Meet Patricia Smith Melton of Peace X Peace
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
The overarching quest (a magnetic pull) in my life has been to experience deeply the truth that daily life is sacred AND simultaneously to take pragmatic actions that heal wounds and create harmony. Other than that, I’m 65, and have spent most of my life as an artist, whether as a writer, photographer, poet, or playwright. With 9/11, I realized that I was capable of bringing social change, and that it wasn’t a choice.
2. What do you enjoy most about your work?
The discovery that other women are wiser, tougher, and more astonishing than myself! Connecting with women around the world blows all illusions about one’s own capabilities. And having contact with these women leads us, expands us, thrills and inspires those of us who lead more comfortable lives. What a joy! What a gift to have heart connections with women who have become giants of courage and perseverance! … and, yet, to know that they, too, need us. We’re simply all in this together – extraordinary ordinary women, weaving weaving weaving that complex pattern of what is needed for (seemingly) simple peace.
3. What was your vision for starting Peace X Peace?
I had no defined vision. Immediately after 9/11, I asked a handful of wise women of different cultures and expertise to come to my home for three days to answer the question, “What is peace and how can women build it?” They came, I listened, and everything came out of that. Peace X Peace was founded on the conversation of a Circle of women bringing their wisdom to the table, and someone who made a commitment to help tilt the world towards peace.
4. What are some of the ways Peace X Peace helps women?
We connect women with each other both directly through the Global Network for personal conversations and by their being members who receive our e-media, informing them about each other and the work of women around the world. Peace X Peace has grown into a sort of full-service “get informed, get connected, and make a difference together” internet platform.
5. What life event or incident made you choose to support them?
9/11, yes. But I had spent decades with the triangle of: spiritual awareness, pain in the world, and inner freedom. It is imbued in my earliest memories, it took most of my life to meld together, and I learn more daily. Through 2001 I had been working on a book titled “Diamond Women: achieving clarity and brilliance in a world still dominated by men.” That book was set aside to do the work needed.
6. From where do you draw inspiration?
Everywhere, everything, everyone.
7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
At 80? I see myself as quietly ferocious, saying exactly what I wish as I wish. I don’t know if that will be a small book of poetry or rabid exhortations for people to make a break for freedom by breaking the shells that contain them in the size that they think they are.
8. What’s the one thing you’d like to accomplish before you leave this world?
I have no specific goal. That feels limiting, and as though there are captured moments and isolated accomplishments. The whole thing just keeps moving and what I may do is in the mix. There’s a lot about accomplishment that is about giving up ownership.
What I personally do will depend upon the curve of the wave of women rising, and the most exciting, happy, and beneficial ways to ride it as it grows larger and I grow older. One has to ask always, “What is actually needed, and how does that fit with what I have to give.”
The plan is to keep letting go of administration-genre items in order to speak deeply with, and for, the voices that run through most women, especially their integrity that they often confuse with “oh, that’s just me.”
9. What do you do for fun, relaxation?
Roll on the floor with my 10-month-old grandson, eat in the garden, feed the koi. I have little time for myself so the small moments need to be good ones.
10. Do you have a secret indulgence? If so, what is it?
Going quiet inside when people are scurrying about. Some people realize, and some just think I’ve become boring — in that way it’s a secret.
It’s not an indulgence in that most scurrying is extraneous and obscures the real needs, real issues, and real solutions.
It feels like an indulgence because I experience it as a gift.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
A million things. A million things. A million things.
Life is beautiful, life is treacherous. There are people who will always support you, there are people who will harm you.
Trust yourself, question yourself.
Learn to feel your backbone and the muscle along it.
Patience is best when grounded in substance.
Be a mule, be a bird. Sit in obstinacy when needed. Be aware of the world even when weightless and flying.
Hope is based as much in stubbornness as it is in dreams. Don’t let anyone take it away from you.
Learn more about Patricia and Peace X Peace at:
Watch a Video Interview with our eViews Editor Dr. Sally Witt and Patricia at http://wemagazineforwomen.com/meet-patricia-smith-founder-peace-x-peace/