Volume 6, Issue 12 | December 2017

Season's Greetings!

I'm excited to report that my job search is over, taking only about a month-and-a-half, and resulting in another contract with the same organization as the last one. Gratefully, my role as a Procedure Writer (as well as website content writer, perhaps trainer, and who knows what else) is in a different department - a larger, more dynamic one - with managers who are amazing leaders and people (confirmed by others). It's a 12-month contract, and at a higher pay rate than the last gig. I am so very grateful.
Now that I'm a working woman again, I'm not getting as much time watching movies, which I so enjoy! Over the past several months I've been watching mostly Christmas movies. I recently realized why I am so drawn to them: what could be finer than to watch a story without violence and that usually embodies hope, faith, joy, honesty, forgiveness, friend and family reunions, people helping one another, music, and twinkling lights (and inner ones too)?! Throw in a rural setting and a romance, and I'm hooked!

Now aren't those the values and elements that we desire in our own life? Isn't it interesting that for one month out of 12 most of us, regardless of the faith tradition we might practice, live a bit more like the way seen in Christmas movies, we demonstrate more and more who we truly are, shine our inner light more like the Christmas decorations that surround us?

In their rendition of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," Peter, Paul, and Mary (along with the New York Choral Society) ask (1:49)"Why can't we have Christmas the whole year around? Why can't we have Christmas the whole year?"  
Indeed, why?  

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and all the other greetings of this inspiring season!

Joyce's signature 

Inspiration and Contemplation
With All Your Love and Friendship 

Reading the passage below by Yogananda made me think about my idea of Christmas... Not growing up in a household that celebrated Christmas, the season has always been about love, joy, peace, and friendship for me.

"Be alone within... Enjoy solitude; but when you want to mix with others, do so with all your love and friendship, so that those persons cannot forget you, but remember always that they met someone who inspired them and turned their minds to God."
- Paramahansa Yogananda, "Man's Eternal Quest"
Practice Makes Real   
There is no consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion. Religion may be defined as a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, world views, texts, sanctified places, ethics, or organizations that relate humanity to the supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual.

Emmet Fox lived from 1886 - 1951 and was a scientist, philosopher, spiritual teacher, popular lecturer and the bestselling author of many books. In reading his works, he often used the word "religion" in terms of people relating to the transcendental or spiritual, not as a man-made structure of rituals and beliefs.
Keeping this in mind, I have substituted the word "religion" with "spirituality" in his daily reading of December 13 from "Around the Year with Emmet Fox" where he speaks about putting into action the ideals in which one believes.

"The only part of our religion [spirituality] that is real is the part we express in our daily lives. Ideals that we do not act out in practice are mere abstract theories. Actually, such pretended ideals are a serious detriment, because they drug the soul.

"If you want to receive any benefit from your religion [spirituality] you must practice it; and the place to practice it is right now, where you are; and the time to do it is now."
People Helping People
'Secret Santa' Pays For Layaway Orders At New Jersey Toys"R"Us   
This isn't the only instance of the giving to strangers particularly at this time of year, but it is a more extreme case - and a delight!
Wishing you a holiday season filled with much joy, love, friendship, and peace. 
May the new year be filled with rich learning, adventure, and love, always love. 

Joyce's signature

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