Friday, July 27, 2012

One Year Of Letters

"And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make." ~the Beatles

I just got finished watching the Olympic opening ceremony, and Let It Be is on my mind, for a number of reasons, but I think it makes a nice start to this entry.

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of My Year of Letters. I didn't succeed in sending a letter a
day, as I'd originally intended - but I do believe I sent more than 365 letters and postcards (as many days I sent more than 1), though I stopped counting after a while because it was taking away from the fun. I set out this year to write daily letters as a practice of mindfulness, kindness, and love, and a ways of reconnecting with friends and family. While I didn't reach my daily goal, letter writing has certainly become a practice for me, even more so than before I started this project. I am more centered and connected when I write my letters, and I do it with greater intention. I reconnected with old friends, even made some new ones, and (I think) brightened a few days. And in terms of sending love, I sent many letters, but I got back so much more - not necessarily in quantity, but definitely in love and in gratitude for the letters that I sent. 

I'm reminded of the song from Rent:
Five hundred twenty-nine thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-nine thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-nine thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In terms of letters, mine is a TOMS shoe box:

Though my year of letters is ending, my letters will continue.I will also keep this blog going for the occasional post about stationery, letter writing, pen pals and the like.Thanks for reading!

(and if you didn't get a letter yet, just send me your address or let me know you want one :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Peace Postcards

I had the good fortune to stumble into a fantastic used bookshop in my new neighborhood this evening after dinner. Bluestocking Books has a fanTAStic selection, including Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States featured prominently in the window for the 4th of July (it might be the next book I walk out with - tonight I walked out with Ram Dass' Be Here Now). I think I will be saying goodbye to for the foreseeable future!

But Bluestocking Books doesn't just have books - they have an amazing postcard selection, including a number of peace postcards! Here are a few of my favorites:

 And this one is particularly apt for the upcoming 4th of July holiday:

I'm planning to send my first one, Peace On Earth, to Russia via postcrossing, but the rest are up for grabs - if you'd like a postcard let me know! :-)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Peace On Us

I got this great peace stationery from my friend Rachel who sent it from Australia. The perfect stationery for sending some peace and love around the world!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Postcards from the Border

Hey, I'm back!

It's been a while since I've posted on here - been slacking a bit on my letters, plus we moved, which took up a lot of time and energy.

Let me know if you want our new address!

I also traveled to Tijuana this month, and will go back again next week for some peace education workshops with 80 teachers, in conjunction with Teachers Without Borders, the Organization of American States, and the Baja California Department of Education.

To commemorate the trip, I took the opportunity to use's great postcard function. I used one of my favorite photos of the border graffiti. Let me know if you want one! :-)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sealing Wax and Other Fancy Stuff

World Market sent me a $10 happy birthday coupon to use in its store, and I got a sealing wax kit!
The wax is like a little crayon, and then it comes with a stamp with three different faces - hearts (pictured), stars, and a fleur de lis. It adds a whole new dimension to my letter writing experience!

And it definitely requires mindfulness and concentration. There is actually some technique involved in sealing an envelope with wax. You need to get the wax in the right spot, you need the right amount of wax. Then you need to stir the wax to get the bubbles out (you stir with the crayon stick), and finally you have to wait until just the right time to press the seal.

I've tried it twice so far and both turned out OK. The first one I erred on the side of waiting too long, and the impression wasn't very deep. Just now I tried it but didn't check to see the direction of the hearts before I pressed - doh!
But it still looks nice :-)

(there is no "other fancy stuff" as the title implies...I just wanted to quote Puff the Magic Dragon :)

I've been slacking on this blog, and it's been a whole month since my last post. And to be honest, I did not keep up with my letter-a-day goal this month. This month has been a little tricky. I'm struggling with un(der)employment right now, and some days are harder than others. On the harder days, I find it hard to write a letter. Writing a letter takes a certain amount of energy - any quality communication does - and when I write a letter I want to be sending love, not negativity. Thus on days when I've been feeling less-than-inspired, I haven't been writing, and I think this is OK.

At the same time, I realize that focusing to write a letter could be just what I need to pull me out of the negativity, so this month I think I'll try that. It might be helpful, and I'll let you know how it goes!

Also, we are probably moving at the end of the month. Our lease ends in April, so we are looking for new abodes. Check in with me later for our new address!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Make Tea, Not War

I found this postcard in my local stationery shop. I love it :-) I'm sending the first one through the Postcrossing project, but I have a feeling I'm going to have to go back to get more to send to everyone I know!

This also connects beautifully to my newest project, PeaceMeal - Cultivating Peace Through Food. Please check it out!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Certified Mail Treat

Today I woke up feeling a little uninspired. We've had the good fortune of a rainy day here in sunny San Diego, but the cloudy skies and cool air have me feeling less-than-productive.

Yesterday, I wasn't home when the mail arrived, and when I got back there was a note on the door that I had some certified, insured mail that needed to be picked up at the post office. I wasn't sure what it might be, and whether it was something to be excited about or not, so I didn't think much of it.

This morning, I went to pick it up - and was delighted by what was inside!

It was copies of the book "People Building Peace 2.0," in which my story, "Peace Education Without Borders," was published. I entered the story in the Peace Portal Stories for Peace Challenge last year, and it was selected as one of 25 winners. As a winner, you get your story published in the book, and you also get 10 free copies of the book! What a nice treat.

I love blogging, but there is something really exciting about seeing your words in such a tangible form. I think I am going to have to pursue more opportunities like this.

And that gave me my much-needed inspiration for today!