Mother's Day event focuses on building peace

File photo -- Teresa King, left, and Select Board member Jeanne Conner lead participants in a Peace Walk a couple of years ago at the conclusion of the Mothers & Others for Peace event in downtown Bennington. 

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They say to write what you know. OK, here goes. A Quechua word has been coming to mind lately. It is “Pachachuti” and refers to when the world has been turned upside down. I would say that this word accurately describes where the earth is right now.

It is officially winter. In normal times, many people have difficulties with winter because of the snow, cold and ice. If you live in New England and don’t have a fun activity that involves snow, you probably fall into this category. I love cross country skiing. And I love when the sun makes the snow sparkle and I get to ski in soft rainbow colored light. I am absolutely certain that it heals me.

I mention winter because it is the second winter of the pandemic, which adds more layers of stress that people don’t particularly want to experience again. This is why I’m writing.

The other day, two words came to me. “Hold Steady” felt like a good focus to write about. In order for us to accomplish this or even attempt it, we first need to have our own internal process that will help us shift gears. I will share what works for me.

My mind and soul need quiet, so I do whatever it takes to give it to myself. I know I become more steady, more centered and calm, when I am alone in Sacred Space. Lighting one candle creates this space for me. It is a daily practice, which makes a huge difference in how I approach each day.

Recently, I’ve become aware that if I focus on three specific things, I connect with and live from the deeper part of my soul. They are: to see things from a larger perspective, to focus on helping people, and to help the Earth.

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One way to begin the process might be to examine who you spend your time with. Are your friends and family supportive, calm and positive or are they critical, chaotic and negative? Remember that we have choice, much more of it than we may realize. Take a look at your friendships. Are they from decades ago, when you were an entirely different person? Do you have anything in common with them anymore? Ask yourself if you are still connected out of a sense of guilt or obligation? If so, consider the possibility that it is entirely normal and appropriate for our friendships to change as we change.

Another way to move closer to being able to “hold steady” is to see if you have ways of filling yourself, of rejuvenating your mind, heart and soul. Do you have a way to clear your energy when you’ve been surrounded by negativity, chaos or heaviness? Some people take a cleansing shower, others take a walk in the woods. Find what works for you and then come up with a way to remember how to fit these things into your week. This is key. I find that making an appointment with myself, helps me accomplish things like this. The bottom line is to figure out what clears you, what fills you and what calms you.

As you make these changes, be prepared for some people to be a little unsettled by your new actions. Let them know that all is well and that you are merely learning new ways to take care of yourself. You can offer to share some of your wisdom, if you feel inclined. Realize, however, that they may not be interested in hearing it.

When we can reach this calm center more often, we will be able to move through our day with a higher energy. We will be able to handle things well and be much more present with the people we choose to be with.

As more of us shift gears and learn how to be steady within ourselves, no matter what the outside circumstances are, our collective energies unite. We become part of a large and very real unified force. We join the ranks of many others all over the globe, who consciously work to strengthen themselves, with the intent of lifting the world up. Let us join hands.

Teresa King is a member of the Greater Bennington Interfaith Council. She facilitates The Women’s Sanctuary, a monthly women’s circle in Arlington and Greenwich, NY. She can be reached at or at


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