Mandala Rocks, Peace Poles & Cinco de Mayo

In 2020 I started painting rocks with mandala designs as an outlet for stress and mindfulness. Everyone in my family got a rock that year for Christmas. Two years later, I am moving on to another artistic outlet that I stumbled upon – peace poles – in an effort to slow down and be mindful. What is a peace pole you ask? The Peace Pole Project was started in Japan by Masahisa Goi, who dedicated his life to spreading the message, “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” Peace Poles symbolize the oneness of humanity and our common wish for a world at peace. The Peace Pole Project is an official project of The World Peace Sanctuary, a nonprofit sanctioned under the United Nations.

In a group meeting yesterday someone said, “We are all moving too fast.” I agreed and thought about making a peace pole. Everyone does seem to be moving at breakneck speed – feeling the need to accomplish every task in the shortest amount of time. We need to slow down and make a peace pole. We need to make time to think, create, and reflect. Without time for the creative process and reflection, work and our personal lives become unbalanced. Accomplishing goals in record time might seem great but did we give ourselves time to think about HOW it was accomplished or if the outcome really is a superior product?

Take time to smell the flowers, enjoy the process, talk with others, listen to ideas, create timelines that are not rushed– and make a peace pole. Here is my first try at a peace pole which sits in my garden where I think, reflect, and listen. (Check out How to Slow Down: 20 Simple Ways to Slow Down & Enjoy Life.)

We would also like to acknowledge Cinco de Mayo.

Happy Cinco de Mayo! On this day in 1862 the Mexican army, under the command of Ignacio Zaragoza and despite being smaller and ill-equipped, won the battle at the town of Puebla – about 85 miles east of Mexico City. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's independence day from Spain, which occurred in 1810 and is celebrated on September 16th. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is observed with political speeches and battle re-enactments. Cinco de Mayo is a huge festival day among the Mexican-American and pretty much all Hispanic peoples living in the United States of America. Not very many people in Mexico actually celebrate Cinco de Mayo, mostly people who live in the Mexican state of Puebla. To people in Puebla, Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is the commemoration of the Mexican victory over the much more powerful French at the Battle of Puebla.

For people with roots in Mexico who now live in the United States, and even for other people with roots in Central or South America, Cinco de Mayo is a day of celebrating their cultural heritage. Yes, many Mexican-Americans know the link between the Battle of Puebla and Cinco de Mayo, but that celebration takes a back seat to a general celebration of Mexican and Hispanic heritage.

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