It’s that time of year to ask, “What’s the appropriate thing to say?” Merry Christmas! But not everyone is Christian nor to all Christians celebrate Christmas. Happy Hanukkah! Not everyone is Jewish. Happy Kwanza! Not everyone celebrates that, either. Happy Holidays! Someone else is going to be offended by that one, too. It’s becoming a no-win situation.
Well, I for one, do not believe in a no-win situation. I also don’t believe in being too overly critical if someone’s personal beliefs are not perfectly met. I believe in an open heart.
In our country, at least, most people do celebrate Christmas. In my humble opinion it’s okay to wish someone a Merry Christmas, because the wish means more than just a blessing for the Christian holiday. It means “Good Cheer” and “Be Happy” and “Be Blessed” and “Peace to you” and “Love Everyone”. It’s a wish for joy and prosperity to everyone. Everyone, no matter who they are, who they worship, whether or not they worship or what they believe. Good will to all men and women. Period.
By the same token, the same holds true for Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, Happy Kwanza and every other seasonal greeting; they are offerings of love and peace. So bring on those seasonal greetings. It doesn’t matter to me which one! I feel the love behind it in my heart. And I want you to feel the love when I wish you Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays!
It’s that time of year to empty your bank accounts to show people how much we love them. Woo hoo! Look at all those gifts! Look at all those year-end bills! Is that love? Really?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do love presents! I love to give them and I sure do love to get them. But I don’t think we need to prove our love by the volume of gifts or by how expensive they were.
A precious and cherished gift is usually something special, something simple or something handmade. No matter, it is always something from the heart.
We already received an amazing gift this year and it will be cherished always. It was a hand-painted card from a dear friend. It will be framed so that we may enjoy it for years to come.
So don’t go out and make retailers rich. Don’t try to out-buy Aunt Harriet. You don’t even have to give someone a trinket of any kind. Just give a smile, a heart-felt hug and your love. It’s precious.
“It’s that time of year when the world falls in love…” begins my favorite Christmas song. And it does seem to be fairly true. The hearts of many soften a little bit. And some people’s hearts soften a lot; just look at the Grinch!
But do our hearts soften enough? Do they soften for all? Religion and the Golden Rule teach us that we should love one another. We learn that we should not judge others. But we do judge and we don’t love everyone.
Far too often, especially these days, we hear that we shouldn’t love that group over there because they don’t look like us. Or because they don’t believe the same things we do. Or that we should shun someone for what they wear. We judge people unfairly and based upon little or no information. We generalize and judge.
That is not what religion teaches us. That is not what a good and true society does. That is not what a person with an open heart will do.
So each of us, let’s try to spread more love within our families, amongst our friends, within our communities and even around the world. And let’s not just do it this time each year. Let’s try to do it every day.
As another of my favorite songs – though it’s not a Christmas song - says, “Come on people now, smile on your brother. Everybody get together. Try to love one another right now.”
Thank you for letting me share a few thoughts that have been on my mind this season.
And it’s that time of year to wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a wonderful life! May you be blessed and may you love deeply and greatly.
Joe Thornton, Great Conjunction Co-Founder
But why should we only be thankful for the many blessings in our lives just on the holiday? Why aren’t we thankful, or grateful, all the time?
We all live busy, complex lives. We all get so tired sometimes. We all begin to take some things for granted. Things like the love we feel from those we hold dear; the glorious sky; the purr of a kitten and playfulness of a puppy; the conversations we have with friends and family each day; our health; the fact that we are alive. It’s easy to take some things for granted and we do it all the time.
Far too often we don’t fully appreciate what we have until we no longer have it. Our health is an obvious one. But what about the other joys in our lives? For example, what about our parents and others that we love. Do we speak to them or see them as often as we could or should? Do we let them know how much they mean to us?
What about the bank teller or the grocery clerk who make us smile? Do we stop to think about and appreciate them? How about the breeze that rustles our hair? Do we take the moment to enjoy that?
Gratitude is something we here at Great Conjunction Spiritual Center try to live every day. Of course it’s not easy, we’re human, we’re busy, we fail at times. But we do try. And we each of us can try just a little bit harder to be grateful for all the wonders, large and tiny, in our lives.
There’s not room enough, nor time enough, for me to share all the things for which I am truly grateful, plus I don’t want to bore you. But here are just a few:
I am grateful that I have a window in office bringing in the light to my beautiful plants. I am grateful for my dog, Helo, curled up at my feet as I write this. I am grateful for my amazing business partner, friend, supporter and husband. I am grateful that when I get up in the mornings, there’s a hot cup of tea waiting for me along with a smile and a hug. I am grateful for the opportunity to do the work that I do. I am grateful for each and every one of you; without whom I could not do these things.
Thank you very, very much.
So let’s try experience that thankfulness not just in November or on Thanksgiving Day, but every month and every day.
Gratitude. Let’s be grateful together. Every day.
Joe Thornton, Great Conjunction Co-Founder
John Thornton, Great Conjunction Co-Founder
Over the last few months we have been working on a new project that’s very close to our hearts – Guided meditation and Reiki in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Joe presented this idea to me this past summer and I thought it was a fantastic next step in Great Conjunction’s evolution.
Whether or not it was their decision to move to an assisted living or care facility, many residents start to feel fearful, angry and isolated. These feelings can be magnified by chronic illness, dementia and depression, but meditation and Reiki can help. I was pleasantly surprised to see the volume of studies and articles on the positive effects of Reiki on seniors.
Three specific research studies on the effects of Reiki on residents with dementia consistently showed residents to be less depressed according to pre- and post-scores of the Geriatric Depression Scale. In addition, residents were observed to be less confused, reported less physical pain, and displayed improved social skills and willingness to participate in group activities.
Guided meditation works in harmony with Reiki helping people to focus on the present moment, be more mindful and encourage the practice of non-judgment, acceptance, and kindness. Meditation reduces stress and helps people feel more in control.
By combining guided meditation, gentle music, and Reiki we hope to provide the spiritual tools that the care facility residents can use every day and the healing energy to help them feel better.
We have our first meeting with an assisted living and care facility next week and we will use this pilot program as the model as we expand this outreach to other facilities and “vulnerable populations”. We already have volunteers who are excited about expanding this program to Veterans, children and other vulnerable populations while offering subsidized training in Reiki and meditation to facility staff.
You can help! We are always looking for volunteers to help at our events, this and other outreach programs as well as at our expos. As this new program grows we will need people with Reiki training as well. We always need bottled water and healthy snacks for our volunteers. Additionally, anyone who is not Reiki trained but is interested in volunteering for this program may receive training and attunement at a substantial discount.
Always, your continued support of our lectures and Expos ~ by bring your friends, sharing on social media and just taking the time to show up makes everything Great Conjunction does, and wants to do, possible.
Thank you for your donations and your support; you not only make it all possible, but you are why we do this. As always, thank you.
See you soon!
Whew! Talk about time passing quickly, the year is fast coming to an end. and I really only have a few more monthly gemstone lists, but, never fear!!! I will continue to write view points and information, tips and ideas, about working with, using and caring for crystals. I will also start going more into the lore of special stones when they are presented to me. I will never quite know what I’ll be writing about until the time comes, so please keep checking the blog and the articles for this site for insights, information, and more.
On to the monthly gemstones, which, by the way, may seem a bit short this month but the consensus of all of the lists I have found seem to agree with the Golden Topaz as the major stone for this month. The remaining stones are good alternatives if you can’t find a Golden Topaz which speaks to you (or that you can afford! The gemmy ones seems to be a bit on the pricey side.).
As always, these lists are for general purposes only and you should always go with the stone or crystal which attracts you, rather than the ones on any list. (Including these lists.) Even if the definition/energies seem to be what you are looking for, if the stone or crystal does not FEEL right to you, chances are it is not what you currently need for what you are going through. If one attracts you and seems to vibrate to you, you can always ask it to help with whatever problem you wish. That is all any of the stones and crystals want, TO BE ASKED.
TOPAZ (GOLDEN)--The Topaz is considered to be a ’stone of true love and success in all endeavors’. It uses the basic ’laws of attraction and manifestation’ so be sure you are careful for what you wish, you just might get it. Additionally, the Golden Topaz is a connection to Universal energies for finding ones life path, holding information, energy, thoughts and love. It works with the first three chakra points to align them with the Crown chakra to bring forth faith and further enhance the enlightened state. Good for business and friendships. Remember to use the energies of this stone in an unselfish manner because it is a stone of love and true love should be unconditional.
CITRINE--A crystal of joy, sunshine and hope, this crystal is one of the few which does not need much by way of cleansing. In fact, it is often suggested to have a Citrine crystal in with tarot cards to help cleanse them after readings and energize them with positive vibrations. It is said to aid with the stomach (it does work with the 3rd chakra point). It also helps with balancing ones personal power for better health and wealth. It is said to be a merchant’s stone and having one in the cash drawer is suppose to help draw in business.
MALACHITE--One of the tireless healing stones…almost like the aspirin of the stone world…very good for all areas of healing. It should be smudge cleansed after deliberate healing usage due to it’s slightly soft nature. A quick rinse with water is fine but be sure not to let it soak. It has a copper content which is a high conductor of energy.
OBSIDIAN-- This is nature’s glass, formed from the heat and pressures of volcanic energies. There are several forms of Obsidian from Mahogany to Snowflake, from Rainbow to Apache Tears and Black Obsidian. When shaping this particular stone, one can get the edge so fine that it rivals the finest scalpel man can make. That is one reason, Obsidian, as a whole, is a very protective stone. Carrying or wearing it or even having it in the home, aids with protection and is especially useful in ones vehicle for travel. It also helps to dispel negativity and is very grounding. Other varieties will have additional properties, including promise, joy, aid with grief and compassion.
Welcome to everyone!!!
Wow…the year is going by so fast…is it age or is it the quickening of the total consciousness? Whatever one believes, doesn’t really matter…it is truly a matter of perspective.
And on with the October Gemstones list….
Pink Tourmaline--Connects to creativity, new ideas, maintaining the connection between the self and “All That Is”. Works with the Crown Chakra and the Heart Chakra to combine both Spirituality with Love. It allows one to trust in the power of love, elevating the feelings of joy for life by releasing negativity. It is a special stone to give to one you hope loves you or will come to love you.
Turquoise--This is a great stone for empowerment and the Throat Chakra. It is a stone honored by those of Native American origin/descent or those who have had past lives in that role. It is also one of those stones which is often imitated by dying other stones to the color needed…particularly Howlite. It is a relatively soft stone and also needs some stabilization at times. Aids with increasing communication as well as elevating all chakra energies to a higher level. Good for increasing the connection between the physical world and the spiritual world. This is also a protective stone.
Jasper--Traditional protective stone, especially the red Jasper. There are a large number of types of Jasper...too many to go into in this article. Most Jaspers seem to work with the lower three Chakra points which are those of survival, energy, grounding and protection. Some will also work with the Heart but the Heart chakra is the bridge between the Earth/Physical Chakra points and the Spiritual Chakra points so that is to be expected.
Malachite--One of the tireless healing stones…almost like the aspirin of the stone world…very good for all areas of healing. It should be smudge cleansed after deliberate healing usage due to it’s slightly soft nature. A quick rinse with water is fine but be sure not to let it soak. It has a copper content which is a high conductor of energy.