WarDanceSince my last newsletter, I have spent a wonderful month in Italy. I spent the first week teaching my annual transformational Italy Retreat for women to live la dolce vita (the sweet life) to a wonderful group of ladies! We laughed, we hiked, we ate and we created memories that will last a lifetime.

I’m now planning the September 10-18, 2011 Retreat on the Italian Riviera. You can read Three Things I Learned on My Italy Retreat” on my Italy Retreat Blog.

In this post, I’m including my thoughts from my ezine,

Are You In A War Zone?

Recently, I watched a 2007 documentary called WarDance with a friend who is from South Africa. The award-winning film was filled with vivid accounts of the kids from the Acholi tribe affected by the two-decade rebel war in northern Uganda.

I was struck with the words of wisdom from the children, which was part of their grace. In addition to the inspirational quote of the month from Hafiz, I’m including quotes from the children from WarDance.

Their gift to me was a clearer insight into seeing that so many of us create war zones in our own minds and hearts.

I am not trivializing the horrors of war that these kids live through. I cannot even write the details of the atrocities they have endured, but I was still struck by the idea that those who live in peace, often have the habits of fighting wars within their own minds and hearts.

Three lessons I learned from WarDance, which as Hafiz has stated, can help all of us “come into this exquisite world to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom and light!”

1.) Remember to sing, dance and laugh. “Music is our tradition. Even war cannot take it from us.”  Singing and dancing is just part of African life, on buses, in the homes and on the street.  Even in the face of devastation and loss of parents and stable home life, they danced and sang. In the midst of hopelessness arrives  two music and dance teachers who dared to journey across the dangerous remote war zone to reach Patonga elementary school.

Their sole purpose was to help the kids prepare to compete against over 5000 students from all of Uganda in the National Music/Dance Competition over 200 miles away in Kampala, Uganda.

2.) Believe in ourselves.  “In my heart, I am more than a child of war.  I am the future of our tribe.”  We all belong to the tribe of the human race. “We’ve lost our sisters, mothers, fathers, but our story does not end here.”

I was in awe of their divine courage, freedom and strength of the human spirit– the power of a made up mind. One of the teachers actually had the kids practice pronouncing and repeating the word,“champion” in English.  Then during the intense competition, she said one word: “mood”, “mood”, meaning ‘check your attitudes, kids!’

Besides all the obvious handicaps they had to overcome, many of the other performers at first called the Patonga Primary School kids rebels and murderers.  The kids were merely victims of their circumstances but misunderstood and looked down upon.

3.) Practice and don’t give up. One child said, “I am excited to see what peace looks like.”  “Even if we live in a war zone, we can do great things.” “We are still able to be the best.”

The power of a made up mind and believing they had something to offer.  The WarDance that they performed will be etched into my heart forever–like the phoenix rising out of the ashes of the war zone. During this season of transformation and holy days, may your war zones be shifted into grace zones.  May you whisper, “champion” to yourself and offer your best to the awaiting world.

Have you been persistent and met with success?

Learn more about traveling to Italy on Lenora’s Italy Retreats For Women
Find out more about Lenora’s Sweet Life Workshops and Sweet Life Happiness Coaching.

You are welcome to reprint, copy, or distribute Lenora Boyle’s article, provided author credit is included.