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Peace Amidst the Politics

One of the most memorable quotes from Mother Teresa is when she stated, "What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family."

This was not the answer that many were expecting. But oftentimes the simplest suggestions are the most profound. 

Peace must begin in our homes before it can spread to the world. And for peace to be in our home, it must first be inside each of us.

These are troubling times and there is great division in our country. This presidential election cycle is the most vicious that I have witnessed. When combined with the recent protests and the horrific tragedy in Dallas, many feel distressed.

Below are three suggestions that I hope help you achieve more tranquility in your life during this turbulent political season.

1. Focus on your own inner peace. This occurs in very different ways for individuals, whether spending time in prayer, making time for relaxation, or confiding all your feelings to someone close to you. But make nurturing your soul a priority.

2. Focus on expressing your voice. Avoid a feeling of helplessness by becoming aware of the issues facing your community, state, and country. Then contact your representatives, from a local school board member to your Congressperson, and respectfully state your beliefs. A deep peace is often found by knowing you got involved and did something. 

3. Focus on your family. I bring us back to Mother Teresa's advice above. Love your spouse/significant other, spend time with your children, and make your home as peaceful as you wish the world to be. Most importantly, teach the members of your family to love and respect others without prejudices interfering and to show tolerance to people who have different beliefs.

There are many different ideas about what is best for our country. It helps to use more positive thoughts and language towards those who differ from you (i.e. "misinformed" rather than "stupid"). 

Showing love when you disagree is not easy, and may even be the hardest like of love. 

That love transcends reason, that love changes lives. (I remind my Christian friends that this is how Jesus loved us.)

When two people who disagree treat each other with dignity and respect, that is a very beautiful kind of love.

(Kindly note: tomorrow I will be posting part two for this topic, on finding peace within social media.) 
By: Kristia Markarian

Leisure Is Not Lazy

It is a common Buddhist practice to occasionally meditate on the possibility of your death within a few months. The purpose of this is not to be morbid or think negatively. The reason for this meditation is to increase gratitude and, if applicable, to make necessary changes to reflect your priorities.

It's often been observed that a person's final thoughts are never that they should have spent more time in the office.

In keeping with the meditation mentioned above, if you knew you only had...
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My Journey to More Sharing

A secondary title to this piece is "My Journey to Instagram," as I am now on that social media. (I've asked my web developer to add a direct link on the top left of this page, but until then you can access my page here.) 

I hesitated a long time, as I'm already on Twitter (very reluctantly, and only to announce a new article) and Facebook (which is surprisingly enjoyable). But Instagram, which is a picture-sharing program, was bewildering to me.

Husband gently nudged me. "It will be...
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Happy Independence Day 2016

On this Independence Day, I am so thankful for our Founding Fathers for their vision for our country. I am equally grateful for our soldiers and their victories for our country. And, as always, I am remembering all those who, like my brother Sgt. Jon, paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

God Bless America always! 
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Fort Drum Remembrance Ceremony 2016

The statue above shows two soldiers helping each other "Climb to Glory," the motto of our Army's 10th Mountain Division. This is located in Memorial Field in Fort Drum, Watertown, New York.

My brother, Sgt. Jon, was...
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Happy (Surprise) Birthday, Dad!

The above picture was taken the moment I gently led my father, David, into a room filled with his family and closest friends and festively decorated to celebrate his 70th birthday.

The image of his face captures the...
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Happy Birthday, Army!

"Gentlemen, please seat your ladies and then seat yourselves."

Those words began a 153-year-old tradition at the Union League Club in New York City, which has existed since 1863 and counts several former United States...
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Happy Heavenly Birthday, Brother

I just started to read a just-released book from one of my spiritual mentors, Marianne Williamson. Below is a quote that I wanted to share.

"The universe is wired for God's light the way a house is wired for electricity, and every mind is like a lamp.

But a lamp must be plugged in for it to shed any light.

With every prayer, we plug into the light.

With every realization of our mistakes and willingness to atone for them, we plug into the light.

With every apology we give and...
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Some Thoughts on Harambe

I had not planned on writing about the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla that was shot dead after a four-year-old boy fell into the enclosure. But I received several requests to address this, including a three-worded email that...
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Love is Cheerful and Patient When Bored

It was Charles's birthday on Friday, June 3rd, and to celebrate he and I went to Atlantic City for the weekend. 

That may initially seem like a strange choice because Husband and I don't gamble, or drink, or go to...
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Reader Challenge: Social Media Envy

In the days after Mother's Day last month, I received several emails from ladies who felt that their day was insignificant when compared to what they observed among friends on social media. One example is from reader friend Annie:

I don't know if it makes sense what's been happening to me, but the more time I spend online the more miserable I feel. It seems like all my friends are living a better and more exciting life than I am, and I feel so jealous that it's overwhelming. 

Before I offer...
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My Memorial Day: A Mets Game Tribute

In 2005, the year that Sgt. Jon joined the Army, he was granted a home leave on Memorial Day weekend. Jonny's barber, a World War II veteran, invited him to march in the Wyckoff, New Jersey parade.

Jon was incredibly...
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Memorial Day Message 2016

A few days ago I spoke with a friend of mine whose second home is in Jerusalem. She offered me and my family condolences on the loss of my brother, Sgt. Jon, as the American Memorial Day approached.

I asked her what...
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Our First Protest

This past Saturday Charles and I became protesters. It was the first time either of us had attended a protest rally. When we discovered that a "March Against Monsanto" was being organized in our county, we looked at each other and said, "Let's go!"

I am very thankful that Husband and I are so compatible with our philosophy about the world. One of the philosophies that we are most passionate about is living a life close to what God and nature intended. 

Monsanto is a company that is in...
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Heart Whispers from Heaven

I've written before about being a Gold Star Sister and losing my brother, Sgt. Jon, in war. This has been devastating in a family as close as ours, but no devastation could be greater than our mother, Nadia. 

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Fingernails and Football

I'm beginning a new feature on our website called "Two of Us Tuesday" where I will focus on 
romantic relationships. I chose not to use the word "marriage" because I want to include everyone,
whether married, engaged, what I call significant significant others, and those who are single
and searching. So whether you are part of a "Two of Us" or working towards finding that special
someone, there will be encouragement every Tuesday to connect more with your other half...

One of the...
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Birthday Snow Wishes

Hello, darling friends! I want to thank everyone for their patience this past month while our website has been mostly silent. The family business is now up and running smoothly, and I again have the time to devote to connecting with all of you.

This seemed a perfect day to come back, since it's my birthday today, April 4th. And I'll confess a little secret: Every year on my birthday I wish for snow.

Sometimes the Universe enacts the opposite of my hopes and there is unseasonable warm weather....
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Ten Quotes to Inspire You to Love Your Body (Right Now, Just the Way It Is)

A few weeks ago Charles and I were away for a long weekend, and that Sunday we visited the local church. Within moments I had Church Choir Girl envy. What made her so mesmerizing was how comfortable she was in her own skin. 

You know that phrase, "Dance as though no one is watching"? Well, this lady dances as though no one is watching, when everybody is watching.

She moved her legs side-to-side to her own rhythm. She clapped and bopped up and down enthusiastically during upbeat songs. She...
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A Quick Update

Hello friends! I hope everyone had a fabulous February and that lots of love was spread your way during the month that celebrates love. 

The picture above is the flower bouquet that Charles gave me for Valentine's Day. Husband also gave me a beautiful ring, but I'm not showing that picture for fear some of you ladies may kidnap him. :-) 

It's been a quiet time on our website for the past two weeks. I want to assure you that everything is fine and I will be back to writing here again very...
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She Was Always Happy and Kind

My brother Jonny and I first experienced the death of a family member when we were in high school. He was a freshman and I was a senior when our father's beloved sister, Dee, transitioned from earth into heaven.

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I am glad you’re here!

This website is for ALL of us. CHONJ is a compassionate community that strives to be positive and uplifting as we help and connect with one another.

My name is Kristia Cavere Markarian. My husband, Charles Markarian, and I are soulmates who spend practically every minute of the day together. Our goal is that you feel better about yourself and the world every time you visit our website.

There are many challenging situations we are facing today, from being overscheduled and overwhelmed, to facing technological distractions. We want to assist you in navigating through all these circumstances, so you can become the best you are meant to be. We will help you become the hero of your life’s journey.

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