All posts in Create Peace

“Art as Peace Building” Article in Art Education Journal

Posted by / May 9, 2014 / Categories: Create Peace / 1 Comment
Create Peace Project’s Lead Artist and Program Manager’s Laurie Marshall’s article for the Art Education Journal. Check out Page 47, where Create Peace Project’s programs are described.          
Copyright 2014. Used with permission of the National Art Education Association.

Freedom through Creativity

Posted by / May 7, 2014 / Categories: Create Peace / 0 Comments
The blank wall.  The blank canvas.  A white sheet of paper. There are endless possibilities.   For some, making art and expressing ones self can be challenging.  As if there were a right way to do it, or an evaluation coming, you can often here a person say “I’m not good at art.”  or “I’m not an artist.”   But this is not true.   Art and creatively expressing one-self is an act of self-care, self-exploration, and liberating self freedom.    Allowing one’s self the freedom to simply let the words, colors, lines, or notes come out, in whatever way feels right….that’s art….and that’s enough.   There is no ‘right or wrong’.  there is no ‘good or bad’.  those are concepts of an education system, of a society rooted in judgement and comparison.  But making art, ie, creative self expression, is not about the cultural norms and educational evaluations, critics and comparisons to that which has been done before.   Expressing ones self is an act of freedom. An act of uncovering and exposing oneself, a brave and courageous step, and it’s a liberating, healing and necessary uplifting of spirit.  Making art, in whatever way one chooses to do so, is an absolutely necessary practice for healthy, well-being and self-care. What has been lost, is that allowance and acceptance that we are all creative beings.  A human being is continually creating and constantly healing. It’s what we do, naturally.   When we make art and creatively express ourselves, we learn.  We grow.  We bring forth the unseen and make it seen (or heard, felt, etc).  When we take the time to attend to the feelings, thoughts, and emotions in a peaceful and present way, delve inward to uncover what is going on, and express it, we liberate that part of ourself into the world.  This crafting and sharing of deeply personal stuff has huge benefits to the mind, the heart, and the well being of the individual, as it grants us the deep freedom to simply share who we are and what we are with the world. Let em have it.  Let em see what’s behind the eyes of your being and experience what you are.   If we release the fear of being ‘bad’ or doing it ‘wrong’ as all too many a teacher or parent has instilled on their child ~ we can access a deep and meaningful freedom that truly brings joy and creates peace.

Create Peace Project Organizational Map

Posted by / August 3, 2011 / Categories: Create Peace / 0 Comments
Here is a mind-map of Create Peace Project.  At the center you will see our Organization (Org. Development) and surrounding the organization the many projects and components of our reach into the world.

Welcome to Our New Site!

Posted by / January 26, 2011 / Categories: Create Peace / 1 Comment
We are thrilled to have you here!  We are in full production of our plans for taking the Peace Exchange to India.  We are super thrilled to have included more than 8,000 students across the US in this years project. Here is a bit more about our plans: Currently 40 schools from 14 states, including more than 8,000 students, across the U.S. are involved in the 2010/2011 Peace Exchange. Between February and May, a Create Peace Project team will be hand delivering these 8,000 U.S. peace cards, along with 2,000 cards created in Uganda early 2010, to students in schools across India. While in India, Create Peace Project will work in approximately 25 schools, including nearly 10,000 students in this cross-cultural exchange.  While in India we will partner with Pratham ( one of the largest education organizations in the world, as well as other organizations, in our efforts to including as diverse a cross section of the India religious, socio-economic, and cultural traditions as possible. Peace Exchange workshops are 3hrs long and can be offered to groups of 100 – 300 students. During workshops students will discuss their vision and understanding of what it means to create peace in our lives, participate in peace practices, enjoy games and group building activities, and then spend time creating art and writing messages in response to the peace cards they have received.

Get Your Peace On! : Friday December 17th ~ Join Us!

Posted by / November 4, 2010 / Categories: Create Peace / 0 Comments

Being at Peace is a practice of being Present

Posted by / August 27, 2010 / Categories: Create Peace / 2 Comments
When one is making art, or being creative in a focused and attentive way, the mind moves from an outward orientation to an inward one. Taking the time to explore ones self-expression is an act of being at peace. By activating the willingness to feel into who you are, how you think, and the way you experience being in the human you actually is the start of creating peace. Question is: How does it feel to be you? By making art and exploring the expression of that introspection, one has the ability to find the moment, and occur purely in the present. In this place, there is peace. This practice of being at peace is about being present. Present with yourself. Present with your surroundings. And present to the cycle of breath flowing in and out through your nose.

Peace is not a global phenomenon. Peace is deeply personal and intimate experience that happens within each of us. Peace is a practice that beings with the individual me and you out there walking around. But when you find peace, the me and you disappear, and only we are here. The trick is: you must do it….no one else can create peace for you. When you choose to do such a thing, life becomes the ever-evolving experience of now. This moment. This breath. This magical experience  of what is. In this place, found both through making visual art; painting, drawing, playing music or dance, or doing yoga, meditating, walking through nature, or a variety of other ways, you are expressing yourself and your connection to the divine spirit running through us. In this place, where you and I disappear, there is ease and acceptance with that which is :  life; a joyous, calm, and harmonious place for peaceful co-existence.

The practice of peace is simply the act of being present. But how do you get present? Two ways include; through cultivating breath awareness and making art. As you breathe mindfully, following the flow of inhale ~ expansion, exhale ~ contraction, your consciousness is effortlessly drawn inward. Here is where we begin to discover who we are, how we think, what it’s like to truly feel, and then share those self-held truths with others through an artistic form. In this process of looking, feeling, discovering, expressing, and sharing that expression….everyone learns. We learn about ourselves as we allow others to see more of who we are and how we are as peaceful and loving spirits in this human form. This act of revealing ourself is a unifying, inspiring and kind gesture: an act of peace.

Imagine you were asked the question: who are you?  But rather than communicating your answer with words, you have to express it with art ~ visually, musically, with dance or movement, in picture, or song…what ever form you choose.  What would you do? what if I asked you : what is peace? how would you express your answer to this under the same invitation? Let’s begin by sharing this moment of breath.  Exhale all the rest and be present. In peace.

A brief interlude from Pakistan

Posted by / February 25, 2010 / Categories: Create Peace / 2 Comments
In early November I got this email from a teacher in Pakistan.

I am Mrs Cyprian from Pakistan. In Pakistan terrorism creates fear every where. People can not go out from their house due to fear of a bomb blast. Now the target of the terrorists are schools and universities. School are closed in Pakistan. There is great need of peace promotion in children. I want my school children take part in the peace pal project. Regards, Adeline

She send me their mailing address and I shipped off 50 postcards and a bunch of art supplies to a place called MC Girls High School is Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Recently she sent some photos back of the girls participating. I wanted to post those photos here now to show the continued global reach of this project and the importance of spreading peace as we consider this a cross-cultural celebration of creativity. This is more than an art-for-peace project, this is a dialog between students around the world about what it means to create peace in our lives.

In Uganda, young people I have talked to use the term “ENOUGH” in response to being fed up with living in a state of war and violence for so many years. It is my hope that more people can catch on to this way of being and being to take steps in their lives to create peaceful positive change.

Let’s put the messages out there. Let’s spread love and uplift people with the art in our hearts.

Let’s take the time to see and listen and be with each other in an accepting and loving way.

Let’s Create Peace….and it is my hope, intention, and purpose to do just that.

Peace Pals goes to Cleveland.

Posted by / January 14, 2010 / Categories: Create Peace / Tags: , / 0 Comments

Being Embodied and the Cultivation of Discipline

Posted by / April 13, 2009 / Categories: Create Peace / 0 Comments
Today I embarked on a 70 day journey. It is a journey of self-discovery. It is a journey of physical transformation. It is a journey into a new, powerful, focused and disciplined way of being. I have committed to 10-weeks of self-generated, self-fulfilled one hour morning yoga practice followed by a short mediation sit six days a week at 7am. This program is about jump-starting my capacity to live a powerfully focused and devoted life to the passion I have and my commitment to creating peaceful positive change on this planet.

I am becoming a disciple of my self. I am bowing down to the high and holy beings who grace my surroundings, and I am expressing my deep and loving commitment to healing my body and standing powerfully strong in the confidence of my own transformation.

Life is a process of continual change. This 70 day phase is about embodying that change, physically transforming the aches and pains, and breaking through the barriers of self-resistance and reaping the benefits of deep self-love, physical regiment, and loving acceptance of myself and the ever-changing experience of life in the human form. It’s also about getting the day started right and dialing in the exercise, the breath awareness, and the mental ~ physical ~ emotional harmony required to excel in these tumultuous times.

With this, I will commit to the page, my dedication to powerfully completing this practice and fulfilling my goal of 60 7am yoga practices and the dietary discipline that goes along with it.

Cultivating Loving Acceptance

Posted by / January 28, 2009 / Categories: Create Peace / 0 Comments
There is an ancient Buddhist practice, taught by the Buddha himself in which he said “see every person as your mother.” In this theory, since we have all lived so many embodied lifetimes on Earth, each and every being we meet or see has been our Mother as some point in the past. The idea here is that as you begin to envision each person, Man, Woman, Boy or Girl as your mother, in order that you shall give the love you feel for your own birth mother to this person. To share this love equally and unconditionally from the center of your heart is truly an enlightened way of being.

Imagine: each person you encounter was your mother in a past life. Homeless and hungry, hip-hop or heiress, each person, each individual was once your mother.

How would this way of seeing people influence the way you behave? Would you communicate differently? Would you act differently? Would you open your heart and share your love with comfort and ease?

This practice of seeing another as the embodiment of your mother is the practice of loving acceptance and the expression of true compassion. This way of living is not easy. But if you were to consider such possibility, and entertain the notion the next time you are in pubic, perhaps you will begin to notice when the judgements, evaluations, and negative thoughts arise and let them pass quietly, without making a fuss….in the presence of the one who brought you into life at some other point in a time~space place.

Perhaps we can start with lovingly accepting ourselves, by being ok with what is inside my mind~body~emotional being right now, and simply allowing that set of circumstances to be.

I invite you to look at all the ways you judge, evaluate, and compare people to someone else? I also invite you to find a deep place of loving acceptance for who you are, and thus who each person you encounter is, at that very moment, and BE OK with what is.

By finding this love and acceptance to simply receive each situation and each person as they are, without any need for them to be different, you will begin to see where the kindness and courageous compassion in your heart has the space to surface.

Keep the mouth closed a little longer. Remember that this person was once your mother, and you were once theirs. Love them. Love everyone as though your knew them like your blood mother. In this place of loving acceptance, we can transcend the duality of our differences and overcome the separation to experience the oneness of our divine selves.

Drop in and see for yourself. It’s just an invitation. No expectations here. I love you just the way you are.