Volume 11, Issue 2 | February 2022

On Valentine’s Day, I like to wish people a Happy Love and Friendship Day. For me, the day is about celebrating love of all types, and my greeting is inclusive of them all, not just romantic love.

With the celebration of love and friendship, for me Valentine’s Day is kind of like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Disneyland rolled into one: I just have to smile and be filled with joy and gratitude! It is one of those focused times when I reflect upon the people who are dear to me and then express how I feel directly to them, usually via a greeting card. It sure is sweet.

Actually, I like to think of all of February as Love and Friendship Month. Well, let’s face it, we need them 365 days a year!

With the current world environment, I was thinking that what we really need is peace. Peace within each of us. And, then I think love within and without can follow.

Still, I wanted to share the story behind the song, “What the World Needs Now.”

You can listen to the originally recorded version by Jackie DeShannon released in 1965 below, and/or the version recorded a little bit later by Dionne Warwick.

Enjoy! What the world needs now is peace and love. May you and I contribute to that by shining our light.
Joyce's signature

Here's what I wrote on Valentine's Day way back in 2010...

There are all kinds of love, but the ultimate love is that of God.

I am grateful for Spirit’s unconditional love, unlimited, unrestricted, always present. When I and the humans in my life fall asleep and falter in our loving capacity, I know that I can rely on the Source of all to...
Inspiration and Contemplation
Love is More Than a Sentiment
“Love is more than a sentiment. It is a need, a hunger, a thirst that is perfectly natural. Anyone who thinks he can live and be happy without it does not know what he is talking about—psychologically, emotionally, or spiritually. Love is the beginning and end, the impulse in nature that will not be denied.”

Ernest Holmes, founder of the spiritual movement known as Religious Science, part of the greater New Thought movement, whose spiritual philosophy is known as The Science of Mind

I must say that I find it ironic that I am writing this on Saturday, February 26, which is the17th anniversary of my wedding day; the marriage lasted to just under eight years. Still, that journey did feed a hunger for a closeness such as I’d not experienced up until that time of my life, and I am most grateful for it. Since love is a need, a hunger, a thirst, I look forward to fulfilling it once again at an even greater depth.
The Purpose of Friendship 
“The spiritual core reason for a friendship is that it can—and is meant to—help us change and grow.”

Michael Berg, Kabbalah scholar, author, co-Director of The Kabbalah Centre

In this post on Goop, Berg writes that the kabbalists teach that one of the only true choices we make in life is our environment, and the friends we surround ourselves with. I wholeheartedly agree!

Friends are people who inspire us, call us on our issues, push us to grow, and support us through this process. My friends are my family of choice.

We have to understand how influential our friends are in the life we create. In assessing our friendships, if we have a friend that makes us feel worthless, hurts us, doesn’t enable us to grow, etc., then that’s a friendship that isn’t healthy to continue.

Berg opines that we should diminish that friendship, but not cut that person out of our life entirely, that a friend is always a friend. Ah, that is not quite the concept I grew up with! But, of course, I see how keeping the person in my life would provide me with continued spiritual evolution and practice in lovingly accepting others, forgiveness, and more.

Read the full post here.
People Making a Difference
My friends have always been my chosen family. I am grateful that I made a new friend just as I embarked on the painful journey of divorce, but rest assured we’ve shared many joyous times as well over the past nine years.

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” – Albert Schweitzer

May the blessings of God rest upon you,
May God's peace abide in you.
May God's presence illuminate your heart,
Now and forever more.

I've sung this traditional Sufi song for decades, and it came to mind for this closing.

It's actually a chant and a dance, both powerful ways to share love with each other and to experience Spirit within us. You can listen to a version of "May the Blessings of God" here.

Peace and love unto you.
Joyce's signature

Joyce S. Kaye, MSW
e-newsletter designed, developed, written, and published by Joyce S. Kaye
You, Me, and Spirit

I was a devout atheist until 31 years ago when I "came to believe" in a Power greater than myself. Thanks to hearing the novel idea (well, at least it was to me!) that one could choose their own concept of God--and name too (Spirit, The Great Mystery, All That Is, etc.)--and the workings of synchronicity, I embarked on a new way of thinking, a new way of living, a new way of being in the world and with others. It impacted all aspects of my life and relationships.

Since that time of commencing my conscious spiritual journey, I have endeavored to remember The Presence in all that is, all whom I meet, and all that I do -- including working with clients in my own business and in the corporate world. I strive to be of service and to nurture the human spirit in all environments.