“The only tool you have to shift the world is yourself.”
These are the powerful words spoken by Joan Steffend, Emmy award-winning KARE 11 reporter and HGTV host turned inspirational author and co-founder of the nonprofit organization Peace Begins With Me.
Steffend, a Cambridge native now living in Edina, Minn., will be personalizing copies of her new book, peace in peace out, on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Scout & Morgan Books in Cambridge.
As a kid, Steffend said she loved being up in front of people, which led her to telling other peoples’ stories on TV. She spent nearly 30 years in the media, first as a national Emmy-winning news reporter at NBC’s KARE 11, and then as a host on HGTV’s Decorating Cents.
“There was a part of me that felt ‘this isn’t it,’ and felt there was something else I needed to do with my life,” she said. “I quit both of those jobs without knowing what it was. I knew I needed to pay more attention to the internal self rather than external self.”
That feeling led her to publish her first book through TRISTAN Publishing two years ago, …and she sparkled, which teaches people to love themselves just as they are.
Steffend’s new book peace in peace out encourages readers to find peace inside of themselves (peace in) and look for simple ways to share that peace with others (peace out). It reminds people that the smallest actions can have the biggest impact.
The second half of the book includes journal pages left black for readers to write their own personal reflections, ideas and dreams.
“The world is made up of individuals, and I can’t imagine how we could possibly change the world without changing the individual,” Steffend said. “You can have an impact. What one does impacts the whole.”
She stressed that she doesn’t have all the answers, but the tips in the book are ideas she uses in her own life as reminders to seek inner peace in her daily life and spread that positive energy whenever possible.
For instance, on one page Steffend wrote, “This is my favorite question! I would put this question on every page of this book if I could! It is the question I ask myself when I’m frustrated or in the middle of an argument or feeling like a victim. It immediately takes me from my unhappy head to my open heart. It is a simple question: What would peace feel like in this moment? That’s it. I hope it has magic for you, too.”
She then suggests taping it to the car dashboard or inside a desk drawer at work as a reminder that people have a choice in how they react.
Steffend said she would like to play a part in creating a more peaceful world by starting with simple ideas for change within individuals.
“We have to make it simple because we look at all these huge complex problems in the world and we feel impotent and helpless,” she said. “Well, this is something you can do.”
The ideas don’t cost money, and most don’t even require leaving the house—they’re simply a different way of being aware of the energy people put out into the world, Steffend said.
The book was appropriately released on Sept. 21, the International Day of Peace. Steffend said the nonprofit organization she co-founded, Peace Begins With Me, is all about asking people to be aware of who they are in the world and how they react with one another.
“It’s an inner peace project, asking people to be aware that they have the capacity to change the world if they so choose,” she said.
Her ultimate goal?
“Will you think I’m crazy if I say world peace?” Steffend said, laughing. “I think I’d be lying if I didn’t say that was my goal, but I also believe in the evolution of who we are and what we choose to do. My ultimate goal is to play a role in something that creates peace in this world.”
Book Signing at Scout & Morgan Books
Joan Steffend will be personalizing copies of her books on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Scout & Morgan Books, located at 114 Buchanan Street North in Cambridge.
For more about Joan Steffend, visit www.joansteffend.com. For more about the nonprofit, visit www.peacebeginswithme.org. For more about TRISTAN Publishing, visit www.tristanpublishing.com and find the book peace in peace out under new releases. The book can also be found at www.Amazon.com.
About the Author
Joan Steffend is a dreamer. She has had dreams fulfilled, raising two daughters, being married to a great guy and working for years on local and national TV and radio, but the grandest dream is one of inner peace and connection to a kinder world.
That dream led her to co-found Peace Begins With Me (a small BIG peace project) and to write peace in peace out. Joan is also the author of …and she sparkled, a book that invites us to love ourselves just as we are.
About Peace Begins With Me
Peace Begins with Me (a small BIG peace project) is a humanitarian nonprofit organization dedicated to education, inspiration and collaboration in the area of inner peace, knowing that, because we are all connected, inner peace is the way to global peace.