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Longboarding For Peace – Mexico Report

longboarding-for-peace-mexico-report--870-x-177
longboarding-for-peace-square-mexicoWe’re getting close to the ninth month of activities and the kids are developing their skills just fine. I am learning so much about them and their communities too. We have developed a great bond with each other.

A couple of months ago we had the annual Montreal Longboard Fest event sanctioned by the IDF. We had some visits from skaters around the globe and we had a blast racing. After the competition, some of the skaters stayed in town for a while. I invited a group of friends to come over to visit the kids and skate with them: Fabián Gutierrez, the Sector 9 rider from Mexico City; Brian Sandoval, a Gravity Skateboards team rider from Costa Rica; and Juan Van Dusen, owner of a small gloves company here in Monterrey.

The kids were excited about the visits, mostly because they have never known people from outside the country. They enjoyed their time to the fullest, learning new tricks peace-article-1and watching these advanced riders skate. The skaters were amazed at the quantity of kids in the program, but they managed just fine.

We had some parents visiting also that day. They were able to speak with us and clarify any doubts about longboarding. They got to know more about the people teaching their children. All the parents were really happy about the program in their community. They were quite supportive and encouraged the kids to keep up practicing in the classes. Future plans include visits to other municipalities so they can have the chance to actually skate in an open environment.

Over the past several years, we have done a number of workshops at Amesbury Middle School in northwest Toronto. In May, we gave a Never Summer setup to Grade 7 student and he was extremely stoked. So far we have given away more than 30 completes to the school.

Also in May, LFP went out to do a workshop in Guelph, Ontario, and worked with Wyndham House, a nonprofit that works with at-risk youth. The response was excellent, and we plan to return very soon.

In July LFP visited the town of Bancroft to spread our message at the Wheels, Water and Wings festival. There’s a pretty cool skate scene in Bancroft and the skatepark is a lot of fun. We are working with the town to bring LFP to local schools in the fall.

COLLABORATIONS

Longboarding for Peace is now working with two unique nonprofits: Skatetofight and Pathways to Peace.

SKATETOFIGHT

Skatetofight is an organization created by two friends who struggle with mental illness and use skateboarding as a form of therapy. Their idea is to help others who struggle with the same or similar problems. The main goals of Skatetofight are to prevent suicide and create a skating community where those who struggle with mental illness can feel safe to share their feelings and receive help from their fellow skaters. They want to create a nonjudgmental, positive skateboarding family where everyone helps everyone with their problems and helps to create long-
lasting friendships and save lives. skatetofight.com

PATHWAYS TO PEACE

Pathways to Peace is a U.N. Peace Messenger Organization that helped to launch Peace Day in 1981. LFP has teamed up with this organization and we invite you create an event of your own, or just commit to riding for peace on September 21. This year’s theme is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All.”

We asked Sheva Carr and Erin Toppenberg of Pathways to Peace to contribute to Concrete Wave in honor of this special date.

How will YOU contribute to the International Day of Peace on September 21? By following your inner flow, of course.

Did you know that whether you are cruising on a longboard, quietly meditating or joyfully dancing to music, you may be contributing to world peace? What is Peace anyway? There are sweet and syrupy definitions that we may conjure up in our head of the world all singing “Kum ba yah” while holding hands in a big circle. Or we may define Peace as Webster does: a state of tranquility and quiet, and freedom from oppressing thoughts or emotions. And the wise man known as Martin Luther King once said, “Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”

peace-article-2Peace is our intrinsic nature. It is a surrendered flow into being at one with the dance of creation. It is harmonious rhythm that is tapped. It is coherence of the heart. For when we are in touch with our hearts’ truest desires, we are in flow; we become living peace. That peace that one finds can serve as an energetic resonance for more to access and find this flow.

A beating heart emits an electromagnetic field that can be detected many feet away from the body This field affects those around you profoundly. The Institute of HeartMath has done many studies on emotions and how they affect the heartbeat rhythm, and in turn what is being projected out into the space/field around you. When we access a positive emotion, whether a calm, tranquil feeling, a feeling of appreciation or a feeling of stoke for whatever activity we are embarking on, we are literally contributing to world peace through accessing our own inner
peace.

The International Day of Peace (Peace Day) is observed around the world each year on September 21. It was established in 1981 by U.N. Resolution 36/37, in which the United Nations General Assembly declared it a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples. Furthering the day’s mission, the General Assembly voted unanimously in 2001 to adopt resolution 55/282 establishing September 21 as an annual day of nonviolence and ceasefire.

Pathways to Peace is a peace messenger organization that was key in establishing this Day of Peace more than 30 years ago. Its people have been working to create a Culture of Peace by understanding that peace is an expression of humanity and therefore will take many forms. The eight pathways they envisioned all lead to a more harmonious experience for all. Ultimately it is in the understanding that we are all pathways to peace.

Avon Mattison, the co-founder of Pathways to Peace, worked to create this day, along with the adoption of the noon minute of silence/moment of peace. It is a practice that is acknowledged daily, not just on Sept. 21, but by many groups of people 365 days a year around the planet. Avon realized as one of the first Peace builders that Peace is much more than merely ending war. Our personal and planetary Peace are inseparable. Our individual and collective thoughts, words and actions – on a daily basis – contribute to building a culture of Peace.

The modern peace movement is not about anger and outrage and marching in the streets. The peace movement today is doing the work of quietly transforming the culture from the inside. As we grow and become more and more aware of ourselves as energetic systems, and learn more of the way we interact and affect one another, we realize the impact we have on each other. When we are in appreciation for self, we can access appreciation for another more readily. When we can be a bit more compassionate with ourselves and our family and friends, we are more able to access compassion for those around the world whom we don’t know. When we are more peaceful within, even for a minute a day, we are absolutely contributing to world peace.

Peace is not simply the absence of war. It is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; it is confidence. It is about finding the flow, and mindfully, heart-fully experiencing it full-out. On September 21, what will you do? Whom will you do it with? And what will be your state of being that you contribute to the collective – even if only for a moment? Minutes turn into days, turn into weeks, turn into movements. Let’s roll!

Mexico Report– Edward David Hernández
Thank-you to Concrete Wave Magazine, Issue Fall No. 2/2015

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