Volume 11, Issue 4 | April 2022

Well, spring has spring, and so have I!

For just a few weeks now, I have been socializing with other human beings in person! And without wearing a mask! I know many people started doing that months ago, but I was not one of them.

For the past two years, I have spent most of my time home alone. My week days were filled with working a full-time job from home (I’d been working remotely before the world shut down) and the only time I went outdoors was for an occasional walk or to go grocery- or other shopping. There were a few special treats of meeting up with friends, all the while wearing masks, social distancing, etc.; all so unnatural.

Late last July I relocated 100+ miles from my prior hometown, but basically, I could’ve been living anywhere since I was a shut-in due to the pandemic. In the fall, I started attending a spiritual center in person, albeit wearing a mask, and that slowly got me into interacting with people in my new community, even if they didn’t really know what I looked like! Last December I attended two holiday concerts, and boy, did I feel like I was coming alive again!

But it is only this month, just around Easter—a time of rebirth in more ways than one—that I started dipping my toe into the waters of social life and without hiding behind a mask. It was about time to seek making new friends in my new hometown. I became a member of a women’s empowerment group at CSL-Prescott, and then of another women’s group with a very different flavor at Unity of Prescott. I had real, in-person, meaningful conversations with people, even got some laughter in! With some new friends, I went out for lunch and then we strolled along Courthouse Plaza, visiting the art gallery where one of the gals was exhibiting her work. Since then, I’ve attended a pot luck and saw the musical “Chicago” at the local performing arts center. And, then I remembered good ‘ol meetup.com! I went online and joined some local interest groups. This week I attended one meetup gathering, a Prescott Newcomers Group—it didn’t matter that I’d been living here eight months already!

I feel like I have been let out of prison! I know others feel this same way. It was a prison imposed on me from the outside, not of my choice (although I do have experience with self-imposed prisons). All beings need social interaction, need touch. I love my time alone but I also love being with people. I’m grateful for the technology that enabled us to stay connected and see one another via video, but of course there’s nothing like standing next to one another in the flesh.

I’m still getting accustomed to being let out of the cage and with people. I pray that there will be no turning back to the life we have all had to endure. Amid the tragedies and sorrows of the pandemic, I’ve tried to see the blessings that arose out of it. One for me was the increase in remote jobs in my field. I work temporary contracts, and knowing there were more remote jobs gave me the confidence to leave an urban area whilst knowing my contract would be ending and I’d need to find another job. Another blessing has been the basic level of technology expertise of many people has been elevated. A huge blessing has been the endless giving of skill, time, love, and kindness of so many in the healthcare field—and, many others who engaged in random acts of kindness to help neighbors, friends, and strangers too. There is much good in this world.

While I feel most grateful for being able to live a (almost) full life again and am enjoying this newfound freedom, I am still most cognizant that a crisis continues to rage in Ukraine. Those folks are fighting for their freedom, having been drawn into a war by the aggressor Russia/Putin, their lives turned upside down, people displaced, hurt, and killed. Unfortunately, there is also great injustice and ill will in this world. “Freedom is not free” as these courageous Ukrainians have demonstrated. The Ukrainians are fighting not just for themselves, but for all people who desire to live in a free world. My thoughts and prayers continue…

Below is a song about freedom I’d never heard before. I was surprised to learn the music and lyrics were written by Bobby Darin.
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Inspiration and Contemplation
Spiritual Freedom
“Freedom asks that we learn how to discern our personal interior movements of soul. If we want to be truly free, we will have to acknowledge our emotions, receive them, feel them, and reflect on them. Emotions are powerful tools in the spiritual life; they are indicators of what is happening within us. And if we learn to accept them as gifts in the human experience, we can begin to work with them in spiritually healthy ways.”

– Excerpt from Spiritual Freedom in an Emotional World by Vinita Hampton Wright
Freedom and the Human Spirit
People Making a Difference
Boy’s Wooden Bowl Raffle to Aid Ukrainians
A 12-year-old boy, who carved a wooden bowl to raffle in aid of Ukrainian refugees and set a fundraising target of £5,000, raised almost £255,000!

Gabriel Clark went viral online when his father appealed for people to follow his son's Instagram account.

Tweets of support came from author JK Rowling, comedian Stephen Fry, and actor Jason Isaacs.

May you experience freedom physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Take good care during these still crazy times of living on Planet Earth.

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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 32 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.