Self-Renewal Contributes to Our Collective Peace

This Week in Peace chronicles the exciting adventure’s of San Jose’s own Dancer of Peace, Khalilah Ramirez. Written under divine inspiration, the column contains true stories of peace encounters in your neighborhood. In this edition, on the International Day of Peace Khalilah reflects on the season of slowing down, taking comfort and caring for ourselves. Starting Oct. 7th she'll start weekly Dance of Peace classes.

Greetings to all and welcome to This Week In Peace. There is a feeling in the air of moving into a new phase. Autumn is near, the weather is becoming milder. We are seeing the first of the leaves beginning to turn. Our little corner of the globe is ripe with beauty. The Earth uses this time to begin resting, renewing and reaping what has been sown throughout the year. Like our planet, it is appropriate for each of us to turn inward, looking within for comfort, nourishment and guidance. Our ever changing body and minds require such elements to thrive. As we care for ourselves, we make the much needed contribution to collective peace and prosperity. Our personal contribution to peace through self renewal matters more than we know. Let's expand our knowledge of how our personal habits can become a most powerful force for change.

Each day our environment, circumstances, and bodies change. It is easy to believe the falsehood that nothing changes or to perhaps feel oppressed by the seeming monotony of life. We create our lives through habit.

Good habits are ways of being that help us to be effective. It is important to acquire habits that encourage our growth. One basic habit that we must cultivate to thrive is breathing. Personally, despite teaching yoga, there are moments when I notice my breath being held or shallow. This creates a chemical reaction of stress in the body with extensive negative side affects. Instead of focusing on the negative effects of not breathing, take a few moments to inhale deeply and exhale fully right now. This action should make some audible sound. Repeat. By applying this most basic habit for life, we heal ourselves, center ourselves, and enhance the mind/body connection.

Practice makes perfect!

Next on the list of effective habits is making a habit of unmaking our habits. What does that mean? Reflecting on the ways in which we normally think and behave is revealing. There are patterns of action, non-action and reaction that continually surface. These patterns need not be enslaving or strictly defining of who we are. It serves us as ever changing beings to make adaptability a prominent habit. It is the birthright of every human being to embrace the habits that serve us, release the habits that displease us and to experiment regularly. It is exciting to interact with life in these ways! We can always exercise our liberty to act authentically, think powerfully and adopt ways of being that make us proud of ourselves.

The Dance of Peace is an experimental art form that is a habit and a way of life. What makes the Dance of Peace an enduring, personable art form is its habit of connecting with people. The Dance of Peace has enjoyed the high privilege of working in local schools, educating and engaging youth on the level of peace. This is wonderful, joyful work yet the Dance of Peace remains a prolific street art, delighted to shine for unsuspecting citizens. Have you seen a street performance that impacted you? One that inspired or upset you? Has a street performance ever stopped you in your tracks? These are just a few of the responses that the Dance of Peace encounters each week. It is the habit of engaging people that makes this a living art. The intention/action of reaching out energetically in the spirit of peace has unpredictable, often beautiful results.

The Campbell farmers' market is a weekly performance place for the Dance of Peace. This week a lady with short, silver hair appeared. She watched the dance with a lovely smile for a few minutes then asked, "Girlfriend, what are you doing out here?" I tell her all about fostering peace in every heart. She says, "Honey, we will talk about this later!" I laughed and was thrilled. She left and returned in about 30 minutes, again standing stock-still to watch the dance. Suddenly, she gasps and covers her mouth with a hand. "Oh my gosh!" she exclaimed, "I thought you were my niece this whole time!" This was unusual. I danced over to her to find out more. "Really?!" I ask, "You thought I was your niece when we spoke earlier?" "Yes! That's why I was so surprised and said that we would talk later! I can't believe it!" I thought that was great and told her so. We hugged and laughed. It was great to be a mirage of her niece for her. She loved the amazement of discovering that what she thought she saw was not what it seemed. The delight of that moment lifted our hearts and united us in the wonder of life.

Are you looking to develop a useful new habit like exercise or stepping out of your comfort zone? Beginning Friday, October 7th, the San Jose Peace and Justice Center will begin hosting weekly classes for the Dance of Peace. Classes will take place on Fridays 10-11am. Classes will consist of practicing specific dance techniques designed to promote peace, healing and wellbeing. All who are interested in experiencing the art of creating inner and outer peace are encouraged to attend. Email questions regarding these classes to

Thanks and see you out there!


Check Out More of This Week in Peace Column:
Now is the Time for Courage

Connecting Mind, Body and the Earth

Move Through Fear to Inspire

This article is part of the categories: Arts & Culture  / Community  / San Jose//South Bay 
This article is part of the tags: Khalilah Ramirez  / Peace  / Peace Dancer  / San Jose Peace Dancer 


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