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WAR OR PEACE?

Tears rolled down my older sister’s cheeks—tears of relief as we listened to the radio announcing the end of World War II.   At the age of eight when this occurred, I was aware of the reality of a nuclear bomb ending war. I felt more than I understood how we lived on the brink of terrible danger.


Whether one is in the military or civilian, an adult or a child, war touches each of us. Even if we do not live in a war zone, research indicates that just watching the news on television provokes alarming psychological effects including depression, fear, anxiety and aggression.


What can one individual do? Too often we think we can’t make a difference. Such was not the case for the Peace Pilgrim who for 28 years walked across the U.S. dedicated to peace. She once said, “The nuclear bomb says—peace or perish.” She refused to accept “perish” and feeling powerless. She cultivated peace within herself and then turned her attention to her world. During those 28 years she accomplished a great deal: accepting others no matter their race, gender, social status or beliefs


My own passion for peace manifested in a different way. Instinctively I pursued educational paths to understand it. Whether on a conscious level or not, education became the cornerstone of building peace and security within myself and my relationships. Over the years I obtained a number of degrees that opened the door to ways--I—one woman—could counter the effects of war. I have made my passion my vocation: to teach, educate and model a life of peace.


On September 21, 2017 I organized and presented a peace event in Santa Fe, NM. Enthusiasm ran high as attendees listened to music of a flute, heard several compassionate speeches on various perspectives of peace. I spoke, ending my message with the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. Regardless of individual religious, beliefs attendees meditated on these words of peace.


Lord, make me an instrument of peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where this in injury, pardon
Where there is despair, hope


Try it yourself. Go ahead. Just say these lines out loud. Speak them from your heart or to someone who is close to you.


Thank you—you are making a difference!


Comments regarding this are most welcome.


Jeannette M. Gagan, PhD is an award-winning Author, licensed psychologist, shamanic practitioner, and an Ambassador for Peace. Over the years she has learned to use writing as a platform to educate, celebrate progress, and set new goals for PEACE within for all.

 

 

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Jeannette M. Gagan
Welcome all comments!!
Saturday, 02 December 2017 12:15
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Do you talk politics with friends/family?

 

Given the political environment since the 2016 presidential election, newscasts are not only dominated by partisan events but also conversations between family members and friends often focus on politics. In fact, some relationships have become estranged as a result.

Is there a remedy for this? I believe there is. One person told me her mother was a Democrat and her father was a Republican. Their long standing, compatible marriage was aided by an agreement they would never discuss politics to which they each abided. At the same time there are other ways to keep a relationship in good stead. I know of a couple  who are able to listen to the other's views without making comments or assertions--each respecting the other's view without trying to change it. I also know of an individual who uses humor to "tone down" controversial discussions.

Of significance is changing the  topic to that of peace--an alternative perspective that is being given more attention by growing numbers of people and organizations. Notably Prosperity and Peace Summits will occur in 196 nations on Peace Day, September 21, 2017 with three purposes: To CELEBRATE each nation's progress towards more love, prosperity, and peace. To EDUCATE people about this glorious Global Initiative and to INSPIRE commitment "to increase the level of love, prosperity and peace on Earth." More about this organization is available at www.ProsperityandPeaceInitiatve.org

The previous blog (12/18/2016) expands on the need for peace from various perspectives. Once again comments are appreciated and welcomed as the more we consider and understand this topic, the closer we become to the reality of achieving PEACE! 

 

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Friday, 08 December 2017 10:13
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The Need For Peace

In addition to "Merry Christmas" this time of year we hear refrains of "Peace  On Earth." This latter phrase has special meaning as the world has never experienced so much turmoil. Warfare is occuring in many countries; immigrants are struggling to find a safe place to live; in the United States families are politically divided in ways never before experienced and so on.

Peace On Earth not only appears on Christmas cards it is often referred to by many who give lectures and speeches--such as politicans, church pastors as well as those who conscientiously seek it.  In this context consider the word spiritual which is not the same as religion. Spirituality does not necessarily refer to church-going activities, but to the ability to transcend ordinary reality and to experience what is beyond. What is beyond? The human brain across the evolutionary span accounts for greater intelligence, with sophisticated brain imaging showing how specific areas of the brain light up during meditation and prayer.

Equally relevant is that many scholars have long believed that expanded conscousness--illumined perception and spiritual experience outside the linear mind--is integral to this unfolding. Teilhard de Chardin, the French Jesuit paleontologist who was as much mystic as scientist, alleged that since the beginning of time, the edge of evolution has been a matter of increasing consciousness. Many other scholars concur that since the outset, creation has contained all physical and spiritual matter--spirit rising out of matter in the creative act of self-experiencing and self-discovery. Thus whether we think we are dealing with matter or spirit, our expressions come from the same underlying manifestation in its continual unfolding. In fact,Teilhard de Chardin coined the term noosphere to describe the layer of thinking brains enveloping the planet--an enormous concentration of collective human consciousness wherein everyone influences everyone else. As positive energies such as altruism, empathy and compassion come forward they reflect a life lived through indivdual expression. Spreading acrros the collective web of consciousness, these energies catalyze movement toward positive action--from this perpsective the ripening of the whole of humanity. This would defuse powerlessnes felt by people who see no means for impeding the escalation of chaos and violence in the world.

What this means is that each one of us as indivduals has the power to influence change in the world that would bring PEACE TO HUMANKIND. There are many ways to apply that power--curbing one's impulses to harm another; to understand that the color of one's skin does not make him/her less human; to negotiate disagreements in a calm and reasonable way; to listen empathically to another's difficulties; and to find ways to help others who are in need. To me this is the true meaning of "Holiday Spirit" and indeed contributes to worldwide peace.

Reader comments are most welcome regarding sharing of experiences they have had of attaining and sharing PEACE with others.

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What does "Giving Tuesday" mean?

A few days ago I discovered the Tuesday following Thanksgiving is now in its fifth year of being designated as Giving Tuesday--an international day of giving whether via monetary donations or giving of one's time. This coincided with reading an article about quadruplets born in Canada last May--an event that involves giving in several ways.

In December of 2015 when  Bethani and Tim Webb went to the doctor and an ultasound was performed they discovered Bethani was pregnant with four baby girls--something that occurs one in 729,000 pregnancies! Furthermore later it was discovered the girls were identical which means  that one egg had split three ways -- this occurs one time in 15 million!!

Bethani and Tim who were in their early twenties married in June of 2015.  Their initial excitement about having a baby quickly turned to panic with news of quadruplets.   Bethani was convinced there had been a mistake.  Tim said "When they said there were four, I nearly fainted."  When asked who would change the diapers, he said "Her--I have a weak stomach and can't change diapers." Further he exclaimed "Living with five girls--YIKES!. I don't know what I'm going to do." Later he joked about building a private ourthouse just for himself. (globalnews.ca/news/260278/l-in-67-million-alberta-couple-wins-baby-lottery-with-identical quadruplets)

The couple lives in a Canadian town of 821 people. Since they lived in a small apartment, they moved in with Tim's mother who is thrilled to have four granddaughters. Of significance is once the girls were born panicky feelings were replaced by Tim saying he felt overwhemingly awesome and blessed the babies were here. Bethani now says she can't imagine life without  them.

Not only did the initial shock of being a family of six wear off, the parents welcomed their four daughers with open hearts. An online fundraising page was set up as well as companies donating items.  Most helpful is how town residents have been coming  to help with diaper-changing, feedings, and baths--a superb example of giving one's time.

It's been said it take a village to raise a chilid--in this case four girls with assistance from the community they live in not just on Giving Tuesday but day after day and most likely for a number of years. As they are cared for it becomes increasingly evident how each baby girl  has a distinct personality. To tell the girls apart the parents paint the girls' toenails different shades as well as having their ears pierced and each wearing a different colored earring.

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Are you jealous or envious?

Many folks do not know the difference between jealousy and envy. Envy is the desire to possess what someone else posseses such as heath, beauty or money which in and of itself is more benign than jealousy because it usually does not involve acting-out behaviors. In fact in some instances it motivates a person to improve themselves by choosing a healthier life style, a more lucrative job, or improving thenselves  in some way.

On the other hand, jealousy is an emotional reaction to a threat of losing something or someone. For example jealousy often occurs in relationships yet is difficult to admit and also hard to talk about. In a study conducted by two psycholgoists at the University of South Carolina (Psychology Today, November/December 2016) it was reported that actions such as putting your arm around a spouse at a party or helping a partner's cute coworker draws a partner back in.  Furthermore it was found that indivduals were more commited to the relationship after a partner took such mate-guarding actions. The researchers concluded a little jealousy can benefit a relationship while too much jealousy potentially has bad implicatons.  Dealing with jealousy requires admitting to one's feelings rather than deliverying accusations--such as stating "I feel jealous when I see how others are attracted to and interact with you and I want you to talk to me the same way you talk to them." In addition couples need to assess what may be missing in their relationship and work toward incorporating new ways of being together.

Habits of people who never get jealous (HuffingtonPost, 2/04/2015) are: #1 They have a sense of self-worth #2 They celebrate other's successes #3 They take stock of their blessings #4 They know when to unplug from social media #5 They don't seek approval from other people #6 They don't focus on labels #7 They surround themselves with trustworhty people #8 They don't compare themselves to others. Notice how these habits are characterstics of individuals who function at stage 6 and higher of the ten stages of ego growth. If you are not yet familiar with these  growth stages, now is a perfect time to acquaint yourself.  Grow Up Your Ego is loaded with information that will improve your life in many ways including establishing enduring healthy relationships.

 

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Jeannette M. Gagan
Your comment aptly points out how one can act out like a hot-head when jealousy isn't understood and addressed which may endanger... Read More
Monday, 31 October 2016 17:46
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