‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for July 24

By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

At night sometimes the world seems so topsy-turvy and you’re so weary of doing things the same old way. Then nothing seems to please….You try desperately for something new and different, something that doesn’t seem so much like you. Why? Tonight you are different.

One cannot expect the world to be top side up all the time. Such perfection does not come so easily to human nature. And always there is a search for something new and different. A change of pace….that thought that I don’t want to be me today, to think my thoughts and do my daily chores. I want to make a complete change now, to know a whole new way of life. And it is good to leave behind the many daily situations that sometimes stand too closely to be seen clearly, but to be wise enough to know which things should be left behind.

There have been clean sweeps that have left behind the dearest things….and have taken along the same dreary, dark unhappy things of the mind that should have been left behind.

A line from the prayer of serenity is “The wisdom to know the difference….” And wisdom, says Samuel Taylor Coleridge, is common sense in an uncommon degree. If one has the wisdom to wait a bit, wait until morning – or several mornings – that uncommon degree of common sense will give us the wisdom to know the difference.


Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet:



Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site: http://www.whitebison.org

Elder’s Meditation of the Day July 24

Elder’s Meditation of the Day July 24

“Life is like a path…and we all have to walk the path… As we walk…we’ll find experiences like little scraps of paper in front of us along the way. We must pick up those pieces of scrap paper and put them in our pocket… Then, one day, we will have enough scraps of papers to put together and see what they say… Read the information and take it to heart.”

–Uncle Frank Davis (quoting his mother), PAWNEE

The Creator designed us to learn by trial and error. The path of life we walk is very wide. Everything on the path is sacred – what we do right is sacred – but our mistakes are also sacred. This is the Creator’s way of teaching spiritual people. To criticize ourselves when we make mistakes is not part of the spiritual path. To criticize mistakes is not the Indian way. To learn from our mistakes is the Indian way. The definition of a spiritual person is someone who makes 30-50 mistakes each day and talks to the Creator after each one to see what to do next time. This is the way of the Warrior.

Today let me see my mistakes as a positive process. Let me learn the aha’s of life… Awaken my awareness so I can see the great learning that You, my Creator, have designed for my life.

July 24 – Daily Feast

July 24 – Daily Feast

How like moths we are when we are caught in the dark, beating our wings against anything that stands between us and the light. Though we strain against barriers, we are the a tsv s dv, we are the light or candle that lights the place where we are. Others who follow watch for a signal, a light in the dark, to know they are not alone. We need to take some time to be quiet, to recharge and it may mean waiting a while in the dark. But whatever our need, if we wait, the light will come. And it will illuminate us instead of blinding us with its glare.

~ The path to glory is rough and many gloomy hours obscure it. May the Great Spirit shed light on yours. ~


‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Daily Motivator for July 24 – Focus on results

Focus on results

Progress comes when you focus on results. Progress happens when you visualize  the results you desire, when you expect those results, and then work to make  them happen.

Focus on results, and you can figure out how to bring them about. Focus on  results, and you have a way to know, in each and every step, whether or not  you’re making progress.

Good intentions are nice, and sophisticated methods are impressive. What  really count, though, are the end results.

Any effort you undertake will use your precious time and resources. Make sure  you get the most value in return by staying focused on the results.

Don’t allow yourself to remain stuck in mediocrity. Don’t fool yourself into  thinking you’re doing great when you’re really doing not much at all.

Clearly and specifically define the results you seek, measure your progress,  and weigh each action, each effort, accordingly. Focus on results and you’ll get  the very best ones.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for July 24 – Chronic Lateness

Chronic Lateness

Unconscious Communication

by Madisyn Taylor

When people are chronically late, they are in essence saying that their time is more important than yours.

Being late for an appointment or a date can seem like a small thing that really doesn’t matter, but it communicates volumes, whether we mean it to or not. Being kept waiting is an experience that almost no one enjoys, because at best, it wastes their time, and at worst, it indicates a lack of regard. It’s as if we’re saying that our time is more important than their time, so we don’t need to honor them by showing up when we said we would. When we are running late, it means a lot if we call and let the person know, especially if it’s going to be more than ten minutes. However, if we are chronically late, it may take more than a phone call to properly address the issue.

If it’s become a habit of ours not to be on time, we may want to look inside ourselves and see what’s going on. It’s easy enough to make excuses about our behavior, or to project responsibility on the other person, perceiving them to be uptight if they are irritated by our tardiness. What’s more difficult, and more meaningful, is looking at ourselves and asking why it is that we always, or often, show up late. Sometimes this happens out of a lack of self-regard, as if we aren’t really important anyway, so why will anyone care if we’re late, or don’t show up at all. Chronic lateness can also stem from being disorganized, or simply trying to do too much in one day. Another possible reason for being late to a particular appointment, or date, is that we don’t really want to be there. We communicate our disinterest or boredom by not showing up on time.

Whatever our reasons, if we raise them to the conscious level, we have an opportunity to live a more conscious life. As we begin to understand the deeper reasons behind our inability to show up on time, we have the option to communicate clearly and consciously about how we really feel, rather than communicating unconsciously by being late.

Healing from Grief and Loss

Healing from Grief and Loss

by Delia Quigley

“If you do not bring forward what is within you, what is within you will  destroy you. But if you bring forward what is within you, what is within you  will heal and save you.” The Gospel of Thomas

We want the security of knowing that life will hold the pattern we create,  the niche we carve out for ourselves in whatever space we can claim as our own.  When we lose what we love, our pattern is changed forever, and we descend into  grief. This time of grieving invites us to be still, to sit quietly and allow  the process to unfold. We might think that some kind of action needs to take  place, some moving on from the sadness; in fact, it is in giving time to your  grief that it becomes a transformative experience.

When a close friend died of cancer, many people in my circle of friends were  devastated by the loss. I remember waking up the morning after he died knowing  that my world had changed forever, and I right along with it. I found myself  looking at each moment as if he would appear again in my field of vision. I felt  so weighed down with sorrow that there was nothing to do but sit in emptiness.  Even knowing his illness was terminal, those of us around him refused to  acknowledge that he was dying. Later, when we looked at pictures, taken days  before his passing, we were shocked at what was so evident. The man was dying,  and we couldn’t let him go.

When we lose someone or something we love, we are faced with the space that  person held and we fill it with grief and longing. Grieving is the emotional  healing our mind needs to recover from loss. If we are unable to grieve our  losses, we have difficulty moving on. We forfeit some of our emotional  flexibility. Our psyches develop hard spots, which may manifest themselves in  habitual anger, irritability, anxiety, depression, or addiction.

Taking my grief to the meditation cushion, I sat and watched my breath,  cried, sobbed, blew my nose, and watched my breath some more. There were  mornings I couldn’t sit still and was overcome by sadness again, and so I would  do my yoga, moving slowly from one posture to another. Gradually, what I called  the “grief balloon” began to deflate, and this incredible feeling of love was  there to fill the space. My attachment to my friend’s death had dissolved, and I  was filled with the purity of unconditional love that had formed the basis of  our relationship.

Meditation teacher Joseph Goldstein, and author of The Experience of  Insight, writes that love that comes from wisdom is an “unconditional,  universal loving kindness—a feeling of friendliness and warmth for all beings  everywhere.” All that you can do to shed your grief and replace it with love is  to be patient, do the practice, and meditate. That’s all that’s required.


What Not to Say to Someone Grieving

What Not to Say to Someone Grieving

by Molly, selected from DivineCaroline

If you have had the experience of losing a loved one in your  lifetime, you  understand that the mourning process can be so agonizing  and prolonged that it  feels as if it will never end. Sometimes it’s so  excruciating, in fact, that  even when we aren’t grieving firsthand and  are simply trying to help a person we know heal following the death of someone  important to him or her, we panic,  unsure of what words of reassurance can  possibly suffice in the face of  such monumental loss and emotional trauma.

According to bereavement expert Camille Wortman, PhD, blogging for the PBS  series This Emotional Life,our  personal discomfort  surrounding death and tragedy, whether conscious or  unconscious, often rears  its head when we try to reach out to grieving people,  even if we have the best of intentions.  She notes, “We are not sure  what to say and we do not want to make [the person]  feel even worse.  Conversing with a grieving person can evoke feelings of  helplessness  because objectively, there is little we can say or do to help.  Such  interactions may also enhance feelings of vulnerability, because they   make us realize that bad things can happen at any time.”

In addition, Wortman points out, as we sense our own stress levels increasing while we try to soothe someone who  is suffering, we freeze  up and tend to default to a one-size-fits-all approach,  making “remarks  that are part of our cultural understanding of how to help  others.” Yet  such statements are risky at best and downright damaging at worst.  When  attempting to console a bereaved person, you’d be wise to avoid the   following types of behaviors.

Offering Platitudes “Time heals all wounds.” “You  have so much to be thankful for.” “It wasn’t meant to be.” “This is  simply nature’s way of dealing with a problem.” “Everything happens for a  reason.”

Minimizing the Problem “It was only a baby you didn’t  know; you can always have other children.” “She was seventy-five, so she  lived a nice long life.” “It’s over now. There’s nothing to do but move  on.” “Others are worse off than you.”

Giving Unsolicited Advice “You should seriously consider  getting a dog to keep you company now that your husband is gone.” “It’s not  healthy for you to be visiting your mother’s grave every day.” “The best way  for you to get over your wife’s death is to start dating new people as soon as  possible.”

Grasping at Straws in an Attempt to Relate “I know how  you feel about your son’s passing. My husband and I got divorced last year, and  I’ve had a very hard time with it.” “I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s  untimely death. I  understand what you’re going through, because I had to put my  dog to  sleep recently.” “I know how hard it must have been to lose your  five-year-old. I experienced a similar tragedy when I had an abortion.”

Putting a Religious Spin on the Situation “God has a  plan.” “God doesn’t give you any more than you can handle.” “God needed  your father more than you did.” “She’s a flower in God’s garden now.” “Heaven needed another angel.”

Expressing Intolerance for the Length of the Grieving  Process “Think positive.” “You must be strong.” “Keep a  stiff upper lip.” “Pull yourself together.” “Get back on the horse.”

These verbal red flags might make you feel as if trying to  console someone  who’s lost a loved one is akin to stepping into a  minefield, but bear in mind  that saying nothing at all is still more  harmful. Treat this as an opportunity  to practice mindful  compassion—instead of blurting out clichés, make  sympathetic and  selfless comments, such as:

“I’m so sorry to hear about your loss.” “I can’t imagine what you are  going through.” “I don’t know exactly what to say, but I know I can  listen.” “Would you like to sit down and tell me how you’re really  feeling?”

Above all, don’t forget to ask what you can do to help. Whether  that means  sitting quietly with a grieving friend while she cries,  asking people to  prepare food for her for a few weeks, or researching  support groups for her to  attend, know that you do have the power to  provide genuine comfort.



Will Colorado shootings suspect James Eagan Holmes ever face trial?

Will Colorado shootings suspect James Eagan Holmes ever face trial?

By M. Alex Johnson, NBC News

When James Eagan Holmes, the suspect in the Colorado movie theater shootings, enters court for the first time Monday, he will be taking the first step in a long legal journey likely to center on two issues: Is he competent to stand trial? And will prosecutors seek the death penalty?

M. Alex Johnson is a reporter for NBC News. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Police identified Holmes, 24, a graduate student at the University of Colorado-Denver medical school, as the suspect in the shootings at a screening of “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo., shortly after midnight Friday morning. Twelve people were killed, including a 6-year-old girl, and 58 others were injured.

Holmes will appear before a judge at 9:30 a.m. on Monday in Arapahoe County District Court in nearby Centennial. Charges aren’t expected to be filed at this early stage; the hearing is intended to advise Holmes that he is the focus of the investigation and to set conditions for his continued detention.

Carol Chambers, district attorney for the 18th Judicial District, which includes Arapahoe County, wouldn’t address potential charges, telling reporters Friday that her focus was on providing information and resources to the victims and their families.

Eventually, Holmes will almost certainly be charged and he will have to enter a plea. If he pleads not guilty by reason of insanity, or if his attorneys argue that he is incompetent to stand trial, proceedings could stretch out for months or years — even indefinitely.

If Holmes’ lawyers believe he isn’t competent, they have “an absolute duty to raise competency and [request] a competency evaluation,” said Scott H. Robinson, a prominent Denver criminal defense attorney.

A defendant is considered incompetent if he’s unable to understand the charges against him or to assist in his own defense. Legal proceedings must stop until the defendant is restored to competency.

“Only down the road do we consider the question of ‘not guilty by reason of insanity,”’ Robinson told NBC station KUSA of Denver.

Then there’s the question of whether Chambers would seek the death penalty.

“This is a unique type of situation,” said Robinson, who noted that Chambers is term-limited and may not want to be saddled with that decision as she leaves office — especially since it would be a non-issue if Holmes is found incompetent or not guilty by reason of insanity.

Instead, that decision could be made by Chambers’ successor, Republican George Brauchler or Democrat Ethan Feldman, one of whom voters will elect in November.

James Alan Fox, a criminal justice professor at Northeastern University in Boston, said people who commit mass murders usually aren’t mentally ill.

“It takes a certain degree of clear-headedness to plan and execute a crime like this,” Fox told NBC News.

“Contrary to the common misperception that these guys suddenly snap and go berserk, these are well-planned executions,” he said.

Clint Van Zandt, president of the security firm Van Zandt Associates and a former criminal profile expert for the FBI, also cautioned against rushing to any judgment.

“We’ve got to be careful,” Van Zandt said in an interview on TODAY, criticizing commentators who he said were going on TV and “flippantly saying, ‘Well, he’s a sociopath, he’s a psychopath.'”

“We all want to put a label on somebody,” Van Zandt said. “We want to say, ‘What is the cause, and what is the cure?’

“We want that real quick,” but the human mind is too “complex” for such an easy answer, he said.

Maggie Fox of NBC News and NBC station KUSA of Denver contributed to this report.