Journey to Peace – Palatine, Illinois-USA

World Peace Begins Within Ourselves
by Sandy Leitner

About eight years ago, I experienced a great deal of loss in a short span of time and my life changed dramatically.  I was feeling lost and anything but peaceful from within.

But it seemed that the Universe was eager to assist me in finding answers. Through a series of coincidences, I enrolled in the School of Metaphysics and quickly began to learn about what it means to be peaceful from within.

Sandy (left) and Aneta Baranek

As my studies progressed, I had the honor and privilege of becoming the Peace Ambassador for my School branch.   Our branch was sorely in need of a new Peace Pole (our organization had collaborated with the World Peace Prayer Society to plant Peace Poles at each of our School branches throughout the United States).

As the Peace Ambassador, it was my responsibility to lead the creation of this new Peace Pole and to engage other students enrolled in the School with this process.  I was determined to make it fun and a great shared experience from which we could all grow and learn.

With the help of the Director at the School, I picked out the wood that we were going to use for the new Peace Pole.  As for our languages, we chose English, Spanish, Persian, and Chinese, simply because of the sheer number of people on the planet that speak them or because we felt that peace was very much needed in the region of the world.

One of the students created stencils so that we could write “May Peace Prevail On Earth” on each of the four sides of the Peace Pole. We purchased a wood burning utensil and, over the next several weeks, the students at our branch were invited to contribute to the creation of the Peace Pole.

As students were engraving the individual letters into the Peace Pole, they were guided to think about what peace means to them, what they can personally do to cultivate peace within themselves in their own lives, and to infuse the Peace Pole with these thoughts.

Aneta Baranek

We also had a book where all who participated could record their peace thoughts.  This added to each student’s mindfulness and connection to the purpose of creating the Peace Pole.

Once all the letters were engraved, it was time to finish with a wood stain and to install a solar cap that would illuminate the Peace Pole at night.   It was now ready to be planted on the lawn in front of the School to be a beacon for peace in our neighborhood!  We held a dedication ceremony to honor the planting of the Peace Pole.

The mindful collaborative effort of all the students was gratifying for each of them, knowing that they were a part of a community that stands for peace.  Each student contributed to creating the Peace Pole and in doing so realized how they could personally bring more peace into their own lives by cultivating an ongoing awareness about what peace means to them and what they need to do daily to bring that about.

Brian Kraichely planting the Peace Pole while his wife, Golbahar Dadyan-Kraichely, and Sandy watch from the stairs.

I personally found the process of completing the Peace Pole extremely gratifying and peace-producing for a multitude of reasons.

First, having all the students involved was a remarkable accomplishment during which I observed how they each evolved as part of the process.

More specifically for me, I feel that I grew exponentially and view myself as a leader now.  I learned the value of asking others for help when needed!  The old pattern of allowing projects to mount up and drain my energy became a thing of the past, which is invaluable to me, adding to my inner-peace and decrease of stress.  I now know myself as someone who completes things no matter how daunting a task may feel!

The Peace Covenant, is a document that was created in a collaborative effort by a group of Doctors and teachers at the School of Metaphysics.

One of the messages within the Covenant that I love most is:
“Peace is first a state of mind. Peace affords the greatest opportunity for growth and learning which leads to personal happiness. Self-direction promotes inner peace and therefore leads to outer peace. We vow to heal ourselves through forgiveness, gratitude, and prayer. We commit to causing each and every day to be a fulfillment of our potential, both human and divine.”

I truly believe that every individual that cultivates a practice for producing peace within themselves daily contributes to the world of like-minded peaceful people and the ripple effects of that could eventually lead to world peace!  It starts with the individual, and radiates out from there, to family, workplace, community and so on.

Let’s all do our part to bring peace to ourselves and others every day and watch our world change for the better.  Begin now and learn first-hand that living peaceably begins by thinking peacefully.

May peace be with us all ways.  May Peace Prevail On Earth.


Sandy Leitner is a Licensed Massage Therapist and resides in Palatine, IL.
She is currently a student, a teacher, and has directed the School of Metaphysics branch in Palatiine.
Sandy is a nature and animal enthusiast and loves biking, hiking and kayaking.


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