Well, summer's finally arrived and the days are bright and warm. When it's pleasant outside, I like to open the door to the shop and let the fresh air flow and light shine in. Simple gestures like these bring me a sense of peace.

This Friday, July 7th is International Peace and Love Day. It was introduced by the Beatles' drummer Richard Starkey. It's a day about appreciation, friendship and love. A time to stop for a bit and feel the presence of life.

What puts you in a state of peace? For some of us, something as simple as taking a deep breath can do the trick. It can come from seeing beauty, like looking up and seeing sunlight dappled through trees or refracted through a crystal that creates rainbow effects on a wall or table. I feel a sense of peace when I'm a witness to small acts of kindness, like a child sharing their crayons or toy with another.

When we create the conditions for peace and love, feeling good is the wonderful effect. This can involve adding sounds that are calming, such as soft music, wind chimes, or bells. It can also mean the removal of noise, in many senses of the word, such as turning off the tv, wearing earplugs, or signing out of social media for a few hours.

Of course, when we find ourselves in situations and environments that aren't ideal, maintaining peace can be challenging. However, it's also when we can make the biggest impact. By practicing our ability to stay loving and calm even when others around us are not, we plant the seeds for peace. After all, as Gandhi said, "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind".

Peace and love don't cost anything, yet they have incredible power. They can go beyond the barriers of different languages, culture, background and status. We can all feel it when it's real.

Part of cultivating a peaceful planet is practicing acceptance. It starts with accepting ourselves as we are, faults and all. From here we can expand this acceptance to others, including their faults. So much disruption is created when we're unable to be at peace with someone else's decision or preference being different from our own.

Sometimes these challenges are best worked out on paper. As a stationery shop owner, I see this time and time again: the miracle of journal writing. People experience a real sense of personal power when they're able to use a pen and notebook to write out their thoughts and examine them. Just the act of getting those pesky things out of our body can be healing. And a personal diary provides a safe place. No one's tracking you when you write on paper.

There are several suggested ways to celebrate Peace and Love Day: 

  • Send positive messages - think about those in your life whom you'd like to thank or compliment; perhaps someone you know would benefit from a few uplifting words
  • Practice forgiveness - if someone is difficult or unkind to you, give them grace and refrain from retaliating 
  • Listen to the Beatles - songs like Let It Be and All You Need is Love send out good vibes

We hope you join us this Friday in celebrating International Peace & Love Day, in whatever way feel good to you. The more of us who make peace, the more peace will multiply and expand for everyone.

Have a lovely week!

July 04, 2023 — Antoinette D'Angelo

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