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Volume 5, Issue 5 | May 2016

"I do not have to agree with the premise of war to understand the sacrifice these souls have made."
I'm not one to debate war. I just know that peace has to start within, within me and every single soul for the outer world to reflect that.
I'm not one to discuss the military. I just get moved when, during the course of my everyday life, I see a soldier in uniform and am touched by their willingness and courage to give up their life for this country and its ideals that from my heart I am able to say to a perfect stranger "Thank you for serving."
Although my soul loves to sing, I am not inclined to choose songs that are the "soundtrack of the American nation." But when I heard the Armed Forces melody on Sunday at Unity of Mesa service, I was moved to tears.
I don't agree with numerous policies and legislation that have come into existence since our Founding Fathers' time, but that is a separate matter from those who serve (and have served) and defend this country. I was grateful to be reminded of this on Sunday with a quote from the Daily Word of the next day, Memorial Day. "I do not have to agree with the premise of war to understand the sacrifice these souls have made." Yes, indeed! And, to feel grateful and to commemorate these souls for enabling me to have the life I have today.
As you may realize, I'm writing this during Memorial Day weekend... While Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving.
I give thanks for everyone who has come before me.
Today I give thanks for those who have come before me, for the men and women who have served their country to make the world a better place. I honor their memories with prayers of gratitude. I do not have to agree with the premise of war to understand the sacrifice these souls have made.
I also bring to mind family members and friends who have passed from this physical plane, those who have been a special part of my life. These loved ones are still with me in my awareness and in my heart. Our souls are intricately woven together and cannot be separated.
I give thanks for the life I live because others gave of their light, life, and love. Remembering the past, I live in the present and move into the future in a spirit of oneness and peace.
I do not cease to give thanks for you, as I remember you in my prayers.-Ephesians 1:16
It seems that there has never been a time when war and violence were not a part of human affairs. If each one of us could pause and take a look at circumstances from the other person's perspective, we just might have our heart opened and be less inclined to inflict war and violence; our increased consciousness and empathy would contribute to peace. There are no winners in war.
Peace is an inside job.


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Inspiration and Contemplation
Humanity as It Could Be

New York photographer Richard Renaldi asks strangers on the street to pose as though they're couples, friends, or family. The individual experiences and the resulting images are at a bare minimum 'interesting', or perhaps, quite profound.

It may very well be true that strangers are just friends you haven't met yet...

Touching Strangers
"Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?" - What Not To Say When You Meet Someone Who Is Pagan 

Paganism has been broadly defined as anyone involved in any religious act, practice, or ceremony which is not Christian. Jews and Muslims also use the term to refer to anyone outside their religion. Others define it as religions outside of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, while some simply define it as being without a religion. In the strictest sense, Paganism refers to the authentic religions of ancient Greece and Rome as well as surrounding areas.
A recent article in the Huffington Post about people's notions about the religion when they meet someone who is Pagan made me chuckle at how silly (and worse) we can be! Prominent pagan leaders and writers were asked for tips on what people can do when they meet someone who identifies as pagan or find out their cousin/nephew/colleague/friend practices earth-based spirituality. Many pagans are excited to talk about their spirituality and answer questions from curious friends and acquaintances. But insulting them with jokes about witches on broomsticks isn't going to help facilitate dialogue. Here's some help on what not to do, say or ask - and some respectful alternatives.
People Helping People
A Thank You for Serving

It's not often that we're brought to tears over the love of a complete stranger, but that's exactly what happened to Brittany Lynn Garrett and her husband Christopher.

Christopher was out cutting the lawn with their son when he showed up at the front door with tears streaming down his face. Read why...

"While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart."
- St. Francis of Assisi

"We can never obtain peace in the world if we neglect the inner world and don't make peace with ourselves. World Peace must develop out of inner peace."
- The Dalai Lama

Wishing you peace within...
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