Peace and Love

by Leksands Gästhem

Is what we should experience every day!

Back and re-charged from our break, I thought I would tell you about our summer. So let’s start with the exciting Peace and Love incident! ;)

Some of you already know about our P&L experience, but it’s good to get it down on ‘paper’ so to speak. So here is the story:

As you all know, at the beginning of the summer we opened our little organic and local food shop in the barn here at the guesthouse. This is something I have been wanting to do for years actually, the original plan (before we had the guesthouse), was to open it in our barn at home. Good food is extremely important to my family and I, food free from nasties and as natural as you can get. Sounds simple, but in fact it seems to get harder and harder to find products you can trust, especially if you spend time researching what actually goes into our food. Sometimes the things you even believe to be good for you are far from it. I was getting sick of having to research and read labels constantly, and wished I could find somewhere that I could just go and buy things without having to worry about the ingredients. So I decided to take things into my own hands, and this idea was basically the beginnings of the road that led us to buying the guesthouse.

Back to the shop. The opening was a huge success, and simultaneously we had an article printed about us in a local paper which helped spread the word outside of Leksand. In the week after the opening, 2 young ladies from Borlänge (a town almost 40 kilometers away from us), came to look around after seeing the article about us. We talked a little about my plans and ideas, and about what inspired the shop. I thought nothing of it really, just how nice they were, and how lovely it was that they had taken the time to come and visit all the way from Borlänge. Then after they left, I thought no more about it.

About a week later, I received a call, a very exciting call. The young lady introduced herself as Therese, and said she was from the ‘Peace and Love Foundation’, and that she and her friend had been to the shop the week before. Of course I remembered the both of them. She then proceeded to tell me that the P&L Foundation were going to award us a grant (miljöstipendiem) and invited us to come and accept the grant at the soon to be P&L Festival (a festival which is fast becoming Swedens most well known). To say I was excited, happy, thankful and in disbelief was an understatement. I even had to look up the telephone number she was calling from after the call, just to check that it wasn’t a prank!

The big day arrived and we arrived at the festival very excited and nervous. We were kindly shown around the area by Therese, and pretty much as the festival opened we accepted our grant at the Peace and Love Foundation site within the festival. The grant was given to us by the Foundation and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, in a little ceremony with others that had also recieved grants in other categories.

At the ceremony Therese gave her motivation about why she chose us, which I will quote here (in Swedish – find it translated at the bottom of the page):
‘Längs riksväg 70 ligger en liten oas där närproducerat och ekologiskt samsas på hyllorna.
Det är modigt att starta eget, och att göra det med en sån kärlek till naturen och sin omgivning ger oss andra hopp.
Det går att skapa förändringar, och det är aldrig försent att göra världen lite grönare!
Årets vinnare är Leksands Gästhem.’

The rest of the day was spent looking around the festival and checking out the bands. A great day was had by us both.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Therese. Acknowledgment and encouragement of ones actions goes a long way. Therese and the P&L Foundation have made me believe in my ideas even more, I thank you for that. This was of course encouragement on a large scale, but even encouragement on a little scale goes a long way. Never be afraid to tell someone that they are doing a good job, that they inspire you or you respect what they do, it will most definitely give them energy to carry on.

We can all change the world, we can all give each other hope. And we can absolutely all give out peace and love. We are all powerful enough to change things, big and small. Even the tiniest things add up into something big. Never stop believing that you can make a change. Our decisions and actions are the most powerful tools we have. Use them to make a better future. I believe in YOU!

I’ll leave you with some words from the P&L website about this years theme (in Swedish):

‘Peace & Love 2011 tema Mod, Hopp och Kärlek

Såg du gråtande människor på tv i morse? Såg du tabeller på hur inlandsisen smälter, att världen blir sämre,
otryggare och fattigare att leva i? Hörde du grannen skrika till sitt lilla barn igen, läste du orden rasism, neddragningar, vapenexport, maktlöshet och vanvård av djur i tidningen?

Vad gjorde du sen? Stängde du av, ville inte se, kan ändå inget göra?

Du har fel, du är en viktig del i allt detta! Nu samlar vi oss, vi öppnar våra ögon och våra hjärtan.
Vi orkar det, vi kan och vi vill. Tillsammans kan vi förändra och förbättra vår omvärld.

Peace & Loves tema 2011 handlar om Mod. Det handlar om Hopp. Det handlar om Kärlek.
Det handlar om att vi alla är sammanlänkade till varandra. Vi bor på samma planet. Vi har ingen annanstans att ta vägen.
Vi vill uppmärksamma modiga människor som förändrat historien, och inspirera till att du som läser detta ska våga förändra framtiden. Våga säga stopp, nu räcker det! Våga stå upp för någon annan, våga stå upp för dig själv. För det finns hopp,
det finns så mycket goda krafter där ute. Och det finns oändligt mycket kärlek om man bara vågar ge och ta emot den.

Mod. Hopp. Kärlek. Dessa tre ord får du nu av oss. Bär dem med dig, gör dem till dina egna.
Vi är alla en del av en helhet.

Välkommen till Peace & Love 2011 tema Mod, hopp och kärlek!’