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Volume 7, Issue 4 | April 2018

What does one say about a person who has been your best friend for 25+ years, there for you as your heart was breaking when your marriage was dissolving, laughing with you when you both got caught crashing the guest pool at a luxury hotel in Hawaii? Who was like an older sister (which you never had), there to give advice of the Wise Woman? A mentor of Life? Unconditionally loving? Generous in spirit and generous in the material world whenever she had the means? Who was truly the only person who felt like family despite having a few blood relatives scattered across the country? Such was my dear Samara.

I've written about her before: Samara had had a stroke about two years ago, and had worked diligently to recover the use of her body. About a year ago, something happened (the medical folks said it wasn't another stroke, but didn't know what it was), and her recovery was stymied. She continued to help others throughout her body's decline, especially her soulmate Gil who was falling deeper into the world of dementia; now, instead of him helping her, she was helping him, which took time and energy away from her own healing.

Joyce & Samara
I am so grateful I was in Sedona with dear friends when I got the news that Samara had passed. I know she was exhausted and overwhelmed, and it was time for her to go back home to Spirit.

Samara left letters for each of her closest friends, and a general one to all -- she had touched so many people. In part she wrote:

"I have had such an amazing, amazing life. I was so grateful to God to have found my life's work as a healer, at an early age and that I connected with such beautiful, loving and enduring friends. I also was blessed with two wonderful soul mates in this lifetime, who truly loved me for who I am, and unlike my family, not for who they wanted me to be."

What does one say about a woman who had a rough life from an early age onward yet wrote such words of gratitude, appreciation, and love?

I say, "I was hugely blessed."

I am getting acclimated to the fact that our weekend phone calls are never to be again... that she won't hear about the writing contest I'm entering, know the next man in my life, congratulate me on the next career move, or share a split of Flexinet with me... But her light and love will, and do, shine on, and one day we shall meet again back Home.

Blessings on your journey,

Joyce's signature 

Inspiration and Contemplation
The Great Multiplier

Saturday I received the following "Wisdom for Today" email from one of my favorite spiritual authors and teachers, Alan Cohen. After finishing reading it, I knew I wanted to share it with you, as the story is surely inspiring and something to think about.

"God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.
Have you used one to say, thank you?"
- William A. Ward

Harold Arlen narrowly survived a small airplane crash and found himself lying in a hospital bed, paralyzed except for the little finger on his right hand. Forlorn and miserable, Harold spent most of his time bemoaning his predicament and feeling sorry for himself. Then one day Harold decided to give his attention to the finger he could use instead of the rest of his body that he could not use. He developed a simple communication system with his family at his bedside, using one finger movement to indicate "yes" and another for "no." Later Harold went on to point to the letters of the alphabet and formulate words and sentences. As Harold began to appreciate the use of his finger, he felt considerably happier. Soon, to his delight, he discovered that he could move another finger, then another, and another. As he gained more and more mobility in his body, Harold learned to bless and praise what was working instead of lamenting what was not working. Eventually, through prayer, praise, and practice, Harold regained use of his entire body. Even more important, he discovered one of the most important lessons of life: celebrate the good - which empowered him in everything he did for the rest of his life.

Gratitude is the great multiplier. Whatever you are grateful for expands. Sincere appreciation is also the fastest attitude shifter; it immediately returns you to your natural state of joy. If you ever begin to feel depressed or upset, quickly turn to gratitude. Stop any complaint or criticism of self or others, and make a list of all the things in your life that you are grateful for. Quickly your energy will upgrade and you will start to see creative solutions. Moreover, you will recognize that the thing you were worried about is quite minor compared to the immense blessings that surround and support you.

Moving one little finger can be the starting point of moving a whole life.

How can you shift any sense of complaint to gratitude for your blessings?

The more I appreciate, the more good comes to me.

Wisdom for Today ©Alan Cohen

The Rookie Cop

Rev. Billy Graham made his transition earlier this year, and I recently came across this story about him, although I'm not sure if it's true. Be prepared to chuckle.
Billy Graham was returning to Charlotte after a speaking engagement and when his plane arrived, there was a limousine there to transport him to his home. As he prepared to get into the limo, he stopped and spoke to the driver.

'You know' he said, 'I am 87 years old and I have never driven a limousine. Would you mind if I drove it for a while?'

The driver said, 'No problem. Have at it.'

Billy gets into the driver's seat and they head off down the highway. A short distance away sat a rookie State Trooper operating his first speed trap.

The long black limo went by him doing 70 in a 55 mph zone.

The trooper pulled out and easily caught the limo then got out of his patrol car to begin the procedure. The young trooper walked up to the driver's door and when the glass was rolled down, he was surprised to see who was driving.

He immediately excused himself and went back to his car and called his supervisor. 'I know we are supposed to enforce the law.... but I also know that important people are given certain courtesies. I need to know what I should do because I have stopped a very important person.'

The supervisor asked, 'Is it the governor?'

The young trooper said, 'No, he's more important than that.'

The supervisor said, 'Oh, so it's the president.'

The young trooper said, 'No, he's even more Important than that.'

After a moment, the supervisor finally asked, 'Well then, who is it?'

The young trooper said, 'I think it's Jesus, because he's got Billy Graham for a chauffeur!'
People Helping People
Water Pump Memory   
This is a personal experience of people helping people, and one not forgotten.

Earlier this month upon hearing that Espiritu (my 2003 Toyota Camry) was going to need a water pump, I immediately remembered that that was one part I knew had already been replaced. I thought back and checked my automobile maintenance log, and confirmed I was correct. It was back in Sedona, about 48,000 miles ago...

Christmas was coming soon, and I was winding up my first year being single again. While business had improved since I had gone solo, finances were still very tight, and I was still healing from the dissolution of the marriage. Then I was told of this extra expense I was going to have to incur, and that could not be put off for long. In the midst of this, I received a call from a man who I'd been corresponding with since September, and providing some WordPress help gratis. We spoke for a bit, and when done, I told him I would email him an invoice for ½ hour's work and he could send me a check. He preferred using PayPal but I didn't want to incur the extra fees especially for such a small invoice; still I begrudgingly agreed.

In my email to him with the invoice I apologized for my reluctance to accept PayPal and if I had sounded really cheap about fees. I went on to explain that when he called I'd just learned that my car's water pump had a leak, it would need a new one costing about $200 which I did not have, and I had fallen into a poverty mentality.

Dr. P. sent payment the next day and instead of $25, it was for $200.00 USD!!! In his accompanying note, he wrote, "Thanks for your help last night. Put any extra on account. I will let people know of your services." I was so very touched by this man's gesture, as he was practically a stranger, and for the reminder that Spirit was taking care of me; my heart broke open and I cried. Dr. P's generosity touched my heart and obviously has never been forgotten.

I am always grateful to be reminded of the kindness of strangers, the generosity of individuals, for people helping people in a myriad of ways. And, I am grateful that my financial situation has improved markedly since that experience. We never really know the lasting impact our acts of kindness have on others.

Dr. P. is a reader of this newsletter, so on this occasion of Espiritu getting another water pump, once again I say "Thank you for your thoughtfulness and generosity." God bless.
Joyce's signature

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