feelings and my actions. I may not always like what I do or how I feel, but I choose always to love myself in the meantime. Never again will I judge myself as undeserving or not good enough.
Growing and evolving feels good. Accepting responsibility feels good. Giving myself permission to become the person I was meant to be feels good. And I deserve to feel good about myself and my life.
And so it is.
Repeat as necessary throughout your days.
This passage was found on the website, Unity of Farmington Hills.
Article from Seattle Times: https://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/we-cant-just-keep-doing-what-weve-been-doing-king-county-tries-risky-alternative-to-youth-jail/
To donate to the King County Peacemaking Team, go here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/284400458631506/