Peace bubbles

Try a morning ritual for well-being

“Nobody’s free until everyone’s free.” 
Fannie Lou Hamer
Hello Monitor readers,
How was your February Leap Month and day? How was your Black History Month; did you discover something new or read any Black-focused books or watch a Black documentary or movie? And, how did you cope/deal with the rollercoaster drama of the weather, the horrors of the different wars, the start of the Presidential Election primaries and caucuses, as well as hearing and seeing the honest and in-our-faces unethical and dishonorable federal lawmakers. 
“Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto - “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” 
Black History Month is always inspiring for me for obvious reasons, and for the ripple effect of fresh air to breathe some truth into our traumas and pain and to do some repairing, acknowledging, healing, restoring and appreciating that we are all related and share both our own and collective stories. For instance, Black History Month provides a space and opportunity to stretch and let go of our denials and angers and start slowly opening up to the fact that we all have been misled at times and have intentionally been taught that White is Right and Mighty and Black, Red and Brown is bad, ungodly, and thieves and rapists. I’m so thankful that these old-fashioned, selfish, and greedy stereotypes and prejudices are fading, and that more and more people are looking behind the curtain of the corrupt, racist, sexist, and other isms institutional structures and systems.
Keep energizing this Leap Year and the gift of our extra day to transform our blue and green planet starting with ourselves and taking extra breaths to feel empathy for others. Let us all take a deep breath for our recent fallen/murdered first responders. Let us continue to send our condolences and heartfelt energy to their families and dear friends. Let’s also find room to extend our sympathy to all who are experiencing unbelievable loss, darkness, and hopeless. Please join me with sending a message of peace and comfort out to the universe in your own manner. Let us visualize and believe that we can create spaces and places of peace and safety. Let us be part of the solution that brings relief to all the negativity and crime in our communities. And, let us work together with neighbors, lawmakers, law enforcement, health care providers, first responders, essential workers, educators, and others, including lawyers, one-percenters, farmers, and scientists.
Please enjoy the following expressions from previous contributor, Princess Titus, who offers good food for thought and great insights for pro-actively synergizing your humanity with others.
Morning Steps towards Wellbeing or Morning Rituals Matter 
Waking up each day can be peaceful and paced or it can be heavy with high energy. You can awake and activate gratitude for life, hydration to break your fast and seek alignment of your steps. Or you can wake up and jump back on the same ole’ ride that dumped you off at your bed the night before, exhausted and feeling unaccomplished. Being intentional with the way you start your day can make a difference in your mindset, productivity, and overall well-being. 
Do your days seem like you start them feeling the need to rush, followed by afternoons of not being able to get your head in the game, concluding with evenings of reflecting and deciding you have not done enough. Starting off thinking of all the tasks ahead of you as well as the ones you have left behind, that are now long overdue, create feelings of anxiety. Does glancing at your calendar can incite feelings of depression and dread?  
What would be different if your day began with deep breaths of gratitude? Open ended prayers of “Who? What? When? and Where?” to keep you surrendering to the will of your purpose and divine assignment. Try to transition your body into the awakened state with random newborn baby stretches, or the Vipanta Karani, a yoga pose that is simply placing your legs up the wall. Take some time to enjoy getting ready for the day, handle your hygiene like an honor not a chore. Allow your time in the mirror to incorporate looking into your eyes, and massaging your temple and face. Definitely celebrate the feet, thank them for carrying you through the last days and rub with shea butter before placing them into socks and shoes, then ordering them to lead the way, again.
These acts of self care are simply the loving kindness that you deserve and need in order to create the type of internal environment necessary to support you through what needs to be done. If your desired result is to be well, productive, and seek balance. Stop and stop, celebrate all that has been done thus far, and make your morning rituals matter.  - Princess Titus
And, a poem/spoken word: 
Is it ok if I am different?
Is it ok if my family doesn’t know?
Will it be ok if I tell them?
Will I be ok if I don’t?
Why should I have to worry about asking these questions,
If they promised my safety?
It feels as if their words will be weapons
Will I tell my friends? Maybe
Is it ok that I am scared?
Is it ok that they might hurt me?
Will it be ok if I change what I wear?
Will it be ok if I stop worrying?
When will it be ok to be myself wherever I am?
Or will I always speak in code?
Cause right now I’ll talk to whoever I can
For when I get home,
I’ll talk in my “it’s fine, I’m normal” mode 
Hello, I am Piper Williamson. This is an important poem to me because I wrote it from the perspective of an LGBTQ+ child who is afraid to tell their parents because they are afraid of being hurt (with one of my best friends in mind). The poem points out the issues LGBTQ+ kids have to face everyday, and why it is important that we give them a way to feel comfortable. I hope that those who have not experienced the feeling are able to read this and understand the hardships of their lives. 
When this goes out I hope that it will help show others why it is always best to never judge someone of the LGBTQ+ community or any in that case. 
Thank you, Princess and Piper for sharing your truths. 
I invite others to use the Monitor to express your feelings and your truth through the Letter to the Editor space or within my column. I am grateful that the Monitor gives me the privilege to share information with an abundance of people; and, my Black cultural mentors, elders, and ancestors have encouraged me to share and spread the privilege opportunities to others. Have a fantastic March; enjoy the acknowledgement and learnings of Women History Month, respect and have a cheerful St. Patrick’s Day, and embrace all the other goodness of March transitioning into spring and bringing more daylight, truth, and justice to our Beloved World. RIP Police Officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, and firefighter and paramedic Adam Finseth.
May Peace Be In the Rondo, Frogtown, Hamline/Midway, Como, and Surrounding Communities... May Peace Be In Our Homes & Communities… May Peace Prevail On Earth (MPPOE)!


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