This profile was published as part of Gandhi’s Be Magazine’s #ProfilesofChangemakers series, uplifting the stories, lives, and work of Changemakers who are being the change they wish to see in the world.
Cassandra Curley joined Gandhi’s Be Magazine as a regular contributing editor following her 2,500 mile Walk for Peace, walking 50 miles in each state in 50 weeks for her 50th birthday and the lessons she learned and shared with others along the way about “Walking for Peace.”
1. Tell us about your journey. What inspired you to walk each state? How did you plan it out and what did you hope to see or experience along the way? What did you learn from the experience? Any unexpected challenges or surprises along the way?
The inspiration for the journey arose from the compelling need to broadcast a message of cohesiveness and synergy reflected in Nature. Despite what may appear to be violent occurrences, nature is peaceful. If we are a part of Nature, and she inherently provides a perfect model for unity, equanimity and balance, to exist otherwise means we are not living in accordance with natural laws. As many say, we are living apart, not as a part of Nature. I conveyed this concept in a small book, From Fear to Eternity: A Path to Peace, and decided to take it on the road. Since I had already planned on walking 50 miles to usher in my 50th birthday, it was a spontaneous inspiration to walk 50 miles, in all 50 states, in 50 weeks as an effective way to capture attention. At that half-century milestone in my own life, the congruency and timing just felt right.
The preparation, training, and implementing of the walk was immense, but I have tackled many challenges in my life and was motivated by a sincere desire to affect positive change and the opportunity to see the country and its people!
Because the message I was trying to convey resonated so strongly with me, I had this grandiose idea that people would flock to hear me speak and even join me on parts of the journey. That was not what happened. Even though, through eight telecasts, several written articles in local publications, radio interviews, many speaking engagements, social media connections and diligent work to connect with as many people as I could, I felt mostly isolated. People were very open to the concept of living in accordance with our natural impulses, but there was a sense of complacency and apathy that was difficult to overcome. Many would comment that the premise was idealistic and futile based on apparent conditions in the world, but some were very supportive and encourage, and I walked on.
I learned a great deal from actualizing the Peace Walk: People are very similar throughout the country; everyone I spoke with wanted Peace; there is a network of trails throughout the country that are literally connecting its people; we have an incredibly beautiful nation full of many beautiful beings; there are creative ways to see the country on a budget; and, it was all worth it.
2. You called your journey “A Path to Peace”… tell us a little more about how you hoped to achieve or spread peace by your 2,500 mile journey?
My tag line for the walk was, “Cassandra Curley is talking the talk and walking the walk.” The message was clear, undisputable and sound – we are born peaceful, but create discordance when we become attached to things and detached from each other and Nature. I felt that if people saw how much I was invested in supporting this concept, it could inspire them to at least open their mind to the ideas and possibilities.
3. How has your “Path to Peace” experience changed your life, your outlook, your interactions with others or the planet? And what do you hope others can learn from your experience?
I have always been a peaceful person and sensed our connection to each other and to Nature. For some reason I never unlearned that. This is why I have so much faith in Humanity – the memory of oneness is still in our consciousness. The “Path to Peace” demonstrated my ability to achieve what I set out to and motivated me to continue the work to the best of my ability. Helping humanity see that Peace is attainable is my primary goal in life. There is so much at stake if humanity does not begin to remember that what one does effects everyone and everything.
4. Tell us a little more about your work with the Serenity Center, what inspired it and what you hope to accomplish…
After the walk was completed, I began to implement the concepts in the health and wellness center my husband, Mark, and I founded. In addition to being a center for alternative healthcare, we opened a CommUNITY Space and a local artisan boutique, organized bi-weekly P.E.A.C.E. (People Empowered and Consciously Engaged) Meetings to share information and support our CommUNITY and, we continue to draw many enlightened speakers to give classes and seminars. It has been very exciting and continues to grow and evolve. There are many like-minded people out there seeking to connect and we hope to facilitate the opening of similar centers to spread the message exponentially.
5. What’s the next journey? Any other walking tours planned?
After our center becomes a little more self-sustaining, I can see something developing to take us back out into the world. The next time, I would seek more sponsorship ahead of time so we can reach more people and venture to other countries as well.
6. Do you have anything else to share with us?
From my efforts to understand our human condition and how we have come to this point in history, I would most like to express how much I am in agreement with the Gandhian principle that we are the many of which the few rely. If enough people decide that we have had enough, we CAN “be the change we wish to see in the world.” We can truly create Peace on Earth.