Desert Messenger

May 18, 2011

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P��� 2 DESERT MESSENGER IS A PROUD MEMBER OF ���.D�����M��������.��� “A nation, as a society, forms a moral person, and every member of it is personally responsible for his society.” — Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father and third U.S. president (1743-1826), in a letter to George Hammond, 1792 By sharing my stories, my hope is for the reader to relate, connect, and recognize how we are all related as hu- man beings. This past week, I have had many “op- portunities for growth”. My mother would use that phrase when I com- plained about something not being “right in my world”. A week after a local tabloid printed a Deadline for June 1st issue of the Desert Messenger is WED. May 25th Email: Phone: 541-218-2560 andy’s ayin’s “Beware, Beware! Little Red Rid’n Hood to all of us out there! Don’t forget, S wolves in sheep’s clothin’ are lurking somewhere. So let’s walk in the light, in the right, to keep those wolves away!” Sponsored by Sandy Gilbert and Desert Messenger outhern tyle horrifi c “rumor” (in other words, a LIE) about me, I received my fi rst piece of anonymous hate mail. My inner rage began to boil to the surface and I began to write about what a painful experi- ence it was. Needless to say you’re not reading that crazy writing! However, after praying about the situation and asking myself, “how does this serve the community”, I came to the conclusion it really doesn’t matter what anyone says about me. My inner serenity remains intact (only after hours of serious per- sonal work as I was tempted to hold onto those “enemy images”). We all have stories about how angry and resentful we have become when things just don’t go our way, or some- one doesn’t like what we said, or they say vengeful and hurtful lies about us. Our world is really not an “us versus them”, even though many perpetuate that lie. So, how do we deal with this type of confl ict and confrontation? If our focus is on how bad things are, instead of what is actually working, we tend to get stuck in that anger and frustration. If so, how can gratitude ever fi nd a place into our hearts? Effective social change requires being able to connect with others and avoid seeing those who disagree with us as en- emies. Change will occur when people change how they see things. READER’S OASIS BOOKS 690 E. Main - Quartzsite (one block east of Family Dollar) 928-927-6551 “The greatest revolution in our generation is that of human beings, who by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”- Marilyn Ferguson So, during my inner drama this week, I struggled with how to reframe my ex- perience into a healing moment. It’s no fun being attacked regularly, but if that remained my focus… well, there goes the “opportunity for growth”. Besides, I’m sure ya’ll really don’t care about the de- tails anyhow. But I can tell you that people are being affected by all the negative stories being shared and repeated in this town. Just read the letters to the editor to get a sense of people’s frustration. Oprah shares “Aha! Moments” with her viewers to raise our compassion levels. I had my own “Aha Moment” this week when I remembered that Gratitude must play a central part in my life for there to be serenity. A few years ago, while facilitating “How Much Joy Can You Stand?” Workshops, I witnessed gratitude showing up every- where in the participants’ lives. Where was my own gratitude and joy? “In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Albert Clarke At one point, I was able to stop and remember a life coaching technique of writing a list of things I’m grateful for. My perspective began to shift when I re- called a client who called in a panic and could not get past her fears of possibly being stalked by a past lover. I stopped her in mid-sentence and asked her if she could come up with 10 things to be grateful for. She couldn’t. I asked her if she was standing or sitting. Her focus M�� 18, 2011 Editorial BY SHANANA “RAIN” GOLDEN-BEAR instantly shifted to being grateful just for the fact that she has two feet to stand on, that all toes were intact, and then the list grew from there. Remembering this story brought me to that place of gratitude for all the small things in my life. So rather than focusing on what has happened, I could now focus on the possibilities, which is this community, full of caring and loving people. I hope that you will take a moment in your own life to make a Gratitude List and watch how your anger or frustration will instantly shift. Write the words, “Attitude of Gratitude” in lipstick on your bathroom mirror, so it’s the fi rst thing you see at the start your day. Remember, you get what you focus on, so focus wisely. I also hope that by sharing my story, we can all realize that the color of our blood is the same, no matter the color of our skin, our race, religion, creed, gender, or sexual orientation...or whether we live in a tent, a trailer, or a house. We are all human beings sharing this planet (and this town) together. I was taught by my elders that when we are having a hard time, it’s good for us to pray for our neighbor, who may also be having a hard time. Who are you praying for? Please pray for our relatives along the Mississsippi River. God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change (you), courage to change the things I can (me), and the wisdom to know the difference (God/Creator/Spirit). D����� M�������� Founded by Walt Akin, October 1, 2004 Contributing Writer, Joanne Winer Quartzsite‛s FREE Community Paper Name Plate Lettering by Paul Winer PUBLISHED BY PILOT ROCK PUBLISHING CO. P.O. Box 3185, Quartzsite, AZ 85359 • E-mail: Published twice a month on the 1st & 3rd Wednesday, Sept. - May, 1st Wed. in June, July & August Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Desert Messenger. Shanana “Rain” Golden-Bear, Publisher Copyright © 2011 541-218-2560 Contributing Photographer, Starr BearCat

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