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Let's Be Better! ~ After the Slide Fire ~ Remembering the Granite Mountain Hotshots

Happy June!

As we welcome June 2014, I'm feeling very grateful for the many blessings the month of May blew through our community.  Thanks to the hard work of firefighters and first responders the Slide Fire is 90% contained.  Despite the nerve-wracking days, I believe we've grown in heart and spirit, and most of us are better prepared for the fire season. 
Challenges = Opportunities
The day the pre-evacuation was announced for Kachina Village, I was helping some of my grown children. We were preparing in the event the fire made it to their home. As some of you know, preparing to evacuate is not the kind of experience you ever want to have. The silver lining that day was witnessing my son and daughter-in-law moving through a crisis, and the strength and kindness they embodied as they assisted and reassured neighbors.  I was also blessed to witness community members, friends, and neighbors working side-by-side for the highest good for everyone.  
Flagstaff and our surrounding communities moved in to action quickly that day.  Many of us were reminded of what matters most to us, the importance of being and having good neighbors, and how much we love this mountain.  At the end of the day I was exhausted, concerned and very proud of my kids, that tight-knit little mountain neighborhood, and Flagstaff, Arizona.
So what's the opportunity?
Now that we can breathe easier, and know the damage is far less than many of us feared, we can decide what we want to take away from the experience. I see opportunities.  In fact, we have many opportunities.  For one thing, I bet most of us have taken time to consider what we would take and what we would leave behind in an emergency.  Maybe we've taken the time to update our insurance, and secure our precious legal documents in a safe place.  Maybe we've sat the family down to develop or review an emergency plan.  
I know I've thought about my neighbors, my neighborhood, and our community.  I know a few of my close neighbors, but I know I can take time to get to know more of them better.  I want to have the same kind of spirit and camaraderie in my neighborhood that I saw in Kachina Village that afternoon.  Not just in a crisis, all the time.  I bet you do too. I want to take this opportunity to be a better neighbor.
The 4th Reiki Principle is Gyo-o hage me - Do you duties fully.  It's about doing the right thing, being your best self in the world, being a better person.  It’s about being better.  It reminds me of Andrew Ashcraft.  Andrew was one of the 20 Granite Mountain Hot Shots who faced the horrific Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013, and one of the 19 who was lost in the battle.
Before the Yarnell Hill Fire, before the world lost Andrew and his comrades, he left us an inspirational reminder to be better.  Following a particularly challenging fire season that had stretched his family life pretty thin, Andrew gave his lovely wife Juliann, 19 written promises.  He also gave her and everyone in the family a white rubber "Be Better" wristband.  He told them he was going to wear his until the day he died. 
If you have not read the beautiful and heartbreaking story of Andrew, his 19 comrades, and the "Be Better" wristband,  here's your chance. "The Last Battle of the Granite Mountain Hotshots," by Josh Eells, (Men’s Journal, October 2013).  This touching article gives a glimpse of the 19 men we lost June 30, 2013, and it reminds us why the world is a better place because they lived.  Like Andrew, we can make up our minds to be better. We have countless ways we can turn ordinary moments into memorable moments, and to work together to make everything better. 
Flagstaff is a friendly, caring community, and this is a golden opportunity to grow even stronger. Even though, we are a busy bunch of hardworking people we can build stronger neighborhoods, and even grow nonexistent relationships with neighbors into solid friendships.  We can organize a Saturday clean up event to remove weeds from overgrown alleyways. We can check in on the elderly, and those who need assistance.  We can help them create defensible space around their homes.  We can drop by to chat, so they don't feel alone when scary things like wildfires occur in the surrounding areas.  We can join or start a Block Watch, and even organize a neighborhood BBQ. These are just some ideas. If we try, we can come up with many more. 
What I know is that when we take the time to come together to work, laugh, and talk with one another we learn more about the people who live on the same street, we develop and nurture a support group that will help us pack our cars with the treasures we hold dearest, and help us shovel the snow in the driveway when needed.  Who knows, maybe we'll even develop a friendship with someone who will hold us during great loss, and celebrate our greatest joys. 
I feel fortunate to live in a place that is lovely on so many levels, and to share this lovely place with people like you. Be sure you read the June gratitude offers listed below along with current news regarding the families & loved ones of the 20 Granite Mountain Hotshots.
Blessings, Light, Love and Joy ~

What's Happening in June?
(For information regarding the monthly gratitude offers click on 
the links or feel free to call - (928) 853-1382)
Honoring 19 + 1 
GraniteMountain Hotshots & Their Loved Ones
Honoring the Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their lives:
    • Andrew Ashcraft – Age: 29
    • Robert Caldwell  – Age: 23
    • Travis Carter – Age: 31
    • Dustin Deford – Age: 24
    • Christopher MacKenzie – Age: 30
    • Eric Marsh – Age: 43
    • Grant McKee – Age: 21
    • Sean Misner  – Age: 26
    • Scott Norris – Age: 28
    • Wade Parker  – Age: 22
    • John Percin – Age: 24
    • Anthony Rose  – Age: 23
    • Jesse Steed  – Age: 36
    • Joe Thurston – Age: 32
    • Tavis Turbyfill  – Age: 27
    • William Warneke – Age: 25
    • Clayton Whitted – Age: 28
    • Kevin Woyjeck – Age: 21
    • Garret Zuppiger – Age: 27
"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, 
it will be enough."   ~ Meister Eckhart
Thank You! 
Let’s Be Better!
Barbara Church
Jikiden Reiki Practitioner
Jikiden Reiki® Traditional Japanese Reiki
Usui & Karuna® Reiki Master Teacher
 (928) 853-1382
318 W. Birch ~ Flagstaff, Arizona
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Let's Be Better! ~ After the Slide Fire ~ Remembering the Granite Mountain Hotshots


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