Welcome Life and be Amazed - The Dance of Peace in the South

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, Khalilah relays her travels to Louisiana and Texas.

Greetings to everyone reading! This week in peace, we journey to the southern states of Louisiana and Texas. The spirit of peace dwells within each of us so it is appropriate to exercise it anywhere. How does the simple act of changing our location activate that spirit? Human beings are designed with the will and capacity to roam the Earth. It is our home. It is our birthright to explore it. Whether we travel to distant lands or just to an adjacent town, we shift automatically into growth mode. Our minds are engaged in the wonder of discovery that traveling can provide, routine worries are put aside. This expands the sensation of peace and wellbeing within.

First on the list of peace dancing locations is the famous New Orleans French Quarter. The French Quarter is a beautiful, gritty, old neighborhood where people from all walks of life come to eat, drink and be merry. Standing on the corner of Canal Street, there was a sudden, loud, vibrant parade in progress. There were trumpets, dancers, feathers, glitter and drums. People on the sidewalk spontaneously joined the procession, drinks in hand, ready to contribute to the celebration. The air was filled with music and laughter. As they drew near, it appeared that they were holding signs and banners with a young lady's face on them. There were pictures depicting the lady skiing, partying, grinning and hugging people. The banners read, "Life. Love. Laughter." The parade was someone's memorial service. No one was crying or upset. It was a joyful display of love in which her friends honored her in the same lively spirit in which she had lived. Now that's what I call a dance of peace!

Standing still in awe, a man appeared on my right. "Wherever you're going, I'm going with you!" he said. We both laughed. This statement reflects the widespread friendliness and mirthfulness that the people in this region have to offer. We talk briefly. His name was John. I told him all about the Dance of Peace and the ongoing mission to foster peace in every heart. A collaboration was born in a flash. "See that mic stand over there?" he said, pointing to a nearby restaurant, "That's where my band will play in 10 minutes. Bring your dance of peace."

"Great! What kind of music do you play?"

"Oh, you know! All of the bayou classics! Zydeco!"

I had no idea what he was talking about but agreed to meet in 10 minutes.

It turned out that the lively Zydeco music blended perfectly with the Dance of Peace. There was a four-piece band including an accordion, a fiddle, drums and even a washboard! The 100+ people dining at 'The French Market' cafe were delighted by the music/dance/peace performance. The vibration of peace flowed swiftly and easily to them as they smiled, clapped, tapped their toes and cheered. The audience expressed appreciation that there was a dance dedicated to peace. "That's exactly what we need!" someone shouted in a lovely southern lilt. It was joyous to share the spirit of peace in a new environment!

The next day, we arrived in a town called Port Neches, TX. The population of 13,000 citizens is tiny compared to almost a million here in San Jose. While shopping I asked a local clerk, "Where can I go to find people and families walking around outside?" She said, "Try the next town up the highway. We don't have anything like that here." 

Hmm. Time to get creative. Scouting the area revealed one place that had tons of cars in the parking lot and a constant stream of diverse people going in and out. That place was the local Walmart. Luckily, there was already a group outside with a tent providing shade. They were the Titans, a high school band doing a fundraiser there. I walked over and met them. There were two mothers, seven teenagers and one child age five in charge. After contributing a few dollars to their cause, the Dance of Peace is launched. They watched in amused excitement. After one song they were ready and willing!

This is how it came to pass that a group of teens, a visiting peace dancer and a red-headed child of five became a team in the spirit of peace. We chose the classic song "Cupid Shuffle" which promotes the true and brilliant notion that anyone can dance. Within five minutes, their donations soared!

This experience contained a timeless lesson. Life itself is alive. The more we engage life, the more life will gift us with its capacity to be endlessly surprising. The most enchanting aspect of it is that we get to create so much of it ourselves. We are free to focus our time and energy on the things that are important to us.

Let's be consistently curious! There is an aliveness and an expansive awareness that unfolds when we are willing. We can participate more fully in life when we hold the intention of discovery close to our hearts. This is how the spirit of peace impacts the world; one person, one interaction, one day at a time. Welcome life and be amazed! Thanks and see you out there!


Check Out More of This Week in Peace Column:
Self-Renewal Contributes to Our Collective Peace 

Now is the Time for Courage

Connecting Mind, Body and the Earth

This article is part of the category: Community 
This article is part of the tags: Khalilah Ramirez  / Louisiana  / Peace  / Peace Dancer  / San Jose Peace Dancer  / Texas  / Zydeco 


I spotted you on the corner of San Carlos in San Jose as I sat at the red light today. Transfixed and mesmerized by the beauty and gracefulness of your dance, I lost my train of thought as I tried to engage in the conversation I was having. I told my driver that I must return immediately after my short errand, before you got away. I took my chances that you would still be there. He, a lifelong San Jose resident, had seen you there countless times before. I, being a new resident had never seen you before, although I have been patronizing the area for a year now. Today, the request I'd made, the energy and force I had put out into the universe, finally became alive with answers! You were the answer I needed, the hope I had held onto, the soul that would understand my request, the very heartbeat of my vision! As I requested my driver to stop and let me out, I suddenly found myself walking down the sidewalk toward you and it felt as though I might be meeting a long lost friend, as you greeted me with the warmest and most welcomed hug, and a smile to match! Your face, your eyes, your countenance radiated and drew me in like a magnet! Our visit was less than 5 minutes. I made my request, you accepted as though "no" was not an option. I hopped back into my waiting car and immediately pulled up your website on my phone, from the information you provided me on your business card. The more I learn about you, the more I connect with you. Can't wait to share and connect again. Blessings to you beautiful Peace Dancer! ~Eva

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